Thoughts from the pre-season game with the Pats
Cue Clint Eastwood music - "The good, the bad and the ugly".
Good - Mark Barron proving he can be the man on the spot to make a big play just as Lavonte David did in Miami. Nothing either of these two top rookies have done have made me doubt their abilities to be stars in this league.
Bad - losing Davin Joseph for the season. That was a freak injury that could have happened to any player at any point in practice or a game. Why it happen to the Bucs' Pro Bowl guard and one of the best offensive linemen we have ever had is just so unfortunate.
Ugly - the offense in the second quarter with LeGarrette Blount back there. He runs like a bad surgeon (can't even make one cut). The whole unit just looks more effective with Doug Martin in the backfield and I love the speed and dynamism that fellow rookie Michael Smith brings to the party.
More good - loved the impact of the first-string defense that was in Tom Brady's face the entire game. And for anyone out there who doubts Gerald McCoy, just watch the impact he has on every play. He is the one who opens it all up for the likes of Roy Miller and Michael Bennett to make the splash plays.
More bad - has there ever been a worse commentary crew than those from the Patriots we had to suffer on the NFL GamePass option? And I thought Miami's crew were bad in Week 1. Wrong names, missed calls and just appalling teamwork. They almost, and I do stress the word almost, made you wonder if Nick Halling could have done a better job.
The "highlight" and I use that word with due concern, was when they had to name their drive of the game. And it was a touchdown drive orchestrated by Brady and the New England first-string offense in the third quarter. Which was against the Bucs' second and third teamers. It was the most over-rated drive since David Cambridge hit the 18th fairway at Pyrford.
Interesting substitution to see Demar Dotson in there very early at right tackle and the battle between him and Jeremy Trueblood looks a lot closer than people think. However with the loss of Joseph (and if anyone thinks he is over-rated then they have not got a clue about football), then Trueblood's veteran experience could see him keep the job.
It was also interesting to see how quickly TE Danny Noble was in the game and he seems to have won the third TE spot. Myron Lewis can pack his bags now and in spite of Adam Hayward making some big plays, Mason Foster will still start at MLB when the Panthers come to town in a fortnight's time.
So with a last piece of Western music and as the heroes ride into the sunset, the win was good, the injury was bad and anything connected with the Patriots is just ugly from Bill Belichick's dress sense to their obnoxious UK fans.
You've been great, enjoy Mental as Anything.