The Tampa Bay Buccaneers turned the ball over five times against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night, including twice in the first five minutes, in Dirk Koetter's preseason debut as an NFL head coach. The first came on a fumbled kickoff return by Kenny Bell, setting up a 5-yard touchdown run by Ryan Mathews. The second came when Fletcher Cox knocked the ball loose from Jameis Winston's hand, setting up a 3-yard touchdown run from Chase Daniel. Those two plays set the tone for a frustrating 17-9 defeat.
QB depth chart: Winston played the whole first quarter, completing 7 of 9 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown -- a 26-yard yard grab by Russell Shepard. He also fumbled, setting up the Eagles' second touchdown of the night. Mike Glennon had a rough night, going 7-of-14 for 83 yards with an interception on a pass intended for Jonathan Krause. Third-string quarterback Ryan Griffin also was picked off on a pass intended for Krause, and then again on a pass intended for Bernard Reedy on first-and-goal.
Maybe that player could start: It's hard to see Shepard stepping away from his captain's duties on special teams, but he had a solid night with a 26-yard touchdown grab and a 30-yard catch on second-and-10 in the second quarter. He finished with three catches for 62 yards. Shepard was one of the most consistent receivers in minicamp, and he has looked strong in training camp, too.
Who got hurt? Veteran tight end Brandon Myers suffered a right knee injury midway into the second quarter and did not return.
A surprise player who impressed: In Charles Sims' absence, third-string running back Mike James performed well. He caught a screen pass from Winston and turned it into a big 26-yard gain to set up Shepard's touchdown. In the third quarter, Isaiah Johnson intercepted Carson Wentz, and would have gained a turnover on the previous play had it not been for a roughing-the-passer penalty on Akeem Spence. Rookie middle linebacker Luke Rhodes also forced a fumble.
When it was starters vs. starters, the Bucs looked ... Aside from special teams, the Bucs looked OK. The early turnovers put the defense in a terrible position, trying to defend from the 18- and 9-yard line, respectively. Offensively, they looked rusty. By the third drive, when they ran no-huddle, Winston and the unit found their rhythm and scored. There would be one more drive for Winston after that, also no-huddle, but that drive stalled at the Tampa Bay 48.
One reason to be concerned: Special-teams play was disastrous. Bell fumbled on the opening kickoff to set up the Eagles' first touchdown. Then, on the Bucs' first scoring drive of the game, rookie kicker Roberto Aguayo missed the extra point attempt. Aguayo had gone 198-for-198 on such kicks at Florida State. Aguayo did make a 38-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. In the third quarter, Reedy fumbled on a punt return but was able to recover it.
Defensive line: Jay Hayes' group had the strongest night of any position group, recording four sacks in the first half alone -- Howard Jones, Clinton McDonald, Jacquies Smith and Spence all had takedowns. Jones also had three tackles, and McDonald had two. Look for this to be the Bucs' most improved position group in 2016.
Penalties: The Bucs had 10 penalties for 92 yards. Last year, they tied with the Bills for the most penalties in the league, and a big point of emphasis for Koetter has been to clean this up. This past week, they had Gene Steratore and a crew of five or six officials at practices. It appears this is still a work in progress.