This is the Tampa Bay Bucs that Dirk Koetter had hoped to see.
Everyone else, too.
In the all-important third preseason game (the starters play longer than any other game), the Bucs beat up the Cleveland Browns, 30-13. And most of Koetter’s checklist responded.
Jameis Winston played well. And Roberto Aguayo. And Mike Evans. And the offensive line. And the defensive line. And Adam Humphries. And on and on.
“We went no-huddle the whole first half, and it worked,” Koetter said. “Jameis came out on fire, made some beautiful plays.”
Best win: The third preseason game is often called the Dress Rehearsal because the starters play more than in any other game. For the Bucs, it couldn’t have gone much better. The Bucs were sharp, including only three penalties for 25 yards.
Fastest start: Through two games, the Bucs had started the game slowly, much to the irritation of head coach Koetter. Not Friday night. The Bucs entered sizzling, scoring 27 points in a quarter and a half and rolling over the Browns. Quarterback Winston threw for 269 yards in a half, and receiver Mike Evans caught five passes for 115.
He’s No. 3: Third receiver Humphries showed why he’s the third receiver, catching two balls for 39 yards and returning a punt 73 yards.
Key Rookies. No. 1 draft pick Vernon Hargreaves got his first start. No. 2 pick Noah Spence got his first sack. And the second No. 2, the much-discussed Roberto Aguayo, kicked field goals of 48, 21 and 27 yards and hit all three of his extra points.
“I’ve done this my whole life,” Aguayo said. “I just sit back and think that my collegiate career didn’t happen on accident. I realized how I got there and just doing what I do on a regular basis — not trying to overthink about it.
“When I made that first kick — with every kick — they congratulate me. It’s always good when you do your job.”
Next week: The Bucs play against Washington on Thursday night.