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Bucs struggle in battle of potential backups in preseason finale, lose 24-10 to Redskins

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TAMPA, Florida — One of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' biggest moments came two hours prior to kickoff.

The Bucs introduced recently acquired six-time Pro Bowler Logan Mankins before losing 24-10 to the Washington Redskins in a preseason finale on Thursday night.

Tampa Bay rested starting quarterback Josh McCown, and his backup, second-year pro Mike Glennon, only played one series.

In fact, the only regulars who played for either team were Tampa Bay guards Oniel Cousins and Patrick Omameh, one of whom undoubtedly will lose his starting spot with the arrival of Mankins.

"Just sloppy play as much as anything," Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith said. "Just wasn't great football really throughout the night. It's not like we really played well. Right now and just looking and having to point someone out that really made an impression, that's just not the case."

Mankins was acquired from New England in a trade on Tuesday. He met his new coaches and teammates after arriving in town Thursday morning and will spend the next few days trying to get familiar with the playbook.

"It's going to be tough. We have a week before the first game, and I'm going to take it in stride. I've got all weekend to try and get down some of the mental part of it, and then all next week at practice," the 10th-year pro said.

"I'm sure the guys are going to help me as much as possible, and I'm going to try my best to be up to speed with those guys. I don't know if it will happen, but I'm shooting for it."

Mike Kafka played most of the game for Tampa Bay, throwing for 86 yards and one TD — a 25-yarder to Solomon Patton in the fourth quarter.

Kirk Cousins didn't get a chance to add any fuel to the idea that there is an unlikely quarterback controversy brewing in Washington.

PHOTO: Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Solomon Patton (86) dives past Washington Redskins outside linebacker Adam Hayward (55) and cornerback Richard Crawford (20) to score on a 25-yard touchdown reception during the third quarter of an NFL preseason football game Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Solomon Patton (86) dives past Washington Redskins outside linebacker Adam Hayward (55) and cornerback Richard Crawford (20) to score on a 25-yard touchdown reception during the third quarter of an NFL preseason football game Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

Redskins coach Jay Gruden rested both struggling Robert Griffin III and backup Cousins.

Third-stringer Colt McCoy played the entire game for Washington (3-1), throwing for 321 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of end zone interceptions that stopped promising drives.

Ryan Grant scored on a 2-yard reception for the Redskins, and Lache Seastrunk turned a short pass into an 80-yard TD that gave Washington a 17-3 lead in the fourth quarter.

"We didn't score a whole lot of points," Smith said. "We didn't really stop them an awful lot."

McCoy finished 22 of 29 and was sacked once.

Griffin has labored this preseason as he attempts to transition into a more traditional pocket-passer under Gruden, who replaced Mike Shanahan after last season.

Cousins has looked much more comfortable in Washington's new system, raising questions about whether he might be a better fit for the starting role.

Gruden briefly gave some consideration to playing Griffin for a series or two Thursday night to give his quarterback a chance to end the preseason on a positive note.

Instead, he will have to wait until the team's Sept. 7 opener at Houston to move past the ugly numbers he posted last week in his final tuneup against Baltimore: 5 of 8 passing for 20 yards, no touchdowns, an interception, three sacks and a fumbled snap.

NOTES: Bucs WR Louis Murphy Jr. left with a back injury and didn't return. ... 15 Bucs made their first preseason start this year.


AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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