Carlton Davis continuing to work through growing pains
Eduardo Encina, Tampa Bay Times, published 5 November 2018

The Bucs realize their young secondary will go through some growing pains, and rookie cornerback Carlton Davis has taken his lumps this season, but also shown signs of promise. The Bucs' 42-28 loss at Carolina was not Davis' best game, as he seemed to be diving at air for most of the afternoon. And even when Davis made a big play, he found a way to make a mistake. He tried to tackle high, he tried to wrap up low, but it didn't seem to work.

One two-play sequence the two biggest plays of an 88-play first-quarter touchdown drive that set the tone foe the entire day was a microcosm of Davis' afternoon. On a second-and-six at the Carolina 29, Cam Newton found Christian McCaffrey in the back side flat, and McCaffrey leaped over Davis in the open field on his way to a 32-yard gain.

On the next play, D.J. Moore took an end around play on the right side, and after shedding a block Davis tried to tackle more high but he escaped on his way to a 32-yard gain. Davis said the defense's struggles had less to do with Carolina's creative misdirection play calls and more to do with some sloppy execution.

"I don't think they put pressure on a defense," Davis said after the game. "It's just about the defense executing. Everybody has gimmicks and everybody has their own deal, and you prepare for them. You see it on film. You've just got to execute them. "We go over everything we see on film, so if they put it on film they go over it."

With the Bucs starting to rally in the second half, Davis made a huge play on fourth-and-five at the Tampa Bay 38, wrapping up Devin Funchess short of the first-down marker for a turnover on downs.

But Davis let his emotions get the best of him, and got in Funchess' face after the play, drawing a 15-yard taunting penalty that put the Bucs at their own 21. Fitzpatrick would drive the Bucs down the field for a 79-yard yard touchdown drive that ended with a 30-yard completion to Adam Humphries.

"I didn't actually see the taunting," Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said. "When he made the tackle over on the other side of the field, I was heading to the other end. Obviously, it must have been [a penalty]. The penalty really didn't hurt us because we went down and scored on the next drive. I think Carlton Davis is going to be a real good player. He didn't have a great overall tackling day today, but on the play he got the taunting on, that was a nice open-field tackle."