Ted Larsen, Derek Hardman and Jamon Meredith to fight for starting spot

July 28, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Davin Joseph (75), offensive guard Jeremy Zuttah (76) and guard Mike VanDerMeulen (74) practice drills during training camp at One Buc Place. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Davin Joseph has been lost for the year with a torn patellar tendon, which leaves the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with one massive hole (in several ways) to fill: the position of starting right guard. Ted Larsen got a first shot at that job in Friday's preseason game, but even that competition isn't over. Head coach Greg Schiano noted that backup guard Derek Hardman and tackle Jamon Meredith would get a shot at the job as well, and presumably we'll see those three players get a lot of playing time at right guard tomorrow, in the team's final preseason game.

Ted Larsen has the best resume for the job, however. He has started 14 games over his career, most of them at left guard and is at least familiar with NFL play. While Larsen is far from a quality replacement - he lacks power in the run game and is too inconsistent as a pass-blocker - he does appear to be the team's best option. By comparison, Derek Hardman has just 4 starts, while Jamon Meredith is new to the team and has a whopping 4 starts - which he accumulated in 2009.

The team could still look to free agency or the waiver wire, but any players currently available aren't likely to be good enough to step in and start: there's a reason why they're available, after all. Deuce Lutui would be the most appealing available free agent, but the guard has struggled with his weight and was just released by the Seattle Seahawks for simply not being good enough. Most likely, the Bucs will go in to the season with Ted Larsen at right guard, because that's the best they can do.

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