Buccaneers vs. Patriots 2013 Preseason: Five Buccaneers On Offense To Watch

Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Five players to watch on offense as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the New England Patriots tonight.

G Carl Nicks

Carl Nicks gets his first game action since being placed on injured reserve midway through the 2012 season. Nicks will be bothered by that toe injury for the rest of his life, though, and we don't know how he'll cope with it. He will play tonight, but how effective will he be? Can he retain his balance and power? He'll always a physically imposing human being, but even the biggest man can turn into a pushover if he can't plant his feet.

TE Tom Crabtree

Aside from one fluky big play last week, tight end Tom Crabtree didn't get to show us much. But he's competing for a starting job with Luke Stocker, and it's still not clear how healthy the latter is. While Stocker's a decent blocker, he has never shown he can be any threat in the passing game. Crabtree could turn out to be the third receiving option the Buccaneers desperately need behind Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams.

Or maybe the Bucs are going to go through another year with no competent tight end. We'll see.

T Gabe Carimi

The right tackle came over from the Chicago Bears and has been getting mostly positive reviews in training camp. He seems to be recovered from the knee injury that had been plaguing him for two years, and he's certainly an upgrade over Jamon Meredith as a backup tackle.

And then there was this nugget:

That was somewhat surprising. Not that Carimi looked bad in his first game, but Demar Dotson looked absolutely stellar. Carimi looked good, but mostly played against a second-string defense and wasn't as dominant as Dotson was. Based on the first preseason game, I don't see how Carimi's going to beat out Dotson -- but apparently, Rick Stroud has some other infromation.

WR Chris Owusu

Owusu had a really, really bad game last week. He muffed a punt, dropped passes and ran the wrong routes. That was just bad -- and that despite the fact that he was getting some really good publicity in training camp. He'll have to do better if he wants to push Kevin Ogletree for playing time, who

QB Mike Glennon

Mike Glennon didn't look great last week. He didn't look bad, either, but he missed a bunch of throws and in general didn't look sharp. He has to quicken up his movements: get a faster drop in the pocket and get rid of the ball a little more quickly. I'm not looking for a perfect game out of the rookie, but I would love to see some improvement out of him.

QB Adam Weber

Just kidding.

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