Darrelle Revis will see his first game action since week three of last season, and we have no clue how the Buccaneers are going to use him. Will they put him in single coverage with no safety help in his first game back? Will they match him up with the opposing team's top wideout, or will they let him take out number two while giving safety help on number one? Or will they just plug him into their normal defensive concepts?
All of this is going to be crucial tomorrow. We don't know how Revis will affect the defense, but it's safe to say that if he can return to form, that will be a major part of this defense's success. If he can take out Santonio Holmes, the Jets will be stuck with Jeremy Kerley, Stephen Hill and Kellen Winslow as the only viable receiving targets. With Geno Smith throwing to them.
The Buccaneers couldn't generate a consistent pass rush last year, for numerous reasons. One major reason was the loss of Adrian Clayborn, who played just three games. Clayborn is now back, and has looked like an impact player in the preseason. But he's going up against a very good left tackle in D'Brickashaw Ferguson.
Here's the intriguing thing: the Buccaneers are moving Clayborn around. Previously, he played right defensive end only. This preseason they've moved him around to follow the weak side of the offense -- the side with no tight end to help the offensive tackle. This could take him away from Ferguson, or draw him to Ferguson -- but it does mean he's likely to face a lot of one-on-ones, and he needs to take advantage of them.
Mark Barron vs. Kellen Winslow Jr.
Mark Barron is going to spend a lot of time in the box this season. The Bucs have consistently played him in the box in nickel and dime sets this preseason, with Ahmad Black coming in to play deep safety next to Dashon Goldson on some packages. Barron should be able to shine in his more natural position.
He won't have too tough an assignment in his first game, as he's likely to be in man coverage on Kellen Winslow Jr. for most of the game. The former Buccaneer really doesn't like Greg Schiano, but he has long since lost the speed and explosion to really be a difference maker in the passing game. Still, if the Bucs are vulnerable somewhere it may be in the intermediate passing game, so stopping Winslow will be important.
Mostly this matchup should give us a good idea of whether or not Barron took a few steps forward this offseason.