And so it is (finally) here. The Bucs, an opponent, a group of officials, a time clock, and national television coverage on the NFL Network. The long offseason is behind us. No more talk of what a great catch Mike Williams made in a 7-on-7 drill or how Brian Price wrecked practice. At long last, we can see what our youth-filled roster, all
eighty, errr, seventy-four players who made the trip, can do against real competition in a game setting.
And youth-filled it will be.
Raheem Morris has already stated that he is planning on playing his starters for one series for both the offense and defense, and getting them off the field. This isn't too much of a shocker and I'm fine with it. Many teams take it easy in the first preseason game, putting more of an emphasis on playing time for the starters in preseason games two and three, with the fourth game as a layup for the starers.
However, I sincerely hope Morris is planning on following this approach and stretching out his starters for the better part of a quarter to a quarter and a half in the middle games.....both of which happen to be at home in front of the Buccaneer fan base. I'm not asking to push the starters any longer than they should be, but the fact is that this is a young football team with a signficant number of new starters and key reserves that are either stepping into live NFL action for the first time OR are implementing and learning a new scheme. Preseason has a purpose, and it's not to rest your starters for virtually all of it. This team doesn't need to be getting its sea legs in the first few weeks. We'll see what happens the next few weeks.
As for what's going on in the Buccaneer blogosphere, hit the jump for more......
-Roy Cummings has a nice piece on his 5 things to look for in tonight's game, which are pretty much all right on.
-Rick Stroud notes that, despite his prowess for collapsing pockets and wreaking havoc, Gerald McCoy must stand strong against the run for the Buccaneers, who must improve their run defense this season.
-Blackouts are expected for both home Buccaneer preseason games, so if you want to see the guys in action, better get off the couch and over to Ray Jay.
-Keydrick Vincent dinged up his ankle this past week during a game simulation at Ray Jay, but he managed to walk to the buses after icing it and made the trip to Miami, which is more than some other players were able to do. He should be fine.
-Oh, and Josh Freeman and Gerald McCoy sat down with Adam Schefter of ESPN on his training camp bus tour.