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Jamon Meredith out of the mix at guard competition

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are seeing their offensive guard competition come into focus a little more, but it's far from encouraging.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to rotate their offensive guards in an effort to find the best pair of starters, but one player has already lost the opportunity to win the starting job. In today's press conference, Lovie Smith all but said that Jamon Meredith will not be starting at guard for the Bucs this season and will instead have to focus on the tackle position, as a backup.

"Jamon didn't play as well as he needed to," Lovie Smith said. "So we realize that he can play guard and tackle so we're going to let him concentrate a little bit more at the tackle position, and give that next group of guards an opportunity. Jace [Daniels] is the next guy.

That's a bit of a surprise after Friday's game. Not that Meredith played well -- he looked horrible -- but Oniel Cousins looked even worse, and continued to get first-team reps today. Lovie Smith didn't see it at that way, even saying that Cousins had some good plays during the game. I didn't see any of those against the Jaguars' first-team defense, but okay.

Replacing Meredith as the the first-team right guard today was Jace Daniels, though this competition is far from over. Patrick Omameh and Kadeem Edwards should both be strong candidates for a starting spot.

"It's not like we've moved Jace [Daniels] into the starting lineup," the Bucs head coach said. "This is the next rotation we want to see. As a new staff we want to look at different combinations and see how it plays out. This is one that we're going to look at right now."

This also doesn't necessarily mean that Meredith can't work himself back into the mix, as Smith later in the press conference said that he'd get some work at guard -- he'll just concentrate more at the tackle position. That sounds more theoretical than realistic, however.

Quick notes from Lovie Smith's quotes:

Steven Means was held out of practice with a leg injury, but he played through that injury in the game and it doesn't look too serious.

Dashon Goldson will play on Saturday after being held out of the first preseason game.

Lovie Smith downplayed Robert Herron's drops, noting that he concentrated on the plays where he has caught the ball. "In time he's going to be a good football player," Smith said.

Patrick Murray is getting a shot as both a kicker and punter, and Lovie Smith noted that he's probably a better kicker than punter.

"We're not a team that's going to slant our line on every play where true pass-rushers don't get a chance to beat the guy across from them one-on-one." /celebrates