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Buccaneers vs. Panthers first quarter open thread

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Carolina Panthers to start the game today.

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers start the 2014 season in just half an hour. They'll so against the Carolina Panthers -- who are without Cam Newton in this game. Instead, Derek Anderson will get the start. Rejoice! Too bad that'll give the Panthers an excuse as to why they got beat down -- but a beatdown is a beatdown.

The Bucs will miss Jeff Tedford, though. Or kind of. He'll be up in the booth to help the coaches after recovering from heart surgery, but he won't be calling plays. That will be quarterback coach Marcus Arroyo's job this game.

We'll get a first look at the Tampa Bay defense under Lovie Smith, with significant reinforcements in the form of Michael Johnson and Clinton McDonald. Meanwhile, Josh McCown will get a shot to prove that he's the man the Buccaneers need under center -- or at least the game manager who can not lose them the game.

Some pre-game reading: the nuts and bolts to watching the game, three key matchups on defense, and offense, and a Q&A with Cat Scratch Reader.

Here's your first quarter open thread! Go Bucs!