Under Dirk Koetter, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers seem to really like using preseason to give their starters a lot of time get acquainted with each other.
Usually, NFL teams will put their starters on the back burner and largely focus on using preseason games to let those competing for the final roster spots to really make their cases. Not the Bucs, though: they gave their starting offense nearly a third of the playing time in week one, and Koetter said today that those starters will get nearly a full half in week two.
We'll play more, the ones will be closer to a full half. We went a little bit longer with the offense last game; the defense didn't play much. We'll take those guys [deeper into the game]. I'd like Jameis [Winston], if we have the ball, to get into a two-minute situation at the end of the second quarter, if we could."
That’s a lot of playing time for the starters, who usually only play that much in the third week of preseason. The upside is that the starters should be a well-oiled unit once the regular season starts. The downside is injuries, though the Bucs have been relatively lucky on that front so far.
Extensive playing time for starters also makes these games must-watch affairs for dedicated fans: there’s a lot to be learned and enjoyed from the Bucs’ starting offense and defense. Thursday night should be fun.