The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have finished a busy week in Nashville, practicing two days with the Tennessee Titans.
Tonight, the two teams will play preseason game number two beginning at Nissan Stadium. News Channel 8, Your Official Bucs Station, will kick off the evening at 7:00pm with the Bucs Bonus Pregame Show. Chris Myers and Ronde Barber will have the game call beginning at 8:00pm. There are a few interesting story lines to follow tonight:
Last week against the Miami Dolphins, all three Bucs quarterbacks, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jameis Winstona dn Ryan Griffin, led the offense to touchdowns. Griffin not only threw a touchdown pass to tight end Alan Cross, he also led the Bucs on a game-winning field goal drive after the Dolphins took the lead late in the third quarter. For the starter, Fitzpatrick, he must remain consistent in his short preseason stints. In the Miami game, he hit his first two passes, to DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans, before the touchdown drive was carried by the offense’s running attack.
The Defensive Backs:
With cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III nursing a sore groin, the Bucs defensive backfield is once again starting a game a bit depleted. However, rookies Carlton Davis and M.J. Stewart each made big plays in the Dolphins game, continuing to dazzle during their first ever training camp and preseason. Also, rookie safety Jordan Whitehead emerged in the first game, adding to the confidence of Bucs fans when they think about the Bucs stopping the opponent’s passing game in the regular season. Starting cornerback Brent Grimes makes his preseason debut and second year cornerback Ryan Smith hopes to show improvement as he battles through a challenging camp.
Bucs receivers vs. Titans defensive backs:
No position battle was more watched this week in Nashville than the Bucs wide receivers going up against the Titans defensive backs. On Wednesday, Jackson and Evans seemed to have their way, leading a dominating Bucs practice. By Thursday, however, the Titans provided an answer, led by cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, who intercepted two passes, one off Ryan Fitzpatrick during the final 11-on-11 scrimmage. Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter says this group has “four starters” with Evans, Jakson, Adam Humphries and Chris Godwin. However, a very entertaining battle has developed for the fifth (and possibly sixth) spot on the depth chart. Freddie Martino has game experience as does Bernard Reedy and Jesus “Bobo” Wilson. But rookie Justin Watson has impressed in camp and Sergio Bailey made critical catches in the Bucs final drive in Miami.