Gameday Tampa Bay – Preseason Game 2

August 22nd, 2009


Bucs at Jaguars
Preseason Game 2
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
TV: WFLA Ch. 8 (Replay Sunday, 7 a.m., NFL Network)
Radio: Buccaneers Radio Network (in Tampa WFUS-FM, 103.5 and WDAE-AM, 620); Sirius Channel 146.
Weather: Per, thunderstorms likely at kickoff but the skies will soon clear. Temperatures are expected to be in the low 80s early gradually easing into the high 70s in the second half. Possibility of rain toward the end of the game as well.
Odds: Per, Jags -3.
Outlook: OK, so the Bucs should have a pretty good idea who their starting quarterback will be by the time midnight rolls around. If Byron Leftwich and Luke McCown play about even, it’s Leftwich. If Leftwich stinks up the joint and McCown looks like the second coming of Tom Brady, it may be McCown.

The wild card is Josh Johnson. No, he has no shot at starting sans major injuries to Josh Freeman, Leftwich and McCown. But if McCown isn’t overly impressive and Johnson is, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that McCown could be cut, Leftwich named the starter with Josh Freeman the backup.

Another element to look for is running back. Though most people claim the offensive line was horrid, Joe saw two big holes on the left side open up early in the game that Earnest Graham, for whatever reason, didn’t exploit. Remember this zone blocking is new to the Bucs and the players could just be still learning the ins and outs of it.

How the offensive line masters zone blocking is also something to watch. 

Graham will sit out the game with a “tweaked” ankle, claims Cadillac Williams also is out as a precaution. So there should be plenty of carries for the remaining three Bucs running backs: Derrick Ward, Clifton Smith and Kareem Huggins, who should get a ton of work in the second half.

Prior to the Nashville game, it appeared the Bucs secondary was set. Not so fast. Tanard Jackson will miss the first four regular season games due to suspension . And who knows if Aqib Talib will be back there as a result of his late-night hassle with a cabby and the Florida Highway Patrol? Now, the secondary has significant openings. Who will be worthy?

Of course, wide receiver is another troublesome spot. Someone needs to brainwash Maurice Stovall that these games are actually training camp practices.

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