7 Things To Think About For Tonight’s Preseason Opener

August 11th, 2016
Crucial reps upcoming

Crucial reps upcoming

So what’s running through your mind during lunchtime today, as you await the Bucs taking the field tonight for the first time since Jan. 3?

Joe’s brain is firing on overdrive.

Here are seven thoughts:

Jackson Hole: Assuming Vincent Jackson sits out because he’s “banged up,” and Adam Humphries primarily plays his No. 3 receiver role in the slot, it’ll be darn interesting to see who the Bucs trot out to replace V-Jax. Will it be Donteea Dye, Evan Spencer, Jonathan Krause or Russell Shepard? Joe believes those guys are more likely to get a first-team look than Kenny Bell, but don’t be too surprised to see Bell try to secure his first-ever preseason pass in the first half.

Vernon Hargreaves: Will he even run with the first team? Or will it be Jude Adjei-Barimah? If Hargreaves is in second-team duty tonight, will it be outside cornerback or at nickel? Better yet. What insight will Bucs icon and announcer Ronde Barber provide on Hargreaves, who hasn’t had a special training camp.

Mike James: Doug Martin likely gets only one series of work tonight, and Charles Sims is expected to sit with a mild ankle injury. This is James’ shot to run left, run right, pass block and catch the ball behind first-team offensive linemen. The Bucs’ sixth-round pick in 2013 better be ready to win a job. He’s one reason the Bucs felt ok letting Bobby Rainey walk.

Clinton McDonald: There are very high expectations for the Bucs’ veteran nose tackle, who had five sacks in 2014 before missing the final 12 games last year with a torn pectoral muscle. Can this guy still play?

Jonathan Banks: The Bucs’ 2013 second-round pick should have been a starter last year, after four picks in 2014. But Lovie Smith soured on Banks, who also soured on Lovie. So far, a fresh start this year has landed Banks as the Bucs’ No. 6 cornerback. Will Banks keep struggling tonight against future luggage handers, rental car agents, gym teachers and grad students?

Penalties: The cleanup of one of the most penalized teams in NFL history (143 last year) started the moment Dirk Koetter got the head coaching job. A very clear game tonight would go a long way toward getting Joe to believe the messages and coaching are getting through.

A Crisp Start: Koetter thoroughly has orchestrated training camp to keep players out of the midday sun, extra fresh, and completely healhy. So there’s absolutely no excuse for the Bucs to come out soft and flat tonight. If they do, what might that say about Koetter’s approach?


30 Responses to “7 Things To Think About For Tonight’s Preseason Opener”

  1. The Buc Realist Says:

    Number 8 would be O-line

    and Number 9 would be Attitude!!!! Will this team play with attitude? Will they start ” taking thing” as JW3 said in his press conference!!!! Is there a “mindset” now on this team!!!!!


    The “real” part starts at 1:50 mark!!!!

  2. Buccfan37 Says:

    All of those pointed questions loom large in this preseason opener. I wonder if I put one of those lithium batteries in the wall clock, will it spin faster. T minus 7 hours and 20 minutes to blastoff.

  3. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Point 8 should be not to read too much into preseason imo. I think you can judge things that look absolutely horrible with some accuracy (like bucs o line in 2014) but otherwise it can be misleading

  4. Bucsfanman Says:

    Yea, count me in with Realist, o-line and attitude. We really haven’t seen that toughness in a while. With the o-line, there’s the potential that game 1 of 2017 will not have Sweezy at LG. Who steps up?
    As Lord C. says, you also don’t want to read too much into it. The playbook will be scaled back immensely. That said, players have to play. There better be some intensity because there are quite a few guys playing for their respective careers. (ahem, Banks and ASJ)

  5. Bucsfanman Says:

    2016 I mean!

  6. BucFan20 Says:

    Well at least at this point we will get to see it. Joe’s writing is good but even though it will be vanilla, it will be FOOTBALL!!

  7. Fsuking Says:

    “Joe believes those guys are more likely to get a first-team look than Kenny Bell, but don’t be too surprised to see Bell try to secure his first-ever preseason pass in the first half.”

    Once again, Joe’s wildly out of control anti-Kenny Bell bias has reared its ugly head to directly contradict logic, talent level and the depth chart. I can’t wait to run it in when Kenny goes for 2 tds and 100+ tonight!

  8. 813bucboi Says:

    I would like to see banks at free safety….GO BUCS!!!

  9. DB55 Says:

    who the Bucs trot out to replace V-Jax. – Shepard n Krause, although I prefer Shep, promote from within kinda deal. It’s Shep’s time to shine.

    Vh3 plays nick w 1st team n CB with the 2nd. Would love to see him return a punt.

    Mike James plays the entire first half. Need to check durability and get back into shape. No fumbles Mikey.

    Is Banks bumming on purpose? I say yes, it’s all politics.

    Kenny Bell the spotlight is on you.

    ASJ toys with the 2nd team philly D. Might see another Capt Morgan pose.

  10. tmaxcon Says:

    ASJ toys with the 2nd team philly D. Might see another Capt Morgan pose.

    That would be priceless and would take some HUGE brass baaaalllllsssss by ASJ… If he plays with passion and eats up the bums he will be facing pose on ASJ… Just no mental midget plays.

  11. R.O Says:

    Pre season is like rubber neckers on the highway… Nothing to see here. Pre season means nothing. It will always mean nothing…

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Just don’t want injuries….

    And….I think we may see Ayers in a huge fist-fight…..just to prove to Dotson he will “bring it”……

  13. DB55 Says:


    That’s where you’re wrong. PS means everything to junkies who want to see who’s playing well and who are the hidden gems. That’s where udfa make a name for themselves and get jobs. PS sets up my whole fantasy season. Gloried practice? Yes but there’s value in said glorification.

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    Agree Lord C that we shouldn’t read too much into preseason games, but … I’m convinced our Bucs defense is hungrier right now than they’ve been in years and they’ll come out firing on all 12 cylinders (I included Smitty in there). These guys have something to prove big time … to themselves more than to anyone else. I wouldn’t want to be the Philly offense tonight.

  15. DB55 Says:


    He won’t need to fight. He just needs to meet gmc at the qb and all questioned will be answered. Ayers is not a poser.

  16. Couch Fan Says:

    I dont care about wins or losses right now. The last few years we’ve seen a team come out in the pre-season looking totally lost and inept and flat. I will be watching to see how in sync this team is with the coaching and each other. And I would love to see this team come out with fire, passion and look like they are ready to go after the long off season.

  17. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Penalties. With backups and camp meat playing most of the game, we won’t see any real changes in penalties this week.

    Here’s what I’m watching for

    Kenny Bell. I want to see him on kick returns and receiving. Primarily returns, because that’s what I wanted to draft him for. Now that he is healthy, and is the starting KR in this game, I’m hoping for the best.

    Dan Vitale. I want to see him do the things some people claim he cannot do. I want to see him run the ball in short yardage situations. I want to see him run and pass block. And I want to see how good he is at catching the ball. Really, I’d like to see him play most of the game.

    Howard Jones. Five sacks last year. Still young. It’s possible he could be a sleeper for us this year. I’m curious if he can live up to it.

    Mike Glennon. He’ll get most of the game to play, assuming Jameis willingly leaves the game. I want to see if he is faster in the pocket after working with Koetter for a year. I want to see if being around Jameis has changed the way he leads the team when playing. I want to see his pocket presence. If Koetter has been able to fix his weak areas, Mike Glennon could potentially be a top QB next year. IF.

    Noah Spence. He’s a backup in this game, so he’ll get good playing time. I want to see what he has in the tank. A three sack game would blow my mind.

    Johnthan Banks. I still believe he should be a starter. Lovie demoting him was the worse move Lovie made in my opinion. He was developing nicely until 2015. I hope he gets a lot of playing time, and makes it impossible to cut him. two picks would be nice…but shutting down things would be just as good.

    Vernon Hargreaves. He’ll get his playing time. I don’t expect perfection out of the gates, but I would like to see flashes of what he’ll become.

  18. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    @Couch Fan

    I think you are expecting too much out of preseason football, considering that mostly 2nd, 3rd and 4th stringers will be playing most.

    I don’t expect a good game for the team this weak. I just want to see the potential of certain players giving me something to be excited about. Win. Loss. Doesn’t matter to me either. Progress is what I want from the starters (which we won’t see this week).

  19. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    RUN, KENNY, RUN!!!!!

  20. ShutTheBucUp Says:

    Hope none of our starters get hurt in these meaningless games. Preseason can end a team’s season before it even starts.

  21. Couch Fan Says:

    Maybe I am expecting to much but I always have high expectations for this team. I dont think expecting to see a competent passionate team is to much though.

  22. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    I’m actually looking forward to seeing how Bernard Reedy plays tonight. I’ve heard he looks great and has elite speed, although I haven’t seen much about him here at JBF. I think him and Krause have a real shot at making this team

  23. pick6 Says:

    i’ll have eyes on our backup QBs. this is Glennon’s last and best chance to stir up a trade market and Griffin’s chance to prove MG might be more expendable than Licht has presumed throughout this offseason. the later it gets in preseason the less sense it makes to bring Glennon in

  24. The Other Side of the Coin Says:

    I’ll be looking to see if there is a team out there or just a bunch of guys playing football.

  25. Cobraboy Says:

    I’m anxious to see the “new look” defense, although no doubt it’ll be very vanilla in the pre-season.

  26. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Hold on to that dude in the picture untill some team comes calling for his services!

  27. Waterboy Says:

    Banks, Kenny Bell and Noah Spence are all at the top of my watch list tonight. I’ll also be watching Donavan Smith during his limited time on the field but it’ll probably be hard to get a good assessment of the o-line with the teams playing in base vanilla defenses.

  28. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    I like what couch said.. Yea its just pre season but let’s look like we are serious about showing this league its a new day in The Bay. Teams have won them all and bomb out during the season. Then there was the Seahawks that won all theirs in route to a Superbowl win. If you go back and look at them in pre season that year they had a look about themselves.

  29. Bucnjim Says:

    The only thing I’m really looking for is a new passion from our team. Something that is taken for granite but all successful teams have. In my opinion we have been missing that passion to win for the last decade. A new attitude and drive to win would be awesome.

  30. Waterboy Says:

    Nole anytime I hear about wins in pre-season I can’t help but think about Steve Spurrier’s fun and gun offense in Washington. They demolished teams in preseason but then reality hit once the real games started 🙂 All and all I just want to see an organized team that looks hungry and somewhat in sync. Win, lose or draw if I see that I’d be fine for week p1.