With so many players and so many battles and so many Hard Knocks cameras in attendance, the Bucs Preseason game will garner plenty of attention---but we chose to thin the herd for you and narrow down the top things to look for in Tampa Bay's preseason debut at Cincinnati tonight.
(1) KICKERS KICKERS KICKERS---Dirk Koetter would like this marquee battle between Roberto Aguayo and veteran Nick Folk decided sooner than later, but both have made that tough by being consistently inconsistent in camp.
The question remains---how many opportunities will each get in any preseason game and who will go first? Koetter could have Aguayo go first half and Folk in the second---but the tempo of the game will likely give one more chances than the other---looking forward to seeing who will take advantage.
(2) JAMEIS & HIS NEW TOYS---I know Koetter says the first team offense will only see a quarter of action but I'm looking forward to see Winston pick and chose from the likes of Mike Evans, Deshaun Jackson, OJ Howard and yes Doug Martin. Throw in Ali Marpet moving to center and a healthy J.R. Sweezy at guard--lots of new car smell for the Bucs offense in that first quarter to take in.
(3) BACKUP PLANS: Once the first teamers are one and done, time for the battle of the backup quarterbacks to commence between the Ryan's--Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Griffin. While Fitzpatrick has much more experience, Griffin has had the better camp thus far and the coaching staff loves his potential. This one will go down to the wire in camp where preseason tape will be huge, beginning tonight.
(4) STAR ON THE RISE? You could say rookie linebacker Kendell Beckwith has been the biggest surprise of camp so far. The rookie strongside linebacker tore an ACL in his knee last November while playing for the LSU TIgers against the Gators. After missing his bowl game and being limited at the combine and looking slow in offseason workouts, Beckwith has looked fast in camp and impressed his defensive coaches and caught the eye of Koetter. He will get a lot of playing time tonight, let's see how much he takes advantage?
(5) SAFETY CONCERNS: Unlike recent history, these Bucs are building depth and competition at the safety position. A lot is expected of second round pick Justin Evans while veteran JJ Wilcox has had a spectacular camp so far with three practice picks. Let's see who shows up....
HONORABLE MENTION: Yes Doug Martin will play tonight but all eyes will be on the men who will be playing when Martin is out the first three games. This game will be huge for Payton Barber, Jacquizz Rodgers and Jeremy McNichols all of whom have big opportunities in front of them the next month and a half.