10 Reasons to watch a Bucs’ practice game

by Gary Shelton on August 12, 2022

in general

Friday, 4 a.m.

For the most part, preseason football is less exciting than watching a fishing show.

Apologies to the fish, of course.

No matter how you wrap it, no matter how many highlights from the previous season they show, it's dress-rehearsal football. It's a bunch of guys who will be selling cars in two weeks playing against another bunch of guys who will be selling cars. No one cares. No one remembers. No one will remember the final score past Tuesday.

And, yet, for the Bucs, there is something of an unveiling to the Bucs dress-up scrimmage against Miami Saturday night. There are several spots in the team's lineup that will be interesting to get a hint about.

So here it is:

Ten reasons to watch the Bucs' preseason game:

  1. The interior of the Bucs' offensive line. The Bucs have had to rebuild the interior of their Line because of the retirement (Ali Marpet), the injury (Ryan Jensen) and the free agent departure of (Alex Cappa). The guys who are left will be responsible for keeping defensive tackles from collapsing the pocket in front of Tom Brady (whenever he gets back). If the Bucs' can't block the middle, the entire offense slows down.

2. The rookie tight ends. It's the first preseason game, so who knows if Kyle Rudolph will be on the field through the first cheerleaders' routine. But Cade Otton and Ko Kieft are interesting additions, too. Of course, Rob Gronkowski could un-retire at any moment.

3. Kyle Trask, take two. The world seems divided into thinking that drafting Trask was a) a mistake or b) a savvy investment. Does Trask have the ability to carry a team for a month if the starter is out? So far, there is no evidence of it.

4. Can Logan Hall fit into the mix? The reports of Hall have been good, but is he good enough to play a role in the team's defense? Or at least, can he be good enough to make some fans turn the porch light off for Ndamukong Suh.

5. Who's going to return kicks? Last year, Jaelon Darden was a disaster. If he isn't better returning kicks, he'll be gone from a deep receiving corps.

6. How good can Joe Tryon-Shoyinka be? Considering his status as a starter, Tryon-Shoyinka would sit most of this one out. But the kid needs reps. He has work to do before convincing others he can replace Jason Pierre-Paul.

7. The additions to the secondary: The Bucs secondary, frankly, wasn't very good most of the time last year. This year, they've Broight in Logan Ryan and Keanu Neal. We'll see if they're better.

8. The kicking competition. Ryan Succop and Jose Borregales are both trying to win the job.

9. How does the running back depth stack up? We should get a good look a Rachaad White this preseason in his efforts to be a contributor. Can he unseat Ke’Shawn Vaughn.

10. The battle for wide receivers: Is Scotty Miller in trouble? Tyler Johnson? Can Cyril Grayson make you notice him?

There are no solid answers in preseason, but there are hints and clues. There are areas to look better than you feared and fresh reasons to worry.

Saturday night, it begins.

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