Our favorite day, isn't it?
Greg Schiano's too.
Enough of this practice stuff, the preseason's a go tonight in Miami against another team that struggled last year—the Miami Dogfish, er, Dolphins.
Here's a couple of things to keep in mind when you tune in tonight.
First, and foremost, this is a three-game process for the team. The starters will get in a quarter tonight, a quarter next week then maybe a full half in the third game, which sets up the season opener. By then, most of the hay is in the barn, you will know the starting lineup by heart, you'll know the backups and the only thing left to be decided is the final five spots on the 53-man roster.
The preseason is also like a movie trailer. I've never seen a bad move trailer but I've seen a lot of bad movies that had a great trailer.
No matter what happens tonight, don't overreact either way. Don't go overboard if you see some good and don't go nuts if it doesn't look, well, not-so-good.
Here are a few things you might want to check out during this game.
Greg Schiano and His Staff
Who or what will have your attention tonight?
How efficient is the team getting on and off the field? Any delay penalties? How's the play-calling? This is the first time this staff has performed as a unit. Let's see how they do.
You want him to look good. This isn't a great team he's facing.
Any questions? He has to look good, doesn't he?
How does Lavonte David look? Mason Foster should be a LOT better than last year. Does Quincy Black finally stand up and have us take notice?
Is he the physical force they are anticipating he will be?
How good or bad will it be when they play the scrubs, er, backups? And they will play most of the game.
We probably should have put this at the top of the list. If you paid any attention to the Thursday night games, there were a lot of key injuries, including Philadelphia Eagle quarterback Mike Vick, who gave the team a real scare when he bopped his throwing hand on a helmet during the action. X-rays were negative on his left thumb but he may miss some time.
The Bucs can afford ZERO injuries unless its a "camp body."
There's a lot to watch. Take notes and we'll compare.
Most of all, sit back and enjoy. We've got some football.