Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Tennessee Titans: What We Need to See from Bucs

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IAugust 16, 2012

Gerald McCoy needs to spark the defensive line. (photo courtesy of Buccaneers.com)
Gerald McCoy needs to spark the defensive line. (photo courtesy of Buccaneers.com)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers take a step up in competition Friday night with their preseason home opener against the Tennessee Tuxedos, er, sorry, Tennessee Titans.

The game is blacked out, as it's tough drumming up excitement for these "practice" games that don't count and feature unwatchable third-stringers duking it out in the third and fourth quarters.

That being said, the Titans present a better quality of competition than those Miami Dolphins, a team that most likely will be the cellar dweller in the AFC East.

Like the Dolphins, the Titans are without a franchise quarterback, and they're looking to young Jake Locker to eventually wear that title. Locker will start the game to see what he can accomplish with the first unit.

Here's your wish list for this contest for the Buccaneers:


No Injuries

This is the first and most important priority for the entire preseason. This is not a deep team, especially on defense.


Better Tackling

Coach Greg Schiano was not happy with the tackling last week, too many missed tackles. It's a recurring theme from last year's 4-12 disaster and a byproduct of no live hitting in training camp.


Improved Pass Rush

The Dolphins put the ball in the air 50 times last week. No sacks. The defense did pressure the quarterbacks at times, but the Bucs need more of that.


Contain Chris Johnson

Johnson won't play much, but when he's in there, the defense needs to shut him down.


Throw to Vincent Jackson

Josh Freeman needs to throw a few balls to the new guy.


Mark Barron

Hampered by his toe injury, Barron sat out last week. If he's 100 percent, he'll go. If not, they may hold him out until he is totally good to go. Everyone wants to see this guy hit someone.


Aqib Talib

Is he back from his tweaked hamstring? Hopefully he is. With the pass-happy NFC South looming, he needs to have a really good year, as does the other corner, Eric Wright.


Quincy Black

Lavonte David and Mason Foster looked pretty darn good last week. Black needs to step up his game.


Josh Freeman

We need to see just a little more of him in this game.


Special Teams

They've been doing a lot of special teams work. Can Michael Smith produce some more "splash" returns like he did last week?


Although this is just the second preseason game, it's really the next-to-last contest.

Teams play their starters for a full half in the third game, which is the rehearsal for the season opener. After the third game, most of the decisions have been made, and the last game is reserved to give the half-dozen guys on the bubble their final opportunity to earn a job.

There's no live broadcast, so if you're not going to the game, you'll have to turn on the television sometime after 11 p.m. to catch the replay or listen in on the radio broadcast.

Stay healthy, Buccaneers.


Read more Buccaneer news and views at OneBucSite.com.