Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Complete 2012 NFL Preseason & Training Camp Guide

Caleb Abner@cjabshypeContributor IIIJuly 20, 2012

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Complete 2012 NFL Preseason & Training Camp Guide

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    Welcome to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Complete 2012 NFL Preseason & Training Camp Guide.

    This piece will cover everything from the biggest questions to players on the roster bubble to preseason game analysis. 

    For anything related to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' preseason, this is where it's at.

    All you have to do is read.

The Biggest Question Marks

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    Here we highlight the biggest questions marks for the Bucs that need to be answered.

    1. How much has the defense improved?

    2. Who will start; LeGarrette Blount or Doug Martin?

    3. Will Ronde Barber stay at safety?

    4. What will become of Aqib Talib and Eric Wright?

    5. How will Josh Freeman respond to the offensive upgrades?

    6. What will the defensive line look like?

    7. How heavily will the run game be featured?

    8. What impact will the veteran presence of Vincent Jackson have on the young wide receivers?

Players on the Roster Bubble

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    These players will have to fight uphill battles in training camp in order to secure a spot on the final 53-man roster. 

    This is not a comprehensive list; the players listed here have been brought to attention because they are of special interest at this point.

    All player information is taken off of the official website of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    C Moe Petrus- undrafted free agent rookie who happens to be 26, the same age as the current starting center, Jeremy Zuttah, and a year older than backup Ted Larsen. 

    DB Devin Holland- sophomore who saw no playing time in 2011. Must compete with 15 other DBs.

    DE Daniel Te'O-Neisheim- third year man who played in one game last season. With both starting spots pretty much locked in for Adrian Clayborn and Michael Bennett, Te'O-Neisheim will have a tough time proving his worth.

    DE Quintin Andersen- UDFA who barely registered on draft scouts' radars. 

    P Eric Guthrie- UDFA playing a position where team already has a solid starter in Michael Koenen.

    FB/TE Erik Lorig- veteran fullback who may be replaced by seventh round draft pick Drake Dunsmore. By far safest on list, but still might want to watch out because Dunsmore is a FB/TE hybrid who leans more on the tight end side. Lorig is more of a fullback, and as the position grows outdated, so might Lorig. Still pretty safe, though, just the possibility remains.

    DT Jordan Nix- UDFA battling against six proven veterans.

    K Kal Forbath- team just signed stud kicker Connor Barth to long term contract.

    QB Brett Ratliff- in three years has not seen the field once. Josh Freeman already has a capable backup in Dan Orlovsky.

    RB Robert Hughes- signed before Doug Martin was drafted. Team might not have anticipated Martin's availability, so could have wanted some depth just-in-case the Muscle Hamster was off the table. Overstocked running back position will make it very hard for Hughes to shine in training camp.

    FB/TE Zach Planalto- entered league last season and didn't do much.

    RB De'Anthony Curtis- UDFA who will struggle to stand out among four more accomplished running backs.

    LB Jacob Cutera- has not shown much thus far into his NFL career.

    WR Greg Ellingson- deep group of WRs, each with better resumes than young Greg Ellingson.

Players to Watch

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    Here we highlight the players most worth watching in the preseason, for one reason or another.

    RB Doug Martin- Why? Because he's the Muscle Hamster!

    Sure, he runs well, and block, and run routes.

    But he's the Muscle Hamster!

    RB LeGarrette Blount- As 2011 progressed, Blount seemed to lose Raheem Morris's trust entirely, after repeated fumbles. Blount has fantastic power, and can force defenders to miss tackles along with the best of them. Despite benching, ranked exceptionally well in ProFootballFocus's Elusive Rating rankings for 2011, a metric that focuses on what running backs do once they've gotten their blocks.

    RB Mossis Madu- Madu is a burner who Josh Freeman raved about during the offseason. He may not start, but should have a decent impact as a change-of-pace back.

    G Carl Nicks- He might not play a glamorous position, but Nicks is so good at left guard its actually fun to watch him set his feet for blocks. 

    WR Vincent Jackson- For the first time in his career, Josh Freeman has a legitimate deep threat. It will be interesting to see if Jackson can continue to play at a high level with Freeman throwing to him, as opposed to Phil Rivers. 

    QB Josh Freeman- Will he or won't he return to his 2010 form? That is the question.

    SS Mark Barron- As the seventh overall pick in the draft, Barron has some high expectations to live up to. The Bucs drafted him over cornerback Morris Claiborne and inside linebacker Luke Kuechly, two more popular prospects, so it will be interesting to see how he performs compared to them.

    DB Ronde Barber- At this point, it's really hard to project where Barber will end up playing once the regular season begins. He moved to safety during the offseason, but he tied for most missed tackles in the NFL last season. A safety is the last line of defense, so it important for a safety to be able to tackle. So will he stay at free safety?

    DT Gerald McCoy- McCoy still has not earned the third overall draft pick the Bucs used in 2010 to add him to their roster. He has struggled with injuries, but when he has been on the field, he's been a fine player. Whether or not he stays healthy, he' stun to watch.

Best Depth Chart Battles

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    These are the best depth chart battles (ranked in order of competitiveness). 

    1. Starting RB: Doug Martin v. LeGarrette Blount

    Power v. Power? LeGarrette Blount may as well be the strongest running back in the NFL, but Doug Martin seems to generate just as much momentum when rushing, despite his small stature. Think of how Maurice Jones-Drew runs; shoulder pads low and full speed ahead. Blount has more potential as a pure power back, but Martin is well-rounded, just as fast as he is strong and just as elusive as he is fast

    At this point, the edge goes to Martin, only on the account of his nickname. 

    And his third-down potential.

    But mostly his nickname.

    2. WR No.3: Preston Parker v. Arrelious Benn v. Dezmon Briscoe

    Sure, every wide receiver on the Bucs has a chance to make WR No.3, but these three guys have the most realistic chances of doing so.

    Preston Parker emerged as a reliable target for Josh Freeman last season, picking up nearly 300 yards after catch with 40 receptions. Arrelious Benn had the highest average yards per catch on the Bucs, with an average of 14.9 yards each reception. Last but not least is Dezmon Briscoe, who led the team with six receiving touchdowns.

    I'd predict Parker wins this battle, because of what he did last year and what he has the potential to do in the future.

    3. TE: Dallas Clark v. Luke Stocker

    Youth v. Experience.

    Clark has ten years of it, while Stocker barely has one. 

    Blocking v. Receiving

    Stocker is a great blocker, while Clark is a receiving specialist.

    Though Mark Dominik called Stocker an "every-down tight end," he has yet to show dominance in the passing game. Perhaps with a full offseason he will improve in this aspect, but it is unlikely that he moves beyond Clark in this regard.

    I predict that Stocker will be used mainly on run plays and Clark on pass plays. 

    There really won't be one starter.

    Agree/disagree with my rankings?

    Well, at least one person does.

    This article, found on the team's official website, lists the best depth chart battles as being at weak side linebacker, nose tackle, running back, second and third wide receiver, and kick returner. Personally, I don't believe there is much of a battle at WOLB, as Lavonte David should start there. At NT, I'm betting on Brian Price and Gerald McCoy. As for second wide receiver, Mike Williams should have that locked down, as he is the second-most talented WR on the roster, and one of the most versatile. 

    The article definitely deserves a look, though.

Full Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp and Preseason Schedule

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    This is the schedule for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' training camps and preseason games.

    The public training camp sessions happen as follows: 



    Friday, July 27

    8:45 - 11:30 a.m.

    Saturday, July 28

    8:45 - 11:30 a.m.

    Sunday, July 29

    8:45 - 11:30 a.m.

    Wednesday, August 1

    8:45 - 11:30 a.m.

    Friday, August 3

    8:45 - 11:30 a.m.

    Saturday, August 4

    6:30 - 9:00 p.m. (Night Practice)

    Monday, August 6

    8:45 - 11:30 a.m.

    Tuesday, August 7

    8:45 - 11:30 a.m.

    Sunday, August 12

    8:45 - 11:30 a.m.

    (Thank you Buccaneers.com for the chart)

    Preseason Schedule

    Day Date Opponent Time TV
    Friday Aug. 10 at Miami 7:30 PM WTSP
    Friday Aug. 17 Tennessee 7:30 PM WTSP
    Friday Aug. 24 New England 7:30 PM WTSP
    Wednesday Aug. 29 at Washington 7:30 PM


    (Merci beaucoup to bucsnation.com for the chart)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp Info

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    This year's training camp will occur at One Buc Place and take place over nine sessions from July 27th to August 12th.

    All but one public practice last from 8:45 AM to 11:00 AM.

    August 4th will be the date of the intra-squad scrimmage. It will start at 6:30 PM and end at 9:00 PM. $1 hotdogs, autograph sessions, free parking, and a fireworks show will only add to the awesomeness. 

    For more information, check out this link.

Full Tampa Bay Buccaneers Camp Roster

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    Thank you to Buccaneers.com for this whopper. 

    62 Larsen, Ted C 6-2 305 25 3 North Carolina State
    61 Petrus, Moe C 6-2 302 26 R Connecticut
    76 Zuttah, Jeremy C 6-4 308 26 5 Rutgers
    31 Biggers, E.J. CB 6-0 180 25 4 Western Michigan
    29 Johnson, Leonard CB 5-10 202 22 R Iowa State
    23 Lewis, Myron CB 6-2 203 24 3 Vanderbilt
    28 Roberson, Derrick CB 5-10 182 27 2 Rutgers
    25 Talib, Aqib CB 6-1 205 26 5 Kansas
    21 Wright, Eric CB 5-10 190 26 6 Nevada-Las Vegas
    20 Barber, Ronde DB 5-10 184 37 16 Virginia
    26 Gaitor, Anthony DB 5-10 175 23 2 Florida International
    30 Holland, Devin DB 6-0 205 23 2 McNeese State
    37 Tandy, Keith DB 5-10 199 23 R West Virginia
    68 Anderson, Quintin DE 6-5 280 23 R Wagner
    71 Bennett, Michael DE 6-4 274 26 4 Texas A&M
    91 Bowers, Da'Quan DE 6-4 280 22 2 Clemson
    94 Clayborn, Adrian DE 6-3 281 24 2 Iowa
    64 Gilberry, Wallace DE 6-2 268 27 5 Alabama
    97 Johnson, George DE 6-4 265 24 2 Rutgers
    67 Mitchell, Jayme DE 6-6 285 28 7 Mississippi
    50 Te'o-Nesheim, Daniel DE 6-3 263 25 3 Washington
    78 Wilson, E.J. DL 6-3 289 24 3 North Carolina
    95 Gibson, Gary DT 6-3 312 30 6 Rutgers
    52 LeGrand, Eric DT 6-3 275 21 R Rutgers
    93 McCoy, Gerald DT 6-4 295 24 3 Oklahoma
    90 Miller, Roy DT 6-2 310 25 4 Texas
    60 Nix, Jordan DT 6-3 295 23 R North Carolina
    98 Okam, Frank DT 6-5 350 26 5 Texas
    96 Okoye, Amobi DT 6-2 292 25 6 Louisville
    92 Price, Brian DT 6-1 303 23 3 UCLA
    38 Johnson, Cody FB 5-11 252 23 R Texas
    81 Dunsmore, Drake FB/TE 6-3 235 23 R Northwestern
    41 Lorig, Erik FB/TE 6-4 275 25 3 Stanford
    80 Pianalto, Zack FB/TE 6-4 250 23 2 North Carolina
    75 Joseph, Davin G 6-3 313 28 7 Oklahoma
    77 Nicks, Carl G 6-5 343 27 5 Nebraska
    73 Hardman, Derek G/T 6-6 300 25 3 Eastern Kentucky
    74 VanDerMeulen, Michael G/T 6-7 304 22 R Toledo
    72 Wynn, Desmond G/T 6-6 303 23 R Rutgers
    10 Barth, Connor K 5-11 193 26 5 North Carolina
    2 Forbath, Kai K 5-11 197 24 1 UCLA
    58 Black, Quincy LB 6-2 240 28 6 New Mexico
    45 Curran, Rennie LB 5-11 230 23 2 Georgia
    51 Cutrera, Jacob LB 6-3 238 24 3 Louisiana State
    54 David, Lavonte LB 6-1 233 22 R Nebraska
    59 Foster, Mason LB 6-2 242 23 2 Washington
    53 Goode, Najee LB 6-0 244 23 R West Virginia
    57 Hayward, Adam LB 6-1 240 28 6 Portland State
    56 Watson, Dekoda LB 6-2 240 24 3 Florida State
    48 Economos, Andrew LS 6-1 250 30 7 Georgia Tech
    4 Guthrie, Eric P 6-6 245 23 R Iowa
    9 Koenen, Michael P 5-11 198 30 8 Western Washington
    5 Freeman, Josh QB 6-6 248 24 4 Kansas State
    6 Orlovsky, Dan QB 6-5 230 28 7 Connecticut
    7 Ratliff, Brett QB 6-4 224 26 3 Utah
    27 Blount, LeGarrette RB 6-0 247 25 3 Oregon
    39 Curtis, De'Anthony RB 5-9 211 22 R Arkansas
    33 Hughes, Robert RB 5-11 235 23 1 Notre Dame
    32 Madu, Mossis RB 6-0 197 24 2 Oklahoma
    22 Martin, Doug RB 5-9 223 23 R Boise State
    34 Smith, Michael RB 5-9 205 23 R Utah State
    36 Asante, Larry S 6-0 210 24 2 Nebraska
    33 Baker, Sean S 6-1 209 23 R Ball State
    24 Barron, Mark S 6-1 213 22 R Alabama
    43 Black, Ahmad S 5-9 190 22 1 Florida
    35 Grimm, Cody S 6-1 203 25 3 Virginia Tech
    41 Thomas, Tramain S 6-0 204 22 R Arkansas
    69 Dotson, Demar T 6-9 315 26 4 Southern Miss
    78 Hardrick, Jermarcus T 6-7 320 22 R Nebraska
    64 Ingersoll, Mike T 6-5 303 24 1 North Carolina
    79 Meredith, Jamon T 6-5 312 26 4 South Carolina
    70 Penn, Donald T 6-5 305 29 7 Utah State
    68 Sowell, Bradley T 6-7 320 23 R Mississippi
    65 Trueblood, Jeremy T 6-8 320 29 7 Boston College
    44 Clark, Dallas TE 6-3 252 33 10 Iowa
    46 Coffman, Chase TE 6-6 250 25 3 Missouri
    85 Franklin, Collin TE 6-6 256 23 1 Iowa State
    86 Noble, Danny TE 6-5 248 23 R Toledo
    88 Stocker, Luke TE 6-6 253 24 2 Tennessee
    17 Benn, Arrelious WR 6-2 220 23 3 Illinois
    89 Briscoe, Dezmon WR 6-2 210 22 2 Kansas
    8 Ellingson, Greg WR 6-3 197 23 1 Florida International
    15 Gant, Ed WR 6-3 200 25 1 North Alabama
    83 Jackson, Vincent WR 6-5 230 29 8 Northern Colorado
    16 Lewis, Armahd WR 5-9 171   R Central Washington
    87 Parker, Preston WR 6-0 200 25 3 North Alabama
    18 Stroughter, Sammie WR 5-10 189 26 4 Oregon State
    11 Underwood, Tiquan WR 6-1 183 25 4 Rutgers
    19 Williams, Mike WR 6-1 212 25 3 Syracuse
    12 Wright, Wallace WR 6-1 197 28 5 North Carolina

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2012 Rookie Class

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    Let's take a look at the Buccaneers' 2012 draft class.

    Pick No.7 Overall- SS Mark Barron


    What more is there to say about the two-time BCS national champion?

    At Alabama, Barron dominated offenses from the secondary with his unmatched physicality and instincts. He knows where he has to be to best help his team and can read the quarterback's eyes. One of his biggest strengths is shutting down the run. He can do it all.

    Barron perfectly exemplifies what kind of player Greg Schiano wants on his defense. 

    He should be a house-hold name in about two years time.

    A rookie Pro-Bowl wouldn't be out of the question either.

    Pick No.31 Overall- Doug Martin


    The Muscle Hamster.

    While at Boise State, Martin was one of my favorite college RBs to watch, on account of the impressive skill set he brings to each and every game. I've broken down his game before, and long story short, he's good at everything. 

    As a Buc, Martin should be on the field a lot, but how often is impossible for me to say as of now. LeGarrette Blount will challenge him for carries, and you can't keep a player of Blount's caliber off the field for too long.

    Pick No. 58 Overall- Lavonte David

    Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the Buccaneers' newest starting weak side linebacker. 

    'Nuff said.

    Pick No.140 Overall- Najee Goode

    What a "Goode" pick. 

    The West Virginia man provides depth and versatility for the linebacker corps, the first of which the squad sorely lacked last season.

    While he may not start, Goode should some decent playing time.

    Pick No.174 Overall- Keith Tandy

    Keith Tandy is one of those exceptional defensive backs who can play cornerback, free safety, strong safety, and nickel back all equally well. Still, he will have to show up big in training camp to avoid getting cut.

    Pick No.212 Overall- Michael Smith


    There's really no other way to describe Michael Smith.

    His speed will bring him to the practice squad, at the very least.

    Pick No.234 Overall- Drake Dunsmore

    Classic joke:

    "Daddy, why did the Bucs draft a Prius?"

    "That's not a Prius, that's Drake Dunsmore."

    A Prius is a hybrid and Drake Dunsmore is a hybrid FB/TE.

    Get the joke?

    I predict Dunsmore will make the 53-man roster on account of this versatility.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2012 Undrafted Free Agents

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    The Buccaneers currently have 15 UDFAs on the roster, each battling intensely for a roster spot. On this page, Bucs featured columnist Tom Edrington takes a look at each's chances of making the roster. He brings up some good points, but stay right here for my personal analysis.

    DE Quintin Andersen- Standing at 6'5'' and weighing 280 pounds, Andersen is a big man. The trouble is, the defensive end position is overcrowded with veterans and there doesn't seem to be enough room for the Wagner man.

    S Sean Baker- It's hard to imagine Baker earning a spot over the veteran safeties on the roster, but stranger things have happened.

    RB De'Anthony Curtis- The Bucs have a pure power back, a jack-of-all-trades, two backfield burners and De'Anthony Curtis on their roster. So what are the Arkansas man's odds of making the roster?

    Most likely, they are pretty slim.

    He can still make the practice squad, though.

    P Eric Guthrie- The Bucs already have a franchise punter. Guthrie is not needed here.

    T Jermarcus Hardrick- Height: 6'7''. Weight: 320 lbs. Writer's reaction: My, oh my. However, the Nebraska man does not really control his own fate, as he must depend on RT Jeremy Trueblood to do poorly in order to have a chance at making the final roster. Otherwise, there's just not enough room for him.

    FB Cody Johnson- A pure fullback? In the modern NFL? Fresh out of Texas, Cody Johnson may be a solid fullback, but with all the FB/TE hybrids the Bucs are currently carrying, Johnson will need a fantastic showing at training camp to make a name for himself.

    CB Leonard Johnson- He's local, so that's already a plus. Many expected the Iowa State corner to be drafted last April, so when the draft wrapped up without his name being called, Johnson instantly became a hot commodity. He signed with the team he grew up watching and will be given a fair shot a making the final 53-man roster. Filling a need and having good college film are excellent ways to get on an NFL team, so don't be surprised to see him on the field come September. 

    WR Armahd Lewis- Given all the veteran talent at wide receiver, it's pretty hard to imagine the ex-Central Washington receiver landing a roster spot. It's even harder to imagine this when you consider that he's only 5'9''.

    DT Jordan Nix- There are far, far too many veteran defensive tackles on this roster for me to believe that Nix, a North Carolina nose tackle, has a shot at making it through the preseason. 

    TE Danny Noble- I don't know how many tight ends Greg Schiano is planning on carrying, but unless that number is at least five, Danny Noble is a longshot. 

    C Moe Petrus- Moe Petrus weighs over 300 pounds. That is heavy. But weight might not be enough to secure the former UConn center a roster spot.

    T Bradley Sowell- Sowell is the exact same size as Jermarcus Hardrick, which I find interesting. And as with Hardrick, the Mississipi man's roster chances depend on Jeremy Trueblood stinking up training camp, requiring the Bucs to set up more depth at tackle.

    S Tramain Thomas- At 6'0'' and 204 pounds, the former Arkansas Razorback has good measurements for a safety. He will make the roster only if Ronde Barber and the other options at FS seriously underperform in training camp.

    OL Michael VanDerMeulen- Don't call Michael VanDerMeulen small. That would be lying. The Toledo man is 6'7'' and is a versatile offensive lineman, being able to play both guard and tackle. Just not at once. I'd give him a decent chance to make the roster.

    OL Desmond Wynn- Wynn played at Rutgers, so he has already got a head start in the evaluation process. 

    Besides; all he does is "Wynn."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Free Agency Additions

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    The Buccaneers won the Super Bowl of free agency this past offseason. 

    Let's take a look at why.

    WR Vincent Jackson- Boom. For the bargain price of $55 million, the Buccaneers will have a deep threat at wide receiver for the next five years. He'll make the starting roster, for sure.

    G Carl Nicks- Boom. The Bucs have the best interior lineman in the NFL. He can run-block like there's no tomorrow, and he's pretty good at pass protection as well.

    CB Eric Wright- Tiny boom. The Bucs have a young corner with potential, but who has not yet reached great success in the NFL. As a Lion last season, Wright had the best year of his career, recording 67 solo tackles and four interceptions. If the 26 year-old continues on this pace, the Bucs can expect great things from him in the future. 

    However, Wright must avoid off-the-field distractions. He was arrested for suspicion of a DUI on July 2nd, and although the charges will not be brought to court, Wright must avoid getting into like situations.

    DT Amobi Okoye- Brains and brawn. Amobi Okoye has it all. The defensive tackle chose to attend the University of Louisville over Harvard because of the stronger football program. He graduated before he turned 20. I have a strong personal connection to U of L., so Okoye is a guy I am sincerely rooting for. 

    Hopefully he recovers from a minor knee surgery in time to kick butt at training camp. The Bucs need him at defensive tackle so give them necessary depth behind the Brian Price/Gerald McCoy tandem, one that has struggled with injuries in the past.

    He's only 25 and is in his sixth pro season, so it's not a stretch to say that he should be in his prime.

    TE Dallas Clark- Farewell, Kellen Winslow. Hello, Dallas Clark! 

    After shipping KW2 off to Seattle, the Bucs immediately signed the 10-year vet Dallas Clark, a receiving tight end who made a career out of being Peyton Manning's safety blanket. Josh Freeman has enjoyed having a similar tight end in the past, and should continue to do so with Clark on the roster.

    WR Greg Ellingson- Former Arena League WR. No NFL regular season experience. Odds are stacked against him.

    WR Tiquan Underwood- Rutgers alum and a former Patriot. Has an in-road with Schiano, but it's hard to  see him surpassing even Dezmon Briscoe on the depth chart.

    DT Gary Gibson- The 30 year-old may not have a lot of upside, but he's good enough to make the roster as a special teams/rotational player.

    T Jamon Meredith- In four years, Meredith has been a member of six different NFL franchises. The right tackle has a slim chance of making to the regular season.

    QB Dan Orlovsky- Career backup. He won two games with the horrendous 2011 Colts, so that's a plus. Orlovsky might not win the games for you, but he won't lose them. 

Game-by-Game Preseason Analysis and Predictions

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    Predictions for the outcomes of preseason games?

    Are you crazy?

    You bet. 

    Preseason games allow coaches to see how players will perform in different situations and decide who is the most valuable to the team. In terms of the final 53-man roster, preseason games are extremely important.

    Week 1: @ Miami

    The Bucs open the preseason against the Dolphins, who are in the middle of a heated quarterback controversy, between Matt Moore, David Garrard, and Ryan Tannehill. 

    This game will show us just how bad the Tampa Bay secondary is. If the Bucs can't shutdown the quarterbacks listed above, then this defense is hopeless. The Buccaneers must keep the Fins' aerial attack grounded if we are to believe they stand any chance against the elite quarterbacks of the NFC South.

    Final Score: 24-17 Bucs

    Week 2: vs Tennesee

    From one QB controversy to another.

    The Titans have two starting-caliber quarterbacks in sophomore Jake Locker and veteran Matt Hasselbeck. They also host running back Chris Johnson, who will very much want to rebound from his miserable 2011 campaign.

    Here we find out how these Bucs can deal with a strong running game. Last season they had the worst rush-defense in the league, giving up over 100 yards a game. Will Greg Schiano turn them around?

    Final score: 21-20 Titans

    Week 3: vs New England

    Since the Bucs will be facing possibly the greatest quarterback of all time, I wouldn't be too concerned if they stumble a bit in pass defense. 

    However, they must be able to score some points. 

    New England had a swiss-cheese pass defense last year and the rush defense wasn't too much sharper. I want to see Josh Freeman try and drive the ball down deep and Doug Martin rack up some nice yardage on the ground. Vincent Jackson should have a ball, and probably a few touchdowns too. 

    Final score: 35-28 Patriots

    Week 4: @ Washington

    Meet RG3.

    Get to know him. 

    We'll be playing him week four of the regular season.

    While the Redskins have a re-vitalized passing game, spearheaded by the multi-dimesional passer Robert Griffin III, they haven't upgraded at running game, so will be stuck with Roy Helu and Evan Royster. Both running backs showed some stuff in 2011, but as of now, neither has shown the ability to lead an effective rushing attack.

    But then again, Mike Shanahan can make a 1000-yard rusher out of anybody.

    One weakness the Bucs can hope to exploit in Washington is the team's penchant for penalties. The 2011 Redskins gave up 1006 yards on defensive penalties along, so if Tampa Bay can force some mistakes, momentum will swing to the visitor's favor.

    The Redskins have a rather weak rush defense, which signifies a field day for Doug Martin. Maybe even LeGarrette Blount will be able to get in on the fun.

    Final Score: 27-26 Bucs

Projecting the Final 53-Man Roster

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    53 roster spots.

    Broken down by position.

    Then alphabetized.

    Let's get at it.

    Quarterback- Josh Freeman, Dan Orlovsky

    Running back- LeGarrette Blount, Mossis Madu, Doug Martin

    Fullback-Drake Dunsmore, Erik Lorig

    Wide Receiver-Arrelious Benn, Dezmon Briscoe, Vincent Jackson, Preston Parker, Mike Williams

    Tight End- Dallas Clark, Luke Stocker, Zach Pianalto

    Tackle- Demar Dotson, Mike Ingersoll, Donald Penn, Jeremy Trueblood

    Guard- Derek Hardman, Davin Joseph, Carl Nicks

    Center-Ted Larsen, Jeremy Zuttah

    Defensive End-Michael Bennett, Da'Quan Bowers, Adrian Clayborn, Wallace Gilberry

    Defensive Tackle- Gary Gibson, Gerald McCoy, Amobi Okoye, Brian Price

    Middle Linebacker-Mason Foster, Najee Goode

    Weakside Linebacker-Lavonte David, Adam Hayward

    Strongside Linebacker- Quincy Black, Dekoda Watson, Jacob Cutera

    Cornerback-EJ Biggers, Leonard Johnson, Myron Lewis, Aqib Talib, Eric Wright 

    Free Safety-Ronde Barber, Ahmad Black

    Strong Safety-Larry Asante, Mark Barron, Cody Grimm,

    Long Snapper-Andrew Economos

    Punter-Michael Koenen

    Kicker-Connor Barth