The Bucs starters on offense and defense only played six snaps apiece in Saturday’s 19-14 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the preseason opener. So what will head coach Bruce Arians do in terms of the starters’ playing time over the last two games?
The Bucs will host the Titans on Wednesday and Thursday for joint practices at the AdventHealth Training Center before battling Tennessee on Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium. Arians said he’s inclined not to play any of the starters in the second preseason game unless he has to.
“Looking at the two practices [against Tennessee] – as good as I know they’ll go physicality-wise – we probably won’t play any starters,” Arians said. “I don’t really want to put our starters back in [along the offensive line] or put them in at all. The offensive line might play in this game only by necessity. We’ll see how that goes.”
With the NFL only having three preseason games this year due to increasing the regular season to 17 games, Arians said that his strategy will change regarding the final preseason game. Typically that’s a game where NFL teams rest their starters, but Arians said Tampa Bay is taking a different approach after holding them out of the second preseason game.
“We’ll play that by ear, but my plan right now is to play them a significant amount in that ball game because we don’t play for two weeks after” Arians said. “I know our guys don’t want to hit each other for 10 days, so we’ll probably play them more in that game than any.”
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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