The National Football League is not expected to release the 2008 regular season schedule until mid-April, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced their 2008 preseason opponents on Thursday.
The Bucs will play four exhibition contests, hosting New England and Jacksonville while traveling to Miami and Houston.
If those opponents seem familiar it's because they are. The Buccaneers played the same four teams during the 2007 preseason, where Tampa Bay compiled a 3-1 record en route to going 9-7 and winning the NFC South division title during the 2007 regular season.
Tampa Bay will kick off its 2008 preseason in Miami to face the Dolphins on the weekend of Aug. 7-11. It will mark the ninth straight year that the in-state rivals have clashed in preseason. The Bucs escaped Miami with a 31-28 win over the Dolphins during last year's preseason.
The Bucs' Week 2 preseason contest will take place at 8:00 p.m. on Aug. 17. Tampa Bay will host the AFC Champion New England Patriots in front of a nationally televised audience on NFL Network. The Buccaneers downed the Patriots 13-10 at Raymond James Stadium during the 2007 preseason.
Tampa Bay will host its other in-state rival, Jacksonville, in Week 3 of the preseason on the weekend of Aug. 21-25. The Jaguars handed the Buccaneers their only loss of the 2007 preseason in a 19-13 contest at Jacksonville.
The Bucs will conclude the 2008 preseason in Houston with a game vs. the Texans. Tampa Bay will clash with Houston on the weekend of Aug. 28-29. Last preseason, the Bucs defeated the Texans at Raymond James Stadium, 31-24.
With the exception of its game vs. New England, each of Tampa Bay's preseason contests will be televised locally on WFLA-TV.
TAMPA BAY'S 2008 PRESEASON OPPONENTS Week 1 at Miami Aug. 7-11 WFLA-TV Week 2 New England Aug. 17 NFL Network Week 3 Jacksonville Aug. 21-25 WFLA-TV Week 4 at Houston Aug. 28-29 WFLA-TV
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