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    • michael89156

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      Season-opening game gets players excitedmeyers_zpsyelgvg1d.jpg “You’ve been building up to this for months and it’s finally a chance to get in a full week of your game plan," says TE Brandon Myers. TRIBUNE FILE PHOTOBy Ira Kaufman | Tribune Staff Published:  September 9, 2015 at 09:50 PMTAMPA — The first one never gets old.Whether you’re a rookie or a 10-year veteran, NFL players look at each season opener as a special occasion.“It’s a big deal,” said Bucs TE Brandon Myers, 30. “You’ve been building up to this for months and it’s finally a chance to get in a full week of your game plan. The first game is kind of a stepping stone to the season and it can absolutely set a tone. If you get rolling, you can reel off four or five wins in a row that can set you up for a good year.”Veteran G Evan Smith, who could be surrounded by two rookie starters Sunday against the Titans, urged an even-keel approach.“Yes, we want to build some momentum and confidence,’” Smith said, “but we can’t make this one game bigger than the rest of the season. You want to come out fast and execute well on Sunday. But remember, there are always going to be some funky looks that teams haven’t shown you in the preseason.”Overcoming nerves is always a challenge in Week 1.“The night before the opener, I lay down at 9 or 10 and I don’t fall asleep until 2 in the morning,” said fourth-year LB Danny Lansanah. “Just running out of that tunnel and hearing the fans, I still get chill bumps to this day. You feel like a kid in a candy shop. After that, it’s just playing football.”***Injury reportWhile rookie LT Donovan Smith (ankle) returned to practice Wednesday, record-setting WR Mike Evans (hamstring) and backup DE T.J. Fatinikun (shoulder) were sidelined.CB Jason McCourty (groin) and NT Sammie Lee Hill (knee) missed practice for the Titans, who are 3-point underdogs for the 4:25 p.m. matchup at Raymond James Stadium.Evans set a franchise mark with 12 touchdown catches as a rookie, and coach Lovie Smith isn’t ruling him out for the opener.“If there is one injury I’ve always been cautious with, it is that (hamstring),’” Smith said. “Mike’s a fast healer and he’s ahead of schedule. You never let a player go out there until he’s ready. ...It’s about the big picture. I’m not out there talking to our trainers, ‘Let’s get Mike out there.’ When he’s ready, we’ll play him. I just know he’s making a lot of progress.”***Another levelAt the Buccaneers annual Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday, rookie QB Jameis Winston said his biggest adjustment to the pro game is adapting to the speed of defensive linemen. A day later, Titans rookie QB Marcus Mariota backed up Winston’s remarks.“I would agree with that — I think the speed of the game is a lot different in college,” said Mariota, who spoke with Tampa Bay reporters during a conference call Wednesday after the Titans initially declined to make him available.“You’ve got to be able to think quickly on your feet, get the ball out. Defenses are moving quick, there are great athletes all over the place and they’ll make plays on the ball.”Mariota didn’t showcase his rare athleticism much in the preseason, operating primarily out of the pocket while completing 70 percent of his throws.“I think just during the preseason, there weren’t opportunities for me to run,” Mariota said. “There was a lot more down-the-field throwing, try to stay in the pocket and stuff like that.”***Extra pointsThe Bucs signed T Martin Wallace to the practice squad. Wallace played one game for the Browns in 2013 and spent last season on Carolina’s practice squad. ...Titans GM Ruston Webster spent 18 years with the Bucs in scouting and personnel. ...New Tennessee WR Harry Douglas had a touchdown catch in four of his past five games against the Bucs as a member of the Falcons.Ira Kaufman

    • billym

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      I didnt no Harry Douglas was a Titan now. I expect a close game with both teams attempting to run it as    much as posssible. Try to to make it easy on the rook qb’s.

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