The Hype Starts Dying Away TomorrowBy JCDeLaTorre @jcdelatorre Aug 14, 2015Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsAfter an off-season of talking, the Bucs put foot to leather and begin the act of playing football.Its been long summer hasn't it Buc Fans? From will they or won't they with Jameis Winston, to free agency through OTAs and on to training camp, we've heard a lot of talking.We waited with baited breath for a report on every Jameis throw. How Marpet and Smith are doing on the offensive line? How the defense is coming together?Listen to the Bucs and they'll tell you that Jameis is the love child of Joe Montana and Brett Favre. Marpet is already an All-Pro and the defense will get seven sacks and ten turnovers every game.Listen to the "experts" and Jameis with throw gazillion interceptions and the Bucs will have a negative number of wins this year. Can a team go -1 and 17?The stat nerds wet themselves on Jameis' college interception total and how he's still throwing picks in training camp practice. Cue the classic Allen Iverson line.We've made our predictions, debated what we think will happen and wondered what this football team will really bring us?Is this the same team that has given us 30-70 over their last 100 games? Or is this a team to be excited about? On the rise and ready to stun the NFL?The talking ends tomorrow night. We won't need to predict outcomes. It will be right there in front of our eyes. No, pre-season won't show you everything but what it will show you is some of the glaring weaknesses and depth concerns this team will have.It certainly didn't take us long during the Bucs' pre-season opener last year in Jacksonville to figure out that yes, Virginia we're in deep crap on the offensive line.Saturday will enable us to scale up B.S. mountain and see how much of the hype is true and how much is training camp euphoria.Now, if Jameis throws three picks in the pre-season opener, its not a cause to hide the women and children (or have the women subject themselves to the Bucs' RED initiative). It's also not time to make Super Bowl plans if he throws 3 touchdown passes, either. Ryan Leaf had a great pre-season.But we'll be able to see if the Bucs offensive line can stop Urkel, none-the-less NFL competition. We'll be able to see if the defense can generate any kind of pass rush from the front four. We'll be able to see if Doug Martin has indeed returned to his Dougernaut form.We'll see the camp superstars Rannell Hall and Kenny Bell try to perform when the lights come on. If Kwon Alexander is ready to be a Mike linebacker in the league.If someone - anyone - can take Michael Koenen's job as the most overpaid punter in the NFL.It'll be fun for about a half, then we'll want to see the real bullets start to fly. Alas, we're still a month away from those answers.But come join me on this trek up B.S. mountain and let's see what we've got.link
Jason,Great article. Pretty much sums up my feelings as well. I'm expecting some mistakes, I'm not expecting precision, but I'm hoping to see none of the former and a lot of the latter.Overall, Minnesota offers a really good test. Not only because this is their 2nd preseason game and our first, but because this is a team about where we expected OUR team to be last season. If we can play competitively and keep the mistakes down, I'll be pretty happy.I'm really not focusing on Winston for this game, but it's going to be hard not to notice him. What will be important is to watch how he manages the offense. Is he making good calls at the line? Is he still going to progress his reads? When the Vikings blitz, can he handle it?I'm also curious to see Koetter call a full game. I want to see if the offense changes from when Winston is under center to when Glennon is. Are we going to see shifts this early? Is he making play calls that help the offensive line? Defensively, I want to see if the line can get some pressure on Bridgewater and make him uncomfortable. Can we control their running game? AP isn't playing, so we should have a chance to shut it down. Can the takeaways we've seen in training camp continue into the game setting?Finally, I want to see if special teams are better than they were last season. Are we going to regret we didn't pick Lockett and settled for Clay or is Clay going to make L&L look like genius's for waiting to grab him in the 6th? Looking forward to tonight.
I am not too concerned with the stats. I would like to see Winston command the huddle and not get rattled. Avoid stupid mistakes. On a related note, last preseason, the Bucs leading rusher for preseason yards, did not even make the team.
I hope Winston comes out and shines, he usually saves the best for late in games and in the preseason we won’t get to see that 4th quarter magic he has shown. Even in practice he gets better as the practice progresses.
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