THE PICK TO CLICK vs. JACKSONVILLE PewterReport.com’s editorial staff offers its predictions as to which player will star against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Saturday night’s preseason contest. Which Bucs are picked to click and have big games this week? Find out by reading the selections below.
RB EARNEST GRAHAM – Pewter Report editor-in-chief Jim Flynn It’s tempting to pick quarterback Jeff Garcia here as he completed 6-of-6 passes and led a touchdown drive in Tampa Bay’s preseason loss to Jacksonville last year, but Garcia also threw three picks vs. the Jags in the regular season and has missed a significant amount of playing time due to a calf injury, which means there’s rust to shake off. Jacksonville is a physical football team, especially in the trenches. Although right guard Davin Joseph is sidelined with a broken foot, look for the Bucs to attempt to give the Jags a taste of their own medicine and pound the ball via the ground game early and often. This is the third preseason game of the year, which means the starters will see a decent amount of playing time. Earnest Graham hasn’t had a spectacular preseason, but he’s do for a breakout game. Graham’s physical running style will be needed in this physical matchup with the Jags.
QB JEFF GARCIA – Pewter Report Bucs Beat Writer Charlie Campbell While Mr. Flynn passed on the Bucs starting quarterback, this Pewter Reporter is going with the starting signal caller. Garcia’s mixed results against Jacksonville last year have been spelled out, but this year is different. The veteran quarterback is going to be getting his first action of the preseason, and while that may make it risky to pick him, Garcia looks to be ready to go. He had a good week of practice and will have the Bucs starting cast around him. Garcia also has something to prove. After the turbulent offseason from contract talks, to Brett Favre rumors, and the injury Garcia in some ways needs to establish himself as the Buccaneers go to guy. He has been around football long enough to know that it is a “what have you done for me lately” business. Lately Garcia has not done much, and veteran Brian Griese has, thus Garcia will have the added motivation to come out and play well. Garcia says that he has progressed greatly and can be even better in Jon Gruden’s offense this season because of his experience in it last year. Garcia is under gun and the gritty competitor in him should rise to the occasion. Your turn, SR.
RB MICHAEL BENNETT – Pewter Report Publisher Scott Reynolds First of all, I will pat myself on the back for going out on a limb and nailing Pick To Click winner last week, strong safety Sabby Piscitelli. It’s very difficult to accurately forecast a defensive player for Pick To Click honors because they won’t have many opportunities to record sacks, interceptions or fumbles. But once Piscitelli scooped and scored against New England to start the third quarter it was “game over” for the Patriots and last week’s Pick To Click contest. After two weeks of daring defensive picks (Elbert Mack vs. Miami and Piscitelli vs. New England), I’m going to try an offensive player. Running back Michael Bennett has been on a hot streak the past two games and is the new “Mr. August” after leading the Bucs in rushing through two games with 131 yards on 27 carries, averaging 4.9 yards. He is also tied for the lead with five catches for 29 yards. The Bucs are featuring Bennett in the preseason and while Earnest Graham and Warrick Dunn may see more action in this game, Bennett should be able to do some damage against the Jaguars’ backup defense in the second half. If Tampa Bay has the lead, Bennett should get enough carries to showcase his speed and break off some big runs.
Pick To Click Standings Reynolds 1 Campbell 1 Flynn 0
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