After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost their Pro Bowl right guard to a knee injury in the third week of the preseason, third-year man
Meredith has been working with the first time extensively since Wednesday, though Head Coach Greg Schiano chose to keep the Bucs’ new O-Line makeup close to the vest until game day.
“We had a lot of guys we worked through there,” said Schiano. “We had Jeremy in there, we had Ted Larsen. We’ve decided to go with Jamon Meredith today. He’s going to be the guy at right guard. He’s earned that right through performance and we’ll see how it goes.”
Schiano and the Bucs’ coaching staff actually took a long look at Meredith as a possible replacement for Joseph immediately following the latter’s injury, before finally going with the more experienced guard option in Larsen. Larsen had started 11 games at left guard for the Buccaneers as a rookie in 2010. Meredith has played in 19 games in his four NFL seasons with four starts, all of them with Buffalo as a rookie in 2009. The 6-4, 315-pound blocker opened three games at right tackle and one at left tackle for the Bills but feels confident he can succeed almost anywhere along the front line.
"I can play everything except for center," said Meredith during the preseason. "I definitely think I'm versatile. I can play anywhere and hold my own."
The Bucs have a change to the starting lineup on defense, as well, this one out of necessity following the four-game suspension to
“Hey, it’s game time, and we’re playing,” said Schiano. “This is E.J. Biggers’ opportunity and he’s played a lot of football around here. He played some last week for us and I was very impressed. I have no doubt in my mind that E.J.’s going to step up and he’s going to play well.”
Biggers will be looking to add to the Chiefs’ 2012 turnover woes by picking the pocket of new starting quarterback Brady Quinn. Kansas City has turned the ball over an NFL-high 19 times through five games, an issue that might have cost Matt Cassel his starting spot even if he hadn’t been sidelined by a concussion. Quinn will make his first start since 2009, when he played for the Cleveland Browns. The Buccaneers believe they have scouted Quinn well but also don’t expect the Chiefs to alter their offensive approach too much.
“First of all, you understand that they’re committed to a certain style and brand of football,” said Schiano. “You look schematically and say, ‘What will fit Brady’s strengths?’ One of the advantages is Brian Daboll, who’s the offensive coordinator for Kansas City, also was the coordinator at Cleveland when Brady Quinn was the quarterback there. So there is some carryover, and we have some guys on our staff who have worked with Brian, and we have some players on our team who played with Brady.
“So there’s a lot of familiarity, and I don’t think that’s going to be the deciding factor. I think whoever goes out there and plays the smartest, toughest, most resilient football is going to come away with a win, because these are two teams that play a similar game. They play the game hard, and so do we.”
In addition to Cassel, the Chiefs deactivated WR Devon Wylie, DB Tysyn Hartman, RB Peyton Hillis, LB Bryan Kehl, C Bryan Mattison and DE Glenn Dorsey. Cassel, Wylie, Hillis and Dorsey were all out due to injury. Second-year man Ricky Stanzi out of Iowa will back up Quinn. Ropati Pitoitua will take Dorsey’s spot at right end in K.C.’s 3-4 defensive front; in addition, rookie first-rounder Dontari Poe has been elevated to the starting lineup, replacing Anthony Toribio at nose tackle.
The Bucs and Chiefs will kick off their Week Six matchup at 1:00 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on radio through the Buccaneers Radio Network and its flagship station, US 103.5 FM. That radio broadcast will also be carried live on Buccaneers.com. Buccaneers.com will post a running blog of all the action on Sunday, and will also provide coverage of the team’s postgame press conferences.