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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5 Buccaneers to Watch vs. Saints

Five players to keep an eye on when the Buccaneers take on the Saints on Sunday.


Pictures from the Bucs' practice on Wednesday, September 16th at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa.


1. WR Vincent Jackson
As of Friday, Mike Evans' status for Sunday's game was uncertain, though he did practice all week. Should he be unable to go, that leaves Jackson as Jameis Winston's go-to target, at least at wide receiver. Jackson was the Bucs' most productive wide receiver in Week 1 and has had success against the Saints in the past; he caught 8 passes for 144 yards against New Orleans in Week 5 last season. Keep an eye for him, especially in the red zone.

2. G Ali Marpet
Marpet started his first NFL game at right guard and had some success, particularly against the run. Pro Football Focus graded the rookie as the Bucs' best run-blocker in Week 1 and was the fourth-best player on the offensive side of the ball. The website, which provides high-level statistics and analysis on all 32 NFL teams, tweeted out a video of Marpet clearing out two defenders on a successful run by Doug Martin. 

3. TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Seferian-Jenkins had what Tight Ends Coach Jon Embree referred to as his best game as a pro against the Titans, hauling in five passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns. After battling injuries for most of his rookie season, he's fully healthy and a dangerous target in the red zone. Should Evans play, that gives the Bucs three big-bodied pass-catchers. The Saints will have to pick their poison as to which of those three will be double-teamed.

4. LB Kwon Alexander
Alexander was the Bucs' leading tackler in the preseason and was tied for the team-lead in tackles in the regular season opener. He also deflected a pass that was nearly intercepted. He still has room to grow and is adapting to handling the Bucs' defense's calls, but expect Alexander to be around the ball carrier early and often.

5. DT Henry Melton
Melton's specialty is rushing the passer, but he didn't have much of an opportunity to do that against the Titans. Tennessee only threw the ball 16 times and Melton was on the field for half of those plays. He'll likely see significantly more rushing opportunities against New Orleans after the team threw 48 passes in their regular season opener.

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