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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5 Bucs to Watch Against Detroit

There’s quite a few standouts to watch in the Bucs’ ground game but also a couple veterans to watch out for in a game where starters will get a significant amount of work this preseason.


1. LB Kwon Alexander

The now-veteran and Pro Bowl linebacker had a monster week in practice. He played tough and extremely physical, delivering hit after hit. He even had a couple pass breakups, which makes it seem as though he's being a little more mindful of the football. In a game where the starters should get some significant work, it'll be interesting to see what Alexander comes up with and how effective he'll be in a preseason contest when he's clearly itching for the regular season to start.

2. WR Justin Watson

There's been no shortage of coverage on the Bucs' receiver battle but the rookie Justin Watson is emerging as that favorite to win the fifth receiver spot among many. It's unclear whether that fifth receiver spot will be the last on the 53-man roster, but Watson will definitely be aiming to live up to the hype. He caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Jameis Winston in last week's preseason contest in Tennessee for his first NFL touchdown of his career. With receivers like fellow rookie Sergio Bailey, Freddie Martino and Bobo Wilson trying to make their case to make the roster as well, Watson will need to have another good showing.

3. RBs Shaun Wilson & Dare Ogunbowale

Running back Charles Sims got hurt on the opening kickoff of last week's game against the Titans, which seemingly opens up an opportunity for one of the other young backs to step up and into the spotlight. Sims was utilized a lot as a receiving back and although Peyton Barber, Ronald Jones and Jacquizz Rodgers have all be working on their hands this preseason, whoever steps in to fill the Sims void will need to be on point in the receiving game. Both Shaun Wilson and Dare Ogunbowale have shown flashes of their pass-catching abilities. Not to mention both have been getting extra work on special teams as kick returners, which will be crucial to making the 53-man roster. That will be the only work they'll most likely get while the starters are on the field but in the second half, look to see if one starts to stand out over the other.

4. WR DeSean Jackson

This will be Bucs' fans first opportunity this year to see DeSean Jackson in action at home. In his 11th season, it's hard to believe Jackson can change his game in any way but it seems that's exactly what he's been working on this offseason. There have even been rumblings of him returning kicks again (based on a social media post he posted from his account FYI). Either way, Jackson has been notoriously known for his deep ball capabilities. While he's developed chemistry with quarterback Jameis Winston in that aspect, he's been using his speed all over the field this preseason and become a reliable middle-level pass catcher as well.

5. RB Ronald Jones II

Rookie running back Ronald Jones will be looking to have more of an impact in this week's game. It will also be interesting to see how the Bucs split Peyton Barber's starter responsibilities. Coach Koetter has said this preseason that having a three-down back isn't exactly in the Bucs plans for this season, so there looks to be a plan in place for more of a running back tandem. Jones is 'jonesing' (see what I did there?) to be the second part of that tandem. The Bucs will definitely be testing his receiving abilities throughout the preseason but look for Jones to get a decent amount of work tonight – even in the first half.

View exclusive photos of Week Five of the Buccaneers' 2018 Training Camp from Team Photographer Kyle Zedaker

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