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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5 Bucs to Watch Against Tennessee

A few Bucs storylines emerged after a week of joint practices with the Tennessee Titans. Here are a few to watch as the two meet in game action Saturday night.


1. The Bucs' receivers

All week there has been chatter about how much success the Buccaneer receiver corps had in Nashville during the team's joint practices with the Titans. Resident big-body receiver Mike Evans seemed virtually uncoverable for the likes of Tennessee's Malcolm Butler and Adoree Jackson. Veteran DeSean Jackson was consistent at every level, whether it was underneath or longer passes down the sideline. The double-edged sword of joint practices ahead of a game is that the Titans now know what they're up against, so seeing the response of their defensive backs in game action will be key.

2. LB Riley Bullough

The Hard Knocks-darling from a year ago has had an impressive preseason with the Buccaneers this year. He's playing hard and physical but seems to have upped his mental game as well, calling plays and identifying which coverage his defense should be in as the middle linebacker with the second-team as of late. In Tennessee, he traded blows in one-on-ones with Titans' running back Derrick Henry and after learning just how much impact Henry's size can have, was able to use his speed to get past him on the second go-around. Bullough still has something to prove so a good second showing in the game against Tennessee would bode well for him.

3. RB Ronald Jones

In practice this week, we saw rookie running back Ronald Jones make a great long catch in the end zone for a touchdown, showing that his pass-catching abilities are coming along nicely. Jones will be looking to follow up last week's in-game performance, where he rushed for the team's second touchdown of the night, with a more consistent performance. Other than the score, last week was relatively quiet for Jones. Although, Head Coach Dirk Koetter did say after reviewing the tape that he thought some of Jones' best plays were in pass protection. It's a way Jones shows off his strength that isn't on the stat sheet, so look for that Saturday night against Tennessee.

4. DE Vinny Curry

In practice this week during third-down drills, the Bucs' defensive line showed a look that placed defensive end Vinny Curry on the inside next to defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. Curry is (or should be) known for his run-stuffing. He had the sixth-most of any player in the league last year as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. With Tampa Bay's deep d-line rotation, nailing down just what that line looks like has been a guessing game in the best way possible. Coach Koetter has said that the team will be using the preseason to nail down situational packages for the defensive line and third-down with Curry on the interior should be a good one to watch – especially in short situations.

5. QB Ryan Griffin

Quarterback Ryan Griffin had a coming-out party in the second half of last week's preaseason game against the Dolphins to everyone but the Buccaneers. Coach Koetter said he was not at all surprised by Griffin's performance. While Griff has been a backup and yet to see regular season action in his NFL career, a player isn't in the Bucs' system for going-on-four years without picking it up. He has a thorough understanding of the offense and now that he's taking more meaningful snaps with the second team in practices, has been able to simply apply all the knowledge he has more consistently. He should have another strong showing and get a significant amount of reps again in Tampa Bay's game in Tennessee on Saturday.

View photos from the Buccaneers' 2018 joint Training Camp practice with the Tennessee Titans in Nashville, Tennessee.

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