On Friday, the Buccaneers will take the field against the Browns for their third preseason game. Some of the Bucs referred to this game as a "dress rehearsal" with Head Coach Dirk Koetter saying that he expects his starters to play into the second half. This third game is usually the last time the starters get significant playing time; the fourth preseason game is often reserved for backups hoping to squeeze into one of the last few roster spots.
For Jameis Winston, the opportunity to play into the third quarter is an exciting one.
"Oh yeah, I'm looking forward to that," he said during a press conference on Wednesday. "Our last of these preseason games have been teasers. Now you just have to have the mentality like, 'Hey man we are [going] to ask you to play a whole game.' You've got to go into any game saying like, 'Man I'm preparing like this is a real game.' But then when you get taken out you're just like, 'Ah, I wish I could have kept playing.'"
Lavonte David echoed a similar sentiment.
"During this process [of] preseason, you're just trying to see where you're at," David said. "Conditioning-wise, and also mentally going through a football game because that opening week, you're playing against at least 65 plays plus. So being able to come out here and play a full first half and then probably play some of the third quarter, it should give you a good feeling for how a regular season game's going to be."
Pictures from the Bucs' training camp practice on Wednesday with the Cleveland Browns.
The Bucs' third preseason game will also be their first in front of their home crowd at Raymond James Stadium. It will be the Bucs' first game at home since the installation of the stadium's brand-new, HD video boards. The Bucs will be home on Friday and again on Thursday before the start of the regular season.
"It'll be exciting to play in front of the home crowd, that's for sure," Koetter said. "And with the new stadium, with the scoreboard and all that, I know the players are excited to see it. That part will be good. Typically [in] preseason games, the crowd's not much of a factor, home or away, but we're definitely excited to be home for the next two games."