No, the preseason isn’t a very important time for the NFL season, but for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers it is very important. This preseason there are many things to watch for, and it should settle many position battles as well as determine the health of certain players who suffered from injuries the previous season.
The first position battle that is currently taking place is between the tight ends, mainly concerning Luke Stocker and Tom Crabtree. Stocker has been with the Bucs for two seasons now and Crabtree is entering his first season with Tampa. Crabtree has been in the league for three seasons in which he played for the Green Bay Packers. Neither of these receivers really have any starting experience so their preseason performances are vital for their future.
The other battle is at the cornerback position between Johnathan Banks and Leonard Johnson. Banks will win the battle in the long hall, but he’s a rookie so Tampa wants to handle him with care until they are positive he is ready. The question is just how long until he’s ready?
Another thing to watch for is how much Darrelle Revis plays. The Buccaneers acquired him this offseason from the New York Jets. Last season Revis suffered from a torn ACL which has kept him out most of the offseason. Revis’ health will determine how much playing time he gets, but I don’t see him playing very much the first week.
It is very important to see how much Adrian Clayborn, Carl Nicks and Davin Joseph play also since these players suffered from season ending injuries early in the previous season. Joseph and Clayborn both suffered from ACL tears and Nicks suffered from a severe toe injury. If all four of these players, including Revis, get the average amount of playing time it would mean that they are up to their normal strength.