So far, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians has been very judicious about practice time for his veteran players. Multiple veteran starters have received numerous days off. Some -like Lavonte David– have been given consecutive days off.
But it’s a different scenario when it comes to actually playing under the lights and on an actual football field.
Arians confirmed after Monday’s practice that everyone will play when the Bucs take on the Bengals Saturday night. It’ll be your usual first game of the preseason where it’s limited exposure, but after six months of no football, I’m pretty sure fans will welcome any exposure they can get.
“Everybody will play,” Arians told reporters. “Don’t know how much but everybody will play. The Titans week we’re going against them for two practices. That will determine how that is as far as who plays in that one. And the last one we’ll play a bunch.”
It’s good news for the Bucs offense, which is coming off its “worst practice in three years”, per Arians. There were dropped passes, missed blocks, and poor throws. Whatever could go wrong essentially went wrong during Monday’s most recent practice.
“You can’t be warned more than every week. Dropped passes, missed assignment on basic plays – it’s just a lack of concentration,” Arians said after Monday’s practice in reference to the offense.
Early preseason reps are a good thing. Especially when considering the alternate (or former) punishment, it sounds like the Bucs offense will have zero issue with trotting onto the field once the game kicks off.
“Back in the day we’d be out here running the shit out of them, but that don’t work anymore. You go to jail for that stuff now,” said Arians. “They’ve just got to grow up and man up. It’s been identified so they’ve got to fix it. I’m not going to fix it, you’ve got to fix it.”
The Bengals won’t play Joe Burrow against the Bucs on Saturday night
Things are a bit different in CincyLand, however. And with good reason.
The Bengals will play their starters on Saturday, but Burrow will not be among them. The team is taking it easy with their second-year quarterback’s recovery from a torn ACL. Burrow even admitted that he is still getting back on track mentally when it comes to the injury.
“It’s frustrating right now, more so just not feeling like myself,” said Burrow. “I know I’ve put the work in to make my knee feel good, make my body ready for the season. It’s just now trusting my abilities, trusting my work, trusting everything.”
“Right now it’s just putting the mental and physical together, getting my feet back under me in the pocket with people around me,” Burrow told reporters. “That’s the last step for me, get my pocket presence back and understand when I’m pressured and when I’m not. Just getting that whole feeling back that I’ve been really good at for a long time.”
Burrow wants to play on Saturday, of course. And that would not be a bad thing considering the reports coming from Bengals camp. The offense, to put it lightly, has not been good. Burrow and his fellow starters need every chance they can get in order to improve.
But Burrow doesn’t make roster decisions. So, it sounds like everyone will have to wait until at least the playoffs for the first-ever Tom Brady vs. Joe Burrow showdown.