The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play the Tennessee Titans in week two of the preseason on Saturday and there are plenty of matchups to keep an eye on.
The Buccaneers have been practicing against the Titans this week and will culminate the competition with a game this weekend. The Buccaneers lost their first preseason game against the Dolphins, but with more practice, they hope to get in the win column.
Whoever vs. Jeffery Simmons
Simmons is one of the premier interior defensive linemen in the league and has been dominant in practice.
Simmons has been matching up against the Bucs top players on the offensive line and has been winning the majority of his reps. According to Titan reporter Turron Davenport, Simmons has been “bullying” projected starting guard Aaron Stinnie.
The left guard that Stinnie currently occupies is still open for competition and we might see a young gun take over the role this week.
According to head coach Todd Bowles, rookie Luke Goedeke is in line for first-team reps.
“He’s learned enough now to go in and play,” said Bowles. “We’re giving all these guys shots at guard, and his time has come.”
The reports out of practice this week is that the Buccaneers receivers have been doing whatever they want against the Titans’ DBs. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Russell Gage and Julio Jones will not be playing, so this will be another week getting to see the depth players shine.
Against Miami, players like Tyler Johnson and Jerreth Sterns shined. Johnson and Sterns are just two of the players that have been impressive this week. Jaelon Darden, Deven Thompkins and Kaylon Geiger have also been impressive.
Bowles praised the three undrafted rookies, Thompkins, Geiger and Sterns, on Thursday.
“They’re doing a heck of a job,” said Bowles. “Those guys are making a case.”
The Titans have a young, talented secondary. Caleb Farley, Roger McCreary and Elijah Molden are all young cornerbacks that the team invested high draft capital in. Safety Kevin Byard is one of the best free safeties in the NFL and will be good. The Titans have made the secondary a priority, much like the Bucs have made wide receiver a priority.
This matchup will be a good one to keep an eye on.
The word out of camp is that both Kyle Trask and Blaine Gabbert have been good this week. Gabbert, currently, is in control of the backup job, but a good week from Trask against Miami might be creating some pressure.
Trask is the younger quarterback that the team invested a top-75 draft pick into, so he will need to continue the progress he has made thus far.
With Tom Brady still absent, both quarterbacks will get their opportunity against the Titans. Gabbert will start and Trask will follow. If Trask can string together two good performances, things will be looking good for the young quarterback to be active on a game day.
Gabbert, however, still has the backup job all to himself. He has been taking first-team reps in Brady’s absence and has been doing a good job.
“He’s been good,” said Bowles. “He’s been making the right plays, so it’s great to have him there.”
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