Normally when you preview a game, there are endless match-ups to break down, advantages and disadvantages that each team will have going into the game, different looks we might see depending on the opposing defense, and an impact towards the playoffs to examine. However, with preseason, all that goes out the window, and nobody wants to read through an article to get the information they need prior to the 1st preseason game of the season, so we’re going to simply give you the information you need prior to each week’s game, a few notes in regards to what to watch out for, injuries, how you can watch the game, and a prediction on the outcome. That’s it. No fluff, no endless ranting on who might play 3rd right guard with 2 minutes left, and no information that you don’t need.
Preseason Week 1 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Pittsburgh Steelers
Ruled Out –
TB – Jason Pierre-Paul, Michael Liedtke (waived/ injury), Vita Vea, Lavonte David, Justin Evans, Nick Fitzgerald, David Kenney, Xavier Ubosi. Jack Cichy, D’Cota Dixon, Scotty Miller, K.J. Brent, Scott Ordnoff, Vita Vea, Anthony Nelson, Jamel Dean.
Pitt – Ben Roethlisberger
Pitt – Alejandro Villanueva, Bud Dupree, Justin Layne, Donte Moncrief, Sutton Smith, Ralph Webb, Trevor Wood, James Conner, Vince Williams, Sean Davis, Maurice Pouncey, Ramon Foster, Diontae Johnson
Don’t look for the Buccaneers to play the key starters more than the first drive if at all. This isn’t anything more than a chance for the Bucs to hammer out a few position battles and work on conditioning. We will see a good share of players you may not be familiar with as they fight for a roster spot, especially in the secondary and offensive line, but they’re players you’ll want to keep an eye on in case they make their way onto the regular-season roster.
Pittsburgh Head Coach Mike Tomlin almost never plays his key starters prior to week 3, so don’t be surprised if we don’t see them at all, but with the injury bug striking both teams fairly early, we might see a few starters play the first drive simply for roster depth reasons especially at wide receiver and in the secondary.
Both teams will oddly enough be playing 2 kickers each as they look to make a decision on which kicker they’ll be carrying into the regular season. Look for both teams to alternate kickers back and forth throughout the game rather than playing them in quarters or halves.
Playcalling for both teams will be very basic in nature both in an effort to keep it simple for the players who are new to the system, as well as to make sure they don’t give away anything prior to the start of the season since every coach manages to have a few tricks up their sleeve or under their Kangol.
When/Where/How To Watch
Friday, August 9th 7:30 pm
Heinz Field – Pittsburgh (Temps in the low 70’s with clear skies at kickoff)
NFL Network will be televising the game live, and Buccaneers.com will be live streaming all 4 preseason games
It’s preseason, and let’s be honest, nobody cares what the outcome of the score is unless you’re betting on the game, in which case the Steelers are -2.5 favorites and should have no trouble winning the game or covering the spread as the Buccaneers will be far more concerned with improving as a team and fixing mistakes than the preseason score.