Things to watch: Buccaneers-Redskins

August, 29, 2013
8/29/13
12:11
PM ET
TAMPA, Fla. -- Most of the starters aren’t expected to play in Thursday night’s game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins. But there still are plenty of important decisions that could be impacted by what happens in this game.

Let’s take a look at three things to keep an eye on for the Bucs:

1. The backup running backs. Brian Leonard, Mike James and Peyton Hillis all have looked good in the preseason. They’re all competing to be the top backup to Doug Martin, but I don’t think anyone has pulled away from the pack just yet. This game could be a final opportunity to do that. The Bucs also face a tough decision on if they want to keep three or four running backs. If they go with three, Hillis could be the odd man out.

2. The offensive line. The starters won’t play, but the Bucs still need to set the tone for better pass protection. In the first three preseason games, the Bucs have allowed 12 sacks. Guard Carl Nicks hasn’t played at all in the preseason, and guard Davin Joseph appeared in only one game. You can put some of the blame for the offensive line’s play on the absence of Nicks and Joseph. But, still, the linemen have to do a better job in pass protection.

3. Mike Glennon. The rookie will get the start at quarterback as starter Josh Freeman gets ready for the regular season. Glennon has played extensively this preseason and has shown some good things at times. But he also has completed only 48 percent of his passes. He needs to show he can be more accurate. The Bucs also need to decide if they want to go with just Freeman and Glennon on the roster or if they want to keep veteran Dan Orlovsky around as insurance.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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