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Friday, August 12, 2011
Three things: Buccaneers-Chiefs

By Pat Yasinskas

Three things to watch for in Tampa Bay’s preseason opener at Kansas City on Friday. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET.

The play of Mason Foster. All indications are the Bucs are leaning heavily toward going with the third-round draft choice as their middle linebacker. The rookie has had a nice camp, but needs to show he can do the job in game conditions.

The evolution of LeGarrette Blount. The running back ran for 1,000 yards last season, but the team was limited in how he could be used. That’s because Blount didn’t join the team until late, didn’t start until the second half of the season and wasn’t fully up to speed on plays that didn’t involve him running the ball. The Bucs want Blount on the field more often this season and want to utilize him as a pass blocker and receiver.

How the safeties fare. With Tanard Jackson still suspended, the Bucs aren’t exactly loaded at safety. They have veteran Sean Jones, who is not exactly a ball hawk, and Cody Grimm, who still is recovering from a leg injury. This could be an opportunity for Corey Lynch or Ahmad Black to step forward.