Saturday, August 27, 2011
Three things: Buccaneers-Dolphins
By Pat Yasinskas
Three things to watch for in Tampa Bay’s preseason game against the Miami Dolphins on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET:
1. The return of Brian Price. After missing almost all of last season with an injury to his pelvis and undergoing rare surgery to have it fixed, Price will make his preseason debut against the Dolphins. That’s somewhat amazing because some thought the injury might end Price’s career and, less than two months ago, he wasn’t optimistic he’d be ready for the start of the season. The Bucs are anxious to see what they’ve got in the second-year pro. He as a second-round pick last year when the Bucs used their top choice on defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. The Bucs would love for them to become a strong pair in the middle and fix an area that’s been a weakness for a long time. We’ll get our first indication of if Price is fully healthy when he appears in this game.
2. The rest of the defense. Quite simply, the whole unit was terrible in last week’s preseason loss to the Patriots. This is an area of concern that could carry over into the regular season if things don’t start to change dramatically in the final two preseason games. The front seven is incredibly young and there will be mistakes that come with that. The Bucs have to start minimizing those mistakes.
3. Josh Freeman. It hasn’t been a stellar preseason for the quarterback and face of the franchise. Most of it’s not really his fault. In the New England game, he was pressured heavily and his receivers did not do a good job of getting open. Freeman’s going to be fine, but it would be nice to see him and his receivers showing some positive chemistry before the regular season starts.