The NFL head office released the 2013 preseason schedule this afternoon, with plans to announce the rest of the schedule on April 16th, according to John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal. The Buccaneers will face three familiar foes in the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins, all of which were on Tampa’s preseason lineup in 2012, as well as a home opener against the defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens.
8/8-11 vs. Baltimore Ravens at Raymond James Stadium
8/16 at New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium
8/22-25 at Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium
8/29-30 vs. Washington Redskins at Raymond James Stadium
The Buccaneers are slated to kickoff the preseason by hosting the Ravens on a date to be determined. Bucs head coach Greg Schiano will get a chance to exchange pleasantries with his former Rutgers tailback Ray Rice, who spent three years with Schiano in college. Baltimore’s defensive roster was ransacked during free agency, which will provide Bucs fans with the opportunity to witness Ravens G.M. Ozzie Newsome’s second go-around at retooling a defense that is recognized as the brand of the Baltimore franchise.
For a second year in a row, the Bucs will face the New England Patriots during the preseason, this time the game set for August 16th will be played in Foxboro with a nationally televised broadcast on Fox. There is a well-documented friendship between Greg Schiano and Bill Belichick, whose son Stephen Belichick played at Rutgers. This week will most likely include joint practices, which is beneficial to a young Buccaneers team still looking to establish an identity.
In week three of the preseason, the Bucs will travel to Miami to have their annual exhibition with a Dolphins team that played arguably the biggest role in the 2012 free agency period by signing burner wideout Mike Wallace, linebacker Danell Ellerbe and cornerback Brent Grimes.
The Bucs wrap up their preseason with a home game against the Washington Redskins and their former head coach Raheem Morris. Washington will be looking to see how far along Robert Griffin III is in his rehabilitation from offseason knee surgery, while the Bucs will likely rest their starters in preparation for the regular season kick-off.