Buccaneers vs Browns: Preview, Where to Watch and Listen
By Bailey Adams
After splitting two road games to start the preseason, the Buccaneers make their 2016 Raymond James Stadium debut on Friday night against the Cleveland Browns. Here, we preview the matchup and tell you where you can watch and listen to it.
Last Saturday, the Buccaneers picked up a preseason win over the Jaguars in Jacksonville. Once again, Tampa Bay did a lot of things right and a lot of things wrong. There were plenty of reactions to be had, but a lot of the talk has been about the continued struggles of Roberto Aguayo. But, the Bucs have more issues to deal with throughout the final two weeks of the preseason. What is there to watch for when Tampa Bay takes the field at 8 p.m. on Friday?
Head coach Dirk Koetter needs his team to get off to a better start against Cleveland. Tampa Bay has gotten off to two bad starts in two games so far. The Bucs will look to get Jameis Winston and the rest of the offense off to a quicker start this week, but later in the game, the battle for the third running back spot will continue. Storm Johnson, Mike James and Peyton Barber were all productive last week, so this week could be a big one with roster cuts coming up on August 30. Speaking of roster cuts, bubble guys like Kenny Bell, Jonathan Krause and Freddie Martino will need to show something this week to stay on the roster past next Tuesday.
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Tampa Bay’s defense struggled to contain Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles, but will look for a way to bounce back this week. One way to do that would be to find its pass rush that was so effective two weeks ago. The Bucs were without Gerald McCoy last week, but regardless, Noah Spence, Robert Ayers and second-team linemen such as William Gholston, Akeem Spence and Howard Jones need to bounce back against the Browns. And with roster cuts coming soon, guys such as Johnthan Banks and Major Wright are in need of strong performances.
The Browns are looking to share some of the success that their city has seen in sports this year, with the Cavaliers winning the NBA Finals and the Indians currently leading the American League Central. But, the path to sustained success looks to be a long one for the Browns and first-year head coach Hue Jackson. They signed Robert Griffin III and named him the team’s starting quarterback, but the rest of the team is filled with unknowns. Cleveland has 16 draft picks from this year’s draft, but former Baylor receiver Corey Coleman is the only one that should make an immediate impact. With so many question marks, no one really knows what Cleveland will be able to do this year.
The last time these two teams met was in week three of the 2015 preseason when the Browns won 31-7 in Tampa. Former Buccaneer Josh McCown completed 17 of 23 passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns.
WHERE TO WATCH: This game will be featured on national television, with CBS picking up the broadcast. Ian Eagle will have the play-by-play alongside Phil Simms, who will do color commentary. Evan Washburn will be the sideline reporter. NFL Network will have a replay of the game on Monday morning at 10:00.
WHERE TO LISTEN: As usual, the Bucs’ flagship stations will have the broadcast. The normal team of Gene Deckerhoff, Dave Moore and T.J. Rives will have play-by-play, color commentary and reports from the sideline respectively. For more options around Florida, check here.
Next: Buccaneers' Bubble Update: Bucs vs Jaguars
For in-game and postgame coverage of Friday night’s matchup between the Bucs and Browns, follow @ThePewterPlank on Twitter.