Buccaneers vs Browns: Preview, where to watch and listen

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 26: Quarterback Jameis Winston
TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 26: Quarterback Jameis Winston /

The Buccaneers are set to host the Browns at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, marking the third of their four preseason games. Here, we preview the game and tell you where to watch and listen to it.

The first half of the preseason was a mixed bag of positives and negatives for the Buccaneers. Now, it’s time to really get things going. The third preseason game always serves as a turning point toward the regular season. Cleveland comes to Raymond James Stadium on Saturday night for the third straight preseason. The Browns are still trying to find their way, while the Bucs are just trying to stay healthy for what is their most-anticipated season in years.

The significance of the third preseason game is obviously that it’s the longest that the starters will play until opening day. For Tampa Bay, though, things may be a little different. Some of the team’s biggest stars are banged up, so they’ll likely stay out until Sept. 10. As our James Yarcho outlined, the Bucs won’t be at full strength for Saturday’s game. In addition to Brent Grimes, who is still recovering from a leg laceration, Mike Evans, Gerald McCoy, Kwon Alexander and Demar Dotson are all banged up. McCoy will not play, and it would be surprising if the others do. Tampa Bay just needs to get healthy by the time they open the season in Miami.

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With those minor injuries, the Bucs will get to see more from the rest of the roster. The likes of Jameis Winston and Doug Martin will still get their time. However, there’s not much left to see from Evans and DeSean Jackson. We may see more of O.J. Howard, Chris Godwin and those competing for the No. 5 receiver spot. That last receiver spot is still wide open, so it may be good to get those guys some reps with the starting offense. Elsewhere on offense, Caleb Benenoch and Leonard Wester are fighting for a backup tackle spot. The running back depth chart is still working itself out as well with Martin’s impending suspension. Even with the potential absence of Evans, there is plenty to look for on offense for Tampa Bay.

Defensively, the Bucs will be without McCoy and possibly Alexander. That leaves reps for rookie Kendell Beckwith, who looked better last week. Adarius Glanton and Riley Bullough will also get looks as they hope to keep up their impressive preseasons. The development of the secondary is another thing to look out for. Rookie Justin Evans struggled in week one of the preseason, then stayed quiet last week. And finally, keep an eye on how the Tampa Bay defense responds to Cleveland quarterback DeShone Kizer. The second and third-team units struggled against shifty quarterbacks the last two weeks. How will the starters deal with the rookie?

On special teams, there’s still a kick return job to be won. Does anyone want it? Someone has to step up. The team can’t go another year without a reliable returner. In the kicking game, the Bucs are hoping Nick Folk has it together. After cutting Roberto Aguayo, the Bucs gave the job to Folk. He responded with a shaky game in Jacksonville, but reportedly performed much better during practice this week. Will that translate to Saturday’s game?

The last time these two teams met was in week three of last year’s preseason. The Bucs beat the Browns 30-13 behind 259 yards and two touchdowns from Winston. Adam Humphries also returned a punt 73 yards for a touchdown in the win.

Where to Watch

WFLA will have the local broadcast of Saturday’s game. Chris Myers will have play-by-play, with Buc legend Ronde Barber on color commentary. Dan Lucas provides reports from the sideline. For more options around Florida, check here. NFL Network will have replays of the game on Monday at 1 p.m. and Wednesday at 4 a.m.

Where to Listen

The team’s flagship station, 98Rock (97.9 FM), has the radio broadcast locally. Gene Deckerhoff (play-by-play), Dave Moore (color) and T.J. Rives (sideline) will carry the action. For more options in Florida, check here. Fans can also listen to the game on Buccaneers.com or the Bucs mobile app.

Satellite radio subscribers can hear Tampa Bay’s broadcast on XM 227. Cleveland’s broadcast is on XM Internet 807.

Next: Buccaneers to face rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer on Saturday

For in-game and post game coverage of Saturday’s game, follow @ThePewterPlank on Twitter.