Buccaneers vs Redskins: Preview, where to watch and listen

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 25: Wide receiver Donteea Dye
LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 25: Wide receiver Donteea Dye /

At long last, the Buccaneers are set to wrap up the 2017 preseason on Thursday night. When the Redskins come to Raymond James Stadium, it will mark the end of the road for some, while others look ahead to the regular season. Here, we preview the game and tell you where to watch and listen to the 7:30 p.m. kickoff.

The Buccaneers are a hot topic heading into the regular season, which is right around the corner. Whether it’s because of offseason moves, a rising star at quarterback or a feature on HBO’s Hard Knocks, a lot of eyes are on Tampa Bay. The team will close out its preseason schedule at home on Thursday night when they host the Washington Redskins. Preseason finales are never thrilling, but there are still several things to look for if you’re tuning in on Thursday.

With the season opener in Miami right around the corner, none of Tampa Bay’s regulars will see time this week. Instead, there are a few position battles and final roster spots to be awarded. Offensively, the Bucs will start backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. However, head coach Dirk Koetter said Tuesday that undrafted rookie Sefo Liufau will see more time than the veteran. Up front, a few backup spots are still on the line. Figuring out how many lineman they want to carry is just one of many decisions the Bucs will have to make in the coming days. Caleb Benenoch looks to have a spot at the moment, possibly at the expense of Leonard Wester.

Decisions along the offensive line aren’t the only ones to make regarding the offense. The No. 5 receiver spot appears to still be up for grabs, though the fourth preseason game may not mean much in the grand scheme of things. Regardless, the competitors will get looks on Thursday night. Donteea Dye, Bernard Reedy, Jesus “Bobo” Wilson and several others are in the mix, hoping to make the team’s roster out of camp. In the backfield, the top four options seem to be set in Doug Martin, Jacquizz Rodgers, Charles Sims and Peyton Barber. Will the front office decide to keep fifth-round pick Jeremy McNichols despite his poor performances in camp and the preseason? He looks like much less of a lock than he did entering camp.

Related Story: Buccaneers: Jeremy McNichols in danger of being cut

On defense, there are more depth decisions to make. There may not be a lot of open spots on the defensive line. However, many will be focusing on the linebackers come Thursday night. Undrafted rookie Riley Bullough, who quickly became a star of Hard Knocks, is still a long shot to make the roster. Is this the last we see of Mr. Don’t Call Me Joe Dirt? If possible, the Bucs would likely love to keep him on the practice squad even if he can’t crack the roster. His chances are so slim due to the strong play of fellow linebackers Adarius Glanton and Cameron Lynch. Those two may be locks, while others aren’t so lucky. Depth in the secondary is still working itself out as well. Second-round pick Justin Evans is in no danger of being cut, but will he step up on Thursday?

Two of the only bright spots from last week’s loss to the Browns were on special teams. Nick Folk connected on all three of his field goal attempts. And by no surprise, Bryan Anger continued to do good things in the punting game. His ability to flip the field will serve the Bucs well, especially if they can’t find an answer in the return game. No one manged to step up as a viable return option for the first three weeks. Will week four be any different?

The last time the Bucs and Redskins met was in week four of last year’s preseason. Washington came away with a 20-13 win, though Tampa Bay’s 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter made for some excitement.

Where to Watch

Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. kickoff will air in the Tampa Bay area on WFLA. The normal preseason team of Chris Myers, Ronde Barber and Dan Lucas will have the call. For other television options around Florida, check here. NFL Network will have a replay of the game at 5 a.m. on Saturday.

Where to Listen

In the Tampa Bay area, 98Rock (97.9 FM) will have the broadcast. Gene Deckerhoff will have the play-by-play, with Dave Moore taking color commentary. Sideline reports will come from T.J. Rives. For other radio options around the state, check here. Fans can also listen to the game on buccaneers.com or the Buccaneers mobile app.

Satellite radio subscribers can hear the Bucs broadcast on XM 230. The Redskins’ broadcast is on XM Internet 831.

Next: Buccaneers: Hard Knocks Recap (Episode Four)

For coverage of Thursday’s preseason finale, check back with us here at The Pewter Plank.