This game is all about seeing who those guys are that are going to add depth to the Buccaneers this season.
Both the Titans and the Buccaneers will rest the majority of their starters. This will give the backups a chance to get some work and take a look at which free agents may be able to make the team in 2021.
Blaine Gabbert will start at quarterback for the Bucs as Tom Brady gets the night off. How long Gabbert will play is anyone’s guess. Gabbert is firmly entrenched as the number two quarterback behind Tom Brady.
The real battle for quarterback will be for the number three spot. Both Ryan Griffin and Kyle Trask should see a decent amount of playing time.
Griffin was not great in his playing time last week. Trask’s numbers were not good, but he showed good pocket presence and the ability to throw the deep ball.
My guess is Kyle Trask gets the nod over Ryan Griffin as the number three quarterback in 2021.
At wide receiver, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin will almost certainly not play. Antonio Brown and Scotty Miller could see limited action. But this game should feature a lot of Tyler Johnson and Jaelon Darden as they try to solidify their roster spots.
Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette will take the night off at running back. That means we will see a steady diet of Ke’Shawn Vaughan. Vaughan will get opportunities running the ball and also in the return game.
Vaughan needs to have another good game, especially in the return game, as there is no guarantee that the Bucs will carry four running backs. If Vaughan can excel in the return game, he will make this team because of his contributions on special teams.
Bruce Arians said that Giovanni Bernard would play just a few plays to continue growing and developing in the offense.
Defensively, with Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul on the sidelines, we will get a good look at number one draft pick Joe Tryon. Tryon was impressive last week against Cincinnati and will look to build on that this week against the Titans.
Tryon will wear the name Tryon-Shoyinka on his jersey to honor both sides of his family.
Rookie linebacker KJ Britt should also see extended playing time at linebacker and also in the return game.
There is one thing that Bruce Arians wants to see improved in the game on Saturday night. “Do a better job of tackling on defense.”
Arians also wants to see some free agents and rookies stand out on special teams. “Again, it’s going to come down to special teams. Who are the core special teams guys? When you talk about special teams, you’re talking about 20 to 35 plays a game that those guys are out there. They’re a huge part of it. It’s not just defense, but in those instances, it’s probably tackling and just good assignment football – staying in your gap and making it happen.”
Other Buccaneers to watch in this game include safety Javon Hagan and linebacker, Joe Jones.