Game On…with Rob Kriete! – AUGUST 23

“It is preseason for the officials as well,” Coach Bruce Arians mused as he left the postgame podium following the Tampa Bay Bucs 34 – 3 loss to the Tennessee Titans this past Saturday night.  The quote seems to capture the preseason, thus far, for the Super Bowl Champions.

But, with starters for both teams sitting during the second preseason game, fans can yuck it up with the coach.  Actually, across the NFL, starters were absent from the preseason Week Two shenanigans. As a result, the new 17-week NFL schedule now includes only three, instead of four, preseason games.   It seems like “the book” is being written by NFL teams on how to navigate the new preseason…with the second game being the best of the rest.

So, let’s hope the exceptional group of Tampa Bay Bucs starters stay healthy, then.  The offense, for the backups, was rather limp.  I love this quote from Bruce after the game as well: “Overall, you grade the tape. You either get exposed or exposure.”  Hopefully, the Bucs backups will not get much exposure during the regular season, then.  Getting through the game with no significant injuries was also key, according to the coach.

It is preseason for the fans, too.  A preseason game like this one is not particularly riveting in terms of caring about the score for fans.  But seeing what the depth is like is fun for passionate fans.  Young and newly drafted players get their opportunities to get exposed or exposure.  And, when one of these rookies doesn’t do particularly well, there is plenty of time for them to learn and grow.  Bruce added, “It’s a learning experience. Kyle has a long time to grow,” about rookie quarterback Kyle Trask.

I know one thing for sure, NFL season-ticket holders, who pay the same price for preseason tickets as they do for regular-season games, are happy they get one more official game and one less “learning experience” for backup players.

What is your favorite part of the preseason?

Be safe, everyone!