By Tom Krasniqi

The calendar now reads September.  It’s Labor Day so that means it’s time to get to work.  The 53-man roster is finally set.  Now it’s time to see what the 2013 Buccaneers are made of. 

On Monday, the team entered regular season game week mode.  That means practice, meetings and prepping for an actual regular season opponent.  But it’s not just any game.  It’s the season opener.  Against the New York Jets.

“Very excited.  They’re [players] are ready to go.  We have work to do this week to get prepared for the Jets.  Everybody is very upbeat,” Schiano said on Monday.

The grind of training camp and the preseason took its toll on the players, both mentally and physically.  Starters saw limited playing time.  But, now it’s time to prepare for the games that count and the players are excited.  “Even during preseason, I was hyped up, jumping around and getting ready for a game,” said linebacker LaVonte David on Monday.  “Now I can actually stay in [the game] and play a lot so it’ll be fun.”

For Schiano, preparing for a regular season opponent means long hours of preparation for the coaching staff.  “That’s the thing that’s neat about coaching and playing football, “Schiano said.  “You pour everything into this preparation for those 3 hours on Sunday.  That’s why it’s so disappointing when you’re not successful and it’s so gratifying when you are [successful] because so much work went into it.  You get about 32 minutes to enjoy it or be pissed…then you gotta go do it again.”

The team has begun game-planning for the Jets already.  “We’re doing some Jets work and we’re also doing some Bucs-on-Bucs,” Schiano stated.  Schiano says they have begun to study New York’s personnel, which includes their questionable situation at quarterback.  With Mark Sanchez nursing a bruised shoulder, it looks more and more like rookie Geno Smith will be under center against the Bucs on Sunday.

We’ll find out more on Wednesday.  Because it’s game week.  Thank goodness for that. 

News & Notes:     

  • Schiano declined to comment on the Lawrence Tynes MRSA situation on Monday: “Guys, I am not going to be able to publicly comment on that. Just so we know, moving forward….it is what it is.”  It could mean the Bucs are bracing for possible legal action.  It’s getting ugly. 
  • TE Tom Crabtree was seen hobbling around the locker room in a walking boot.  Crabtree suffered a significant high ankle sprain in the final preseason game.  It means more playing time for Nate Byham behind starter Luke Stocker
  • Schiano was asked if LG Carl Nicks (foot/staph infection) would be ready to play against the Jets: “Too early to tell”.  Don’t count on it. 
  • With Nicks out, Gabe Carimi continues to take first team snaps at left guard.
  • DE Adrian Clayborn knows fans/media are down on the team’s pass rush:  “We haven’t rushed that good the past few years so they have a reason to [question it] I guess.  We just have to prove them wrong.”
  • Rookie CB Johnthan Banks knows opposing teams will throw his way with Darrelle Revis on the other side: “I know that. Who wouldn’t?  I’m a rookie and you got Revis on the other side. Me and LJ [Leonard Johnson] have our work cut out for us.”
  • The Bucs open their season on Sunday against the Jets at Metlife Stadium.  You can catch the game on 620 WDAE and 95.3FM with our coverage beginning at 9am with the Countdown To Kickoff show. 
  • For the latest Bucs news, keep it locked all day long on 620 WDAE and 95.3FM, your home of the Bucs and the best Bucs coverage.  Don’t forget to check out the Bucs blog at for the latest news and audio clips.