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As the Buccaneers are well into their preparations for Sunday's game against Carolina, excitement fills the air at One Buc Place. But as excitement is seen throughout the organization and the fanbase, concerns also surrounds the team.
It's the first week of the season which often provides lots of surprises. For the Bucs, they will be practicing their new offensive gameplan with a chance of being without offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford. Although Tedford has been providing his assistance this week per Lovie Smith, Sunday can test the resolve of the offensive staff early on.
The offensive line was a hot topic throughout preseason and one unit that will be tested often. Fortunately, recently acquired veteran Logan Mankins had success last season against Carolina. He engaged Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly at times throughout their matchup. Mankins' success included forcing Kuechly to lose his frustration during the game. His experience has allowed him to catch on this week and be ready for Carolina.
Injured cornerbacks Alterraun Verner and Mike Jenkins have returned from injury this week. The two are slated to start but both missed a considerable amount of time during training camp and preseason. Their performance will be a result on how much they were able to put in this week.
The national media have given the Bucs a lot of recognition this week. While that is certainly good publicity, it won't factor in to their game on Sunday. Finishing this week of practice strong is important heading into kickoff.
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