The first full week of the NFL Preseason continues on Friday night, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to take on the Miami Dolphins in a battle for Florida. The game is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. (Eastern) start time and it will be televised live locally. Currently the odds for the game have the Dolphins favored by 2.5 points for the game, while the total sits at 33.
Free Analysis: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins kick-off their respective preseasons in a match-up of two Florida teams. Both teams are introducing new Head Coaches and systems to start the 2012 season and this will be their first look at everything. Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano takes over a team that had high expectations a year ago considering where they were in 2010. Unfortunately for the Buccaneers they didn’t live up to those expectations and finished the 2011 season with a 4-12 record. Now in 2012, enter Greg Schiano and a no non-sense style for a young but talented Tampa Bay roster. The Buccaneers were one of the biggest spenders in free agency during the offseason, landing three instant starters in big-play wide receiver Vincent Jackson, All-Pro left guard Carl Nicks and cornerback Eric Wright. An influx of talent was also brought in through the draft, with first-round pick Mark Barron and second-rounder Lavonte David projected to begin their careers as starters at strong safety and weakside linebacker, respectively. Another first-round choice, running back Doug Martin, is viewed as the favorite to take over lead duties from returning top rusher LeGarrette Blount in the most notable battle of Schiano's first camp. QB Josh Freeman will look to bounce back from a setback season in 2011 and behind him Dan Orlovsky and Brett Ratliff will get plenty of time in this one. Miami Dolphins new head coach Joe Philbin has the pedigree himself coming from Green Bay but the real question is will Mike Sherman be able to do better with less at the NFL level? Sherman was brought in to run the offense and drafted the QB he recently coached in college at Texas A&M, Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill is deemed the quarterback of the future, but right now is in a battle with David Garrard and Matt Moore to start week one of 2012. There's also a very interesting battle going on for the right to replace Brandon Marshall, traded by the Dolphins to Chicago in the offseason, as the No. 1 receiver. That cast of candidates is headlined by six-time Pro Bowler Chad Johnson, with Miami signing the colorful 34-year-old in June shortly after his release by New England following a disappointing one-year stint with the Patriots. On the defensive side of the ball for Miami they still boast a talented pass rusher in Cameron Wake and several talented players on that side of the ball. LBs Karlos Dansby and Koa Misi will try to anchor a defense that looks to be a strong point in Miami. Miami has a 16-10 advantage in the overall preseason series between these in- state foes and had won two straight meetings in the set before the Buccaneers posted a 17-13 victory in Tampa last August.
Free Pick: I like the Dolphins in this one. Both teams are breaking in new coaches and both team have new schemes on both sides of the ball to learn, but i feel that depth at the QB spot clearly goes to the Dolphins. Tampa Bay has a clear cut starter for opening week and that's Josh Freeman. He won't be in there long and behind him is Dan Orlovsky and Brett Ratliff. Not very good QB's, even against 2nd and 3rd team defenses. On the other side of the field we have a Miami team that will be having one of the most heated QB battles in the league. Matt Moore had a solid 12 game performance last year and he was believed to be the front runner, but FA David Garrad may have passed him in camp.Also squarely in the mix is rookie Ryan Tannehill, Miami's first-round selection in April's draft who played under new offensive coordinator Mike Sherman as a collegian at Texas A&M. The talented youngster impressed by going 8-for-10 for 77 yards in Saturday's team scrimmage, and could make one of the two veterans expendable if he proves ready for at least a backup role. Miami has 3 QB's that will be giving 110% in this one and that should prove to be the difference here, especially looking at who the Bucs will sent to the field once Freman is out of there. Miami by a TD here.
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