From the draft all the way up until training camp, the Bucs have been working tirelessly to put the best team possible out onto the field come game time. Running back Doug Martin said that the energy level at training camp has been high, and that everyone is excited about the team's preseason opener at Philadelphia.
"I'm very excited for this team and what we're going to do," Martin said. "I like what we've done on the practice field and the energy that we've showcased, so I'm pretty excited."
Against the Eagles Thursday night, the team's strategy will be to distribute playing time between all available players and identify who stands out the most according to Head Coach Dirk Koetter.
"“The most important thing about your preseason games, especially the first one, is you’re evaluating guys. Everybody that’s healthy is going to play. Some of these guys get buried down in the bottom of the depth chart and we quick-whistle everything, we’re trying to get guys healthy," Koetter said. "But when Thursday night comes, it’s live football, so we’re going to have some guys show up and make plays that we may not necessarily know about. So the main thing on Thursday night is just evaluate our guys, especially guys we haven’t seen.
The preseason is arguably the best roster spot audition for relatively unknown players, and stars can come out of the woodwork as a result. Kwon Alexander coming up with some phenomenal plays in last year's preseason games played a huge role in him earning a roster spot, and there's no reason to believe that can't happen this year with a different rookie.