Tampa Bay opens the 2002 preseason just as they did this preseason-against the Miami Dolphins at Raymond James Stadium. This matchup will be Tampa Bay's eighth against Miami in nine preseasons.
In Week 2, the Bucs will go on the road, but won't travel far to play their in-state rival-the Jacksonville Jaguars. This visit will only be Tampa Bay's second time to Jacksonville. The last time Tampa Bay traveled to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars was in the 1998 regular season.
In Week 3, Tampa Bay will return to home to host the Washington Redskins at Raymond James Stadium. This will be the Bucs and Redskins' third straight preseason meeting.
In Tampa Bay's preseason finale, the Bucs will visit Houston to take on the Texans in their inaugural season.
"It has always been our objective to schedule the in-state teams on a continual basis," said Bucs general manager Rich McKay. "Hopefully these games against Jacksonville and Miami will become annual events."
The following is a list of Tampa Bay's preseason opponents next season.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 2002 PRESEASON OPPONENTS
WEEK 1 MIAMI
WEEK 2 at Jacksonville
WEEK 3 WASHINGTON
WEEK 4 at Houston
The National Football League realigned this past May into eight divisions of four teams each in order to accommodate the league's 32nd team-the expansion Houston Texans.
In 2002, Tampa Bay will be in the NFC South Division with Atlanta, Carolina and New Orleans.
Realignment allowed the NFL a broader role in developing the preseason schedule from 2002-2006. The Commissioner's office worked with all 32 football teams in scheduling preseason Weeks 1, 2 and 3, but each team was allowed to schedule their Week 4 opponent on their own.
Tampa Bay's 2002 regular season opponents and locations for those games will be determined after the Bucs' regular season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles on Jan. 6. The dates and times for those games should be announced in late April or early May of next year.
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