Gameday: Jaguars at Bucs

Sunday's game between Tampa Bay and Jacksonville is just hours away. Get ready for the game with Bucsblitz.com's "Bucs Primer," the most complete preview package for the Buccaneers on the Web each week (P-Denotes premium story that can only be accessed with a Bucsblitz.com subscription).

Need to get ready for the game? Look no further than Bucsblitz.com's "Bucs Primer." Along with a game capsule, the Primer also provides links to all of Bucsblitz.com's coverage leading up to the game. So before the capsule, here's a look at our complete package of stories this week:

Monday

Observation Deck: Bucs-Lions review (P).

Jon Gruden's day-after press conference (P).

Postscripts: Monday update.

Tuesday

Postscripts: Tuesday update

Observation Deck: Injuries at critical mass (P)

Film Session: Bucs vs. Lions (P)

Wednesday

Postscripts: Wednesday update

Press Pass: Michael Bennett (P)

‘It's time for him to show what he can do' (Maurice Stovall feature) (P).

Jon Gruden's Wednesday post-practice transcript (P).

Behind Enemy Lines: Jacksonville — expert analysis on the Jags from Jagnation's Charlie Bernstein (P).

Thursday

Garcia's streak keeps growing.

Postscripts: Thursday update.

Friday

Haye filling his niche inside for Bucs (P)

Fantasy Bucs: Week 8.

Press Pass: Jags QB Quinn Gray (P).

Postscripts: Friday update

Behind Enemy Lines: Tampa Bay — Expert analysis from Bucsblitz.com's Matthew Postins (P).

Saturday

Observation Deck: Bucs-Jaguars Preview (P).

Behind Enemy Lines: Bucs-Jags key matchups for Sunday's game (P).

Postscripts: Blog in review Oct. 22-26.

BucsBlitz.com's Matthew Postins will blog during Sunday's game.

Also, as a premium subscriber, you can now access Matthew Postins' appearances on the Scot Brantley show on WHBO 1470, the ESPN Radio affiliate in Tampa-St. Petersburg. Postins appears with Brantley, a former Buccaneers linebacker, on a weekly basis to talk about the Bucs. His last four appearances can be found in the audio section at Bucsblitz.com.

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-3)

KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:05 p.m. EST, CBS

SURFACE: Grass

TV: FOX, Ian Eagle, Solomon Wilcots

PREDICTION: Bucs 13, Jaguars 10 (Matthew Postins).

SERIES: Fourth game. Jaguars lead the series, 2-1. Even though these teams are in the same state, they're in different conferences so they're virtual strangers to each other in the regular season although they meet frequently in the preseason. Their last meeting was in coach Jack Del Rio's first season in 2003 when they won, 17-10. Their only visit to Tampa Bay in the regular season was in their first season in 1995 when they lost, 17-16.

KEYS TO THE GAME: The Jaguars hope to have RB Maurice Jones-Drew back in time for Sunday's game, and they'll need him with QB Quinn Gray making his first career start. Jacksonville hopes a week of practice with the first team will make Gray more comfortable than he looked Monday, but there's no disguising the Jaguars' need to run the ball. When Gray does throw, expect short, quick, safe passes against the Tampa-2. ... The Bucs aren't likely to run the ball successfully against the strong interior off the Jags' defensive line, so expect them to come out throwing in an attempt to loosen up the defense. However, with defenses playing a lot of Cover-2 to take away the deep pass to WR Joey Galloway, Garcia will likely have to again rely on short and intermediate routes. With Jacksonville's shaky quarterback situation, a field position game should suit the Bucs just fine.

KEY INJURIES: Jaguars: QB David Garrard (ankle) is expected to miss 3-4 weeks; Jones-Drew (knee) insists he'll play; LB Daryl Smith (hip) and TE George Wrighster (head) are uncertain. Bucs: WR Michael Clayton (ankle sprain) will miss several weeks, replaced by Maurice Stovall.

FAST FACTS: Jaguars RB Fred Taylor needs 135 rushing yards to reach 10,000 for his career. ... Bucs RB Earnest Graham set career highs with 92 rushing yards and 13 receptions for 99 yards last Sunday.

PERSONNEL NEWS:

JAGUARS

--RB Maurice Jones-Drew, who didn't practice Wednesday, was limited Thursday with a knee injury, but he insists there's not anything wrong with his knee despite the injury he suffered Monday night.

--DT Marcus Stroud, who underwent microfracture surgery on his ankle, was limited as limited with an ankle injury for the second consecutive day Thursday, but he says his ankle is fine.

--DE Reggie Hayward (hamstring) was listed as limited with an ankle injury for the second consecutive day Thursday.

--LB Daryl Smith (hip) was listed as limited for the second consecutive day Thursday.

--TE George Wrighster (head) was listed as limited for the second consecutive day Thursday.

--DT Tony McDaniel (wrist) was listed as limited for the second consecutive day Thursday.

BUCCANEERS

--RB Michael Pittman did not practice this week due to a high ankle sprain. Pittman is expected to miss Sunday's game against the Jaguars.

--TE Alex Smith did not practice Thursday or Friday due to an ankle sprain and is expected to miss Sunday's game against the Jaguars.

--WR Michael Clayton says his sprained right ankle is improving but he has not practiced this week and is not expected to play in Sunday's game against the Jaguars.

--WR Chad Lucas took reps as the Bucs punt returner, but that job is expected to be shared by WR Ike Hilliard and DB Phillip Buchanon Sunday.

--CB Brian Kelly was limited in practice Thursday with a groin strain. He is questionable.

--DE Patrick Chukwurah was limited in practice with a shoulder injury. He is questionable.

INSIDE THE CAMPS

JAGUARS

The Jaguars are finding it's not easy to find a quarterback seven weeks into the season.

Now that Vinny Testaverde has been snapped up and Drew Bledsoe and Jake Plummer have apparently settled into retirement, the Jaguars had to resort to looking at Todd Bouman, Drew Henson and Doug Johnson, a quarterback they cut in their 2004 training camp.

They decided to sign Bouman, who had a connection to tight ends coach Mike Tice.

The 35-year-old quarterback was reunited with Tice, who was a Minnesota Vikings assistant coach when Bouman signed with them as an undrafted free agent out of St. Cloud State in 1998. Tice later became head coach.

"He is a great guy and does a great job and I'm just excited to be here," Bouman said of Tice.

To make room for Bouman, they waived linebacker Pat Thomas.

Like Gray and rookie Lester Ricard, who's on the practice squad, Bouman wasn't drafted.

And Bouman has started only six games with three teams in the NFL, so they go to Tampa Bay with Quinn Gray making his first start and Bouman, who wasn't in an NFL training camp, as the backup.

Bouman is busy studying the playbook.

"Offensively, all the routes and run game is basically similar all across the league. It's just the terminology (that is different)," he said.

Gray said of his new status as a starter, "I knew it would come one day. It's kind of bittersweet that Dave (Garrard) had to get hurt and things had to come that way. At the same time, it is what it is and you have to be able to take advantage of your opportunities."

Gray isn't able to share the moment with his father, Otis, who died during camp.

"My dad would love it right now. I'm quite sure he is loving it anyway. I sort of speak to him night in and night out. He doesn't speak back. I'm quite sure he is smiling down. This is always what he has wanted for me," he said.

BUCCANEERS

Here's how much the Jacksonville Jaguars thought of Quinn Gray. They were willing to cut ties with Byron Leftwich and make David Garrard the starting quarterback.

But that decision also promoted Gray to No. 2, even though the fifth-year player from Florida A&M had only appeared in three NFL games.

Gray, 28, will make his start Sunday against the Bucs with Garrard nursing an ankle sprain.

"I just expect to be able to lead this team hopefully up and down the field and put points on the board," Gray said. "There is really no pressure to anything except for the pressure I put on myself to go out and help this team win a football game. That is what it's all about.

"We are trying to win a football game. Tampa Bay just happens to be the next football game. We have to try to beat Tampa. Of course, they have a great veteran-led defense and it's going to be tough. At the same time, we have a great offense, a great offensive line, a bunch of guys just trying to come together and put points on the board. That's what we're going to try to do."

Gray struggled mightily in relief of Garrard against the Colts Monday night, going 9-of-24 for 56 yards with two interceptions. He also was sacked for a safety.

But Bucs coach Jon Gruden said Gray has gotten the attention of his defense.

"Late last year, they gave him plenty of snaps, so we do have a lot of tape we can look at, not only in preseason this year, but last year at Kansas City," Gruden said. "He'll get your attention. He played really well. He'll have a full week to practice as a starter. He's an athletic guy who can throw the ball that has some history there with the Jaguar coaches so I'm sure he's going to be ready to go."


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