The Buccaneers are nearly a week away from being on the clock. Who will they select? Bucsblitz.com may not know that, but it does know which players the Bucs have met with and worked out privately. Get that information, plus find out how, according to Scout.com's Adam Caplan, you can detect a team's intentions on draft day by looking at the volume of visits and workouts at a particular position. Click here to access this exclusive feature.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will open the 2008 regular season — and begin their NFC South Division title defense — at division rival New Orleans on Sunday, Sept. 7, according to the schedule released by the NFL on Tuesday.
The Saints and Bucs have won the last two NFC South titles.
The schedule features one appearance on Monday Night Football and two appearances on Sunday Night Football, though the second appearance is subject to change, due to the NFL's flex scheduling rules.
The Bucs will host Seattle on Oct. 19 at 8:15 p.m. on NBC, their first appearance on SNF since NBC took over the property in 2006. The Bucs are also slated to host San Diego on Sunday, Dec. 21, at 8:15 p.m., but that game time could change.
The Bucs will also travel to Carolina on Monday, Dec. 8, to face the Panthers in their first MNF appearance since facing the Panthers in Carolina in 2006.
The Bucs' schedule features contests against four division champions ¬— Seattle, San Diego, Dallas and Green Bay. The Packers — without quarterback Brett Favre, who has retired — will travel to Tampa Bay on Sunday, Sept. 28, at 1 p.m.
The Bucs travel to the Cowboys on Sunday, Oct. 26.
After the Bucs open the season at New Orleans, they return to Raymond James Stadium to host Atlanta on Sunday, Sept. 14, at 4:15 p.m.
The following weekend the Bucs travel to face the Chicago Bears — and former Bucs assistant coach Lovie Smith — at Soldier Field. The schedule features several teams led by former Bucs assistant coaches.
The Bucs travel to Kansas City on Nov. 2. The Chiefs are led by former Bucs assistant Herman Edwards. The Bucs also travel to Detroit again on Nov. 23. Lions head coach Rod Marinelli led the Bucs' defensive line for 10 years. Former Bucs linebackers coach Joe Barry is also the defensive coordinator, and the Lions hired away assistant defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake during the offseason.
Late November and early December will likely be a critical time for the Bucs, as they play three straight division games, starting Sunday, Nov. 30, when they host New Orleans. The Bucs follow that with consecutive road trips to Carolina and Atlanta, contests that could determine the division champion.
The Bucs end the regular season with a home contest against head coach Jon Gruden's former team, the Oakland Raiders. Bucs defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin's son, Lane, is the Raiders' head coach.
2008 Buccaneers preseason schedule
Saturday, Aug. 9: Tampa Bay at Miami, 7:30 p.m., WFLA
Sunday, Aug. 17: New England at Tampa Bay, 8 p.m., NFL Network
Saturday, Aug. 23: Jacksonville at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m., WFLA
Thursday, Aug. 28: Tampa Bay at Houston, 8 p.m., WFLA
2008 Buccaneers regular season schedule
Sunday, Sept. 7: Tampa Bay at New Orleans, 1 p.m., Fox
Sunday, Sept. 14: Atlanta at Tampa Bay, 4:15 p.m., Fox
Sunday, Sept. 21: Tampa Bay at Chicago, 1 p.m., Fox
Sunday, Sept. 28: Green Bay at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m., Fox
Sunday, Oct. 5: Tampa Bay at Denver, 4:05 p.m., Fox
Sunday, Oct. 12: Carolina at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m., Fox
Sunday, Oct. 19: Seattle at Tampa Bay, 8:15 p.m., NBC
Sunday, Oct. 26: Tampa Bay at Dallas, 1 p.m., Fox
Sunday, Nov. 2: Tampa Bay at Kansas City, 1 p.m., Fox
Sunday, Nov. 9: Bye
Sunday, Nov. 16: Minnesota at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m., Fox
Sunday, Nov. 23: Tampa Bay at Detroit, 1 p.m., Fox
Sunday, Nov. 30: New Orleans at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m., Fox
Monday, Dec. 8: Tampa Bay at Carolina, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Sunday, Dec. 14: Tampa Bay at Atlanta, 1 p.m., Fox
Sunday, Dec. 21: San Diego at Tampa Bay, 8:15 p.m., NBC
Sunday, Dec. 28: Oakland at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m., Fox
Bucsblitz.com has started its "Bucs Scouting Report" series, profiling players the Saints could have interest in selecting on April 26-27. Catch up by checking out our reports on Wesley Woodyard, Chad Henne, DeSean Jackson , Tracy Porter , Adrian Arrington and Duane Brown.
Bucsblitz.com has confirmed that a Tampa-area collegiate product will visit the Buccaneers on Thursday. This former Jefferson High wide receiver is being projected as a second-round pick. Find out who he is and what other wide receiver have visited with the Bucs so far.
I got the chance to speak to Virginia Tech offensive tackle Duane Brown yesterday about his five-hour meeting with the Bucs. He talked about who he met, his conversation with offensive line coach Bill Muir and his thoughts on how he might fit into Tampa Bay's system. He's a second-round pick in this draft, according to most scouts, and he could be of help to the Bucs as depth at guard and tackle. You can read the story by clicking right here.
It's the most important time of the year for NFL teams that want to improve their roster for 2008. Are you getting all the analysis you need as the NFL Draft approaches? If you're not, click here to find out how you can become a Bucsblitz.com insider and become the expert at your NFL Draft party. We're the only Tampa-based media site providing daily draft and scouting coverage with a Buccaneers slant.
Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. An award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers Association, he appears frequently on Scot Brantley Show from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WHBO 1470-AM in Tampa-Clearwater.