JoeBucsFan keys to the game: Bucs vs. Redskins preseason finale

10:49 AM, Aug 29, 2013   |    comments
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Meaningless for the well known Buccaneers, tonight's preseason finale is all about the second-teamers and establishing the regular season roster.

Kickoff against the Redskins at Raymond James Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.

Josh Freeman and likely all starters on offense and defense are expected to get the night off to ensure their health for opening day against the New York Jets on Sept. 8.

However, there are plenty of key Buccaneers to watch.

Mike Glennon: The rookie QB will start at quarterback, and his performance could go a long way toward the Bucs determining whether they're confident with him as Freeman's backup. If not, the Bucs are expected to use a roster spot to retain a third quarterback, Dan Orlovsky, who served as No. 2 last season.

Peyton Hillis: The former Browns superstar running back leads the Bucs in preseason carries and is expected to get loads of work tonight. 

Hillis has performed well and has a chance to make the roster. But a rough night tonight likely sinks his chances. It's worth keeping an eye on whether Hillis plays some fullback, a position where the Bucs need depth.

Rian Lindell: The Bucs are still looking for a kicker. Lindell was signed last week and made his lone field goal opportunity against the Dolphins. Look for the longtime Buffalo kicker to get as much work as possible.

Cody Grimm: The former Bucs starting safety is still on the roster but is in danger of getting cut. Grimm is healthy coming off his season-ending injury in 2012. He'll be looking to stand out more than safeties Ahmad Black and second-year man Keith Tandy.

Da'Quan Bowers: The disappointment of the preseason, Bowers should start tonight at defensive end and get plenty of action. In the spring, head coach Greg Schiano said Bowers should have a double-digit-sacks season in 2013, but now Bowers is fighting for playing time. Bucs coaches are hoping Bowers, 23, is merely growing up and battling through a slow start to his third season.

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