The Buccaneers and Cowboys open the regular season in Tampa on Sept. 9 on NBC. Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said he will rest his starters in the last preseason game Aug. 29 to prepare his team.
“To me, the fourth game is for the players who are competing for the final roster spots,” McCarthy said. “That’s what I believe in, and that’s definitely the case for us this year.”
Various strokes for various people.
Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said he will likely rest his starters this week against Tennessee and play them in the last preseason game Aug. 28 against the Texans.
“Looking at the two practices [against Tennessee] – as good as I know they’ll go physicality-wise – we probably won’t play any starters,” Arians said, via Scott Reynolds of pewterreport.com. “I don’t really want to put our starters back in [along the offensive line] or put them in at all. The offensive line might play in this game only by necessity. We’ll see how that goes.”
Arians’ thinking makes sense: He doesn’t need his starters going 19 days between game activity. In the event that they play in the last preseason game, they actually will have 12 days before the season opener. (Obviously, last year, groups had no preseason games before the season opener.)
“We’ll play that by ear, but my plan right now is to play them a significant amount in that [final preseason] ballgame, because we don’t play for two weeks after,” Arians said. “I know our guys don’t want to hit each other for 10 days, so we’ll probably play them more in that game than any.”
The Bucs played their starters for six snaps on the two sides of the ball in their preseason opener Saturday.