Buccaneers vs Browns Live: The Buccaneers and Browns have Buccaneers vs Browns met 10 times previously in the preseason and split the series right down the middle. Cleveland tied it up at 5-5 in 2017 with a 13-9 victory at Raymond James Stadium, with Kevin Hogan Buccaneers vs Browns throwing a five-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Leslie with two minutes left in the game. Tampa Bay’s most recent win over the Browns in the preseason was a 30-13 decision in 2016, with Jameis Winston throwing for 259 yards and two touchdowns.
Known league-wide as the ‘dress rehearsal’ game, the third game of the preseason will see starters take the most snaps and play the most minutes of any preseason game. The Bucs will be taking on the highly anticipated Cleveland Browns at home on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. ET inside Raymond James Stadium.
The Browns made some major offseason moves this year and come to Tampa Bay with a plethora of offensive weapons for young quarterback Baker Mayfield to call upon. This will be the biggest test for the Bucs so far in 2019 and should give some clues as to how the team has picked up its new system under first-year head coach Bruce Arians.
Arians detailed his expectations, and who you can expect to see, during the game earlier in the week:
“Other than the guys who have been out, everybody else will be a game-time decision. Lavonte [David], Vita [Vea] – those guys who have been out – will not play in this ball game,” Arians said. “Mike Evans will not play in this ball game. The rest of them will be game-time decisions. Like I said yesterday, how much they play will be determined on how we’re playing, and we’ll make those decisions as the game goes on. Like I said earlier, it’s a really good challenge for us. It’s a heck of a good football team coming in and it will be a nice measuring stick.”
The Cleveland Browns will be at Raymond James Stadium on Friday night to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the third preseason game for both teams.The third preseason game has long been considered the “dress rehearsal” for the regular season, with the starters playing well into the third quarter before shutting it down until the start of the regular season.
“We are going to play our guys some. I do not know how long yet. We have had a good camp. It has been a good, physical camp. I like to get our work done right now in a controlled environment to see how much better we can get on a day-in and day-out basis. This week is a little different because you are definitely not going to do it next week. We will see. Some of it factors in on how guys are feeling – little nicks and bumps that they may have because they have nicks and bumps. You just have to factor all those things in and then make a determination. A certain player may need something different than another player. We try to make everybody feel special.”
Regular Season: Coincidentally, the Bucs and Browns have also met exactly 10 times in the regular season, although the Browns hold a slight edge in that series, 6-4. However, Tampa Bay has won four of the last five meetings after getting its first win over Cleveland in 2002. FB Mike Alstott provided a lasting highlight in that 17-3 victory during the Bucs’ Super Bowl-winning season with a pinballing run on which he bounced off nine different defenders. The most recent meeting came last season, when Mayfield and the Browns stormed back from two touchdowns down in the fourth quarter to force overtime. The Bucs eventually won it, 26-23, on Chandler Catanzaro’s 59-yard field goal with less than two minutes left in the extra period.
Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians was the Browns’ offensive coordinator from 2001-03. Cleveland’s head coach, Freddie Kitchens, was the Arizona Cardinals’ quarterbacks (2013-16) and running backs coach (2017) under Arians during the latter’s tenure as head coach.
Cleveland’s new offensive coordinator, Todd Monken, handled the same role in Tampa Bay the last three seasons.Tampa Bay outside linebacker Carl Nassib played two seasons for the Browns after Cleveland drafted him in the third round in 2016.
Cleveland linebacker Adarius Taylor joined the Buccaneers during the 2015 season and remained with the team through last year.The Bucs’ roster includes two other players who were with the Browns last season: wide receiver Breshad Perriman and offensive lineman Earl Watford.
In January, Tampa Bay engineered one of the most significant changes a franchise could make in hiring a new head coach. That man is Bruce Arians, who needed just five years to become the winningest coach in Arizona Cardinals history and who has a history of helping quarterbacks excel. Arians assembled an extremely experienced coaching staff around him, almost all of whom he had worked with in the past.
· One of the coaches Arians brought on was Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles, who served under him in the same capacity in Arizona in 2013 and 2014 before becoming the Jets’ head coach. Bowles’ arrival means the Buccaneers have switched to a base 3-4 defense, something the team hadn’t identified with since 1990.
· Bowles’ defense means certain players were redefined as outside linebackers, inside linebackers and defensive linemen. No matter the position designations, Tampa Bay’s defense is expected to be more aggressive and varied in its pass-rush packages, and will likely ask its defensive backs to play more press-man coverage than it has in the past, which plays to the strengths of many players in that unit.
· Tampa Bay’s offense was prolific in 2018 in terms of yards, especially in the passing attack, and most of its starters return for 2019, so one could reasonably expect another strong season on that side of the ball. If anything, the Bucs may be more aggressive under Arians, whose ‘no risk-it, no biscuit’ philosophy involves taking the big-play shot when you have the chance.