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TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 31: Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tries to avoid being sacked by Vonn Bell #48 of the New Orleans Saints in the third quarter of a game at Raymond James Stadium on December 31, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers won 31-24. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The NFL preseason steps into high gear tonight with a dozen games around the league. Locally, we will be paying most attention to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. the Miami Dolphins. The Bucs have several interesting story lines heading into the season since they will be without starting quarterback Jameis Winston the first three games of the regular season due to his league suspension for inappropriate interaction with a female Uber driver.

Expect him to see a decent amount of preseason action but the Bucs are interested in their third stringer Ryan Griffin. He’s been in the league since 2013 and the team thinks he can play if given a chance.

If he performs well and stays healthy (unlike last year when he was injured early) it might mean that this will be Ryan Fitzpatricks’s final year with the team as a serviceable quarterback. Of course, it might also be Winston’s last year with the team if things don’t work out this season. On the defensive side of the ball, the team is looking for a solid cornerback opposite Brent Grimes. Vernon Hargreaves had a very disappointing season last year.

The Dolphins, of course, welcome back their starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill after he missed all of last season with a blown out knee. We will be watching his mobility very closely, especially when he rolls out to the right side. We will also be curious to see if he wears a knee brace during the game. He has worn one during practice. The Dolphins will need someone to emerge on offense and replace Jarvis Landry’s roll.

We will eventually learn if Frank Gore has any gas left in the tank at running back and the offensive line is a concern.

We won’t get all of the answers we are looking for tonight. But we are a step closer. Enjoy the game.

Written by Craig Shemon