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Patriots Blog: Blount, Tebow Among Players To Watch Tonight vs. Bucs

By Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports
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Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount breaks free during New England's preseason win over the Eagles. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount breaks free during New England’s preseason win over the Eagles. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

WBZ-TV's Levan Reid Levan Reid
Levan Reid is a veteran sports reporter who has joined the W...
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BOSTON (CBS) – So who — and what — should we expect to see in the Patriots second preseason game?

- Well, I didn’t expect to see Tom Brady. I’m actually still hoping that we don’t, but I’m hearing Tom is going to play.  QB-12 understands the timetable he has his new wide receivers, and he needs to get the live reps with them. Though I’m expecting the Pats to run a lot with Brady in there, he’ll get the ball quickly to his receivers when it’s called for.  And when he’s done for the night, we can all exhale. That is until next week, when the Pats head to Detroit to face off against the Lions and Ndamukong  Suh. That could be a problem.

What To Watch For: How Long Will Brady Play?

- I expect to see the defense get more of a pass rush. This group got a little push in the game against the Eagles, but tonight they will come off the edge more and there’s a good chance we’ll see more blitzes. The Buccaneers play more of a traditional offense, so that front of Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly and Chandler Jones will get some feature time.

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles fumbles the ball as he is sacked by Tommy Kelly and Chandler Jones of the New England Patriots. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles fumbles the ball as he is sacked by Tommy Kelly and Chandler Jones of the New England Patriots. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

- Let’s see if LeGarrette Blount is for real. Would love to see him have another breakout preseason game. That would mean two things for the Pats: it would give them that second power-back they have been looking for and it could mean the end to Brandon Bolden. Blount has more experience, he’s bigger and earlier this week Belichick went on and on about him. It sounds like coach likes him, and thinks he’s better than Bolden. But time will tell.

- Stephen Gostkowski needs to make every field goal the Pats line him up for.  Last week he missed two kicks and there was a murmur among the villagers. Missed kicks can’t happen tonight or going forward. If Gostkowski keeps missing, the Pats may need to look elsewhere. Last season he missed more than his fair share.

Read: Clear Bag Policy Hits NFL, Gillette

Ryan Mallett has to finish the game and finish his drives. He’s gonna be able to get out there with the number ones, and by now, he should be able to get them down the field in an efficient manner.  He needs to be crisp and sure of what he’s doing at the line.

- Tim Tebow needs to be complete AT LEAST 50 percent of his pass attempts. Tim is getting better and the team is starting to fall in line with what he’s doing.  He just needs to complete passes and it will all come together.

Tebow made some plays with his legs against the Eagles last week, but it'd be nice to see him do the same with his arm. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Tebow made some plays with his legs against the Eagles last week, but it’d be nice to see him do the same with his arm. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Rookie Watch

- Tight end Zach Sudfeld needs to get more reps and catches. They feature him a ton in practice, now we need to see that result into something come game time.

- Hearing a ton about rookie linebacker Jamie Collins. I know he’s got different skills and his versatility is something the team loves. Tonight, we need to see him jump off the screen.

Read: Levan Reid’s Patriots Blog

- Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce have to continue what they are doing. The Pats this week let go Michael Jenkins. So now the wide receiver room is lighter, these rooks need to take advantage of the extra time and improve on every play.

Follow Levan Reid on Twitter @LevanReid

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