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Bucs-Dolphins a showdown for McCowns

Luke McCown will start at quarterback for the Bucs with his brother Josh starting for the Dolphins on Saturday. Brian Griese and possibly Chris Simms are also in the Bucs’ plans.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

Luke McCown will start at quarterback for the Bucs with his brother Josh starting for the Dolphins on Saturday. Brian Griese and possibly Chris Simms are also in the Bucs’ plans.

LAKE BUENA VISTA — It won't count in the standings, but in the McCown family, Saturday's Bucs-Dolphins preseason game might as well be the Super Bowl.

When Bucs QB Luke McCown starts against his brother, Dolphins QB Josh, 29, the McCown clan will experience one of its proudest moments.

"I am looking forward to it if that's the case," said Luke, 27, who has been confirmed by coach Jon Gruden as Saturday's starter. "The family is making a big deal about it. It's not like he's a linebacker and I'm a quarterback or vice versa. But it's a neat deal. There's only a handful of families in the world that have experienced this."

One would be the Mannings, who have witnessed a regular-season head-to-head meeting between brothers Peyton and Eli.

This brother vs. brother won't be quite as celebrated. But it will be a hot ticket for loved ones.

Gruden intends to play Brian Griese and hopes to play Chris Simms. He was noncommittal about rookie Josh Johnson.

UP TO SPEED: Rookie return man Dexter Jackson is finally able to display his full repertoire as his hamstring injury appears to have healed. As a result, Jackson said, he expects to return some punts against the Dolphins and possibly play some receiver. "It's been a long time coming," said Jackson, who was limited for the first week of camp. "I strained my hamstring a little and I've been getting a lot of treatment. The swelling has been going down and it's reacting real well (to practice)."

BUCS LOOK AT FB: Former Pro Bowl FB Lorenzo Neal participated in a free-agent workout Wednesday morning, Gruden said. But the decision to grant a workout appeared to be based on curiosity as no deal is imminent.

Neal, 37, was released by the Chargers in February after 15 seasons with six teams. He spent 1998 with the Bucs as a lead blocker for Mike Alstott. Neal spent his final seasons in San Diego blocking for running back LaDainian Tomlinson.

The interest in Neal is not an indication of dissatisfaction with B.J. Askew. Neal could add depth, especially considering Askew's foot injury.

"We feel like we have a really good fullback in Askew," Gruden said. "(Backup) Byron Storer has really done well in his absence. But Lorenzo Neal is special."

Stephen F. Holder can be reached at sholder@sptimes.com.

Bucs-Dolphins a showdown for McCowns 08/06/08 [Last modified: Thursday, August 7, 2008 9:01pm]
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