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Tampa Bay Buccaneers consider options to replace guard Davin Joseph

TAMPA — The Bucs' offensive line remains in a bit of flux after Pro Bowl RG Davin Joseph's season-ending knee injury.

Tuesday, the Bucs had journeyman Jamon Meredith starting at right guard. Meanwhile Ted Larsen, who replaced Joseph after the injury in Friday's game, was working the second team, at center.

None of it is permanent, based on statements from coach Greg Schiano, but it appears the Bucs aren't handing the right guard position to Larsen. The Bucs will thoroughly explore their options.

"We're looking at a bunch of guys at guard," Schiano said. "We'll do that (tonight against the Redskins). We'll have different guys in there. (Derek) Hardman, Larsen, Meredith. We're going to play a bunch of guys at guard and then we'll make use of that film in part of our evaluation process. We have time right now before we have to make a final decision, so we're going to utilize that time."

Larsen, a Palm Harbor University High grad, said he assumes nothing and has not been told what his role will be. He has the most starting experience of the three options, starting 14 games for Tampa Bay in the past two seasons. He also is the only player among the primary backups able to play center.

Meredith, meanwhile, hopes he'll get a chance to show he is capable at guard and is versatile in his own way. He's primarily a tackle.

"I can play everything except for center," he said. "I definitely think I'm versatile. I can pretty much bounce around anywhere and hold my own.

"I played a little bit (of guard) in Pittsburgh, but not much in the games. Basically at practice. I played it my senior year in college (at South Carolina). I definitely have to (prove it)."

BLOUNT FOCUSED: Schiano said RB LeGarrette Blount has maintained a good perspective since being demoted in favor of rookie Doug Martin, the current starter.

"He's disappointed, but he's been great," Schiano said of Blount. "He's about this team. He's about winning. At the very beginning I sat them both down and told them what the deal was. They knew it. I think when you watch the tape — and LeGarrette's a smart guy — when he watches the tape, he sees that he got outperformed."

The good news for Blount, Schiano said, is that the competition isn't technically over.

"It doesn't mean that that's it," he said. "As I've told them, 'It could go the other way if you outperform (Martin).' We don't hand out jobs and sign them over. It's always competition around here, continually. I think Doug's done a great job and that's why he's got the No. 1 seat. But he's got to work to keep it."

INJURY REPORT: MLB Mason Foster is still bothered by a hamstring injury and it's unclear when he'll return. "Will he play opening day? I'm not sure," Schiano said. "I hope so."

DT Gerald McCoy (knee) returned to practice while DE Adrian Clayborn (arm) was held out but is close to a return.

Stephen F. Holder can be reached at sholder@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3377. View his blog at tampabay.com/blogs/bucs. Follow him on Twitter at @BucsBeat.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers consider options to replace guard Davin Joseph 08/28/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 8:11pm]
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