Bucs (1-1) vs. Jaguars (0-2)
When/where: 7:30 p.m. Saturday; Raymond James Stadium, Tampa
TV: Blacked out, tape delay at 11 a.m. Sunday on Ch. 8
Radio: 620-AM, 103.5-FM
Third-string QB seizes the moment
For QB Rudy Carpenter, the preseason has provided a big opportunity. Third on the depth chart, he has received significant playing time in the two games and is expected to play most of the second half Saturday against the Jaguars.
So far, Carpenter has performed well, completing 14 of 23 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown (the go-ahead 5-yarder in the fourth quarter of Saturday's 20-15 win over the Chiefs).
"I'd have to call him a gamer," coach Raheem Morris said. "You're not going to be impressed or wowed by any arm strength. But what he does have is great anticipation and has great route recognition and a great understanding of the offense. So he'll be able to put balls in places where most quarterbacks won't think about it beforehand."
Carpenter, 24, undrafted out of Arizona State last year, spent most of last season on the Cowboys practice squad before being signed by the Bucs on Nov. 24. He didn't get much playing time during the 2009 preseason. So with every series this year, he gets more comfortable and can "show the rest of the NFL I can play and put it on film."
"People always say that preseason doesn't count, but that's for guys who are on the roster," Carpenter said. "The big portion of guys who are competing here … these preseason games are our livelihood. It's whether or not we have a job or not. So they do count and do mean something."
Ranking of the day
ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas named the Bucs' Tanard Jackson the No. 1 safety in the NFC South: "Jackson is simply the most reliable safety in this division, and I decided on him after envisioning him in a couple different uniforms (like those worn by the Saints and Falcons). … Tampa Bay's secondary is shaping up to be one of its few strengths. That's largely because Jackson will be back there directing traffic."
Joe Smith, Times staff writer