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Bucs to get preview of 3-4 looks against Browns defense

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter, center, says facing the Browns for practices and in Friday’s preseason game will help prepare for 3-4 defenses.
Bucs coach Dirk Koetter, center, says facing the Browns for practices and in Friday’s preseason game will help prepare for 3-4 defenses.
Published Aug. 23, 2016

TAMPA — The Bucs have two joint practices and a game this week against the Browns, and one benefit for Tampa Bay will be preparing coach Dirk Koetter's offense for 3-4 defenses, which at least six opponents will use this season.

The Bucs will face the 3-4 look — three down linemen and four linebackers, requiring a different blocking scheme — in regular-season games against the Cardinals, Broncos, 49ers, Bears, Chiefs and Chargers.

"Two extra days of working against a 3-4 are huge," Koetter said.

Koetter said the Browns offense uses some zone read plays as well, so the Bucs defense will get some practice against those. Koetter said the Browns have averaged "six or seven" zone read plays a game, which will help the Bucs prepare for later schemes this season against teams like the 49ers, Seahawks and Panthers.

Today's practice is only open to Bucs season-ticket holders, while Wednesday's is open to the general public.

Coming back: Bucs TE Cameron Brate, who took a shot to the neck/head in the end zone in Saturday's win against the Jaguars, was back and practicing as normal Monday.

Brate had said after the game that he was "fine," but two other players injured Saturday were held out Monday. WR Evan Spencer, who left the game with a knee injury, watched practice from the sidelines, and S Keith Tandy, who took a hit to the head while making a tackle, worked out with a trainer on a side field.

LB Daryl Smith, who hasn't practiced since before the team went to Jacksonville last week, also worked out with Tandy and the trainer.

DT Gerald McCoy (ankle) and RB Doug Martin (ribs) were at practice after being held out of Saturday's game with minor injuries.

Rookie G Caleb Benenoch, who has missed three weeks of practice with an ankle injury, is making a step toward a return. Benenoch was dressed Monday and working out with a trainer on a side field, testing his ankle by running.

Transactions: The Bucs made three roster moves. Rookie OT Kelby Johnson was waived-injured after suffering a calf strain in Saturday's win; another undrafted rookie, OT Kyler Kerbyson, replaced him on the roster and will wear the same No. 67 jersey. Kerbyson, who started his final two seasons at Tennessee, spent three weeks with the Patriots before he was waived last week.

"I'm just coming in to work as hard as I can, to try to see if I can contribute to this team and learn as much as I can while I'm here," said Kerbyson, who had Bucs QBs coach Mike Bajakian as his offensive coordinator at Tennessee in 2013-14.

The Bucs also waived undrafted rookie LB Cassanova McKinzy, who had missed two weeks with a hamstring injury and played only one defensive snap Saturday. No corresponding move was announced.

Contact Greg Auman at gauman@tampabay.com and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

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