The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will get their marching orders on Wednesday night.
The NFL's much-anticipated 2014 regular-season schedule will be released at 8:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday via NFL Network, NFL.com and NFL Mobile. The dates and times of the Buccaneers' 16 regular-season games will be unveiled at that same time on Buccaneers.com.
The starting and ending points of the 2014 season are already known: the defending-champion Seattle Seahawks will open the season at home on Thursday, September 4 (opponent not yet released), and a new champ will be crowned in Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale Arizona on Sunday, February 1. The Buccaneers' season will begin on Sunday, September 7, unless they are chosen for a Monday night game on the 8th.
Whether or not the Buccaneers find their way back onto the Monday Night Football slate is one of the intriguing questions that will be answered on Wednesday evening. Here are several others. For Tampa Bay's players and coaches, the release of the schedule gives them a specific opponent to begin targeting with their preparations for Week One.
Buccaneers Hall of Famer Warren Sapp will be a featured analyst on NFL Network's NFL Total Access: Schedule Release '14 special on Wednesday night. Rich Eisen will host that three-hour show, joined by Sapp, Steve Mariucci and Mike Silver. Among the topics they will discuss is the new CBS/NFL Network Thursday Night Football schedule, which now encompasses 16 weeks of the season.
In addition to the Buccaneers' schedule on Buccaneers.com, the entire 256-game slate for 2014 will be available immediately on NFL.com, with additional analysis from such contributors as Elliot Harrison and Fantasy Editor Michael Fabiano.
The Buccaneers' preseason schedule has already been announced, with only the time of the kickoff for the August 23 contest in Buffalo still to be finalized. The Bucs' first game of any kind under new Head Coach Lovie Smith will take place in Jacksonville on Friday, August 8.