Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/23/12

The first half of preseason is over. And while some believe that preseason is frivolous, that is not entirely true. 

Here are five facts that we have gleamed from the first two preseason games.

5. RB Doug Martin

Last year the Buccaneers ranked 30th in rushing offense. They ran the ball fewer than any team in the league with 346 attempts.

Enter rookie Doug Martin out of Boise State. New head coach Greg Schiano has stated he wants to have one featured running back.

Schiano is also determined to have a run-first, ball control offense. 

Incumbent running back, LeGarrette Blount, ended last season injured. He also registered five fumbles, losing the ball three of those times. In the preseason Blount sustained a leg injury.

All this opens the door for Martin. We know the Buccaneers will run the ball more. We know that Schiano drafted Martin. Expect Martin to run, and run often. 

4. WR Antonio Brown

Mike Wallace has reportedly decided to show up. 

What we know from preseason is that Antonio Brown is already there. Brown has continued to impress. Not missing a step from the end of last year, Brown has shown why he is becoming Ben Roethlisberger's favorite target. 

3. QB Michael Vick

Michael Vick has played two preseason games. Vick has been hurt twice. Vick has spent more time with the X-ray and MRI technicians than he has with opposing defenses. In his career Vick has only played the entire season one time.

This year will be the norm not the aberration.

2. QB Blaine Gabbert

Blaine Gabbert isn't so bad. Last year Gabbert was loudly criticized for his pocket presence, his incompletions and his propensity to turn tail and run. 

This year he has all but quieted the critics. In his first playoff game versus the Super Bowl champion New York Giants, Gabbert took a hit from Justin Tuck that was just frightening. So much for Gabbert being scared.

In his second game against the New Orleans Saints, Gabbert threw for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Sports Illustrated writer Peter King proclaimed him offensive player of the week.

1. QB Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck is the real deal. In his first preseason game against the St. Louis Rams all Luck managed to do was complete his first NFL pass for a 68-yard touchdown. 

In his second preseason game Luck went up against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers, who fielded last year's No. 1 defense, intercepted Luck twice, returning one for a pick six. 

However, Luck never looked defeated or confused. He completed 16-of-25 passes for 175 yards. 

In his first two preseason games Luck has lived up to the hype.

 



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