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Bucs know what to expect from Derek Anderson

TAMPA, Fla. -- For a change, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers might have an edge on an opponent.

They’ve seen something out of the Carolina Panthers that no one else has this season. They’ve seen Derek Anderson as the starting quarterback.

Anderson led the Panthers to victory against the Bucs in the regular-season opener. Anderson has been limited to mop-up duty since then. But he’ll get his second start of the season Sunday when the Bucs play at Carolina.

“If any team is going to have the best chance to know what he is, it’s going to be us since he did play against us," cornerback Alterraun Verner said. “We’re probably going to rely heavily on what we saw in the first game. They’re going to have some tweaks obviously. They’re not going to come in with the same game plan. To prepare for him, you’ve got to know he did the job really well the first time. He threw the ball where his players could make plays and he ran a very, very efficient game. I think they’ll probably be a little bit more aggressive and try to attack us in the running game with people being more healthy because I think their offensive line was a little banged up when they played us in Week 1."

Anderson is starting because Cam Newton suffered injuries in a car accident earlier this week. And the Bucs aren’t taking Anderson lightly.

“I think people forget that just because he’s the backup now they forget that he has made a Pro Bowl before," defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. “So he knows how to play the game. He can pick apart a defense because he has played at the highest level before."

Anderson previously was a starter in Cleveland and Arizona. In the opener against Tampa Bay, Anderson completed 24 of 34 passes for 230 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

“I don’t think there’s any drop off with Derek Anderson," Verner said. “I think he is a very capable quarterback and I think he’s very good. He showed it the first game, so I expect more of the same."

The change might be bigger for the Panthers because they’ll have to switch offensive styles and abandon the read-option that they do so much of with Newton.

“It is a different offense with Anderson versus Cam Newton at quarterback," defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said. “They changed from the time we played them up until (this week). The offense we will see, more than likely, will be more like what we saw the first game of the season as opposed to what we saw a week ago against New Orleans. It’s a different style of offense."

That’s because Anderson is a different style of quarterback than Newton.

“He’s a quarterback that has started in our league and has had a good career," Frazier said. “But he’s more of a pocket passer than Cam is. You kind of know where he’s going to be. But he’s shown he can escape as well. Like with all quarterbacks, whatever their strength is, you want to take that away from them. His strength is being in the pocket, being able to see things and making throws on rhythm. So we’ve got to find a way to get him out of rhythm."