Sorry for the delay in posts, especially on final cut weekend. I had my two biggest fantasy drafts this weekend it turned into a 2 day fantasy draft party-a-thon.
To the cuts…. Ryan Nece and Dre Moore were the only two real surprises. If you had been watching any of the games, or paying attention to any material written about Moore though, even him getting cut wasn’t surprising. The guy is out of shape, and didn’t appear to have the drive to make our final 8 defensive lineman. In a battle as tight as ours was on the Dline, just being a 4th round pick is not good enough. It is sad though that we had to cut a player we traded up to take in round 4.
As far as Nece is concerned, he was a marginal player that had the ability to play all 3 positions on our team. I think we kept guys that had a much higher ceiling than he did. Matt McCoy and Adam Heyward both have flashed much better potential than Nece has shown and he has been given multiple chances to shine as a starter.
Thoughts on the roster..
QB’s – I think everyone knew Chris Simms was out, and Josh Johnson was making the team. We will not have a debacle like 2 years ago where QB’s go down, and Bruce Gradkowski (who was cut by the way) has to start.
RB’s - Watching Michael Bennett get all those carries vs Houston sealed the fate for Clifton Smith (cut). I think a Bennett, Warrick Dunn, Ernest Graham backfield is deep and has a chance to be quite effective with each bringing different positives to the table. I think once BJ Askew gets healthy, Bryan Storer becomes the 53rd man on the roster and will be in jeapordy of getting cut.
WR’s – No surprises here. Michael Spurlock sealed his fate with that fumble after a Dexter Jackson touchdown. Joey Galloway, Michael Clayton, Antonio Bryant, Dexter Jackson, Maurice Stovall, Ike Hilliard while not being a group of flashy names, have more than enough skill to make Gruden’s offense click.
TE’s - Ben Troupe is probably going to have to show a lot on the field while Jeramy Stevens is suspended. Stevens knows the offense better, and should be placed back on the roster after his suspension. Troupe could hang around though if we decided to just cut Storer (as long as Askew is back).
Oline – Our best offensive line, in my generation of Buccaneer football. The starters were locked in, and Dan Buenning, Anthony Davis (yikes) and Jeremy Zuttah are the backups. We signed James Lee, an undrafted rookie out of South Carolina State to fill another tackle spot (Eugene Wilson got the boot). This unit is large, and should really start to blossom this year.
Dline – Another best in my generation of Buc football. 8 men deep, and all 8 are going to see significant time on the field. Gaines Adams, Chis Hovan, Jovan Haye and Kevin Carter will probably start, but Jimmy Wilkerson, Greg Peterson, Ryan Sims and Greg White as mentioned a second ago will see many snaps. Love this unit.
Linebackers – Another deep unit with some vets and a bunch of young cats learning the ropes. Derrick Brooks, Cato June and Barrett Ruud are the obvious starters, with all 3 backups (Matt McCoy, Quincy Black, and Adam Heyward) likely to see little time on the field other than special teams duty. I will say though, this could be, outside of Maurice Stovall, our three best special teams players. I would feel comfortable if any of the three had to start at some point during the season due to injury.
Secondary – I might sound like a broken record here, but this unit boasts great depth as well. Ronde Barber, Phillip Buchanon, Aqib Talib, Tanard Jackson, Jermaine Phillips and Sabby Piscatelli will all start or see significant time on the field. I could do without WIll Allen, but we obviously felt his time in the system made him a better fit than the extremely dissapointing and now cut Eugene Wilson. I love this unit as well.