Perfect preseason, is that a misprint? Nope, I think the Bucs accomplished exactly what they set out to do this first preseason of the Greg Schiano era. And if the preseason is any indication at all (and often it’s not, though this one could be an exception), we can expect to see a predictably up and down season from the Bucs.
After a performance against the Patriots first teamers that was inspired if nothing else, the Bucs crashed back down to earth against the Redskins with a sloppy, uninspired, depth defying (ha!) act. If one thing is evident from the preseason is that it’s too bad we don’t play the AFC East (with wins over the Dolphins and Pats) instead of the NFC East. Oh well.
Speaking of depth, or lack thereof, talk often turns to the Bucs lack of depth. I’ve heard it said from many experts that the rumors of teams’ depth are often greatly exaggerated. And I find that to be true. How many teams have great depth? Most teams are deep at a position or two, sometimes more, but far more frequently an unfortunate injury or two can often doom a team if it occurs at a position that lacks depth. And while we’re on the subject, exhibit 1 – Davin Joseph.
The offensive line was seen as a position of strength this year with the changes made that we’re all aware of. However depth is an issue. With Joseph lost for the year Ted Larsen steps into his spot for now. The Bucs will certainly scour the waiver wire late Friday to see if there’s anyone too good to pass up.
If this year is anything like recent years in terms of cut down to the final roster spots, the Bucs might not be done when their 53 man roster is transmitted to the league office Friday night. Recently both Lagarette Blount and Dez Briscoe were players plucked by Mark Dominick as they bided their 24 hours of time to make it to their respective teams practice squad. Look for the same this year.
If the Bucs are stacked at any position it’s likely WR. Mark Dominik recently seemed to imply that Arrelious Benn is not on the bubble so the final roster spot(s) are likely between Tiquan Underwood and Sammie Stroughter. It’s thought that Preston Parker’s versatility and receiving skills will keep him safe. If it goes on preseason performance alone (and we’re told repeatedly that it does not) than Underwood would have the advantage.
Offensive and defensive lines would probably be the two positions most in need of quality depth. We already discussed the o-line; interior line depth will be sought. For the defensive line I think they’ll look to add a DE and possibly one DT. But if Okoye is on the verge of recovery, and with Frank Okam looking ok last night, DE might be the focus.
Regardless, we’ll all know soon enough. And we’ll see if the 53 we start off with on Friday is the same 53 we end up with on Monday.