Throughout the entire offseason many have claimed the Buccaneers biggest issue is the shortage of talent as you dig down the depth chart. The starters are good, but the second and third string players aren’t quite where they need to be for the Buccaneers to have a good season.
One week into the preseason, that fear was confirmed.
The Buccaneers starters won their two series game 3-0. The second and third stringers went on to allow 44 points to the Ravens while scoring just 13.
The biggest issues were on special teams. A blocked punt for a TD, a muffed punt that led to a single play scoring drive, and a kick return that ended in a 15-yard horse collar penalty that started a Ravens drive at the Buccaneer 35.
Special teams is one place where depth on your roster is huge. Starters usually aren’t expected to play on special teams. The norm is that backup lineman, linebackers, DBs, and WR’s handle most of the special teams duties. The failures are a direct shot at the lack of depth down the Tampa Bay roster.
Then there’s the second and third team defense. On numerous occasions Tyrod Taylor picked the defense apart. With a Ravens offense that isn’t potent at skill positions to begin with, and made worse by the fact that they were without most of their starters at this point, the Bucs’ second half defensive struggles are also indicative of depth troubles.
Glennon showed out pretty well, but aside from him really only Kevin Ogletree and Brian Leonard stood out on the non-starters on offense. And Ogletree and Leonard are both players the team expects to get significant playing time.
The Buccaneers have some of the best starters in the league, but if they start falling to injuries, many believe the Bucs could have trouble filling the voids. Thursday didn’t really ease anyone’s fears. Let’s hope they can put out some better performances in the next three games.