Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 11 players fighting for a roster spot vs. Dolphins
By David Rumsey
Aug 29, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Travis Benjamin (11) runs with the ball as Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Jason Williams (52) defends during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Linebacker: Josh Keyes, Jason Williams, Larry Dean & Khaseem Greene
Its pretty clear who the Bucs top four linebackers are: Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander, Danny Lansanah and Bruce Carter. Beyond that there isn’t much clarity. There are four other linebackers on the roster but its likely only two will make the final roster.
Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier spoke on Tuesday about the subject and said the top four guys would really be the only ones in the rotation for playing time. That means the fifth and sixth linebackers have to be impactful special teams players as well as quality backups.
Jason Williams and Khaseem Greene lead the bottom four linebackers in tackles this preseason, but as Frazier said its not just about how well they play the linebacker position. He and Lovie Smith will be looking for the players who are most balanced on defense and special teams.
Greene was able to force one fumble, though, so I’m sure that won’t go unnoticed since we all know how much Lovie Smith loves creating turnovers.
Overall it won’t be a very exciting game to watch since most of the players in action will be unfamiliar faces, but that doesn’t mean Thursday night isn’t important. Lovie Smith and Jason Licht won’t have much time to make their final roster decisions after Thursday’s game.
For the most part I’m sure the Bucs have an idea of what their final roster will look like and they are just hoping Thursday night’s game confirms that. Players can always surprise, though, so be on the lookout for someone you may have never heard of doing something special to earn a roster spot.