Buccaneers Trim Roster to 53
The Bucs will bring just five linebackers into the 2016 regular season. The three starters were known before the players even reported to One Buc Place as pro-bowler Lavonte David will lead his crew followed by young stud Kwon Alexander and veteran pick-up Daryl Smith.
David and Alexander will get most of the on-field time of course as the team will be forced into plenty of dime and nickel formations in a pass-happy NFC South.
The rise of the passing game is to be credited with the lack of linebacker depth held on to as the team will have one of the most shallow pools at this position set I can ever remember them having.
If there’s a name missing which will shock those paying attention this pre-season it’s undrafted rookie Luke Rhodes.
Rhodes has been the team’s second middle linebacker behind Alexander for the entire pre-season and has played well. He led the team with 16 tackles, and most importantly 11 of them were solo tackles.
For a team struggling with tackling at times last season his skills seemed to be just what the team needed. One sack along with a forced fumble during the exhibition season had this writer all but certain Rhodes would make the 53.
Instead, it’s Devante Bond and Adarius Glanton. I don’t want to sound apathetic as Bond and Glanton certainly deserve their share of praise as well.
Glanton was second on the team with 13 tackles, and similarly 11 of those were solo as well. His special teams contributions have been obvious and special teams has been an area of emphasis for this franchise which had one of the worst special teams seasons anyone can remember.
Also missing the cut were Josh Keyes, Jeremiah George and undrafted free-agent Micah Awe.
Awe showed some burst at times so the team may look to bring him and Rhodes back on the practice squad if they clear waivers.
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