Thought the Buccaneer kicking woes were a thing of the past? Yeah. About that.
The Buccaneers added Chander Catanzaro this off-season in hopes of solidifying the most tenuous position on the team, but thus far it’s proven to be more of the same old inconsistency.
Not only did Catanzaro miss an extra point against the Lions on Friday, but the Buccaneers made it abundantly clear that they don’t trust his leg strength by opting out of a fifty-yard field goal attempt.
Catanzaro did make a 42-yard field goal and three extra points, but the fact remains that his range is limited and he’s unreliable on extra points. Surely he’s better than what the team has had recently, but the bar is so low that it remains an issue. Tampa Bay should do what they can to get kickers in for tryouts this week.
The enigmatic third-year player, Noah Spence didn’t see the field in the first half of Friday’s game, and played very sparingly in the second half, aside from the Lions game-winning drive.
He registered nothing on the stat sheet, which mostly matches up with the rest of his preseason. Perhaps the Buccaneers are trying to keep Spence, who has a lengthy history of injuries, fresh for the regular season, but it’s still a little confusing to see so little of an unproven player.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Though it is just preseason, one would like to see a player with the expectations of Spence dominate the backup competition that he was facing.
On the final Lions drive, however, Spence struggled to get past Detroit’s backup left tackle. It’s disappointing to see him miss out on a huge opportunity to sack or pressure the opposing quarterback and seal up a win for his team.
I do hate ripping on Chris Conte. He is the lowest hanging fruit and easiest player to criticize in the Buccaneer defense, but dang it, games like Friday’s remind you of why.
Conte was in questionable position on a huge play to Lions receiver Kenny Golladay (based on his past, I’m hesitant to give him the benefit of the doubt).
Conte would, later on, miss several opportunities for tackles by either flat-out missing or taking a poor angle. It’s head-scratching why the Buccaneers didn’t make a more significant effort to fix their safety group, aside from the addition of late round pick Jordan Whitehead.
Chris Conte is primed for another high variance season with the Bucs that the team could have avoided – we’ll undoubtedly see his range pay off with a few big plays, but can it outweigh the negative ones?