Can this Bucs’ roster make you care?

by Gary Shelton on September 2, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

Fitzpatrick will lead these Bucs into New Orleans./CARMEN MANDATO

Fitzpatrick will lead these Bucs into New Orleans./CARMEN MANDATO

Sunday, 1:50 a.m.

Here's the question you have. Now that you know the 53-man roster of the Tampa Bay Bucs, are they any good?

Can these 53 beat the Saints? Can they make the playoffs? Can they save Dirk Koetter's job.

We'll see.

Oh, the 53-man roster that the Bucs kept won't last, of course. For one thing, there is no long snapper. Quarterback Jameis Winston is suspended. Other players are injured.

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Still, even with a fluid roster, the questions remain. Is this a roster that will matter throughout the season?

Let's look.

Offense (26)

Quarterbacks (2): The Bucs got down to their two by cutting Austin Allen, which was as predictable as noise on the radio. Ryan Fitzpatrick will start. If he holds up, Ryan Griffin will back him up. The Bucs will have to make a decision when Jameis Winston returns whether to keep two or three.

Surprise Cuts: No one.

Longshot: No one.

Running backs (4): The Bucs kept four, but fans don't feel solid about them. Peyton Barber will start, but Ronald Jones has to be better than he was in the preseason.

Surprise cuts: No one.

Longshot: Shaun Wilson.

Tight ends (4): The Bucs have a deep group, with O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate, Antony Auclair and Alan Cross. It was hard to see anyone else making a real run at a job.

Surprise cuts: No one.

Longshot: No one.

Wide receiver (6): The Bucs decided to keep six, although one could go when a long-snapper is signed. The group of Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Chris Godwin and Adam Humphries are solid.

Surprise cuts: BoBo Wilson.

Longshot: Justin Watson, Freddie Martino.

Offensive lineman (10): Because the Bucs are hurting at the position, the coaches decided to keep 10. That might not last either, once the team gets healthy. Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet, Ryan Jenson, Caleb Benenoch and Demar Dotson figure to start.

Surprise cuts: No one.

Longshot: Mike Liedtke, Adam Gettis.

Defense (25)

Defensive line (10): New line coach Brentson Buckner already has talked about a heavy rotation. Of course, that will be easier when the tackles aren't  hurting as badly. The starters will be Jason Pierre-Paul, Gerald McCoy, Beau Allen and Vinny Curry. Vita Vea, when he's healthy, will join the rotation, as will Noah Spence.

Surprise cut: No one.

Longshot: Jerrel Worthy.

Linebackers: (5): The Bucs put Kendell Beckwith on the reserve/non-injury list, but they still have Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander. It should be a strength for the defense.

Surprise cut: No one.

Longshot: Jack Cichy.

Cornerback (6): Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves III are the starters, but expect rookies Carlton Davis and M.J. Stewart to play.

Surprise cut: Javeon Elliott.

Longshot: De'Vante Harris.

Safeties (4): Chris Conte and Justin Evans start, but behind them are two newcomers.

Surprise cut: Josh Robinson, Keith Tandy.

Longshot: Isaiah Johnson.

Specialists (2): Bryan Anger, Chandler Catanzaro.

Surprise cut: Both long-snappers.

Longshot: No one.

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