The eight biggest Buc battles for tonight

by Gary Shelton on August 31, 2016 · 0 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

Koetter looking an individual battles tonight.

Koetter looking an individual battles tonight.

Wednesday, 6 a.m.

Dirk Koetter thinks he has it bad? Hah. He thinks he has tough choices to make? Really? He thinks he has more talented players than the league will let him keep. Honestly?

Dirk should have coached 91 years ago.

Back then, in 1925, the league roster limit was a sweet 16. Try cutting down to 16? Who are you going to keep? Molly Ringwald?

Shoot, for most of our lives, the NFL roster limit was 45, which meant you could keep a player and his backup, and a punter and a kicker. Oops. You're over the limit.

In a way, then, the 53-man limit makes some sense. Now,

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already, there are those who suggest that the number swells to 55, maybe even 58 players. But for now, it's a 46-player limit with seven practice squad players.

So what do you watch tonight? America's Got Talent? Or the Walking Dead? You decide what kind of Bucs' team this will be.

Seven battles to pay attention to:

Wide receiver: Kenny Bell vs. Bernard Reedy. Okay, it may not just be between these two. But Mike Evans, Vince Jackson and Adam Humphries seem to have it made. Russell Shepard does a lot of work on special teams. That means that one of the final battles could be between Bell, a favorite of general manager Jason Licht, and Reedy. Jonathan Krause and Freddie Martino will also get playing time.

Tight end: Dick Vitale vs. Brandon Myers. It would seem that three tight ends can unpack: Cameron Brate, Luke Stocker and the enigmatic Austin Seferian-Jenkins. That means that the rookie Vitale and the veteran Myers are in competition. It would seem that Vitale does a few more things.

Offensive line: The situation got a little stickier last week when Josh Allen was forced to start and played well. Caleb Benenoch will compete with Gosder Cherilus for the swing tackle spot in one of those eternal potential vs. production battles.

Running back: Mike James vs. Peyton Barber: Sure, the Bucs could keep both, but neither give a team any help on special teams. If not, it might come down to just what sort of back the Bucs want.

Defensive end: Howard Jones vs. Kourtnei Brown. Again, it's about different types. Jones has had some moments here, but he's an undersized pass rusher, the same sort of player that the Bucs have in Noah Spence and Jacquies Smith. Robert Ayers, William Gholston and Spence have it made.

Linebacker: Josh Keyes vs. Jeremiah George. The Bucs are locked in on Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander and Daryl Smith. But teams love to keep linebackers because they're so valuable on special teams. Has Keyes or George (just brought back) gotten the better of the camp? We'll see.

Cornerback: Josh Robinson vs. Johnthan Banks: Do you keep the free agent (Robinson) or the returning vet (Banks). There have been times over the last couple of years when Banks was one of the better performers in the secondary, but the influx of talent may have left him behind.

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