View From the Golf Cart: Time of Last Chances

by Gary Shelton on August 27, 2019 · 0 comments

in general

Arians is looking for a few good men./JEFFREY S. KING

Tuesday, 3 a.m.

There are a few roster spots to claim.

There is video to leave for other teams.

There are next-time impressions to leave coaches with.

So, yeah, Thursday night's preseason game between the Bucs and Cowboys doesn't mean a lot to a lot of people. But for fewer than a dozen players or so, it matters.

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"The one thing about this last game – you always want to try to keep it as simple as possible so they can play fast and show you that they’re real athletic," Bucs' coach Bruce Arians said. "You don’t want them out there thinking.

"That part of it, you just want to see good one-on-one stuff all night and try to be as proficient as possible. Special teams,  that’s where most jobs are going to be won in this game – somebody that covers a kick, maybe knocks a ball loose, does something big that gets one of those last 10 spots or maybe one of those 10 practice squad spots. There’s a bunch of spots up.”

On other subjects, Arians said:

(On if there are 10 spots up for grabs on the active roster): "Yeah, that’s probably the number when you’re talking about the sixth lineman, fifth backer, fifth corner, fourth corner – when you’re going around and who’s on (special) teams, there’s about 10 and then there’s 10 practice squad spots for the guys that clear waivers."

(On what LS Zach Triner has showed him that gave him confidence): "Consistency. He’s been very consistent, he’s been able to protect on punt, he’s athletic enough, he’s covered, so that part of it – and I hope you didn’t just jinx (him)."

(On what Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach Roger Kingdom has brought to the coaching staff): "A wealth of knowledge and sprint training [and] speed training. I’ve seen him take guys now – since we were together in Cleveland – he changed their stride and (helped them) get rid of injuries by teaching them how to run faster and better. Just that knowledge of overall speed training and the weight room training that goes with that. He’s got the resume, so guys listen."

(On what it says about ILB Jack Cichy to become a leader on defense after returning from two ACL tears):"How tough he is and how much the game means to him. He’s one of those guys – he never shuts up. Even when he’s not (on the field), he’s hollering out there to somebody else, ‘Hey, do this,’ ‘Do that,’ ‘Great job.’ He’s turned into one of my favorites."

(On if OLB Anthony Nelson will be ready to play on Thursday): "I doubt it. We’ll see how he reacts tomorrow and then get another one tomorrow, and then re-evaluate it from there."

(On what his message is to the players battling for the final roster spots on Thursday): "Play your ass off Thursday night. Make it so I can’t cut you."

(On if it is ideal for K Matt Gay to have made a kick after missing one earlier in the third preseason game): "I’d rather him just keep making them and learn by almost missing. It’s just like almost losing – you learn a hell of a lot more from almost losing than you do from losing. I like the way he bounced back, but that one spot on the field has been a problem and I was hoping he’d fixed it. He seemed to have fixed it yesterday and today."

(On how much of a risk/reward it is to have RB Ronald Jones II returning kickoffs) "In all returners, it is. It’s something you look at. You know that if he breaks the first wave, he’s gone, and he can break a tackle rather than putting a little guy back there that gets blown up and the ball comes out. Teams that want to kick it to the goal line and see if they can get you behind the 20, 25 (yard line]=) – a guy that’s explosive sometimes, (they think) ‘No, let’s just kick it out.’ That’s always what goes into it. I think if we block – he had a crease the other night and we missed one block, and I think he’d have come out of there pretty hard."

(On how injuries to Cameron Brate and Anthony Auclair affect how many tight ends he will keep on the roster):"If it were long-term, probably differently, but they both are expected to play next week, so they would not have played anyway this week."

(On how much QB Vincent Testaverde has retained after spending time with the team during training camp): "A lot. We talked about it today – I said ‘Give me 10 things that you can go out there and you know where this ball is supposed to go,’ and he kind of knew the whole game plan. He’s going to go back through his reads. He knows all the routes, but he’s just going back through his reads and when he gets certain coverages, where to go with it.”

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