With or without a hurricane bearing down on Florida the Turk will come calling for nearly 40 Buccaneers this week. Tonight’s game in Dallas will be the last time a number of these young men will suit up in the red and pewter of the Buccaneers.
Their first taste
For most of these players, this has been their first real taste of professional football. The minicamps, the hot Florida summer days. Position meetings, followed by morning practice, then afternoon weight room sessions. They have been pushing their bodies and minds to the point of near exhaustion for a month now in pursuit of their dream to play professional football.
Always be closing
Some are still battling for positions. Special teams is always a good way to possibly make it onto the 2019 Buccaneers squad. Whether they make this squad or get picked up by another NFL team, the game in Dallas tonight will be important. Coaches are still looking for relentless, tenacious, never say die types of players that will need this final preseason game to display.
Buccaneer fans may already have their sites set on September 8th and the start of the 2019 season against the San Francisco 49ers but for the bottom of the current Tampa Bay roster, tonight is very much still live action.
Put it on tape
Call it continuing competition. an ongoing job interview or mop-up duty on the 2019 preseason. Just don’t call tonight’s game meaningless. For as the rest of us are drafting our fantasy football teams, finalizing our menus for opening day next week, and predicting who will start at what positions, there will be some 1,280 players on 16 NFL fields this weekend fighting for their NFL lives.
Let’s applaud these brave young men. Let us celebrate with them as they wrap up the preseason. For some are battling to get off the bubble. Others are still making tape that they will use for future football interviews. Some are playing out the string of a career that started so many years ago with little league football, high school squads, and college careers.
Let us remember to be thankful for the hard work that these young men put in. Continuing to improve their game just as the Buccaneer squad has worked to improve theirs. If the Turk should knock on their door, let them keep their chins up. Be proud they were a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. Besides, they just might be replacing your preseason playbook with the one the team will use during the regular season.
Photo credit: nfl.com