With preseason around the corner, the staff starts to really scrutinize players. They analyze every aspect of each player’s game and begin to shape how they feel the roster will turn out. Preseason allows for players to shine against other teams and possibly earn a roster spot. These three Buccaneers need to stand out during preseason to make the cut.
Cade Otton: Tight End
Now Otton isn’t on this list because he won’t make the roster. I fully believe he will. He’s on this list because he has missed most of camp and only hit the field this week. What needs to happen is he needs to show flashes he can live up to, for me a third-round grade, and his actual draft status in the fourth. Otton needs to show he can start in a pinch and be the future at the position. Fortunately, his blocking is already showing in camp and according to Todd Bowles “he’s always doing the right things. He’s always in the right place, he has great hands, he understands how to play the game.”
Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans should be excited about his abilities and the short time he has had to show them off in camp. Now it must translate to the preseason.
The A Wide Receiver Group
Last season the Buccaneers typically had seven wide receivers on the active roster. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin (when he returns), Julio Jones, and Russell Gage are almost guaranteed roster spots. That leaves three spots.
The B Wide Receiver Group
Scotty Miller, Jaelon Darden, Tyler Johnson, and Breshad Perriman will fight for the possible last three spots. Presumably, one will find themselves on the outside looking in. Early reports indicate Miller and Darden are showing they should own roster spots. If the trend continues they will solidify their spots in preseason. That leaves the other two with a need to flash what they can bring to the team. When Godwin eventually returns one player will find themselves out.
Perriman does have a skill set to stretch the field that Johnson doesn’t and at this point is more complementary to the four who will make the roster first. Could Perriman bump the young Buccaneers draft pick off the roster?
Center of Attention
With football there is an inherent trust between the quarterback and center. They must understand each other nuances and anticipate the smallest of movements. Robert Hainsey looks to be tabbed to replace injured center Ryan Jensen. To give the staff and fans some reassurance he has to perform. Afterall he’s replacing a trusted agent of Tom Brady.
Brady said ““He worked hard last year, really gained the trust of a lot of people”.
That statement alone is a good sign but this is a key for the Buccaneers offensive success. Ultimately, this may be the most watched Buccaneers position in camp and preseason. If Brady is not comfortable under center behind Hainsey then offense may suffer.
Is The Future Bright?
It goes without saying that Tom Brady can’t play forever, no matter his current health. The last player who needs to show something could write the future of Buccaneers success. Kyle Trask is entering his second year and needs to show he can take the reigns. He must show improved decision making skills and accuracy. Though he may not be feeling the pressure now, he should. Brady can’t play forever.
Some of the battles for roster spots in the preseason are among talented players. Others are where the team seems a little thin. The staff will make cuts that benefit the team. Trust the process. This season has all the makings of something special.