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Old 08-28-2011, 01:25 PM    (permalink
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Default Early Look at 2011 Roster

We have no way of knowing exactly how many players at each positin the Bucs will keep... but based on training camp buzz and what we've seen in preseason, these look to be the early leaders for roster spots.

QB pretty good bet we keep 3, and it's likely it's Josh Freeman, Josh Johnson, and Rudy Carpenter. Crompton has a shot at the practice squad.

RB Blount will be the starter. Lumpkin and Graham are battling for the #2 role. Allen Bradford is a likely candidate to round out the RB group as we will almost definitely keep 4.

FB Most teams only keep 1, Lorig will be our 1... though Graham will get on the field there as well.

WR I can't imagine us keeping more than 6. It's happened at times before, but the way I see it, Williams, Benn, Briscoe, Stroughter have locked up 4 spots. That leaves Spurlock, Parker, Ed Gant, and Jock Sanders to battle for at most 2 spots. Spurlock looks to be the best bet, but Jock Sanders looks to have the most value as a punt returner. Gant may be the best WR of the group, but these last two spots have to be manned by special teamers first and foremost.

TE Winslow and Stocker are shoo-ins. At most we keep 4. That leaves Hardy, Purvis, Overbay, and Collin Franklin to duke it out for at most 2 positions.

OL Unfortunately, along with Penn, Joseph, and Trueblood, Faine and Larsen are probably locks to make the team. Larsen I don't mind as a long-range possibility, but Faine has never lived up to his hype... not even close, despite what the newspaper writers want you to believe, he just isn't very good at the physical part (blocking) of his job. Along with those 5, most likely 5 more guys will make it. Demar Dotson is the best OT, Brandon Carter the best OG, and Zuttah the best OLineman overall. Derek Hardman can play OG or OT, and I think those 4 are definitely in. James Lee, who has been absolutely abused in preseason, is the likely 10th Olineman

DEs- We keep no more than 5. Versatility is a big factor with the backups, but it is not quite as important considering how versatile the starters are. Bennett and Clayborn start. Bowers and Crowder are the main backups (though Dakoda Watson is the starting nickel DE he counts as a LB) and that leaves Kyle Moore and George Johnson to battle for possibly one spot. On first glance at versatility, Moore will have the likely edge, but Johnson played some DT for us against the Pats and did pretty well. He has been explosive off the edge, getting sacks the past two games and his hands on the QBs at other times. I think if we carry 5 DEs that George Johnson is #5, especially if he is capable of playing LDE.

DTs At most we keep 5... of course it's unlikely we keep 10 total DL but it could happen... 9 is the most likely number. The starters right now are McCoy and Okam. Miller and Price will make the roster but their health may be a concern for the entire season. This bodes well for Woods to make the roster. He hasn't stood out in the preseason at a DT and to make matters worse for him, he was in the game when the rest of the 3rd and 4th stringers were in there at the end of the game last night... most of those guys will be cut.

LBs we should keep 6, though 5 is a possibility. The obvious no-brainers are Black, Foster, Hayes, and Watson. All 4 have been solid, though Watson has been dynamic, in the preason. Hayward can play all 3 positions and is a good special teamer so he gets the 5th spot. That leaves possibly one spot for Tyrone McKenzie, Derrell Smith, and Simoni Lawrence to fight for. Lawrence hasn't gotten much attention, but he's rangy and athletic and has an outside shot. Smith was heaped praise at the beginning of TC but has been mostly silent since... McKenzie was the media appointed MIKE for the Bucs but has done very little in preseason. I've got a feeling that McKenzie will be cut. He's soft, slow, and not productive, 3 of the worst qualities a LB can have. I wouldn't be surprised if the Bucs only keep 5 or use the 6th spot on a LB cut from another team.

CB we could go crazy and keep 6. Talib and Barber are the starters. Biggers and Lewis the top backups. Gaitor, Mack, and the little talked about, DJ Johnson to fight for the last one or two spots. Gaitor seems likely to take one as he is a rookie AND has logged some time as a safety which increases what he can do.

S Grimm starts at one safety, probably Jones starts as the other. I'm not high on Jones and not confident he should even be on the roster... that being said, for the time being they take up 2 of a maximum of 5 spots. Larry Asante looks like a future starter, or 3rd safety at worst. Cory Lynch, Vince Anderson, Dominique Harris, and my favorite, Devin Holland fight for what is to be at most, 2 spots. I would suspect the team keeps 4 and then adds the 5th when Tanard Jackson comes back. I would like to see Devin Holland on the team as a special teamer providing he can scale back his overzealousness a tad. When Jackson comes back I'd like to see Sean Jones to be the one that goes... though I'd prefer Larry Asante to start over him currently. Ahmad Black is still a candidate for IR and beause he has done ZERO in preaseason or TC, could likely pass through waivers and make it on the practice squad.
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