The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have closed out Training Camp and are now on regular season preparation mode. Still, there's 90 rostered players that are vying for 53 precious spots. After two pre-season games do we have enough data to compile a 53-man roster?
Before training camp, I gave you this as my 53-man roster prediction.
Not a whole lot has changed. Most of the guys I thought would make the team have performed up to expectations, while a few of the bubble guys have swapped a couple spots. Plus, when I made the roster prediction, Peyton Hillis wasn't a Buc.
In any event, from what I've seen at training camp and in the games thus far - here's my predicted 53-man roster for your Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
QB (3) Freeman, Glennon, Orlovsky
I'm still thinking that the Bucs keep three QB's. If the Freechise does go down, you want someone who knows the offense inside and out to be able to help Glennon acclimate. Freeman could do some of that but if he's going to be busy re-habbing, you want someone taking snaps with Glennon and helping him understand the finer points of Sullivan's offense.
This position group went from 3 to 4 and Michael Smith was jettisoned. I like Smith's speed but I think Eric Page will win the return job. Leonard has been impressive and I like the potential of Hillis and James. I think Hillis just needs some reps and to stay healthy to become effect again and James showed me some talent I didn't know he had last week against New England. He was a bubble guy for me heading into that game.
FB (1) Lorig
Lorig needs to get healthy soon because both Hillis and Leonard can double as a FB.
WR(6) Jackson, Mike Williams, Ogletree, Underwood, Hagan, Page
Pretty much the same as last time. I think Ogletree is your #3. Hagan is a vet with some interesting skillsand Page is a KR.
TE (3) Crabtree, Stocker, Noble
Stocker needs to be careful here. The Bucs like some of their young tight ends and Stocker has been banged up while certainly looking subpar in the game on Friday night.
T (4) Penn, Dotson, Carimi, Meridith
No Changes here. Haven't seen anything from the young guys that would suggest Carimi or Meridith were in trouble.
G(3) Nicks, Joseph, Wallace
Wallace and Larsen have left a lot to be desired at guard this pre-season but the good news for them (and bad news for the Bucs), none of the young guys have really stepped up, either.
C (2) Zuttah, Larsen
Zuttah is still solid and Larsen has value as a c/g
DE (4) Bowers, Clayborn, Te'o-Nesheim, Means
Means replaces Gholston here. I just haven't seen enough from Gholston to warrant a roster spot. Means has done well in training camp and has had a few decent rushes during the pre-season. There's some talent there.
DT(4) McCoy, Spence, Gibson, Landri
I think Spence is going to win the job from the vets, but I don't think he's quite as good as the Bucs PR department have pub-ing him as being.
OLB(4) Watson, David, Casillas, Hayward
I think Casillas has closed the gap on Watson but I still think Watson wins the job. I replaced Cutera with Hayward - whose been playing more OLB than inside this pre-season.
MLB (2) Foster, Goode
Najee Goode has impressed Bucs coaches as the backup to Foster. He's a Dom pick so I give him the edge over Cutera.
I think Melvin makes the team. I dropped both Branden Smith and Anthony Gaitor while bringing in Danny Gorrer. The Bucs like Gorrer and it does look like he's improved a bit since we last saw him. Smith's only chance was on special teams - I think Eric Page will win that job. Gaitor was always an intriguing prospect to me but the kid just can't stay healthy.
S (4) Barron, Goldson, Black, Tandy
Same as before. Cody Grimm is close but I just don't see him as a Buccaneer man after his off-the-field incident. If it's close, I think Tandy gets the nod.
Andrew DePaola hasn't done anything wrong, but neither has Economos thus far. As long as Economos can stay healthy, I think the Bucs stick with the vet.
Before camp, I'd never seen Derek Dimke kick. Now we have and we've also seen Lawrence Tynes be dreadful when healthy and then get hurt so he couldn't kick. Dimke has taken advantage of his chances and has done a solid job on kickoffs.
I expected more from Chas Henry and I'm disappointed the former Gator hasn't provided more of a challenge for the incumbent, Koenen. Looks like the Bucs will be paying a premium price for a slightly above average punter again this year.