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Ryan Delaire sacks Winston twice, says Bucs never gave him a shot

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Former Towson defensive end Ryan Delaire was signed by the Carolina Panthers this weekend, and promptly showed his stuff against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with two sacks and at least two more pressures. The Bucs have struggled to put together a pass rush this year, so when an undrafted rookie who played for them this preseason harassed Jameis Winston it was bound to be a story.

"I actually never really got a shot," Delaire said of his time with the Bucs to the Charlotte Observer. "I was in practice. I didn't get as much reps. I couldn't really perform the way I wanted to."

This happens every preseason and every year. The hard truth is that there are only so many roster spots to go around, and only so many snaps to divide between a lot of competing players. Delaire got lost in the shuffle, and this happens every year, on every team. That doesn't mean the Bucs made a mistake in doing so: Delaire didn't show more than a few flashes in the preseason, and couldn't get to the quarterback against the fourth-stringers of Miami despite getting 47 snaps in the team's fourth preseason game.

The Bucs only have so many roster spots and it's not like Ryan Delaire forced his way onto the roster with quality play. The team was not going to say goodbye to George Johnson no matter what happened, and he did outperform Delaire in the preseason. Jacquies Smith and William Gholston have both played very well so far. That leaves T.J. Fatinikun who is talented and explosive, but also eternally injured. Keeping Delaire over Fatinikun would have likely been a good decision in hindsight, although Fatinikun has plenty of games left to prove the Bucs right in keeping him.

Let us also not forget that Delaire was going against Donovan Smith and Gosder Cherilus, both of whom have been very up-and-down this season. Delaire wasn't exactly putting genius moves on those two, especially Smith who he was beating mostly because of Smith's own inadequacies. Inadequacies the Bucs hope the tackle can get cleared up -- he hasn't, so far. It's entirely possible that Delaire's performance was a one-off, just like George Johnson's performance last year seems to have been.

That said, the Bucs could have made room on the roster for Delaire in other ways. They've had Josh Martin and Kourtnei Brown on the roster as edge rushers, and neither has been able to give them anything -- Brown's now back with the Texans, while Martin's exclusively been a special teamer. It's hard to see how Delaire would have been a worse option than those two players.