The Tampa Bay Buccaneers put together their first practice squad of 2017 today, and it contains no real surprises. Except for one, maybe: none of the team’s practice squad players came from the outside. That’s a break with the past.
Normally, practice squads consist of ten players, but the Bucs get a bonus eleventh player this year, in the form of international linebacker Eric Nzeocha, who’s part of the NFL’s program to develop international talent.
Note, also, that this practice squad will change early and often—probably as early as tomorrow or the day after, when the Bucs make some extra moves and kick some hopefuls off the 53-man roster and onto the practice squad.
Let’s go through the Bucs’ eleven-man practice squad now.
Linebacker Riley Bullough — reported by Jenna Laine. Hard Knocks star who stood out because of his vocal leadership, and showed some speed and athleticism in the preseason.
Safety Isaiah Johnson — reported by Greg Auman. Back for a second season on the Bucs’ practice squad, and a third on NFL practice squads in general. Has good size at 6’1”, 202 lbs., but never really stood out.
Wide receiver Bobo Wilson — reported by Roy Cummings. FSU hopeful who blew up in the fourth and final preseason game. Played with Jameis Winston.
Running back Russell Hansbrough — Reported by Auman. Somewhat replaceable all-around back who spent time with the Bucs last year. A bit of a surprise to see him here instead of Jeremy McNichols, who’s on the San Francisco 49ers practice squad, per Mike Garafolo.
Cornerback Jonathan Moxey — Reported by Auman. No room for him on the Bucs’ roster, they’re already carrying six cornerbacks, but has some potential.
Defensive end Sterling Bailey — Again reported by Auman. Built like William Gholston, bounced around some practice squads last year.
Tackle Mike Liedtke — Announced by his agent. Never really stood out, but his agent certainly believes in him.
Wide receiver Freddie Martino — Reported by Auman. Has bounced around since 2014, but played in 13 games for the Bucs last year, mostly as a special teamer.
Tackle Marquis Lucas — Reported by Auman. Bounced around several teams the past year, but is sticking with the Bucs—for now. Big dude at 6’4”, 320 lbs.
Linebacker Eric Nzeocha — Mandated by the NFL. Part of the International Player Pathway program. From Germany, played college football at Wyoming.