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michael89156

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: August 07, 2011, 05:17:07 PM

Wide Receivers struggling for a roster spot with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Source:    http://sbn.to/n1xtoF
Aug 7, 2011 4:56 PM EDT





Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams, right, signs autographs for fans during NFL football training camp Monday, Aug. 1, 2011,
Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)



Last season, the Buccaneers carried six wide receivers on the roster on opening day: Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn, Micheal Spurlock, Maurice Stovall, Sammie Stroughter and Preston Parker. The year before, the Bucs had just five receivers on the opening day roster. So with some five or six spots for receivers, the Bucs will have to make some tough choices on who to keep.

Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn and Dezmon Briscoe are all assured of a roster spot at this point. Mike Williams is a star in the making, while Arrelious Benn looked very good before going on IR late last season. Dezmon Briscoe showed a few last season and has supposedly looked great in training camp, cementing his spot on the roster. But behind those three players, things become more murky.



We can probably pencil in Sammie Stroughter and Preston Parker as well. While these are two similar players, the Bucs kept both on the roster for the entire season last year. The fact that they can function well as slot receivers and punt returners means they're more likely to stick on the roster, while both have some kick returners as well. Versatile players who can contribute on special teams will make the roster over players who can only do a limited number of things.

Many may expect Micheal Spurlock to be a sure thing to make the roster as well, but I'm not so sure about that. Spurlock has been in the league since 2006 and had his best season last year - with a whopping 250 yards receiving. While he is a good kick returner, he's not elite, and he's not going to get much better as a receiver. Because of his limited upside I don't think he makes the roster as anything but a kick return specialist, and it will be tough for the Bucs to find a roster spot for just a return specialist this season. If they do keep Spurlock on the roster, that will likely keep Stroughter or Parker off the roster.

With Williams, Benn, Briscoe, and then two of Stroughter, Parker and Spurlock the Bucs have just one more roster spot left. Two players have been making a name for themselves in camp: Ed Gant and Raymond Webber. I've talked about Webber before, and I think he has the talent to make the roster - but he'll have to beat out Ed Gant to do so. Gant is a third-year player who spent the past two years on both the Cardinals' and Buccaneers' practice squads. Gant and Webber have similar frames, although Webber is a little bigger, and Gant may have the edge because of his previous experience. But the real battle will be fought in the preseason, so keep an eye on the second- and third-team receivers.

Besides Gant and Webber, the Buccaneers also have Detron Lewis and Jock Sanders on the rosters. Sanders is very small and can only play in the slot because of that. He will have to beat out either Preston Parker or Sammie Stroughter (or even both) for a roster spot, and his size may prevent him from making any impact on special teams. He has a real uphill battle to climb. Lewis has a better shot, but likewise will have to battle Parker and Stroughter for a roster spot. Running a 4.64 40-yard dash and being just 6'0" tall, he doesn't have the physical tools to thrive on the outside. But he could work well as a slot receiver going against linebackers and trying to find a hole in zone coverage.

Looking at these names it's clear the Bucs lack some depth on the receiving corps. While Williams is a legitimate number one receiver, everyone behind him is a question mark. Arrelious Benn has the talent to be very good, but is coming off an ACL injury and didn't make an impact last season until late in the year. Dezmon Briscoe flashed a little bit in games last year, but really hasn't produced much yet. Stroughter and Parker are both similar players, limited to playing the slot receiver position. Spurlock is a useful fill-in at times, but nothing more than that. Behind them, no one on the roster has any NFL experience. The Bucs are in the middle of a youth movement, and once we look at the names behind the starters we can see this really hurts their depth.

tatmanfish

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#1 : August 07, 2011, 05:22:47 PM

Why is Parker a lock to make the roster? What did he do last year other than keep a roster spot at a position with no proven players?



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#2 : August 07, 2011, 05:28:03 PM

Williams
Benn
Briscoe
Stroughter
Webber
Spurlock


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#3 : August 07, 2011, 05:30:13 PM

Who is returning kicks?   Once we know that, it is easier to predict the WR's.   In any event, there are going to be some painful cuts this year. But that is to be expected as the team gets better all around.


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#4 : August 07, 2011, 05:37:29 PM

IMO they keep six again this year.  Parker and Webber battling for that sixth spot.

I agree with Freeman 5's prediction.

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#5 : August 07, 2011, 05:38:28 PM

Webber takes Parker's spot

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#6 : August 07, 2011, 05:44:28 PM

Never really heard anything great from Parker as I have from Webber. I'd love to see this play out in the preseason, hopefully they both get decent QB play.


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#7 : August 07, 2011, 06:02:13 PM

Williams
Briscoe
Benn
Spurlock
Stroughter
Webber

The last 2 spots pretty much depend on who does the best in pre-season. Think it'll be a race between Stroughter, Webber, Parker, and Gant. Stroughter and Parker may have the beginning edge because they know the system so they might keep them and sneak Webber and Gant onto the practice squad to bring up later if someone doesnt produce (dont think Parker and Stroughter can go on the PS)

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#8 : August 07, 2011, 06:04:06 PM

I feel the same way about the RB position

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#9 : August 07, 2011, 07:00:53 PM

Not sure why the author of that piece is so down on Spurlock...he made more plays than Parker and Stroughter combined as a WR last season, and is a proven returner as well.

Parker and Stroughter may be fighting for a spot, but I think we keep 6 WR's and keep both of them. Webber and/or Gant may hit the practice squad.

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#10 : August 07, 2011, 07:07:21 PM

Cut Michael Clayton!!!!

oh sorry.

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#11 : August 07, 2011, 07:17:34 PM

Parker is a lock but Spurlock isn't? Uhh.....ok?

If I had to guess I'd say Williams, Benn, Briscoe, Spurlock, and Stroughter will make the team. If we carry a 6th WR it will be whoever looks better in preseason, between Parker, Webber, Sanders, and Gant.

Bottom line is whoever the final 5 or 6 WRs are that make the final 53....they will all be better than Clayton or Stovall. :D


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#12 : August 07, 2011, 07:28:30 PM

I am going to go waaaaay out on a limb and predict that Stovall doesn't make the roster


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#13 : August 07, 2011, 07:30:02 PM

Williams, Benn, Briscoe, Stroughter, Spurlock, and Parker.. They are going to try and slide Webber onto the practice squad.

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#14 : August 07, 2011, 07:48:51 PM

It would be great if we could turn one of those guys into a late draft pick

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