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September 2, 2011 @ 12:11 pm
Current rating: 4.67 Stars/3 Votes

Bucs Begin Roster Cuts, Release McKenzie, Moore, McCargo

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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UPDATED WITH MORRIS QUOTES:The Buccaneers began their roster cuts on Friday, notifying several key defensive reserves of their release, including backup MLB Tyrone McKenzie, DE Kyle Moore and DT John McCargo. McKenzie started Thursday night's game at MLB as well as the team's 2011 training camp at the position ahead of rookie Mason Foster.

Tampa Bay has begun releasing players ahead of Saturday's 4:00 p.m. deadline from teams to cut their rosters down to 53 players. It appears the Bucs have started with the letter "M" as PewterReport.com has learned that backup middle linebacker linebacker Tyrone McKenzie, defensive end Kyle Moore, and defensive tackle John McCargo have been released today by Tampa Bay.

“Toughest weekend of the job,” Morris said. “Particularly tougher than my first two. It is probably rougher as a position coach because you are always closer to the people in that room. But as a 
head coach it doesn’t get any easier. Tough day. We will continue to make cuts, rehash it over this weekend and finalize when we have to have it finalized. We won’t make anything final until the end of the weekend.”

While PewterReport.com felt the release of Moore, a former fourth-round pick in 2009, and McCargo might be forthcoming as they were with the third-string defensive line, the waiving of McKenzie does come at somewhat of a surprise. McKenzie started Thursday night’s game with Washington and played well, racking up seven tackles and a tackle for loss. McKenzie finished the preseason with 14 tackles, a tackle for loss and a pass breakup, and initially started off as the team's starting middle linebacker in training camp.

McKenzie was outspoken in a Tampa Tribune story after rookie Mason Foster, the team's third-round pick, was taking over the starting reps, indicating that he had been told the starting job was Foster's from that point on. Foster finished the preseason with eight tackles and a fumble recovery and didn't play against Washington in the preseason finale.

Morris wouldn't comment specifically about any players that have been released. 

“I want to be fair to those guys,” Morris said. “I don’t want to be putting names out there, that may be out there. … I want to be fair to those guys. And we will just have to see what’s going on with those guys.” 

The depth at middle linebacker remains in question behind Foster, strongside linebacker Quincy Black, weakside linebacker Geno Hayes and Dekoda Watson, who is the starter at Sam (strongside) in the Bucs' Redskin 3-3-5 defense. Adam Hayward has experience at middle linebacker, and Black will handle the Mike duties in nickel defense as Foster will leave the field.

The Bucs also like rookie Derrell Smith, an undrafted free agent from Syracuse who didn't play on defense against the Redskins, as well as backup linebacker Simoni Lawrence, who used his speed and quickness to record a team-high 10 tackes at Washington and finished the preseason with 17 stops.

Morris commneted on the linebacker position as a whole and why he feels it is in good hands.

“Mason Foster has established himself as our base Mike (middle linebacker), at least right now,” Morris said. “Quincy Black is our base Sam (strongside linebacker). We really feel great about how fast those two have developed, how fast they look when they are on the field, how fast we look when we go to nickel [coverage] when we put Ronde [Barber] inside that linebacker position. We are really feeling good about that.

"Geno Hayes is out starting Will (weakside) linebacker and he also stays in there in nickel as well. Our backup Sam, Dekoda Watson, really looked good. He had a breakout preseason and he also provides us with that rush linebacker, that Redskin linebacker, as we call him. I am feeling great about those guys.

“We also developed Adam Hayward as a backup Mike. He also is a Sam and also plays Will for us. Hayward is kind of Mr. Reliable. He is becoming my defensive Earnest Graham. He is becoming that kind of guy for us. He can just about do anything for us and just dominate special teams. That position is still one of the ones under question. But we are happy with that top line and that group of guys and what they have done this preseason.”

With McKenzie's release it appears Hayward will serve as a possible backup to rookie Mason Foster. Morris talked about Hayward's resumé.

“He played a quarter and a half last yesterday [at Washington],” Morris said.  “He played a bunch in practice. He played a little bit in that third preseason game against Miami. He played a little bit of Mike linebacker last year, backing up Barrett [Ruud]. This year he is a lot more comfortable than he was last year. Playing Mike is a big responsibility. It [takes] a different kind of guy. It is a guy who can communicate, talk to his guys and still do his job. That may take some time to grow and some things to do. He certainly has become more comfortable in his role when he goes to Mike.”

McCargo, who added a sack last night, also played well in the loss to the Redskins despite the former first-round pick of the Buffalo Bills joining the Buccaneers midway through the preseason and playing in the final two exhibition games. The Bucs appear to be set at defensive tackle with Gerald McCoy, Roy Miller, Frank Okam and Brian Price making the team and Al Woods on the bubble.

At defensive end, Moore, who began the 2010 season as the starter at left end, recorded two sacks in the preseason opener at Kansas City and played well in all four games, but got caught up in a numbers game, too. Tampa Bay expects to roll into the 2011 season with first-round selection Adrian Clayborn and Michael Bennett as starters and second-round pick Da'Quan Bowers and Tim Crowder as reserves. George Johnson, who led the Bucs in preseason sacks with three, is on the bubble.

During his next-day, after-game press conference, Morris was asked to talk about his feeling surrounding the defensive line. The head coach mentioned nine names, and the belief is that those players mentioned have secured a roster spot.

[Michael Bennett] certainly didn’t disappoint in camp,” Morris said. “He came into camp on a mission, so to speak, and played very well.

“ We watched Da’Quan Bowers develop. We didn’t really know at first with all the question marks about injuries. He really came on in that third game. We also have the luxury of moving Michael Bennett down inside and … putting Dekoda Watson over there [to rush off the edge].

“In that three-technique [Gerald] McCoy has really come into his own and started getting off and making some plays in the backfield, being disruptive. He has done a nice job.

"Then you go to the nose tackle, the back up three-technique, and you can go a couple ways. You can go Frank Okam, or you can go to the nose tackle. Or you can go to Roy Miller, who is a big-time run stopper for us. [Brian] Price really came on last night, showed you some power. Then you have Okam that can play a little nose tackle in pass situations. Okam is a very smart, large human that goes in there and does a lot of good things for us.”

"Then you go to the right end where we think we hit at least a double right now with the way Adrian Clayborn plays for us. He is violent, strong – he is physical, fast – he brings a dynamic to our game we haven’t had in a while. His backup is Tim Crowder. He brings us consummate leader[ship]. He brings great effort. Hopefully he continues to get better. And George Johnson, who came on this preseason both inside and out. Looking at those guys’ dynamics, they really bring some great things to us."

Last modified on Friday, 02 September 2011 15:58

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  • avatar

    Its a numbers game I think that if Cargo was release last year he would made the squad, but its the number-also lee roy selmon is a great person,player and etc.I had a chance to meet him when I was in Tampa, may god give him a speedey recover
  • avatar

    None of these cuts are a surprise to me, there might be to much animosity to keep Tyron Mckenzie behind Fostor and I believe the coaches probably feel like he gave up just because of his statements after they decided to let Fostor have some first team reps. Mckenzie is a good LB and will find a home some where, I wish him the best of luck. Unless one of the rookie RBs really comes on this year, I hope the bucs have their eyes set on a 1st or 2nd round RB (Richardson out of Alabama) out of next years draft that can really provide us with a dynamic running tandem . Could you imagine Blount and Richardson out of the same backfield!
  • avatar

    In another post I offered that there is always a surprise cut and predicted this season it would be LB Tyrone McKenzie. It just seemed odd to me that Mason Foster was immediately handed the starter's role coupled with Coach Morris often mentioning undrafted rookie Derrel Smith as "in the mix." Who knows what goes on behind the scenes during player evaluations.
  • avatar

    mac sealed his fate when he told reporters foster was handed the job much like Trueblood was....which killed off all incentive for Lee who just can't get focused......i'd have trouble too if a guy I beat out last year was making 4 times as much as me but wasn't as good.
  • avatar

    Not surprised by these cuts I was hghly disappointed in McKenzie as PR was raving about him all off season, I never liked Moore when we drafted him and McCargo sucks we don't need another Ryan Sims thx.
  • avatar

    McKenize played his butt off. He was all over the field. I am very surprised by this move but i understand we must have the best 53 man roster possible. Even if u are home grown and played 4 our local university,u dont have a chance if u dont bring it. Good luck McKenize.
  • avatar

    Lee Roy is gone! latest sources say tha our biggest Buc is gone! None responsive. Just in shock!
  • avatar

    Wow! Lee Roy Selmon stroke and in serious condition. Wasn't responsive at first. Family rushing to him. So Sad.
  • avatar

    Not to worried about the McKenzie release. I mean I thought he might of been good like everyone else but he didnt really pop out in preseason. I think it was more of him getting over hyped up by Pewter report, tbo, stpetetimes, more than anything.
  • avatar

    In training camp we heard through PR that Mckinzie dropped at least two easy INT's. He was also report to be stiffer in the hips. According to Morris this defense is about scoring and getting the ball back. Having McKinzie on the field apparently is not going to lead to turnovers in the eyes of Morris. Who knows how many more passes or FF opportunities McKinzie missed when we couldn't see it. It's still a shame though since he worked so hard this offseason to build team comradery. I'm sure no one is more shocked than he is.
  • avatar

    I was surprised by McKenzie release. But at lease we saw our best alternative at back-up running back on the field last night...his name is Evan Royster...hopefully the Redskins will cut him & the Bucs can get him.
  • avatar

    Also the Bucs may be looking at other released players to fill spots they call this their second draft. They like Mario Harvey coming out of Marshall but he signed with PIT but was also released today so they may pick him up as a better fit than Mackinzie
  • avatar

    Like everyone else I'm surprised about McKenzie. Of the MLB's I thought he was the most polished player and expected he would be a good bak-up for Foster. But that's why I'm posting comments to PR and Raheem is coaching the Bucs! I really have been impressed with Johnson, would like to see him make the team, but will yield to the power at One Buc!!!
  • avatar

    I too had high hopes for T MAC but never really saw anything in 4 games that showed me he should be the starter. Even reading the camp reports you never read anything about him being special. But I do recall hearing alot about Foster and Smith. Foster is going to turn into a great MLB for this team and will only get better playing on Sundays along with an improving d-line.
  • avatar

    Moore seems to be coming on... but he has had his playing time and it is simply too late with the Clayborne, Bowers, Crowder, and the emergence of Bennett and possibly Johnson. McKenzie is surpise. Looks like Hayes, Foster, Black and Watson will be seeing alot of playing time with Hayward as a backup and possibly Smith making the team. ------- of course they still have to scour the waiver wire for other players who were cut, they might have someone (or 2) in their sights.
  • avatar

    ....although they do have Hayward to back up Foster.
  • avatar

    I'm surprised about McKenzie. I guess they feel good enough about Foster that they won't carry a good back up.
  • avatar

    The Mckenzie release is unexpected, but maybe they saw the same things Bellichick saw at NE. Kyle Moore just ran out of chances. When someone takes your number (94) and gives it to annother player without telling you (Clayborn), that's telling!
  • avatar

  • avatar

    I am surprised, McKenzie looked good in the 4th game, and I worry that foster will need 1-2 years to really handle to MLB spot. We don't have the kind of depth to go discarding competent players. We will see...we are due to make another personnel mistake, we hit on a number of guys, and no one bats 1000.
  • avatar

    Very surprised by the Mckenzie cut.. Hope to get more information on that one...
  • avatar

    I had high hopes for McKenzie. I do agree with morgan thought.
  • avatar

    Thought Moore might be a great player along side McCoy and Miller - sorry to see him go, but Coach Morris knows what he's doing.
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