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August 16, 2012 @ 11:46 pm
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Bucs Training Camp Sliders: Who Hasn't Lived Up To Expectations

Written by Dory
Dory LeBlanc


Beat Writer E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
With the Bucs training camp wrapped, head coach Greg Schiano should have a clearer picture of who will wear the Pewter and Red in 2012. Unfortunately, some players haven't aided their cause after entering camp with solid chances of being heavy participants this season. 
Now that training camp has come to an end, a few players had less-than-stellar performances during the 14 practices of camp, including the preseason opener against Miami last Friday.  We at PewterReport.com aren’t saying the following players won’t make the 53-man roster, but we are saying they haven’t done anything to help themselves either.

The roster will be cut August 27th, by 4:00 pm to 75 while having 15 or less players on the active, inactive, practice squad, and exempt lists, and the following reserve lists: injured, physically unable to perform, non-football illness, non-football injury, suspended (for less than one year), future, drafted-unsigned, exclusive rights, first refusal rights, unrestricted free agents with an individually negotiated right of first refusal, franchise, and transition. Final cuts will be on August 31st by 9:00 pm as the Bucs reduce the 75 to a 53-man active/inactive roster allowing them to have 37 or less members of the other above lists.

With two weeks until final cuts, these players need strong showings at practice and the next two preseason games to guarantee they remain a Buccaneer for the 2012 season.

Mossis Madu
Last year after the lockout ended Madu signed with the Bucs as an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma and worked his way onto the active roster after then-running back Earnest Graham was injured and lost for the season in October. Madu ran 15 times for 55 yards and caught 10 passes for 72 yards last season in nine games and started off training camp strong. As time went on and reps increased, so did Madu’s deficiencies. He struggled with ball security and pass protection in practice – two keys to head coach Greg Schiano’s run-first offense. With the emergence of Michael Smith in last Friday’s preseason opener as a viable return specialist, Madu’s value may be on the decline.

Preston Parker
Parker began training camp as one of the most productive receivers in the corps, but like Madu, began to struggle towards the end and against the Dolphins. Not only did Parker get a 15-yard personal foul in Miami, he muffed a punt return as well. When practice resumed at One Buc a few days later, Parker fumbled a punt once again and began dropping catchable passes in the slot. The last two days of camp, Parker’s reps in the special team drills began to diminish as Smith, Tiquan Underwood, and Sammie Stroughter were handling the return duties. Parker needs a major 180 the next two weeks or his stock may continue to slip.

Zack Pianalto
Pianalto looked like an easy lock for the third tight end spot on the roster early on, but started to show signs that he is not the complete TE he was once thought to be. With Luke Stocker on the sidelines Tuesday and Wednesday, Pianalto had a chance to solidify his place on the final roster, but struggled in blocking, leaving Stocker as the only true blocking tight end on the 90-man roster. Like Parker, Pianalto needs to rebound the next few weeks as the flashier Collin Franklin and rookie Drake Dunsmore have improved their blocking skillset and are reliable receivers hot on Pianalto’s heels.

Myron Lewis
Last season Lewis drew fire from Bucs fans everywhere after registering four tackles in 10 games. The 2010 third round draft out of Vanderbilt looked like he was a changed cornerback at the start of camp, covering decently and making “tackles”, but come last Friday against Miami, Lewis reverted to his old ways. Lewis seems to get lost in assignments and can’t make adjustments necessary for an NFL corner. Lewis also appeared to be afraid of contact, not what you want to hear about your 6-2 203 pound cornerback. Like all the players on this list, Lewis needs to decide what kind of CB he wants to be – a confident tackler who is able to cover receivers, or an unemployed one.  
Last modified on Friday, 17 August 2012 09:08

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    Outstanding read Dory. Parker had been one I've been watching, buy it appears he should be watching.
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    I would be shocked if they keep Lewis even through the first cuts. When the dinner bell rings it means he's done!
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    Nice article. A few other guys may not be sliders, but they seem to have been kind of quiet. I get a sense that Tandy and Goode have been under the radar, which isn't a good thing in camp. Okoye and Barron are hurt, so I suppose they can't really slide, but it's been disappointing. Hopefully, we'll see Barron tonight. Grimm is a candidate for a slider.
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    "Like all the players on this list, Lewis needs to decide what kind of CB he wants to be – a confident tackler who is able to cover receivers, or an unemployed one." - I'm not gonna lie, that was funny.
  • avatar

    Way to go Dory. Tell it like it is! Thanks for the update.
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    Good reading. Go Bucs!
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