Even with the roster cuts this week the Buccaneers still have several
players to go before reaching the 53-man NFL roster limit. With one
preseason game left Mark Cook takes a look at five offensive players
that could be on the bubble heading into the Redskins game.
With the final preseason game set for Wednesday night against the Redskins on the road, time is running out for several players to make their case for a roster spot.
PewterReport.com editor-in-chief Mark Cook takes a look at five players who he feels is on the bubble and will need a strong game against Washington in order to make the final 53-man roster.
Today Cook focuses on offense after addressing defensive side Tuesday.Wide Receiver Preston Parker
Parker has gone from training camp darling, to someone Buccaneers fans are debating whether if he should even make the roster. Parker looked like a solid lock to make the team a few weeks ago, but after two fumbles on punts in the first two preseason games, and a few in practices during camp, it is a possibility head coach Greg Schiano decides to go in a different direction. While much has been made of attention to detail so far under Schiano’s reign, ball security may be the single most important thing that the new head coach has preached throughout camp. Putting balls on the ground is simply unacceptable with this new staff and unfortunately for Parker, he has been guilty on more than one occasion. Parker has shown improvement as a receiver in the slot and probably has had the fewest drops of any of the receivers during all of the mini-camps, OTAs and training camp practices. But the former Nole has most likely seen his last days as a punt returner which makes him one dimensional and the question is, do you keep a roster spot for basically a third down receiver?Tight End Drake Dunsmore
Dunsmore hasn’t been terrible nor has he been terrific so far this preseason. With just two catches for nine yards through the first three exhibition games so far, Dunsmore, despite being part of Schiano’s first draft class (seventh round), could end up being a roster casualty without an impressive game
Wednesday in Washington. Other than Dallas Clark, Dunsmore may have the best hands of the tight end group, and is a precise route runner but lacks ideal blocking skills and finds himself behind Clark, Luke Stocker, and Zach Pianalto on the current depth chart. Dunsmore admitted on a conference the night he was drafted that he was rarely called on to block in the offensive system he played in at Northwestern. Dunsmore will need to shine tonight in order to make an impression and if not could be the only one of the team’s seven draft selections to not make the roster.
Wide Receiver Sammie Stroughter
Not a nicer guy can be found in the Buccaneers locker room, but unfortunately nice counts very little in the grand scheme of things when shaping an NFL roster. Stroughter was a surprise when he made the roster as a seventh round draft pick in 2009 and has shown glimpses of productivity during his career. The problem with Stroughter has been in the inability to stay healthy. Last season in the season opener against Detroit Stroughter broke a bone in his foot returning a kickoff, his second foot injury in three seasons. Another thing that hurts Stroughter’s chances of making the team is the emergence of Michael Smith as the Bucs’ primary kick returner through the preseason. Stroughter may get some return opportunities tonight at Washington, and must make the most of them to impress the staff. Running Back Mossis Madu
The Buccaneers coaching staff and even Josh Freeman has been high on Madu this offseason and through camp, but Madu could be a victim of a numbers game. With Doug Martin and LeGarrette Blount already locks to make the roster, and rookie Michael Smith looking close to a lock, Madu could be the odd man out. Unfortunately for the former Oklahoma Sooner the Buccaneers had to call him up from the practice squad last season due to injuries to Blount and Earnest Graham and by doing so burned up any practice squad eligibility. Depending on the number of backs or fullbacks the Buccaneers decide to keep, Madu may make the final cuts. One more thing to consider – if Tampa Bay enters the season with four running backs, it could possibly be a sign that Blount may be moved in a trade. If Madu is cut, you can bet the Buccaneers plan to keep Blount for the remainder of the season.Offensive Lineman Desmond Wynn
Wynn was a standout offensive lineman for Greg Schiano at Rutgers but as it has been repeated several times throughout the offseason, former players get no advantage in making the roster. Wynn has exceptional size and also provides some flexibility to play both guard and even tackle if pressed into action in an emergency. Wednesday night, Wynn will get the chance to showcase his guard play, and with the injury to Davin Joseph, it could be golden opportunity for the former Scarlet Knight to earn a roster spot. Even if he doesn’t make the 53-man roster, Wynn could be an ideal practice squad candidate.
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