Dirk Koetter and Jason Licht got the roster to 53 and will begin the process of putting the practice squad together.
For the first time, all of the 2018 Buccaneer draft picks made the roster including LB Jack Cichy who has not played competitively since his junior year of college as he missed his senior season rehabbing a torn ACL.
The Bucs took a chance in the sixth round with Cichy and he only got better and stronger in OTA’s and throughout training camp.
S Keith Tandy and DB Josh Robinson were mild surprises as they were cut loose by the Bucs. Tandy had one good stretch of games in the 2016 season when he had a string of games with a couple of key picks as the Bucs just miseed the playoffs that season.
Robinson was the special teams captain and contributed on the coverage teams. With the Bucs drafting 3 rookies in the 2018 draft you kind of new the writing was on the wall for some of these veterans.
Carlton Davis, MJ Stewart, and Jordan Whitehead all made the team as rookies. It’s risky to have 3 rookies in the defensive backfield, but they can’t be any worse than the results from the Bucs secondary last season.
Keep in mind the Bucs pass defense was last in the league in 2017. To fix that Jason Licht remade the DL bringing in Jason Pierre-Paul, Beau Allen, Vinny Curry and Mitch Unrein.
The Bucs also used the No 1 draft pick on Vita Vea the big DT from Washington. The philosophy is that with the new defensive lineman the Bucs brought in, more pressure will be applied to the QB, which will in turn cut down on the amount of time the Bucs DB’s will have to cover the receivers.
If Mike Smith continues to deploy his DB’s 10-15 yards off the line of scrimmage to prevent the long pass, the Bucs secondary will again not live up to its potential.
On the offensive side of the ball, mildly surprised that Bobo Wilson did not make the team. The Bucs opting for Freddie Martino instead as the team will go with 6 WR’s on the roster to start the season.
Channing Ward and Kendall Beckwith were put on the NFL Reserve list and miss at least 5 games. Linebackers Davonte Bond and Riley Bullough were place on IR.
It Will be a game time decision next week for OL Donavan Smith and DL Mitch Unrein. Unrein suffered a concussion early in camp and has not been able to practice much or participate in pre-season games. Smith is rehabbing a sprained knee.
Nice to see the undrafted rookie from Duke Shaun Wilson make the team. Wilson will bring a lot of juice to the return game and he will be a key cog in the wheel for this Bucs running game as the season goes along.
Look for our season preview and our game by game predictions Tuesday morning.