The Buccaneers got to visit Miami yesterday, and the backups took the spotlight for their most important night of the preseason. It’s nice that Tampa Bay walked out with the win, but it’s the performance of the depth players that took center stage. Let’s take a brief look at how things went so we can finally exit the preseason.
Lovie loves the takeaways. While most of the starters didn’t see the field, the defense still stepped up exactly as they needed to. Keith Tandy, fighting for a spot at safety, made his impact felt on defense with a pair of interceptions. Most importantly, Tandy’s fumble recovery on a punt return also gave a positive moment to a mostly negative special teams unit.
Welcome to the Bay, Brindza. It seems like the best thing Tim Wright has ever done for Tampa Bay is leave. For the second year, Wright was trade fodder. Last year, he was bait to trade for veteran Logan Mankins from the Patriots. This year, Wright was used to acquire Detroit’s undrafted free agent kicker Kyle Brindza. With Connor Barth yet to prove reliability and Patrick Murray injured, Brindza had his time to shine. He damn sure took it, including making two 55+ yard field goals last night.
These kids can catch. With a heated battle for spots at wide receiver, Adam Humphries and Rannell Hall both made strong claims to survive the final cuts. They’ve got staunch competition, and it’s unclear if the draft status of Clay and Bell will actually assist them in making the roster. One would hope it remains on skill, but we won’t know until the roster is finalized.
Another four bite the dust? God, I certainly hope not. While it’s hard to tell severity, especially with tight-lipped Lovie at the helm, there were four players that went down with potential injuries throughout the game. Being held out for the rest of the game doesn’t mean as much in this context, as even an insignificant bump would be enough to pull from a final preseason game. TJ Fatinukum suffered a shoulder injury, Garrett Gilkey a left knee injury, Larry English a left knee injury, and Da’Quan Bowers a leg injury.
The preseason has finally wrapped up, and hopefully many of these potential injuries turn out to be less severe than they appear. Preseason is the time for caution, so many of them could be insignificant. We’ve seen the strengths and flaws of the Buccaneers, and hopefully there are plenty of hidden strengths once Dirk Koetter pulls back the veil of his offense. It’s almost time for real football, and the focus all goes to Tennessee. Will the Bucs #SiegeTheDay against the Titans on September 13th?