So typically in this piece we give you some key anecdotes for the game, some obscure stat you might not be aware of or something that you should watch out for in this Bucs-Jaguars showdown. Well, it’s week 4 of the pre-season and we pretty much got nothin’.
So here are some things to watch out for during Thursday night’s scrub fest.
Ending the Pre-season With a Winning Record
The Bucs have an opportunity to have their first winning pre-season since 2008, at 3-1. Now, of course, pre-season records don’t matter, as we mentioned last week, only one team with a 3-1 or better record in the pre-season in 2017 made the playoffs. Still, you’d like to end on a positive, even if this last one is by guys who will be looking for work by Saturday.
We all know the Bucs should be 3-0 heading into this game, but they’re not and it is what it is. If they lose tonight, it doesn’t mean they’re going into the pre-season in a slump. It just means that they can’t get these guys off their roster fast enough.
The 5th and 6th Wide Receiver Slots
It looked for all intents and purposes that Justin Watson and Sergio Bailey were going to be your five and six. Watson still looking really good, but thanks to Bailey’s unfortunate injury, six (if there is a sixth wide receiver kept) is wide open (no pun intended). Bernard Reedy, Bobo Wilson, Freddie Martino and newcomer Dontae Dye all have their shot if they play well in this one. Of course, considering Austin Allen will likely be the quarterback throwing to them, it might not be much of one.
Spence played in the second half with the 2nd and 3rd units. It was a shock to see him out there, and a bigger shock to see him struggling against 3rd string offensive linemen. Spence is a mystery right now and you have to wonder if we’ve gotten to a point where this is a “Looks Like Tarzan, plays like Jane” type scenario. According to our friends at Pewter Report, Bucs d-line coach Brentson Buckner believes Spence’s biggest problem is he enters without a game plan to attack the offensive lineman he’s facing.
The Bucs hope the light turns on and if he’s playing in this game, Spence may be fighting for his roster spot.
3rd and 4th Running Back
Tampa Bay’s running game has been nothing to write home about this pre-season, but both rookie UDFA’s Shaun Wilson and Dare Ogunbowale have had their moments. They’re competing with Jacquizz Rodgers and Ronald Jones, Jr. for the final two running back slots. Jones is making the team. You don’t cut high 2nd round picks after one bad pre-season. Rodgers is likely your number 2 back as he is a veteran and has the trust of the coaching staff.
That leaves one spot for Wilson and Ogunbowale to fight it out. I think Wilson is the keeper here and Ogunbowale has a good shot at the practice squad if he chooses to join it.