Saturday, September 5, 2009

Buccaneer 53 Man Roster Prediction

With the cutdown deadline being 4:00 PM Saturday, here's how I think the Bucs 53 man roster will shake out:

Of the 53 allotted roster spots, I can safely (I think) say that 45 of them will be occupied by the following:

Byron Leftwich
Luke McCown
Josh Johnson
Josh Freeman

BJ Askew

Derrick Ward
Earnest Graham
Carnell Williams
Clifton Smith

Antonio Bryant
Michael Clayton
Brian Clark
Maurice Stovall
Sammie Stroughter

Kellen Winslow
Jerramy Stevens
John Gilmore

Donald Penn
Jeremy Zuttah
Jeff Faine
Davin Joseph
Jeremy Trueblood
Xavier Fulton

Gaines Adams
Jimmy Wilkerson
Stylez G. White
Kyle Moore
Ryan Sims
Chris Hovan
Roy Miller
Dre Moore

Quincy Black
Barrett Ruud
Geno Hayes
Rod Wilson
Adam Hayward

Aqib Talib
Ronde Barber
Elbert Mack

Sabby Piscitelli
Jermaine Phillips
Will Allen

Andrew Economos
Mike Nugent
Dirk Johnson

So far, here are the roster numbers:
QB (4)
RB (4)
FB (1)
WR (5)
OL (6)
DL (8)
LB (5)
CB (3)
S (3)
ST (3)

That leaves 8 open spots not counting Tanard Jackson or Aaron Sears. The candidates?

Jameel Cook
Mario Urrutia
Cortez Hankton
Demar Dotson
Marcus Johnson
Rob Bruggeman
Marc Dile
Anthony Alabi
James Lee
Ryan Purvis
Kyle Arrington
EJ Biggers
Torrie Cox
Louis Holmes
Chris Bradwell
Niko Koutouvides
Matt McCoy
Bo Ruud
Steve Cargile
Donte Nicholson

How to utilize those remaining 8 spots?

I’ve got Talib, Barber and Mack at corner. We’re probably keeping two more, and from this group, I’d say Arrington and Biggers will get the shot. Cox’s inability to separate from the rookies gives them another reason to go younger.

Down to 6 left.

I think it’s a safe bet to say they’ll go with four safeties, so either Nicholson or Cargile looks to get the job. Cargile has had the better preseason, albeit in limited action, but Nicholson has the familiarity factor working for him. Either way, it’s another roster spot accounted for. I say Cargile, but they’ll probably keep Nicholson.

5 remaining.

At this point, I think we’re “set” at QB, RB, TE, CB, S, and ST. That leaves FB, WR, OL, DL, and LB fighting for those final five spots. Purvis was in the list above, but I can’t see them keeping 4 TE with the shape of other positions on the roster being what they are.

Let’s bring out the candidates again and try to trim this list down some more.

Jameel Cook
Mario Urrutia
Cortez Hankton
Demar Dotson
Marcus Johnson
Rob Bruggeman
Marc Dile
Anthony Alabi
James Lee
Louis Holmes
Chris Bradwell
Niko Koutouvides
Matt McCoy
Bo Ruud

Looking at the OL, we’ve got Fulton as a backup tackle. We’ll need at least two more reserves, and the more versatile they are, the better. It appears as if Dotson is ahead of Lee at this point, and he can play either tackle or guard. I doubt they’d keep Lee as well, so you’ve got to think that Rob Bruggeman will get the job as Faine’s backup. I don’t think Dile can play center, and I doubt they’re counting on Zuttah to move over from guard. So unless Mahan is brought back, I’ll say Bruggeman gets a roster spot, and from Dotson, Lee, Alabi, and Dile, I’ll go with Dotson.

3 spots left for WR, FB, DL, LB.

Jameel Cook
Mario Urrutia
Louis Holmes
Chris Bradwell
Niko Koutouvides
Matt McCoy
Bo Ruud

I think Holmes would have the edge over Bradwell, and I could be wrong, but I’d give the edge to Koutouvides over McCoy or Barrett’s bro. My second choice would be Bo, not McCoy. Niko is (or at least used to be) the better special teamer of the LBs in question, but will that be the deciding factor? I think it’s either Urrutia or Cook, not both, and maybe not either. Who are my picks?

Mario Urrutia
Louis Holmes
Niko Koutouvides

You could make a case that both Cook (2nd FB) and Urrutia (6th WR) would be overkill at this point. As I’ve said before, I’ve been a fan of Urrutia, and given our significant questions at the position, he’s surely worth a shot. Cook is a fine STer, but with 5 guys in a crowded backfield, is there room/need for a second FB considering Graham can handle the lead blocking role if necessary? I’ll say Urrutia, but like the Cargile/Nicholson debate, I wouldn’t be surprised if they went the other way.

I’ve really liked the hustle and athleticism from Holmes this preseason. I could be wrong about him making the roster, but I’d like to think the Bucs want to hold onto him. No, he’s not ready to start or be a huge part of the game plan, but with productive pass rushers being hard to find (especially for the Bucs), wouldn’t it make sense to hold onto a guy that shows a lot of promise? Practice squad worst case scenario.

Based on preseason play, Koutouvides probably doesn’t really deserve a spot, but I don’t see us keeping just 5 LBs and am not confident enough to select Ruud over him.

So that gives us a roster of:
QB (4): Leftwich…McCown…Johnson…Freeman
RB (4): Ward…Graham…Williams…C Smith
FB (1): Askew
WR (6): Bryant…Clayton…Clark…Stovall…Stroughter…Urrutia
TE (3): Winslow…Stevens…Gilmore
OL (8): Penn…Zuttah…Faine…Joseph…Trueblood…Fulton…Dotson…Bruggeman
DL (9): Adams…Wilkerson…White…K Moore…Hovan…Sims…Miller…D Moore…Holmes
LB (6): Black…Ruud…Hayes…Wilson…Hayward…Koutouvides
CB (5): Talib…Barber…Mack…Arrington…Biggers
S (4): Phillips…Piscitelli…Allen…Cargile
ST (3): Nugent…Johnson…Economos

I may be off a couple spots, but I think this will be pretty close to what we get. Leaving Cook off the roster and Koutouvides on are the ones I’m least confident in. No, it’s not a Super Bowl roster, but there are a bunch of young guys in this group who hopefully show signs of being part of a future contender in Tampa.


  1. What position(s) do you think they go after off of the waiver wire? I suppose the obvious choices are a verstile o-lineman and a defensive back, but with this crew you never know.

    If I were Luke Mccown I wouldn't be very upset if I were traded.


  2. I missed on Ruud and Holmes. I was sure that if a DE showed any burst at all getting to the passer he would be on the 53. And exactly who is supposed to back up Faine?

    Todays POLM(prediction of little merit)Josh Johnson in the wildcat for at least 3 snaps against dallas.