Morris says cuts will be difficult; team may keep as many as six WRs
Raheem Morris said the Bucs will face some tough decisions in order to cut their roster from 75 to 53 players by Saturday's deadline.
In fact, the team may decide to keep as many as six receivers and he expects a few more to find work with other NFL teams.
"Today is the tough day and we've got to make decisions here in a bit,'' Morris said. "But it's a positive thing that the cuts and the roster moves will be difficult. That means we're getting better, we're going in the right direction. There will be some guys off this 75-man roster that will make other teams or participate somewhere else in the National Football League. That's kind of what we've been selling to the bunch of young men that we have and the bunch of guys we've brought in here.''
Offensive coordinator Greg Olson and special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia will have a big voice in the cuts. But the strategy will be to keep as many good players as possible, regardless of position. Obviously, there are some limitations. But the Bucs might go heavy at receiver, where Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn, Sammie Stroughter and Maurice Stovall are probably locks to make the team. But the Bucs also like rookie free agent Preston Parker, who covers kicks and has been their No. 1 kickoff return man in the preseaon.
That leaves Michael Clayton and Reggie Brown on the bubble -- at best.
"Generally, you know it's in the five or six range,'' Morris said. "If you ask the offensive coordinator, he wants eight. It's always good to go up there and crunch those numbers and get as many good football players on your team as you can. But it's usually around five or six. If you go over that, you've really got a strong group and feel good about them. we're close to that. We're close to that if not there.
"That's what I've been trying to sell myself. Keep the 53 most physical football players. You sell that to yourself. You can't let numbers completely get out of whack because you get into trouble and start to run out of players then you get into those injuries issues and have to bring people in quickly and trade them.''
Another deep position is safety, where Tanard Jackson, Sean Jones and Sabby Piscitelli are probably locks. But the Bucs really like seventh-round pick Cody Grimm and veteran Corey Lynch took a step toward making the team with two interceptions Thursday at Houston.
"Corey has had a good preseason,'' Morris said. "That first game, he could've walked away as the player of the game that week and last night, he cashed in his opportunities. So that just shows signs of him getting better.''