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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Tonight: Stephen Holder blogs from Bucs-Redskins



rsz_3100649.jpgJoin Times beat reporter Stephen F. Holder at 7 p.m. as he blogs live from FedEx Field in Washington. Stephen will share his thoughts and observations throughout the Bucs' preseason finale. We invite you to share your thoughts in the "Comments'' area below.


I'm here at FedEx Field awaiting kickoff of the Bucs' preseason finale against the Redskins. It should be an uneventful night as far as the Bucs' key players are concerned, but it's not at all a leisurely time for players trying to make this team.

Let's pay particular attention to some of the guys on the bubble tonight.


*The Bucs trotted out an offensive starting lineup of all backups near as I could tell. Also, Tiquan Underwood was lined up deep on the opening kickoff. It ended up being a touchback, but I thought that was a notable move that I don't recall seeing before tonight.

*The starting offensive line for the Bucs Bradley Sowell (left tackle), Derek Hardman (left guard), Ted Larsen (center), Jamon Meredith (right guard) and Demar Dotson (right tackle).

*Kai Forbath is performing the kicking duties despite being a place kicker. He just hit his last attempt 53 yards. Interesting. This guy is someone to watch. He won't make this roster (Connor Barth is their man), but he made 51- and 55-yard kicks last week -- nothing to sneeze at.

*Keith Tandy is a fearless tackler. I don't know if he makes the roster, but the kid led the Bucs in tackles last week and he's at it again tonight with that last stop. His biggest problem is he's playing safety, and that's a pretty deep position. I'm very curious to see what happens with him.

*Bucs QB Brett Ratliff is killing his receivers' chances to make plays by holding onto the ball way too long. If you're trying to make this roster and you're relying on him to deliver the ball, you're in a bad place.

*CB Myron Lewis has made a couple of plays tonight. He is a not a lock to make the roster, but I think because of depth and the injury to E.J. Biggers, he sticks. He had a strong camp, but I have not seen that translate into games in the past couple of weeks.


*Ratliff continues to frustrate. Won't make the throws when they're there. He just took another sack.

*Considering some of these guys need to prove their worth on special teams to make the final roster, I'm surprised they continue to lose containment on punt returns. It's a recurring thing tonight.

*Notice, for what it's worth, that Cody Grimm is only now getting into the game, next to Sean Baker.

*Notice that Derek Hardman was just playing center. I have no idea whether he knows what he's doing. But, hey...

*Nice special-teams tackle by linebacker Jacob Cutrera just now. Don't be surprised if you hear he makes the cut on Friday. I think he's one of their top six linebackers. If they keep that many, I think he makes it.

*Jamon Meredith has no shot at upending Ted Larsen at right guard with the way he's played. He's had two false starts and was less than stellar on a couple of other plays. Larsen still looks like the best option to replace Davin Joseph.

*Myron Lewis started strong tonight, but he has faded fast. He just got flagged for pass interference. He's struggled in the past quarter or so against below average competition. This is not a good showing at all.


*Dezmon Briscoe just caught a 17-yard pass from Kirk Cousins for the Redskins, continuing to make a case to make the final roster. I spoke to former Bucs coach Raheem Morris about Briscoe before the game (he's on the Redskins staff now) and he said he's done a good job of catching on quickly. He's got a real shot to stick around it appears.

*I don't know what to make of the Tiquan Underwood situation. I think he's on the outside looking in right now. I'm starting to lean toward saying he gets cut. One caveat: I wonder what the coaches think of him as a potential kick returner. He's done some of that in his career and he did it tonight. Something to think about.

*I know what what you're thinkin: Who is Sean Baker. Well, he's the guy who has two interceptions tonight and has put a nice game on film. During training camp, Baker -- undrafted out of Ball State -- was a guy who often was around the ball, even if he was only playing with backups. He's a viable practice squad candidate in my opinion.

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 11:30pm]


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