Donteea Dye making case to stick with Bucs as cuts approach
The Bucs' fourth and fifth receiver jobs remain largely up for grabs with two preseason games remaining, but Donteea Dye, holding down the kickoff return job and making plays on offense, is making a case to stick around through final cuts.
"He's battling. You can see not only his work at wide receiver, but he's doing good things on special teams," coach Dirk Koetter said after Wednesday's practice. "When you're talking about your fourth and fifth wideouts, they have to play on special teams as well. He's making a good case."
Dye missed the Bucs' final cuts last year as an undrafted rookie out of Division III Heidelberg, but made it to the practice squad and after injuries was promoted to the 53-man roster. He caught his first pass in Week 7 and finished with 11 catches for 132 yards, including a touchdown against the Redskins.
Dye has gotten the first look on kickoff returns since the Jaguars game, with rookie safety Ryan Smith next on the list. The Bucs had only one kickoff return against the Jaguars, but Dye took it out 31 yards to the 32.
In Wednesday's practice, Dye stood out during two-minute work as part of the No. 2 offense. Mike Glennon connected on Dye on four straight passes, taking the offense inside the 10, though the drive stalled there due to a rash of penalties.
Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson are entrenched as starters, and Koetter has said another second-year undrafted player, Adam Humphries, will be the team's No. 3 receiver. Dye is competing against special-teams standout Russell Shepard, as well as other young receivers like Evan Spencer. Louis Murphy has yet to practice due to a knee injury and could open the year on the physically unable to play list, which would sideline him for the first five games.