TAMPA — Just when it looked as if the Bucs would go an entire preseason without a touchdown pass, Bernard Reedy pulled one in with 3:06 left in Thursday's finale against Washington.
The former Lakewood High standout's 10-yard catch from rookie Sefo Liufau pulled the Bucs within 13-10 after they had gone two games without a touchdown. For Reedy, it was a chance to help his case to stick as the Bucs' No. 5 receiver after what was a quiet night for the three best candidates.
If it sounds familiar, Reedy caught a TD pass in the fourth quarter of the final preseason game last year. He still was among the final cuts.
He'll find out by 4 p.m. Saturday if he's the No. 5 receiver or if it's Josh Huff, Freddie Martino or Donteea Dye.
The Bucs were the last NFL team to get a preseason touchdown pass.
Bucs RB Peyton Barber got the start Thursday and opened strong, getting 10 and 9 yards on his first two carries. He had 29 yards on five carries in the Bucs' first eight plays, but the team had only 17 offensive plays in the first half, so he got only one more carry the rest of the half.
Barber was able to convert a fourth and 1 and is now 3-for-3 on fourth-and-1 plays in preseason.
The Bucs stopped Washington on fourth and 1 at the 24-yard line to stop a 64-yard drive without any points. The key stop on third and 1 came from DL Mehdi Abdesmad, who joined the team just three days earlier, signed for depth on Monday morning.
Abdesmad came up with another play in the third quarter, jumping on a loose ball after a fumble for the defense's first takeaway. Abdesmad, who played at Boston College, was born in Montreal, and there was another Canadian tie for the Bucs: rookie TE Antony Auclair, also from Quebec, had a 5-yard catch.
With Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander getting the night off, the Bucs had a productive game from primary linebackers Adarius Glanton and Cameron Lynch. Glanton had nine tackles five minutes into the second half, and Lynch had seven and forced a fumble in the third quarter.
With rookie Riley Bullough not playing in the first half, it would appear Lynch has made the roster as a backup, along with Glanton.
The Bucs held out 37 players, with all but a few healthy scratches, hoping to avoid any injuries in the final week of preseason. That included all 22 projected starters on offense and defense. Most telling healthy scratch? DE Ryan Russell, who appears to have made the 53-man roster as the fourth defensive end.
They said it
"As much as I like this team on the verge, I think the coaching staff is going to present a ceiling for this team. That's just my gut feeling: They might limit how far this team can go."
Fox Sports One's Skip Bayless, talking about the Bucs and coach Dirk Koetter on Wednesday
Contact Greg Auman at email@example.com and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.