Given a day to dry off and watch tape of the Bucs' 20-13 loss to the Redskins in Wednesday's soggy preseason finale, coach Dirk Koetter still saw too many self-inflicted wounds in Tampa Bay's struggles in a steady rain.
"The one thing that showed up is offensively, again, we just didn't do a good job taking care of the football," said Koetter, whose team had more fumbles -- five, though they recovered them all -- than it did first downs (2) in the first half. "I had us with nine dropped passes and the ball was just on the ground too much. And then, in the run game, it was like every play we had one guy who totally whiffed. We had some plays that were well-blocked and one guy totally whiffed. Then on the defensive side, just how many times we had somebody in the wrong gap and we just missed too many tackles."
Washington finished with 245 rushing yards, which wasn't the kind of performance that backup players want on tape just days before the NFL makes its final cuts from 75 players to 53. Koetter said despite the Bucs playing a day earlier than the rest of the league, they'll wait until Saturday's afternoon deadline to announce their cuts, so as not to give other team an early opportunity to evaluate the players they're cutting loose.
Asked to identify even some players on the bubble who helped themselves Wednesday, Koetter politely declined.
"Yeah, I could, but again, I'm not going to at this time, just because that's all coming in the next (48) hours," he said. "We're just going to follow the protocol of announcing our roster moves (Saturday). You'll figure out when you see it."
Koetter did say that draft pick Devante Bond, who missed a second straight game with a hamstring injury, has shown enough to coaches to secure a spot among the team's backup linebackers. Bond said Tuesday he was confident he'd be able to return healthy for next week's season opener at Atlanta.
The Bucs need to cut 22 players to get to 53, and took their first steps Thursday, releasing veteran defensive tackle Cliff Matthews, who had started in Wednesday's game, as well as safety Kimario McFadden. The Bucs had waived McFadden on Sunday, then brought him back for Wednesday's game to help their depth in the game, and he stepped up with three tackles, including a sack, but it wasn't enough to avoid being cut again Thursday.