The Bucs continue their final wave of cuts to get down to today's 53-man deadline, with rookie linebacker Riley Bullough, running back Jeremy Nichols and receivers Josh Huff and Donteea Dye among Saturday's early cuts.
Waiving Bullough -- breakout star of "Hard Knocks" for the past month -- was very much expected, with coaches discussing the possibility during the HBO show -- the question now is whether he'll be claimed by another NFL team or if he comes back to the Bucs on their practice squad. His cut bodes well for Cameron Lynch making the team after a strong preseason.
Another thing clear from "Hard Knocks" was McNichols' struggling to learn his playbook and earn coaches' trust in being able to pick up blocking assignments. Dirk Koetter, asked if he had seen improvement from McNichols in Thursday's preseason finale, couldn't even say that, answering that he had to check the game tape.
The biggest uncertainty might have been at No. 5 receiver, and the Bucs have eliminated two possibilities in Huff and Dye. That likely leaves it down to Freddie Martino and Lakewood's Bernard Reedy, who caught the team's only touchdown catch of the preseason on Thursday.
The battle for the last defensive line jobs has also taken shape -- with George Johnson cut Friday and DaVonte Lambert and Stevie Tu'ikolovatu placed on injured reserve, there were more moves Saturday: Tavaris Barnes and Sterling Bailey were waived, with Bailey expected to come back on the practice squad. That bodes well for Sealver Siliga and Channing Ward, now in position to have the final two defensive line jobs.
-- Tight end Austin Johnson was waived Saturday and could be back on the practice squad. That suggests both rookie Antony Auclair and second-year pro Alan Cross will make the team if they carry five tight ends as expected.
-- Offensive lineman Mike Liedtke was also waived Saturday, but is expected to return Sunday on the practice squad.
-- Rookie offensive tackle Korren Kirven from Alabama was also waived Saturday.
-- Second-year RB Russell Hansbrough, who was cut by the Bucs five times last season, has been waived.
-- Receiver Derel Walker, who had great success in the CFL, was waived, as was rookie Bobo Wilson of FSU, who had a 40-yard catch Thursday night.
-- Backup offensive lineman Jarvis Harrison, who worked as a second-team guard much of training camp, was waived.