By Greg Auman
TAMPA — Bernard Reedy had to wait until the fourth quarter of the final game to catch the Bucs' only touchdown pass of the preseason. On Saturday, the Lakewood High graduate pulled in another big one, grabbing the No. 5 receiver job and a spot on the 53-man roster.
Reedy, 25, beat out more experienced options for the final receiver spot — Josh Huff, Freddie Martino and Donteea Dye were all waived. It's the first time he has made an opening-week roster, having been among the Falcons' final cuts in 2014 and 2015, as well as the Bucs' last season.
Other big winners? Cameron Lynch, who came up with seven tackles and forced a fumble in Thursday's preseason game, earned a job as a backup linebacker and special teams player, a story line that should be a big part of Tuesday's final episode of Hard Knocks. Second-year DL Channing Ward got the 10th and final spot on the defensive line after he played 59 snaps Thursday, most of any defensive player, showing an ability to help at tackle or end.
Fifth-round pick Jeremy McNichols (right), the running back from Boise State, was cut as the team kept only three running backs on its initial roster. Like other young players waived, he could return on the team's practice squad if he clears waivers this morning.
As expected, undrafted rookie LB Riley Bullough, a popular star from Hard Knocks, was waived despite making plays late in preseason games.
The last cut was an interesting one, as veteran long snapper Garrison Sanborn (right) was released … for now. The team has an opening today once No. 3 QB Ryan Griffin goes on injured reserve, so it's presumed it will use the slot to sign a snapper, if not Sanborn himself.
It's not that unusual for a player to have a teleconference for media questions about making an NFL roster as an undrafted rookie. It's fairly unusual when the first half-hour is just questions in French.
Canadian TE Antony Auclair, who was not only born and raised in Quebec but played collegiately there at Laval, finished a strong training camp by making the Bucs' 53-man roster, making big headlines back home.
"It's really big right now for me," said Auclair, who was shown proudly singing O Canada when Bucs rookies had to sing on an episode of Hard Knocks. "I think people are really proud. Facebook is going crazy, and Instagram. For me, it's hard to realize what's going on, because I'm always focusing on the next day, the next game, the next practice."
Auclair, 6 feet 5 and 256 pounds, said he didn't sleep well after Thursday's preseason finale, with mistakes and missed opportunities tugging at his confidence. He was nervous Saturday morning when he was called into the office of coach Dirk Koetter (right).
"He started with, 'Congrats, you're making the team,' " said Auclair, who might be inactive early in the season as he continues to develop. "We went over what I had to correct and do better. He told me I have to prepare myself as if I was playing."
Contact Greg Auman at firstname.lastname@example.org and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.