The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have wrapped up their 2022 preseason slate of games. In the finale, one veteran on offense looked sharp despite his absence early in camp.
With some final Buccaneers roster positions up for grabs in the team’s final preseason game, there was no one rookie or free agent that stood out on offense or special teams. Tampa Bay dropped a 27-10 decision to the Indianapolis Colts to finish the preseason winless at 0-3. Here are some highlights from the team’s loss:
Despite Missing Time, Buccaneers Quarterback Looks Great
Tom Brady and many starters saw their first preseason action, and Brady looked like he never left. He was sharp from the start. Although he played just one series, Brady completed 6/8 passes for 57 yards and took the Buccaneers 66 yards on the opening drive to get the team into field goal range. However, the offense stalled inside the ten-yard line and had to settle for a Ryan Succop 30-yard field goal, which gave the Buccaneers a 3-0 lead.
Brady felt good after his first action of the preseason, “It was good to get out there with the guys and see what we could do,” Brady said. “There’s a long way to go. Preseason’s over, and we’ve got to start putting it together for the regular season. It’s going to be a big challenge for us.”
The Buccaneers have one of the most demanding schedules to start the season. They open up in Dallas on Sunday night, September 11. That will be followed by a trip to Carolina before home games with Green Bay and Kansas City.
Open Buccaneers Roster Spots Remain Up For Grabs
With at least two roster spots up for grabs at receiver, neither Kaylon Geiger, Jerreth Stearns, or Devin Tompkins stood out offensively or in the return game, and no one impressed Todd Bowles.
Running Back Ke’shawn Vaughn had another excellent performance. Vaughn ran the ball nine times for 36 yards. He has averaged four and a half yards per carry in the last two games, and no doubt locked up the number two running back spot behind the rookie Rachaad White.
The rookie linebacker Okalane Fatukasi had another strong outing as he had five tackles against the Colts. Fatukasi has done enough this preseason to earn a roster spot. Another positive development was the play of Buccaneers backup quarterback, Kyle Trask. Coming off a performance he would rather forget, Trask rebounded nicely against the Colts, completing 7/10 passes for 94 yards.
Trask improved in almost all aspects of his game. He showed good command of the offense, made some excellent throws, and had good poise in the pocket. Trask still has some things to work on with his mechanics, but overall I think he has done enough this preseason to get a chance at the starting quarterback position when Tom Brady moves on.
Some players may have worked their way off this football team by their performance. Wide receiver Scotty Miller continues to struggle as he dropped two balls that hit him right in the hands. Miller has struggled all preseason, and Saturday night’s performance may have been the final nail in the coffin for Scotty Miller.
It would seem that kicker Ryan Succop has won the kicker job over Jose Borregales. Succop made his two field attempts this preseason, while Borregales went one for three. Succop made a 30-yard field goal and an extra point, while Borregales missed a 52-yard attempt against the Colts. When asked if Succop had won the job, Bowles said, “I haven’t discussed it yet, but probably.”
So now we wait for the roster to be trimmed to 53. The Bucs must cut 27 players from the roster on Tuesday by 4 PM. Then, on Thursday, teams can begin signing players to the practice squad.
The Buccaneers will now begin preparations for the season opener on September 11. Tampa Bay, like last season, will open up against the Cowboys.