Bucs Play Sloppy as Cuts Loom

Raymond James Stadium was rocking hours before game time, and the electricity transferred to the players on the field. The Bucs were noticeably pumped up when they took the field Saturday night, but the extra emotion led to sloppy play that has left some hopefuls with little chance of making the team.

The game started out like last year's Super Bowl with Brad Johnson throwing a terrible interception to Charles Woodson impersonator Kiwaukee Thomas. The offense continued to struggle against the revamped Jaguars defense throughout the night, but the real drama in this game was seeing who was going to make their final charge up the depth chart before the axe drops this week.

The one bright spot on offense for Tampa Bay was the play of Thomas Jones who had 57 yards on 7 carries to lead all rushers for the second week in a row. Jones showed the fans he has the versatility that has been in question since he arrived in camp. He was smooth out of the backfield hauling in 4 passes for 21 yards, but he also delivered the most exciting play of the night when he ran a kickoff back 44 yards. Not to be completely out done, starter Michael Pittman was shut down on the ground, but looked great out of the backfield catching 4 passes for 35 yards. The way the two men are playing right now it would appear that Pittman is playing himself into a third down back type of role while Jones is making his case to be the starter.

Last night was the end for Buccaneers wide receiver Jacquez Green. Even Florida fans could not give a good reason for keeping Green after watching Saturday's tilt. He needed to be great and he did anything but. His drop in the third quarter inspired a fan in section 313 to take off his #81 jersey in disgust. Jones' return coupled with the inspired play of Aaron Stecker on offense and special teams proved to everyone that Green is obsolete as a return man and needs to be let go.

The tight end situation became a little clearer when Todd Yoder replaced the injured Ken Dilger without a hitch. Leaving the mop up time to rookie Will Heller, who did not make the best of his opportunity dropping a Chris Simms pass late in the fourth quarter. The NFL has had a steady influx of good tight ends over the last three seasons so the talent pool is large enough that it is reasonable to think that Heller could make it to the practice squad.

Charles Lee and Fabian Davis are a different story. They were not incorporated into the offense to keep them off of the radar of the teams looking to feast on the choice cuts the Bucs are going to have to make. However, the secret is out and Fabian Davis will not make it to the practice squad without being picked up by someone else.

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