By Bucs Nation
In the final game of the preseason, very few starters will play. Raheem Morris has already said that none of his defensive starters will appear in the game. If I were him I'd give Mason Foster some extra reps, he will need them. I assume that the offensive starters will also sit out most if not all of the game. As happens every year, the fourth game will be when the second- and third-stringers get to make their case for the roster. I'll be looking at some of those position leading up to Thursday's game.
At wide receiver, four Bucs are guaranteed to make the roster: Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn, Dezmon Briscoe and Sammie Stroughter. All four of these players have shown enough this preseason and in previous years to make the roster, although Briscoe has been conspicuously absent these past two games.
That means the Bucs have four wide receivers with a roster spot, and that leaves only two or maybe just one more spot for extra wide receivers. In my latest roster projection I projected the Bucs to keep just five wide receivers.
The candidates for those spots are Micheal Spurlock, Preston Parker, Ed Gant and Maurice Price. Of those three, I think Micheal Spurlock has the best shot at making the roster. He has shown in the past that he can at least play, and his versatility as a kick returner and possible third quarterback make him a lot more valuable than the other three players.
Preston Parker is somewhat similar to Sammie Stroughter, and in that sense his role will be different from Micheal Spurlock. If the Bucs keep him it's because they either want a backup to Stroughter, or have a clear role in mind for him. The fact that he can also return kicks and punts will help him stick, but ultimately I think he loses out.
Ed Gant and Maurice Price are the final two players. Both of these guys are bigger receivers who should play on the outside, but neither has shown much this preseason. Gant supposedly had a great training camp, but he has just a handful of catches in games so far and hasn't looked special. Maurice Price nearly had a spectacular catch against the Dolphins, but failed to get his foot bounds. Either player will have to really prove they're worth a roster spot in this final game, and show up on special teams to make the team.