Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Preseason Has Been Sub-Standard

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IAugust 29, 2012

Michael Bennett has had a productive preseason.
Michael Bennett has had a productive preseason.

Let's be frank and honest about this one.

This Tampa Bay Buccaneer preseason hasn't exactly knocked anyone's socks off.

It got off to a horrible start before anyone reported. Da'Quan Bowers, who many hoped would be a rising star, is mending a torn Achilles tendon. He never made it to camp.

Arrelious Benn, another would-be rising star, has fallen into the training room with a sprained MCL to start camp—we haven't seen him and we don't know what's up with this former second round draft pick.

E.J. Biggers hit the quinella in a collision with Benn—sprained Benn's knee, broke his own foot.

Gerald McCoy became Gerald-dingy when he got "dinged" pretty good early in last week's third game against New England.

Same for Adrian Clayborn, who dinged his arm.

Mason Foster hasn't practiced lately, it's a hammy, you know, hamstring. Those things nag, the way they seem to do for Aqib Talib, who has also experienced his own unruly hammy in camp. We've seen that before.

Defensive tackle Gary Gibson has missed two games and a lot of practices. Can he be reliable this season?

Talk about unreliable, you'll see the name Amobi Okoye when you bring up that topic. Knee surgery late in the offseason has made him a huge question mark. He may not even make the final roster, that's how reliable he's been. 

Is there no end to this MASH unit?

The worst hit of all came just before the half last week and now Davin Joseph, yes, Davin the Rock, is recovering from season-ending surgery to repair a torn patella tendon.

That should just about cover the physical misfits.

What's the mental state of Josh Freeman? Who knows? He's been all over the quarterback thermometer running hot and cold, confused then confident. Which Josh will show up against Carolina? We have no clue.

There was a mountain of uncertainty forming outside One Buc Place in the offseason. No one has done anything to shrink it. If anything, it's larger, maybe not Mount Everest large, but you can't miss it.

Nothing will be resolved tonight at Fed Ex Field, there in the Maryland suburbs, when the Bucs butt heads with the Washington Redskins. Freeman won't play and maybe not many starters will get a grass stain on their jerseys.

There will probably be some sort of search mission there at right guard to fill the gaping hole left by Joseph. The plug-ins could be Ted Larsen or Derek Hardman or perhaps even tackle Jamon Meredith turning into a guard.

The panic-button would be a move by Jeremy Zuttah from center, back to that guard spot he played last year. Then where does that leave the center position?


We've already covered Gerald-dingy and Clayborn. Roy Miller's had a nice preseason, so has Michael Bennett. Unfortunately, Schiano can't go with a 2-5 front, can he?

Sure, there are battles at the bottom of the roster tonight. Big deal.

Back in Tampa, there's Mount Doubt out there in front of One Buc Place.

It's a tough one to climb right now and who knows what it will look like on September 9.