By Tom Krasniqi

 The preseason games are thankfully over.  Now, it’s time for Bucs head coach Greg Schiano and his staff to determine who makes the final 53-man roster.  Schiano met with the media Friday after a 30-12 loss to the Redskins on Thursday night in the preseason finale.

“We’re in the process of evaluating everything and sorting through [the roster],” Schiano said on Friday.  “Our whole goal is to have the best 53 players, yet slotting them into positional needs.”

And that’s the dilemma facing Schiano and GM Mark Dominik.  Do you carry 5 wide receivers or 6?  How many running backs make the roster?  With the pass rush lacking, do you take on 6 defensive ends or 5?  There are many questions indeed yet to be answered.  The Bucs have until 6pm Saturday to cut their roster from 75 to 53.  Then on Sunday, they can assemble their 8-man practice squad.

There are some tough decisions to make.  “It’s the most competitive sports league in the world,” said Schiano.  “1,696 guys get to do it, when it’s all said and done, in the whole world….but that doesn’t lessen the disappointment at all for these guys.  Today is a special day for some and a really bad for others.”  That’s life in the NFL. 

Now that the preseason is over, are there any concerns about the team heading into the regular season?  The head coach says no.  “We just need to continue to improve as a football team in every area,” Schiano explained.  “I wouldn’t even call it a concern, that’s my goal.  We’re far from being the team that we’re going to be.  As long as we keep making improvement, then we’re going to be fine.”

No matter what the final 53 will look like, Schiano is confident in the 2013 Buccaneers.  “I like our team,” Schiano stated.  “Are you ever satisfied?  No….but these guys love football and they’ll be ready to play come the opening week.”  Opening week is almost here and the Jets are waiting.   

News & Notes:     

  • According to Schiano, TE Tom Crabtree has a ‘significant’ high ankle sprain.  Schiano is not sure how long he’ll be out.  Schiano says the team would not bring in another tight end.  If that’s the case, then Nate Byham and Danny Noble probably make the team behind starter Luke Stocker
  • Schiano says barring any setbacks, CB Darrelle Revis and RG Davin Joseph should be ready for the regular season opener. 
  • Despite a lousy performance last night in the preseason finale, Schiano says Mike Glennon is still the #2 quarterback behind Josh Freeman
  • Schiano says Bucs RB Peyton Hillis has a minor ankle sprain.  The status of CB Rashaan Melvin (hamstring) is not known.  Rookie RB Mike James (eye) needs further evaluation. 
  • Veteran kicker Rian Lindell is in a battle with youngster Derek Dimke.  Lindell kicked well against the Redskins, including a 50-yard FG.  The 36-year-old likes his chances of making the team: “I think I’ve kicked fairly well.  I’m happy with the way I’m kicking right now.”
  • Rookie DE Steven Means is on the bubble.  The 5th round pick out of Buffalo says he thought he performed ‘fairly well’ during camp and the preseason, but not up to his standards.  He’s a project and a likely practice squad candidate. 
  • The Bucs open their season on September 8th against the Jets at Metlife Stadium.  You can catch the game on 620 WDAE and 95.3FM with our coverage beginning at 9am with the Countdown To Kickoff show. 
  • For the latest Bucs news, keep it locked all day long on 620 WDAE and 95.3FM, your home of the Bucs and the best Bucs coverage.  Don’t forget to check out the Bucs blog at for the latest news and audio clips.