preseason officially over Ryan Fitzpatrick Jersey , the Buccaneers have cut down their roster to 53 players. We now know who they will (and won’t) be riding into New Orleans with next Sunday afternoon.Tampa Bay didn’t do anything overly controversial on Saturday (like trading away its best defensive player, who also happens to be one of the best in the league... Sorry, Oakland). However, there were a couple of surprises. Veteran safety Keith Tandy and special teams captain Josh Robinson didn’t make the team’s roster, with youth unseating both guys. There weren’t a ton of surprises with rest of the roster, though the team will have some decisions to make when Jameis Winston returns from his suspension and Kendell Beckwith comes back from injury.Here is the 53-man roster that the Bucs will go with to start this season:QB (2): Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan GriffinWith Winston serving a three-game suspension to start the year, Fitzpatrick will start and Griffin will back him up. Griffin’s strong preseason makes it plausible for the Bucs to carry three quarterbacks upon Winston’s return. Otherwise, they would risk losing Griffin, something that wouldn’t make much sense considering Fitzpatrick is only back on a one-year deal.RB (4): Peyton Barber, Ronald Jones II, Jacquizz Rodgers, Shaun WilsonOnce Charles Sims went down with an injury in week three of the preseason, there wasn’t much suspense here. Barber is the unquestioned starter at this point, especially with Jones’ poor preseason. The rookie will still be the No. 2 guy that rotates in frequently, while Rodgers takes on a role as the third down/pass-catching back. Wilson, an undrafted rookie out of Duke, had some tough competition throughout the preseason from Dare Ogunbowale, but did more than enough as a runner and kick returner to make the roster. Ogunbowale was the odd man out, though he found a spot on the team’s practice squad. WR (6): Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Chris Godwin, Adam Humphries, Justin Watson, Freddie MartinoThe top four receivers have been set since the end of last season. The big question throughout the preseason was whether Tampa Bay would opt to carry five receivers or six. Watson, a rookie, was a lock to be on the roster by the midway point of the preseason. The first surprise, although a minor one Cheap Carlton Davis Jersey , came here with Martino edging out Bobo Wilson for the sixth spot. The Bucs will have to take someone off the roster when Winston comes back in week four. Martino might end up being a candidate to be that guy, though it’s tough to say right now. Wilson ended up on the practice squad.TE (4): Cameron Brate, O.J. Howard, Antony Auclair, Alan CrossThere was nothing to be shocked about here either, as Brate and Howard are locked in as the top two tight ends. The team has been high on both Auclair and Cross over the last couple of years. You would be hard-pressed to find a better tight end group in the league.OL (10): Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet, Ryan Jensen, Caleb Benenoch, Demar Dotson, Evan Smith, Mike Liedtke, Alex Cappa, Leonard Wester Adam GettisTampa Bay’s decision to carry 10 offensive linemen was somewhat of a surprise, though it makes sense. Considering the fact that Donovan Smith’s status for week one is still uncertain, it’s good to have depth. In that depth is a ton of versatility, with guys like Evan Smith, Liedtke, Cappa and Gettis all capable of playing multiple positions. One of the lineman could go once Winston returns, as long as the group as a whole remains healthy.DL (10): Jason Pierre-Paul, Beau Allen, Gerald McCoy, Vinny Curry, Noah Spence, Will Clarke, Will Gholston, Vita Vea, Mitch Unrein Cheap Chris Godwin Jersey , Jerel WorthyThe Bucs are going with 10 guys on both sides of the line after general manager Jason Licht made the trenches a big priority this offseason. This group might look different by the time the team heads to New Orleans, as Unrein has missed time this preseason with a concussion. A decision could be looming there regarding a potential spot on IR. Worthy is sticking around for now after being added to the roster in late August.LB (5): Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander, Adarius Taylor, Cameron Lynch, Jack CichyInjuries to Kendell Beckwith, Devante Bond and Riley Bullough made this pretty straightforward. David and Alexander are superstars, while Taylor was also locked into Beckwith’s strong-side spot. Lynch has shown off potential when given the opportunity and the team appears to be high on Cichy, a sixth-rounder coming off an ACL injury. Beckwith will begin the year on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list and is eligible to return in six weeks.CB (6): Brent Grimes, Vernon Hargreaves III, Carlton Davis, M.J. Stewart, Ryan Smith, De’Vante HarrisTampa Bay elected to keep six cornerbacks, with De’Vante Harris making the cut. Harris was added to the roster in early August after he was cut by the Saints. He was presumably one of the players who made the roster over former special teams captain Josh Robinson, who never got much work in the secondary. Grimes and Hargreaves are the team’s two outside starters, though the rookie duo of Davis and Stewart will see plenty of snaps. Smith, who had a poor preseason, remains on the roster.S (4): Chris Conte, Justin Evans, Jordan Whitehead, Isaiah JohnsonThe biggest surprise of Saturday for the Bucs was the release of Keith Tandy, who had been with the team since 2012. Despite his solid play near the end of the 2016 season, Tandy was an afterthought for much of 2017 and didn’t appear to figure much into Tampa Bay’s plans throughout the 2018 preseason. His spot instead went to Johnson, which seems to indicate that the Bucs are going younger in 2018. Conte and Evans will start, but Whitehead will surely work his way in as a rookie.Specialists (2): Chandler Catanzaro, Bryan AngerAfter getting $3.75 million guaranteed from the Bucs this offseason, Catanzaro was always going to be the team’s kicker heading into the season. That hefty guaranteed money rules out the option of signing veteran Dan Bailey Bryan Anger Jersey , who was let go by the Cowboys on Saturday. Anger is back as the team’s punter, still on the big contract extension he signed at the end of 2016. Tampa Bay currently doesn’t have a long-snapper on the roster, so someone elsewhere on the roster will have to go before next Sunday. Reserve/Suspended List: QB Jameis WinstonReserve/Non-Football Injury List: LB Kendell BeckwithInjured Reserve: LBs Devante Bond and Riley BulloughWhat are your thoughts on the Buccaneers’ initial 53-man roster? Sam Darnold was only 2 years old when his grandfather passed away, so he never got to know the Marlboro Man.Dick Hammer left behind a legacy of larger-than-life tales, though, and the New York Jets' newest quarterback has heard them all. Family gatherings have been filled with the stories of Hammer's athletic accomplishments as a college basketball player and a U.S Olympian in volleyball, his bravery as a firefighter and his creative side as an actor."My mom always tells me how much I remind her of him," Darnold said Friday during his introductory news conference as the No. 3 overall pick of the NFL draft at the Jets' training facility.Darnold's mother Chris, sitting in the front row with her husband Mike and daughter Franki, wiped tears from her eyes as Sam mentioned his late grandfather."When Sam was really little, we used to tease him because we would say he got all the DNA because he could do anything," said Chris Darnold, wearing a Jets cap. "He was big like his dad, got his dad's girth. He got my dad's agility and athletic ability. My dad was the type of person that could pick up a game by just watching someone play."Sam's a lot like that."
#Jets first-round pick Sam Darnold reminds his mother of his late grandfather Dick Hammer, a former U.S. Olympic volleyball player who was also the Marlboro Man. More from @DWAZ73: s://t.co/iBfJp4B4v8 pic.4UkYYa3Sfe— AP NFL (@AP_NFL) April 27, 2018
Hammer was 69 when he died in October 1999, just four months after Sam's second birthday. He played basketball at USC and helped lead the Trojans to the 1954 Final Four. Hammer picked up volleyball after his hoops days were over and ended up making the United States' 1964 Olympic volleyball team that competed in Tokyo.He was a captain in the L.A. County Fire Department and played Captain Dick Hammer — yep, named after himself — in the first season of the 1970's television drama "Emergency!" Hammer also landed a gig as the cowboy hat-wearing Marlboro Man in the cigarette company's advertising campaigns, despite not being a regular smoker.It is that innate ability to pick up anything and excel at it that Darnold's mom has always seen in her son, who was also a terrific basketball player in high school."An example was when (Sam) played in a volleyball tournament with my daughter, who was playing in college (at Rhode Island) at the time and she was missing out on a partner for co-ed doubles," Chris said. "He was all like, 'Uh, sure, OK, I'll go play some volleyball.' We're watching them play and they got to the playoffs and he's doing all these dinking serves and playing like he's been playing his whole life. That is a lot of what my Dad was like."Dick Hammer would certainly think his grandson is a chip off the old block. And, Darnold now has a chance to create his own legacy.The former USC star quarterback from Capistrano Beach, California Womens Bryan Anger Jersey , played just two seasons for the Trojans, but showed enough eye-popping ability as a playmaking passer to be rated by many as the No. 1 player at his position heading into the draft.Darnold is now tasked with helping lift a franchise that has been seeking a savior since the glory days of Joe Namath nearly 50 years ago. The Jets have been to just one Super Bowl — you know, the one Broadway Joe delivered after his guarantee in 1969. That's a lot of pressure for a kid who won't even turn 21 until June, but Darnold is becoming fully aware of what he's getting into."Winning a Super Bowl is everyone's goal entering a season, whether I'm a backup or whether I'm starting quarterback," he said. "Everyone on the team wants to win a Super Bowl. That's the goal for everyone. Anything short of that is a failure, and we're aware of that. Everyone's aware of that. And whatever my role is, I'm going to star in that role to work us toward that Super Bowl."Darnold already has a prominent place in Jets history, being the highest-drafted quarterback by the team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger."Getting that phone call, it changed my life," Darnold said. "I know it's going to change my life, and I'm very confident here that we're going to win some games, and I think I'm going to be here for a long time."Coach Todd Bowles said Thursday night after New York drafted Darnold that the team won't necessarily throw him into the fire, but also won't hold him back. That means the rookie could have a chance at starting if he can beat out veterans Josh McCown, the starter last year, and Teddy Bridgewater, who's still recovering from a knee injury that threatened his career nearly two years ago."There's a ton of room for growth, and that's the thing I'm really excited about," Darnold said. "Just being 20 years old, I know that there's a lot of room for growth, but I'm also very confident in my ability to go out there and play. But that being said, I'm going to do what the coaches ask me to do, and I'm going to come in here and learn right away and just go about it that way."NOTES: The Jets announced they released wide receiver-kick returner JoJo Natson, wide receiver Damore'ea Stringfellow, offensive tackle Korren Kirven and punter Ben Turk.
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