Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Analysis: Bucs' 53-Man Roster (Defense/ST)

A closer look at the Bucs' defense and special teams following Saturday's roster moves.

DEFENSIVE LINE

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On the roster: Gerald McCoy, George Johnson, Jacquies Smith, Tony McDaniel, Clinton McDonald, Henry Melton, T.J. Fatinikun, William Gholston
Not on the roster: Da'Quan Bowers, Ryan Delaire, Larry English (IR), Caushaud Lyons, Lawrence Sidbury, Jr.

Breakdown: When Smith was sidelined during training camp with an injury, English stepped in and performed at a high level. After suffering an injury himself on Thursday night in the Bucs' final preseason game, the Bucs' placed English on injured reserve, ending his season. The loss leaves the Bucs somewhat thin at defensive end. Johnson, Fatinikun and Smith are the only true defensive ends currently on the roster, though Melton has played end at times.

LINEBACKER

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On the roster: Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander, Danny Lansanah, Bruce Carter, Jason Williams
Not on the roster: Larry Dean, Khaseem Greene, Josh Keyes
Breakdown:
Greene flashed in the Bucs' final preseason game, leading the team in tackles and returning an interception for a touchdown, but Williams earned the fifth spot at linebacker. Keyes had performed well during the preseason and is eligible to return to the Buccaneers, should they choose to add him to their practice squad.

CORNERBACK

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On the roster: Alterraun Verner, Johnthan Banks, Mike Jenkins, Sterling Moore
Not on the roster: Jude Adjei-Barimah, Brandon Dixon, Isaiah Frey

Breakdown: As camp wore on, it appeared Sterling Moore was separating himself from the pack as the leading candidate to land the Bucs' nickel back job. With Leonard Johnson being released last week and Frey being waved on Saturday, it appears that Moore has won the job. Jenkins had a nice preseason himself, picking up a couple eye-opening hits on receivers and running backs. The Bucs will need to make another move in the coming days to make room for Tim Jennings, who agreed to terms with the Bucs earlier in the week.

SAFETY

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On the roster: Bradley McDougald, Major Wright, Chris Conte, D.J. Swearinger, Keith Tandy
Cut: Chris Hackett

Breakdown: Special teams undoubtedly played a large role in the Bucs' decision to retain more safeties than corners. Tandy, who may have been the last safety to earn a roster spot, was exceptional on special teams in the Bucs' final preseason game. His versatility may have helped him edge out one of the three cornerbacks who the Bucs chose to part ways with. Hackett performed well in the preseason and throughout camp and there's a chance he could return to the Bucs as a part of the team's practice squad. 

SPECIAL TEAMS

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On the roster: K Kyle Brindza, LS Andrew DePaola, P Jacob Schum
Not on the roster: K Patrick Murray, K Connor Barth

Breakdown: Despite playing just one game in a Buccaneer uniform, Brindza won the three-way battle for the kicking job. He won the spot over Murray, the Bucs' starter from a year ago, and Barth, who was signed mid-way through the preseason.

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