TAMPA, Fla. -- Every year, it seems like the NFL floats the idea of shortening the preseason. But nothing ever happens.
Next time the topic comes up, we have a new Exhibit A on why four preseason games are about two too many. In Thursday night's 24-10 victory by the Washington Redskins over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, backups started for both teams. And even that first group of backups didn't play long. Much of the game was played by guys who will be released when rosters have to be cut to 53 on Saturday afternoon.
That led to some football that was less than pretty. Especially from the Buccaneers.
The Bucs, who finished the preseason with a 1-3 record, put up a whopping 14 yards of total offense in the first half alone. Things got only slight better in the second half.
But the good news for the Bucs is that the preseason is over. Their starters will be back in action when they open the regular season against Carolina.
Some other observations:
Take this for what it's worth, which may not be a lot. The Bucs started Patrick Omameh at right guard and Oniel Cousins at left guard. Newly-acquired Logan Mankins is going to be the starting left guard. The Bucs have to choose between Omameh and Cousins on the right side. I think Omameh has a slight edge.
I was surprised quarterback Mike Glennon played only one series. I would have liked to see him have the chance to get some rhythm going. Glennon is one Josh McCown injury away from starting. I doubt Mike Kafka, who replaced Glennon, will even make the team. Then again, maybe the Bucs didn't want to expose Glennon to possible injury behind a shaky offensive line.
Linebacker Danny Lansanah seems to have locked up a roster spot. Lansanah had a nice training camp and he continued to impress Thursday night. Lansanah tackled Washington's Evan Royster for a loss in the first quarter.
Cornerback Keith Lewis came up with an interception in the second quarter. But it probably was too little too late. The Bucs are pretty well set at cornerback and Lewis isn't likely to get a roster spot.
Safety Keith Tandy probably already had clinched a roster spot. But Tandy looked like he was playing for his job. He was all over the field and led the team in tackles.
Defensive end Scott Solomon continued his strong preseason. Solomon produced a third-quarter sack. He has a decent chance of making the roster.
Solomon Patton, who appears likely to make the team as a return man, also showed he can contribute as a wide receiver. Patton caught a touchdown pass from Kafka in the third quarter.
Wide receiver Louis Murphy left the game with a back injury and did not return.