Former Buccaneers receiver Tyler Johnson made some big catches during the 2020 Super Bowl run. But that was then and this is now. And as of now, Johnson is gone.
Johnson lost his spot due to the fact that the Bucs had too many talented receivers — and because his own talents were too narrow.
“We have a lot of receivers and when you get down to a fifth and sixth receiver — Jaelon [Darden] returns punts and kicks, [and] Tyler was the sixth receiver to dress on Sundays,” coach Todd Bowles told reporters on Wednesday. “You’ve got to be able to play special teams and contribute. [He is] a great pass receiver, very good catcher — he can catch the ball — [he’s] a very good player, but no special teams value. Once you get down past the top four and five, you’ve got to have more value then just catching the football because you won’t dress on Sundays. You know, that was a big reason behind it. We felt [Breshad Perriman] can do a lot of things on special teams, we feel Scotty [Miller] can do some things as well. So that’s what it came down to.”
Miller’s special-teams value comes from, as Bowles explained it, backup punt returner, backup kick returner, kickoff coverage, and gunner on the punt team.
Miller nevertheless spent Tuesday sweating it out.
“It was crazy,” Miller told reporters on Wednesday. “That final cut day is always wild. You never really know how it’s going to shake out, how it’s going to go. So I really just tried to get my mind prepared for whatever and I happened to stick on the team here and make the team. I’m just really excited to be here and be a part of something special. I’m just grateful.”
He shouldn’t be grateful. He’s the one who brings sufficiently significant value to the Bucs. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be there.