Don’t listen to the people that tell you that the NFL preseason is meaningless. In the world of non-stop evaluation, these games allow for players on the fringe of a team’s roster to show what they can do.
There is no better example of this than second-year wide receiver Verran Tucker, who spoke with KCChiefs.com about making the most of these exhibitions.
“I try to tell some of these rookies that you’re guaranteed to get yourself about two or three games, so put whatever you can on that film because it’s not just for this team, it’s for everyone.”
Stuck behind veterans and fellow-undrafted free agents alike, Tucker grinded out seven catches for 45 yards over three preseason games last year. When the Chiefs put together their final roster, Tucker wasn’t on it but he impressed the team enough to earn a spot on the practice squad.
When one of the receivers that beat Tucker out for a spot on the 53-man roster, Jeremy Horne, was slowed by an injury, he was the one that got the call up from the practice squad. Tucker had figured out what Todd Haley and the rest of the coaching staff was looking for and it paid off.
“The one thing that the coaches want is a player who is going to be consistent,” Tucker said. “Not great one day and then just OK the next day.”
Once Tucker joined the Chiefs he played in every game the rest of the way, including the first round playoff matchup with the Baltimore Ravens.
While the casual fans mock the empty seats at tonight’s game and others call for the preseason to be shortened, there are a line of players a mile long that need these games to prove themselves.