Dan Orlovsky is too big time for the fourth week of the preseason.
He's too valuable, so Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano decided to bench his backup quarterback Wednesday night against the Washington Redskins and roll with Brett Ratliff as the starting quarterback.
People paid full price to watch this. It's a waste of money and a waste of time for everyone involved.
You'll notice we didn't even mention Bucs starting quarterback Josh Freeman in the first sentence. He sat out the game too, just like Washington Redskins starter Robert Griffin III and backup Rex Grossman. The Bucs rested their punter and long snapper. I'm not joking. Much of the Bucs-Redskins game will be played by guys who will be fired in the next 48 hours. It's not right.
This post isn't designed to assign blame, but to recognize the fourth week of the preseason is a problem for the NFL and its players. Everyone knows it. Commissioner Roger Goodell has spoken about the quality of the Pro Bowl not measuring up to NFL standards; the same applies with the fourth preseason game.
For season-ticket holders, paying full price for a game like this feels exploitative. The NFL pushed to expand the regular season to 18 games before the last CBA negotiations, which would have reduced the preseason to two games. The 18-game schedule idea has gone away, but the league still has the right to abolish two preseason weeks in future years.
Seeing Brett Ratliff as a starting quarterback makes it sound like a good idea.Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.