Tight end is a position that Bruce Allen, and Jon Gruden felt they needed some upgrades at this offseason. Gone is mainstay Anthony Becht, and he has been replaced by two free agent acquisitions. The TE spot is a position that Gruden loves to utilize in his offense, with lots of multiple tight end sets in both throwing and running downs.
Currently on the Roster – Daniel Fells, John Gilmore, Alex Smith, Jerramy Stevens, Tyrice Thompson, Ben Troupe
Gauranteed Roster Spots – John Gilmore, Alex Smith, Ben Troupe
John Gilmore was brought in to replace the blocking that Anthony Becht brought to the table. Gilmore is an excellent run blocker, and a solid chip blocker on passing downs. Alex Smith will start for the 2nd straight season, and looks to expand on his 32 catch, 385 yard season. He has yet to establish himself as a go to downfield threat, or even a red zone threat at this point in his career. Three touchdowns for a tight end in our offense is not sufficient. Ben Troupe has a ton of upside, and a ton of speed. He has the ability to stretch defenses down the middle of the field. He had a 55 catch 530 yard season in 2005, but has been plagued by injuries since then. A tag team receiving tandem of Alex Smith and Ben Troupe has the ability to really open up the sidelines for our receivers on passing downs.
No Chance – Daniel Fells, Tyrice Thompson
Battling for Roster Spots – Jerramy Stevens
Stevens finished the season real strong for the Bucs, that culminated in the game winning touchdown vs the Saints. The last two games of the season he had 8 catches for 103 yards and 3 touchdowns. Everyone has harped on his troubled past, and rightfully so, but the coaching staff and players seem to like Stevens. He should have a solid chance of making the team, although I’m not sure who he might unseat!