Buccaneers release first depth chart; give nod to veterans


The Buccaneers released their first official team depth chart today and we now have a few answers to questions of who stands where. It isn’t uncommon for teams to initially keep rookies and newcomers to the team on the bottom of the depth chart and I think you can see that with the Bucs. In the end the best 22 players will start no matter what. With that being said, here are a few surprising notes form the depth chart that I expect to change by the time week 1 rolls around.

1. Garrett Gilkey listed as starting Right Guard.

Second-round pick Ali Marpet is listed right as the backup and I think most Bucs fans would rather see anyone start in place of Gilkey. Marpet hasn’t blown away the coaching staff in training camp, so I think this is just a ploy to get him to work a little bit harder. Even if Gilkey is determined to play better in 2015, he’s best suited as a reserve for now.

2. Major Wright listed as starting Strong Safety.

I attribute this one to Lovie Smith making the new guys earn their spot. All indications so far are that D.J. Swearinger is poised to be the safety starting opposite Bradley McDougald. The Bucs were thrilled to get him off the waiver wire and he certainly has more potential than Wright.

3. Michael Koenen listed as starting Punter.

The Bucs brought in Spencer Lanning this offseason on a fairly cheap contract. Since teams only carry one punter I don’t expect Koenen to just lose his starting position, but also his roster spot. Considering Koenen was statistically the league’s worst punter in 2014, I think the team would be happy to get rid of his $3.25 Million cap hit and spend that money somewhere else.

Those are three things I noticed on the depth chart that I am fairly certain will change. A few other notes are that rookie LT Donovan Smith is listed as a co-starter with Kevin Pamphile. Just like with Marpet, I think the Bucs are making Smith earn his spot. The team definitely wants the rookie to start, though. Doug Martin is still listed as the starting RB and I don’t think that will change by week 1. However, I do think the carries could be fairly evenly split between him and Charles Sims. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sims took the starting role later in the season either.

At the very least this depth chart will give us a heads up on who to expect to be playing with the first team come Saturday night against Minnesota. As the preseason goes along injuries will surely occur and players will impress and disappoint. One we get to week 3 vs. Cleveland we should have a better idea of who’s actually making a case to start.

Next: Buccaneers hint at defensive line carousel in training camp

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