If there’s an off-season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the rest of the NFL, it’s about to start. With OTAs coming to an end, we now enter the longest stretch of non-football related activity on the calendar.
It’ll be somewhere around five weeks from now before we get to see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fire-up their 2018 training camp. Until then, there just isn’t much going on, but it doesn’t mean this time doesn’t have the potential to be informative.
The NFL has done a great job with their schedule and it’s largely responsible for the impressive growth the league has seen in my lifetime becoming the country’s favorite pro sports league.
Regular season and post-season are the easy parts. But with collegiate all-star games, scouting combines and pro days, the free-agent feeding frenzy, NFL Draft and OTAs we get some sort of football exposure for close to eleven strong months.
Which is why we all hate early June to mid-July. There’s nothing. Or is there?
There are a few storylines we can look out for in the gap between now and training camp.
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- The Athletic is wrong about Bucs one ‘must-watch’ game in 2023
Jameis Winston’s Uber Case
I use the word case here a little liberally, but you know what I’m talking about.
The Bucs’ franchise quarterback has been accused of inappropriate behavior by an Uber driver, or her lawyer, or both in some way.
No proof exists. At least not that has been made public if it exists at all. As the court of public opinion likes to operate, verdicts have already been cast by many.
Whether you just happen to have the empathic ability to know his guilt status or not, the NFL has yet to announce if it will be punishing Winston or not.
No guarantee exists they will in this time frame, but I certainly hope behind a closed door somewhere, powerful football people are trying to get the process moving along. The Bucs have a season to prepare for and knowing the status of their star quarterback would help a lot.
Demar Dotson’s Recovery
The offensive line got a huge boost when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers brought in Ryan Jensen from the Baltimore Ravens.
Ali Marpet will move to left guard, and who knows what’s going to happen on the right side of the line?
Ok. Maybe that’s a bit dramatic. We know Dotson will eventually be playing again on the right side of the line. It’s just a question of who will be playing right guard, and how it impacts Dotson’s playing status.
Having gone through knee surgery earlier this off-season, Dotson has missed all the workouts up to this point. Not a huge deal, but not a feel-good story either.
What’s important is his health, of course, but this isn’t the ‘Dotson Daily’ and here we focus on the Bucs as a whole.
Caleb Benenoch is going to have every opportunity to show he can start on the right side of Tampa’s offensive line, and the more work he can get with the other four starters, the better.
Last I heard or read, Dotson ‘should’ be ready for camp. Barring setback, I believe we’ll see a front-five of Donovan Smith, Marpet, Jensen, Benenoch and Dotson.
Only one of those guys is currently a question mark.
Adonis Alexander has applied for entry into the NFL via the supplemental draft which will take place sometime between now and training camp.
He’s a cornerback. And a talented one at that. I wrote a brief post about the Bucs potentially targeting him (all speculation) and if you want to read it I’m sure there is a link around here somewhere…
I do plan on doing more in-depth work on him, and I truly think Jason Licht and his staff will at least put out some feelers to see what the price tag may be. Considering his talent level, abundant need for corners in the league, and the fact teams are always in win-now mentalities I have a feeling a third-round pick is going to be the winning bid.
These are three stories we’ll be watching here at The Pewter Plank along with our normal rounds of projections, predictions and rankings.
What are you looking for between now and training camp? Let us know in the comments or on social media.