With the first practice of training camp set to start on Thursday, Tampa Bay Buccaneers football is right around the corner and the rookies report today!
It is finally here! Training camp is upon us as the rookies for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to report today to get a head start before the rest of the veterans show up later in the week. Practices are set to begin on Thursday, as fans will line up to see the likes of Mike Evans, Ndamukong Suh, and rookie first round pick Devin White.
A huge group of rookies to keep a close eye on this training camp are the young defensive backs that the Buccaneers bundled on day-two. Sean Murphy-Bunting has the serious ability to beat out Vernon Hargreaves and Carlton Davis to win the CB1 job in Tampa Bay, Jamel Dean also looks to earn reps on the outside and force Hargreaves to the nickel, and safety Mike Edwards looks to be the “hair-on-fire” brand of safety that defensive coordinator Todd Bowles loves to revolve his defensive schemes around.
As Pro Football Focus Tampa Bay tweeted out earlier today, Murphy-Bunting as allowed a quarterback rating of just an average of 46.7 over the last two seasons of his collegiate career as he hopes to live up to his second round status. Additional players to watch on the defensive side of the ball include outside linebacker Anthony Nelson and seventh round defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr. as they will both be fighting for reps this summer.
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Both Nelson and Beckner have a solid opportunity to syphon off playing time from veterans due to lack of depth at their positions. Nelson joins an outside linebacker group consisting of just Shaquil Barrett, Carl Nassib, and Noah Spence as players who have any NFL experience; Beckner looks to take playing time from William Gholston, Beau Allen, and Rakeem Nunez-Roches as he looks to earn the right to play next to Vita Vea and Suh.
Fifth round pick Matt Gay looks to already have the kicking job all but won, barring some strange meltdown or injury as Cairo Santos was signed to just a one-year extension with minimal guarantees to work around. While the Buccaneers may build up an inkling of a training camp battle for the job, teams do not use a fifth rounder on a special teamer just to cut him.
Scotty Miller is a burner who looks to take over some reps in the slot for the Buccaneers’ offense after the departure of Adam Humphries in free agency. Wide out Chris Godwin will also see some time inside, but Miller has the speed and agility to win at every level of the field and hopes to use that to his advantage and turn heads in camp.
Lastly, the Buccaneers have several high profile undrafted free agents to keep an eye on at camp as well. The list of names to watch include outside linebacker David Kenney, wide receivers Anthony Johnson and DaMarkus Lodge, running back Bruce Anderson, among others.
The offseason has been way too long, and it is time to see how all of the changes made on paper will translate to the field. While the rookies head to One Buc today, the veterans are not far behind as football season is right around the corner.