One of the biggest advantages for the Buccaneers going into the 2021 NFL season is their remarkable depth.
After returning all 22 (23 if you count their three wide receivers) of their starters from 2020, the Buccaneers are starting to become well-known for the star power at the top of their team. The likes of Tom Brady, Mike Evans, and Lavonte David are easy candidates to help the Bucs field the best starting lineup in the NFL, but their depth sets itself apart as well.
Depth players rarely live in the spotlight, but they made their presence known on the Bucs during the Super Bowl push. Leonard Fournette, Mike Edwards, Scotty Miller, and Jamel Dean were technically not starters for the entire season, but their ability to step up when called upon was invaluable.
After already jumping through the hoops of keeping most of their depth from last season on the roster, Tampa has only continued to add to this group in the hopes of a repeat Super Bowl victory.
With the new faces mixed in with the old, there are plenty of names that will be vying for the equivalent of the “Sixth Man of the Year” award with the Buccaneers, starting with the following players:
The best “bench” players for the Buccaneers
Bernard has been one of the best pass-catching backs in the NFL during his tenure and is joining the best quarterback of all time, who just so happens to love throwing passes to his guys in the backfield. Expect Bernard to have one of the best seasons of his career, even in the crowded Buccaneer backfield.
Tom Brady inexplicably loves Miller as a reliable deep threat. As one of the fastest guys on the roster, Miller has blown the top off defenses at a rate that will have defensive coordinators giving him some extra thought going into 2021.
Edwards played at an All-Pro pace when on the field last season. Even playing half of the snaps would have placed Edwards in contention for an all-time season for a safety, and he will try to show that last season was not a fluke with every rep this year.
Joe Tryon, Edge
Tryon is only a rookie, but Todd Bowles should give him plenty of chances on the outside alongside Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett to get after the quarterback. Tryon and the Buccaneers are a match made in Heaven, so this should help in disrupting even the best opposing offense.
Dean is easily the most athletic of the Buccaneer DBs. His speed and quickness helped immensely against the Chiefs in the rematch during the Super Bowl, and his additional reps over every player on this list should give him the best chance to win this fictitious award.
Prediction: Bernard and Dean should get the most opportunities to make a splash despite not starting. Edwards has proven that reps don’t mean everything when measuring a player’s impact, but these two should have monster seasons under the spotlight.
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