With all the attention surrounding the battle for spots of the wide receiver depth for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the issue of the new starting guard still needs to be addressed for the Buccaneers.
In case you live under a rock, or just turn off your football brain until August, you may just be finding out that the Bucs signed Julio Jones to a one-year deal. As such, the already crowded room just got a little more condensed as the battle for roster spots is one of the most intriguing storylines surrounding Bucs training camp.
However, that’s the not the most IMPORTANT position battle for the Buccaneers this training camp.
The Buccaneers two starting guards during their run as perennial Super Bowl contenders thanks to the Tom Brady era, and even years before that were small school wonders Alex Cappa and Ali Marpet. With Cappa in Cincinnati and Marpet enjoying retirement, former Brady teammate Shaq Mason was brought in to fill one spot. It was an easy call since Brady trusts him essentially with his life. As for the other vacant guard spot? That’s where things get interesting.
Aaron Stinnie has starting experience, including filling in for Cappa when he went down before the Super Bowl run of 2020 and is probably the favorite to take over as the starter. There’s also Robert Hainsey who the Buccaneers drafted last year in the third round. Listed as a tackle, Hainsey has the versatility to kick inside and play wherever the Bucs may need him.
Then of course there’s Luke Goedeke. The Bucs second of their pair of second-round picks is an absolute mauler. He has a self-described nasty attitude and that is reflected in his play. Goedeke has the kind of throwback attitude that every offensive line needs. He would fit in well with the likes of Ryan Jensen, who he’d hypothetically be lined up next to.
Like Hainsey, Goedeke was a college tackle, but unlike Hainsey, is currently listed as guard on the Buccaneers official roster page, which makes sense considering every team had him pegged as a pro guard coming out of college.
The battle for the new starting guard of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is certainly juicy one, but also incredibly crucial. Games are won and lost in the trenches after all, and have been since the beginning of time. Luckily, they have great options to choose from. If an official prediction is necessary, bank on Stinnie starting the year with Goedeke eventually taking over. Then again, anything can happen in the NFL, and when you have Tom Brady, these uncertainties are a little less scary.