Tuesday was a big day for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as the team ended its quaterback battle and provided some much-needed clarity heading into the final week of the preseason.
Just about everyone was ready for the decision to be made, and no one was surprised when Todd Bowles announced Baker Mayfield as the Bucs QB1. Kyle Trask put in a good performance against the New York Jets on Saturday night, but it only produced 13 points and wasn’t enough to overtake Baker.
Now that the quarterback situation has been figured out, the Bucs can turn their attention to figuring out what the rest of the roster will look like when the team heads north to Minnesota for Week 1. After naming Baker the starting QB, the latest unofficial depth chart was released and revealed some interesting takeaways.
Updated Buccaneers depth chart after Baker Mayfield is named QB1
The most obvious takeaway is exactly what Greg Auman points out — there’s no question about who the quarterback is. That’s not the only thing to notice about what the Bucs offense looks like, though, as it appears the team has pivoted to compensate for the loss of Russell Gage.
Unlike the depth chart heading into Week 2, the Bucs have moved to a two wide receiver set and added a tight end spot on the depth chart. Last week we saw Russell Gage alongside Mike Evans and Chris Godwin but this week it looks like Ko Kieft has been bumped up.
This can obviously change, but it comes as a bit of a surprise that the Bucs didn’t slide rookie Trey Palmer into the WR3 slot to make up for the loss of Gage rather than moving to a two tight end set. It’s especially surprising given how great of a preseason he’s had, as Palmer has established himself as a clear standout.
What ends up happening with how the Bucs replace Gage is something to keep an eye on.
Elsewhere, despite unconfirmed rumors that Ryan Jensen’s career in Tampa Bay might be over, he remains the starting center on the team’s depth chart. He’s expected to miss Week 1, which means Robert Hainesy is in line to get the start unless something changes on the team’s final roster.
Another big change is at kicker, where Chase McLaughlin became the first Bucs player to win his positional competition. Tampa Bay released Rodrigo Blankenship on Monday after his 1-for-3 outing against the Jets. It was looking like McLaughlin already had the edge, but releasing Blankenship confirmed that the Bucs kicking competition — like the one at quarterback — is now over.