The offseason is in full swing, but that doesn’t mean by any stretch that nothing is happening. Rookie Minicamps and OTAs are happening left and right. Those moments are giving us small glimpses into exactly what the Buccaneers have on tap for the upcoming season. There’s still a lot of time before the final table is set, but let’s take a look over the next few weeks at what the Bucs currently have in stock for each position. We’ll start with the backfield.
Currently In Stock: Jameis Winston, Seth Lobato, Mike Glennon
Hot Commodity: Jameis Winston
Due to Expire: Seth Lobato
Product Notes: There’s no need to spend much time on this. If Lobato comes out swinging, he could win the backup spot, but it looks unlikely at the moment. Unless Glennon finds a new home, he’ll nestle in nicely behind a fresh-faced rookie starter of Jameis Winston. The most promising recent news on Winston is the unwavering dedication he’s showing. Not only has he impressed in the workouts so far, but ol’ Jaboo seems to sleep with his playbook. This absolutely feels like the start of something special, and anyone who still isn’t on board needs to wake up or jump ship. Jameis Winston is the guy, and there’s nothing you can (or should) do about it.
Currently In Stock: Doug Martin, Bobby Rainey, Charles Sims, Mike James, Dominique Brown
Hot Commodity: Charles Sims
Due to Expire: Doug Martin, Bobby Rainey, Mike James, Dominique Brown
Product Notes: The running back situation is interesting, to say the least. Perhaps more than any other position, the outcome here will hinge on offseason performance. Charles Sims is probably the only safe bet to make the team. He missed a large part of last season due to injury, but his youth and prior pass catching skill will keep him as a weapon. Not to mention the fact that he has an intangible advantage in having been drafted during the reign of the Lovie-Licht Connection.
Martin, Rainey, and James have all had varied levels of success at their own times. All three could potentially be the day one starter, but could also end up without a roster spot. These three will like turn out a hard fought training camp battle that will be a blast to watch. Dominique Brown showed a lack of intensity in college, even though he has the size for the position. Unless he steps up his work ethic and impresses, he won’t make the practice squad. The Buccaneers are willing to keep a pretty solid stash of quarterbacks considering prior injuries, but things could easily get too crowded between these five men.
Currently In Stock: Jorvorskie Lane, Joey Iosefa, Evan Rodriguez
Hot Commodity: Jorvorskie Lane
Due to Expire: Evan Rodriguez
Product Notes: Jorvorskie Lane is returning from a season-ending injury, but if he comes back as the same man from 2014 he should solidify his spot as the starter once again. Iosefa was an interesting draft pick, and he could even hold his own as a short-yardage back depending on how the running back battle plays out. Rodriguez is a TE/FB combo that hasn’t seen real playing time since 2012. He was put on the practice squad following Lane’s injury last season, and only lucky circumstances will put him back on it. Expect Lane to take back his spot behind the line and Iosefa to be an insurance plan stashed in the practice squad.
No position in the backfield will be as hotly contested as running back, but don’t overlook the rest. Jorvorskie Lane has, hands down, one of the best fullback names in the business. It’ll be nice to see him back where he belongs. Jameis Winston has the keys to the castle, but he’ll be as heavily scrutinized between now and September 13th as anyone. Coming this Friday, I’ll take a look at the giant slushpile that is scratching and clawing at a chance to catch a touchdown thrown by Jameis Winston!