Jun. 14, 2018
Bucs ready for mini-camp
The Buccaneers are expecting a full roster for mandatory mini-camp coming up this week. Mini-camp will start on June 12th and run through the 14th.
Newly acquired DE Jason Pierre Paul did not make it to any of the OTA practices. Of course those are voluntary to attend and the clubs are powerless if players choose not to attend.
The Bucs will no doubt be assessing the condition of Pierre Paul and hope that he has kept himself in football shape and is ready to go.
Brent Grimes also missed some of the OTA‘s which gave lots of practice time to the rookies Carlton Davis and MJ Stewart. Practice that they would not have had if Grimes and been present for every practice.
On the injury front OL Demar Dotson and JR Sweezy did not participate in the OTA’s as they are still recovering from late season surgeries. Kwon Alexander was also rehabbing as he broke his ankle in an auto accident in April. Alexander may miss all of training camp and do not be surprised if he is not ready to start the season.
I’m going out on a limb here, but I think the Bucs are going to part ways with JR Sweezy. Sweezy would be due 6.5 Million this season and with the Bucs pretty tight against the cap, I don’t think they can afford to carry Swheezy on IR and pay him that salary.
Jason Licht referenced the situation indirectly right after the draft when he said that some tough decisions would have to be made this training camp with the OL positions. I believe Sweezy is gone and with the signing of C Ryan Jensen, Ali Marpet moves back to guard and can take the place of Sweezy. The Bucs also drafted Alex Cappa in the third round and I think he will be a big contributor on the OL before the season is over.
With mini-camp around the corner, WR Bobo Wilson has had the best off-season of anybody according to Dirk Koetter. Jameis Winston says that Wilson reminds him of a young Antonio Brown. Pretty high praise for a WR who has done a whole lot of nothing so far in his NFL career.
Chris Godwin has also had a very good off-season. In fact it would not surprise me if he starts at some point ahead of DeSean Jackson. If Godwin has a great camp, the Bucs might consider moving on from Jackson.
On defense two players have stood out this off-season. DE Noah Spence has put on 20 pounds and is now a svelte 257. Koetter would like Spence to maintain his playing weight at 253-258. With the retooling of the DL this off-season, Spence should be able to be part of a regular rotation which will keep him fresh and he will not have to be on the field every down and risk another injury.
Rookie CB Carlton Davis also turned heads with his aggressive play in the OTA’s. With Grimes missing a lot of the OTA’s, that gave Davis extra reps and according to Koetter he took advantage of that opportunity. Don’t be surprised if Davis beats out Vernon Hargraves for the starting spot opposite Grimes. Davis is progressing rapidly and is picking up the defensive playbook very quickly.
The energy level has been good, the learning curve good with the new players and coaches. Will it translate to more wins on the field for this Bucs team? We are just about 60 days away from the first pre-season game and the questions will begin to be answered.