TAMPA- The defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers hit the practice fields for the league’s mandatory 3-day minicamp period. The entire roster took part in the minicamp.
That included quarterback Tom Brady, who looks to be fully recovered from a knee procedure he had after winning the championship. The soon to be 44-year old signal caller heads into the 2021 campaign still at the top of his game and aiming to lead the Buccaneers to what could be a repeat as Tampa Bay returns all 22 starters on both sides of the football.
Tampa Bay was able to get themselves a quick look at many players on the roster, including the rookies that will be joining the team. One player that recently got signed, Joe Tryon, was available during the minicamp period but the former Washington Husky will be a work in progress at the outside linebacker position. Tryon will see time behind mainstays Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett.
Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians wasn’t too thrilled about the team’s showing though in terms of the running back position, as it was somewhat like musical chairs on who was showing up. Newbie Giovanni Bernard, who signed with Tampa Bay during the off-season, got plenty of reps and could be a useful third down running back for Brady. Players like Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette are obviously battling for first/second down carries as they did last season.
When it comes down to wide receivers, Tampa Bay has about as deep a unit as any team. The Buccaneers feature Pro Bowlers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski. Not to mention the team returns speedster Scotty Miller and tight ends Cameron Brate, OJ Howard. A potential surprise player that may see some time is rookie Jaelon Darden, who played collegiate ball at North Texas.
What many want to keep a close eye on here heading into training camp is who will end up backing up Brady? The Buccaneers used their second round pick on former University of Florida quarterback Kyle Trask and have tabbed him as the potential heir apparent to Brady in the future. Tampa Bay ended up retaining backup signal callers Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin. It would seem to make sense that Trask will make the final 53 roster, but will the Buccaneers keep three active quarterbacks?
Tampa Bay will start preseason play on August 14th at home against the Cincinnati Bengals and then kickoff the 2021 National Football League season at home against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football on September 9th for an 8:20pm Eastern Time kickoff.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.