By Andy Villamarzo
Hernando Sun sports staff writer
TAMPA- No team seems to have gotten off to a hotter start than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when it comes to NFL Training Camp and much of that may be because of the work they have already done.
In what has been a very documented off-season in Tampa, the Buccaneers parted ways with five-year starter Jameis Winston and signed 6-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady to be the club’s new starter. Since that time, the Buccaneers have been in the national sports news headlines on a weekly basis.
Brady hasn’t just brought the franchise headlines, but he’s also attracted new players to come help them on the offensive side of the ball.
Take for instance the trading for perennial Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski and the signing of LeSean McCoy. Both players likely don’t sign on in Tampa without the signing of Brady to the Buccaneers. Gronkowski was Brady’s most trusted target back during their days in New England and it became a hot rumor when Brady signed in Tampa that his old running mate might join him in sunny Florida. McCoy brings a veteran’s presence in the backfield and is a sure-handed pass-catcher at running back.
Tampa Bay, like all teams in the NFL, is currently conducting the training camp portion of their off-season leading into their September 14th matchup on the road against the New Orleans Saints and many players have been impressing. The obvious players that have shined are Brady, Gronkowski, Mike Evans, Lavonte David, Devin White but there’s a number of sophomores and rookies that have looked very good.
Second-year wideout Scotty Miller has looked very good during training camp so far and has started to look more like the deep threat option Tampa Bay envisioned when they drafted him in 2019. Another player that has really stood out during camp is safety Antoine Winfield Jr., whose father played in the NFL himself. Winfield Jr. is starting to become what looks like a Day 1 starter for the Buccaneers. Sean Murphy-Bunting has also come on strong at the cornerback position during camp and started to solidify himself alongside Carlton Davis.
When it comes to normalcy in the NFL right now, it’s going to take plenty of adjustments for everyone to make the 2020 NFL season to happen and Tampa Bay hasn’t had any hiccups during camp. The NFL just had several teams with false-positive tests over last weekend, as 77 results coming in as positive before being retested as negative. Hopes are the season will start on time when the Houston Texans go on the road to face the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on September 10th. Arrowhead Stadium will be at less than 25 percent capacity, but television ratings are expected to be through the roof come kickoff.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.