A Very Different Training Camp

July 27th, 2021

“Hey Bruce, did you hear the one about the team with six starting spots up for grabs and no kicker?”

Joe has talked about this new vibe with some fans and it’s worth mentioning here and getting a little more feedback.

With every Bucs starting job apparently in place except running back, which will end up being by committee regardless, Joe is not feeling the usual intrigue that training camp delivers. Factor in that every sane Bucs fan knows those starters are highly competent Super Bowl ring holders, and this is a Bucs summer like no other.

Sure, it’s damn early. Injuries (heaven forbid) can happen and a young player can surprise in a hurry and shake up the lineup (See Kwon Alexander, 2015). But for whatever reason, that feels highly unlikely this year.

Fewer practices in pads — they don’t come on until next week — also narrows the window for players to wow coaches.

Yeah, Jamel Dean wants to be a starter ahead of Sean Murphy-Bunting, a Bucs playoff hero. Second-year defensive tackle Khalil Davis wants to gobble up snaps from Rakeem Nuñez-Roches. And Aaron Stinnie wants to be so beastly it drives the Bucs to run more heavy sets with a sixth offensive lineman, something they did more and more as last season progressed.

But it’s just a different year. There’s no rookie savior in the house, a guy fans are hoping will fill a critical void. Heck, there’s not even the usual kicker competition. (Joe doesn’t miss that!)

This is the glorious price of greatness. Training camp has a little less juice — before the real games have a lot more.

16 Responses to “A Very Different Training Camp”

  1. mg Says:

    Joe – You live in Titletown. Enjoy.

  2. Buc50 Says:

    I just want to see Darden win the punt return duties and get a few snaps in regular games.

  3. Cobraboy Says:

    I remember the “Good Old Days” when we all hoped some rookie FA would be a savior…

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I agree with Darden…..he has a chance to be a standout player on KR/PR & WR…

  5. Casual Observer Says:

    Agree with the Darden comments. I hope he can return punts. That was our (only)? major weakness last year. He could change that.

  6. Mike Says:

    I am hoping to see Vaughn and Johnson continue to ascend and to see a couple young guys show up, especially Darden on Offense and one or two of these young DB’s hopefully will show out on ST and stick around long enough to develop.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    You mentioned some interesting rotational/backup players Joe. Guys like Dean, Kalil Davis & Stinnie may very well end up earning a starting position FOR NEXT YEAR based on their performances this year (since we’ve got so many starters this year who’ll be UFAs next year). Same goes with guys like Darden & Vaughn; the time to impress the coaches starts right now.

  8. zzbuc Says:

    Hard to imagine Stinnie wining the position over Cappa……

  9. Steven007 Says:

    I think Davis rotating in on the defensive line is very intriguing. Not quite the size of most of our lineman, but very active and quick. Had a lot of sacks for his position in college. I looked for him to be improved and take some snaps away from Nacho.

  10. Fartin Martin Says:

    CAN’T WAIT to see Darden on a Bubble Screen !

  11. D-Rome Says:

    Joe – You live in Titletown. Enjoy.

    This right here. When a fan base is accustomed to losing it’s as if no one knows what it’s like to live in a city of champions. Bucs, Lightning, and Rays fans should not accept anything less than the team trying to win it all every year.

  12. BucCue Says:

    I’m ready to see Scotty Miller do more. I also believe Darden can be a breakout player. Let’s make some plays to get them both involved. The defense I would like to see how they grow after the superbowl performance.

  13. Buc1987 Says:

    D-Rome…I expect back to back.

  14. Pickgrin Says:

    Dean, Edwards, Gio all have realistic opportunities to advance from their current depth chart status and perhaps win “starter” jobs or at least be utilized (more) often in game plans.

    Vaughn, Tyler Johnson, Davis will likely get more live snaps this year to aid in their development and evaluation of their ceilings…..

  15. PSL Bob Says:

    No one has mentioned a thing about Tryon. Would be great to have a competent young edge rusher to periodically spell Shaq and JPP. We’ll need an eventual replacement for JPP, and the experience would do wonders for Tryon’s game.

  16. Crickett Baker Says:

    yah..but didn’t the Chiefs go 16-0 last season b4 losing the SB? I KNOW Tom had an undefeated season one year b4 losing the SB to the Giants. We really have to set our sights on the goal this year.