Player News - Buccaneers

Date: Team: Pos:

Chris Conte and Keith Tandy worked as the Buccaneers' starting safeties during minicamp and OTAs.

The safety competition should heat up once offseason signing J.J. Wilcox and rookie Justin Evans return to full health. Both were sidelined with injuries during OTAs. Wilcox is the team's highest-paid safety and Evans has second-round pedigree, but both will need big showings in camp to unseat the veteran Conte and Tandy, who graded out as PFF's top safety over the final five weeks of 2016.
Jun 25 - 9:23 AM

Bucs OL coach George Warhop thinks LT Donovan Smith "can be one of the top two or three tackles in the league."

"I think he's got strength. He's got quickness. He's got athleticism," Warhop said. "He is an unbelievable talent." Smith has yet to show that upside on the field, but Warhop believes the tackle became more consistent as last season wore on. With an offense poised to break out, the Bucs will need their line to offer better protection for Jameis Winston, and that starts with Smith.
Jun 20 - 11:17 AM

According to Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times, Jameis Winston has thrown "plenty" of interceptions in practice this spring.

Winston is coming off arguably the best statistical season for a quarterback in franchise history, but he was still intercepted 18 times, a total eclipsed only by Philip Rivers. Picks are nothing new for Winston, who finished second in the nation in interceptions at Florida State a year before the Bucs drafted him first overall. It would be nice to see him clean up that part of his game, but interceptions often come with the territory for high-variance gunslingers.
Source: Tampa Bay
Jun 16 - 2:17 PM

Bucs GM Jason Licht said suspended Doug Martin looks like "the Doug Martin of 2015."

Martin is shaping up as a rare veteran puff-piece All Star this spring. Everything has been positive coming out of Bucs headquarters dating back to voluntary workouts. "He looks lean, he looks like he's finishing his runs -- obviously, there is no contact in the spring -- but it looks like he's finishing his runs," Licht said. "He looks like he's got that burst." By most accounts, Martin looks leaned out entering his sixth season. Martin is currently being drafted in the middle of the fourth round, which may be a bit rich for a guy suspended the first three games.
Source: NFL.com
Jun 16 - 10:40 AM

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter made Ali Marpet's move to center official.

"I know I said at one point that it was an experiment," said Koetter. "I mean, it's an experiment that we fully expect to work or we wouldn't be messing around with it." Marpet was arguably the Bucs' best blocker as a 2016 rookie, especially excelling in the run game. He should be an upgrade on incumbent C Joe Hawley, whose performance was middling across the board.
Jun 15 - 3:07 PM

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter compared third-round pick Chris Godwin to Roddy White.

Koetter coached White in Atlanta. "It's way, way, way too early to say this," Koetter cautioned, "but ... Chris reminds me a little bit of Roddy White. He's similar size, a big guy that competes for the ball." Koetter added Godwin is "off to a fast start" in spring practices, a sentiment echoed by Jameis Winston and multiple beat writers. Behind Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson, Godwin's path to rookie-year snaps remains unclear.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 14 - 9:58 PM

According to Joe Bucs Fan, Doug Martin looks "quicker" and "bulkier" this year.

"Looks like a guy who’s been pounding it in the weight room," wrote Joe Bucs Fan. ESPN Bucs reporter Jenna Laine also posted a clip on Twitter showing Martin with a bursting run around the left side, with Laine noting "powerful running" and "nice cuts." There is obviously no contact at minicamp this week, but all reports around a rejuvenated Martin have been positive since he left rehab. Now basically year-to-year on his deal, Martin seems out to prove he still has "it" after a rough 2016. He'll have RB2 appeal once his three-game ban runs dry.
Jun 13 - 10:14 PM

Third-round pick Chris Godwin has worked "strictly" as an outside receiver at Bucs OTAs.

Godwin has been lighting up OTAs, but he's working behind X receiver Mike Evans and Z receiver DeSean Jackson. Godwin's easiest path to playing time would be in the slot, but the Bucs love Adam Humphries and use Cameron Brate there frequently. Barring an injury to Evans or Jackson -- or a position switch in camp -- Godwin lacks a clear avenue to consistent rookie-year snaps.
Jun 12 - 1:28 PM

Pewter Report suggests Cameron Brate may keep his first-team role over rookie O.J. Howard to begin the season.

Jameis Winston developed an on-field rapport with Brate last season, and it has carried over into OTAs. Pewter Report says Brate and Winston's "chemistry is going to be tough to dethrone," and "it might be more difficult than we thought to see (Howard) as a solidified first-team player" due to Winston and Brate's connection. As rookie tight ends tend to struggle for box-score production, Brate scoring more 2017 fantasy points than Howard would not surprise.
Jun 10 - 1:28 AM

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter expects CB Ryan Smith to have a "major role" this year.

Smith has been one of the standouts at OTAs. He didn't see the field on defense as a rookie, but his arrow is pointing up after moving back to corner late last year. Smith should back up Vernon Hargreaves and Brent Grimes on the outside.
Jun 9 - 7:11 PM

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter claims Ryan Fitzpatrick will have to earn the No. 2 job behind Jameis Winston, saying Ryan Griffin has had a "really good offseason."

We'll rate this as false. The Bucs gave FitzMagic $3 million one month after Griffin signed his "low" RFA tender of $1.797 million. Griffin has never attempted a regular season pass. Were Winston to miss his first career game, it's the experienced Fitzpatrick who will get the call.
Jun 8 - 4:13 PM

Fourth-round sophomore Ryan Smith is working at corner during OTAs.

Smith played corner in college, but GM Jason Licht said he viewed him as a safety after last year's draft. Smith did not see a snap on defense as a rookie, however, and it looks like the safety experiment may be finished, a fact Smith is fine with. "It's my natural position," Smith said of the switch. "I wasn't mad that I was at safety -- it's just that corner is where I'm more comfortable at." Smith will try to earn snaps behind Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves.
Source: ESPN
Jun 6 - 10:57 AM

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the Bucs' pass catcher who has "consistently made the most plays" in OTAs "may be" third-round WR Chris Godwin.

"The most consistent guy(s) since we've been out here have been Godwin and Adam (Humphries)," coach Dirk Koetter said Thursday. "Those two guys have been making plays every day. I'm real happy with what Chris is doing. He can play (inside) or out, either one." Godwin was a pure perimeter receiver at Penn State, so it's interesting that Koetter mentioned him as a candidate for slot snaps inside. "Man, Chris Godwin is amazing," Jameis Winston added. "He's an amazing young talent."
Jun 2 - 12:58 PM

Bucs signed third-round WR Chris Godwin to a four-year contract.

All of the Bucs' draft picks are now under contract. Coach Dirk Koetter said Godwin has gotten "off to a fast start" in the offseason program, but his path to rookie-year fantasy value is blocked by Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson. Even so, Godwin is a high-ceiling Dynasty prospect.
Jun 1 - 11:17 AM

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said RG J.R. Sweezy (back) has "looked awesome" during OTAs.

Sweezy missed all of last season, his first with the Bucs, with a back injury, but he is finally back to full health. Koetter thinks getting Sweezy back is like getting a brand new player and will help shore up the line. Originally signed to play left guard, Sweezy will work on the right side this season.
May 29 - 10:11 AM


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