With the Buccaneers set to play their first preseason game of the season on Saturday against the Dolphins, the team dropped their first official depth chart on Thursday.
The Buccaneers just wrapped two days of joint practices with the Miami Dolphins as the first preseason game with Miami is Saturday. Head Coach Todd Bowles said that very few veterans would play in the preseason opener. Bowles is a big fan of joint team practices because the feeling is the veterans get better work in those sessions than they would by playing a series or two in a meaningless preseason game.
Tom Brady will not play against the Dolphins and may not play in the preseason as he has taken a ten-day leave from the team for personal reasons. In addition, receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin will also not play. Godwin is recovering from off-season surgery, while Evans is taking it easy after straining a hamstring in practice last week.
Roster Surprises Ahead Of The Buccaneers First Preseason Game
This game will showcase quarterbacks, Kyle Trask and Blaine Gabbert. We have already seen enough of Gabbert, but the jury is still out on Trask. He has been less than stellar in camp this year and needs more reps for the team to decide how good he will be. I would like to see Trask play the whole game against Miami.
Trask was drafted in the second round last season as the heir apparent to Tom Brady whenever he retires. The Buccaneers released their first official depth chart ahead of this game, and there were a few surprises.
At running back, Ke’Shawn Vaughan is the backup running back, ahead of Gio Bernard and the rookie Rachaad White. Vaughan worked hard on his receiving this spring, and we see the results of that hard work paying off in training camp. However, remember that this is just the first depth chart so a lot will change between now and the season opener.
Ryan Jensen is still the number one center on the depth chart. This is surprising considering that Jensen’s injury could sideline him the entire season. However, Jensen elected not to have surgery and hopes he may be available for the Buccaneers in the post-season. Robert Hainsey is listed as the backup to Jensen.
Luke Goedecke, the rookie from Central Michigan — one of the players expected to contend for a starting job — is listed second on the depth chart at left guard behind Aaron Stinnie. Stinnie has started seven games for the Bucs, and that experience has paid off on the first depth chart.
At wide receiver, there are no surprises. After the big four of Evans, Godwin, Gage, and Jones, Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson, and Jaelon Darden round out the final wide receiver positions. Blaine Gabbert is listed as the number two quarterback behind Tom Brady, while Kyle Trask is number three on the depth chart, followed by Ryan Griffin.
There are no real surprises on the defensive side of the ball till we get to the secondary. Sean Murphy-Bunting is listed as one of the top corners alongside Carlton Davis. Jamel Dean and the rookie Zyon McCollum are number two on the depth chart right now.
The Buccaneers will face the Dolphins at 730PM Saturday at Raymond James Stadium.