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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2022 Training Camp Preview

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(Photo by Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2022 Training Camp Preview

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be looking to win another Lombardi Trophy in the 2022 season. After a retirement and unretirement from Tom Brady, this season seems like his last ride as he searches for an eighth Super Bowl ring. In his two seasons in Tampa Bay, Brady has secured two playoff berths, but more importantly leading them to victory in Super Bowl LV. Last year, the Buccaneers fell short, losing in the Divisional Round to the Los Angeles Rams. Heading into 2022, Todd Bowles will be at the helm after Bruce Arians retired this offseason.

Three Position Battles to Watch

Wide Receiver: Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson, Breshad Perriman, Cyril Grayson Jr.

There is a lot of talent in the Tampa Bay wide receiver room. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin will be the clear one and two. Godwin, who tore his ACL last December, has no official timetable for a return, but could be back sooner than expected, according to fellow wide receiver Cyril Grayson Jr. Russell Gage will be set to be the No. 3 receiver in the offense. That leaves Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson, Breshad Perriman, and Grayson Jr. left to compete for targets.

Miller will likely see the most targets out of the quartet. He did not play much in 2021 but had a good season in 2020 as a solid option out of the slot. Johnson also projects well after playing in all 17 games for the Buccaneers last season. Perriman and Grayson Jr. will be on the outside looking in but could be given opportunities if they perform well in training camp.

Left Guard: Aaron Stinnie, Robert Hainsey, Nick Leverett, Luke Goedeke

After the retirement of Ali Marpet, the Buccaneers have a hole to fill at the guard position. There are a handful of candidates to take the starting left guard job. Veteran Aaron Stinnie will be the leader in this battle. Second-year players Robert Hainsey and Nick Leverett will also be a part of the competition while second-round pick Luke Goedeke will look to make an early impact. Stinnie has the most NFL experience, now entering his fifth NFL season. Goedeke has good upside, but it may not be enough to start Week 1 with the Buccaneers looking to protect an immobile Brady. Meanwhile Hainsey and Leverett are not bad players, but they are unlikely to start as they do not have the experience of Stinnie or the upside of Goedeke.

Kicker: Ryan Succop, Jose Borregales

Battles at the kicker position are usually cut-and-dry. A veteran kicker underperforms so the team brings in a young guy to challenge the veteran. This is no different. Succop had a decent year in 2021. He hit 25 of 30 field goals and 56 of 59 extra points. The problem here is that Succop’s longest made field goal was only 48 yards. Sure, it’s not terrible, but it is bad enough for the Buccaneers to bring in competition. Jose Borregales will be that competition. The 24-year-old does not have any NFL experience, but he did play four years of college for FIU and Miami. If Borregales plays well in training camp and preseason, he may take the job from Succop.

Ready To Breakout: Russell Gage

Russell Gage will have a good opportunity to break out in 2022. As previously mentioned, Godwin is expected to miss time recovering from the ACL injury. As a result, Gage will have an opportunity to establish himself in Tampa Bay’s offense before Godwin returns. Plus, the departures of Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown will reduce the competition for targets. In addition, Brady believes Gage will have a big year. In Atlanta, Gage found success recording over 700 yards in each of the last two seasons. However, he could easily see better results in 2022.

Rookie To Watch: Rachaad White

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Arizona State’s Rachaad White in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft. White will not be the starter as Leonard Fournette will be the lead back. With that being said, Ronald Jones signed with Kansas City this offseason, leaving an opportunity for a second running back to emerge in Tampa Bay’s backfield. White will have a good opportunity to be that guy. He may earn snaps on passing downs since he is a good receiver out of the backfield, and he is big enough to be a good pass blocker. Overall, he seems like a good candidate to earn playing time and make an early impact.

Fantasy Sleeper: Cameron Brate

Cameron Brate is not the best tight end in the league, but he may be able to provide late-round fantasy value. In 2021, Brate logged 57 targets for 30 receptions and 245 yards. He also added four touchdowns. The numbers are not incredible, but he produced those stats with Gronkowski and O.J. Howard ahead of him on the roster. Now, Brate will be the No. 1 tight end. Even if rookie Cade Otton gets targets, he will be filling Howard’s role on the offense. The only damper here is that Mike Evans will get a good amount of red zone work which will eat into Brate’s ceiling. At the same time, I still like the idea of taking the number one tight end in a productive offense late in a fantasy draft.

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