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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Training Camp Goals: 2023 Buccaneers, Numbers 60-69

Our player-by-player look at the potential camp objectives for every man on the 90-man roster continues with a number range that is almost completely dominated by offensive lineman, including one possible rookie starter


The NFL's relaxation of its jersey number policies in recent years has led to some unfamiliar sights on the gridiron. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers currently have three edge rushers wearing single digits (including, for the first time, one in the zero jersey), another outside linebacker in the 30s, a cornerback in the teens and a pair of long-snappers in the 80s and 90s. It's pandemonium! Our heads are spinning!

Except for the 60s, man. The 60s are what they always have been. The 60s are about peace, love…and offensive linemen.

(Okay, there is one defensive lineman in the list below, but you get the picture.)

As the Buccaneers slide inexorably toward the start of their 2023 training camp, we are using these last couple weeks of player freedom to speculate on what those players may have on their minds as they report back to the AdventHealth Training Center next week. It's our player-by-player look at potential "Camp Goals" for each man on the 90 man roster, going one 10-number range at a time. Today we look at those who don jersey numbers in the 60s which, again, is a bunch of big, powerful blockers (and one outnumbered defender).

#60 G Nick Leverett: Following the 2023 draft, as the Bucs' offseason program progressed, a starting five of sorts began to take shape for the offensive line. Tristan Wirfs moved over to left tackle to replaced the departed Donovan Smith, second-year man Luke Goedeke kicked from guard out to right tackle and rookie right guard Cody Mauch slotted in at right guard. (More on those latter two below.) Free agent pickup Matt Feiler appears to be the first choice at left guard and Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen is expected to return to his spot at some point as he continues to recover from last year's knee injury. However, that lineup is not set in stone by any means, and Leverett will surely come to his fourth Buccaneer training camp intent on recapturing the left guard spot he held down for the majority of the 2022 season. The Buccaneers will surely be thrilled if Leverett performs well enough to give the presumed starters every bit of competition they can handle. In addition to that obvious goal, Leverett will try to continue demonstrating the positional versatility that has greatly enhanced his value to the team for the past three years.

#61 OL Silas Dzansi: Virginia Tech's Dzansi is one of four offensive linemen the Buccaneers signed as undrafted free agents in May, and all four face a depth chart that has five presumed starters and some relatively experienced depth. That makes the battle for Dzansi and company a little more difficult than in some camps, but it's worth noting that some of that aforementioned depth (Leverett, Aaron Stinnie, Brandon Walter, John Molchon, Grant Hermanns) started exactly where Dzansi is now. Dzansi is a very large man (6-4, 337) with great strength and Hokies coaches raved about his intelligence. He is further along in terms of his run blocking so his goal in training camp could be to soak up his coaches' training as they try to refine his pass-blocking technique. The eight or nine-man OL unit may be tough for any of the rookies to crack right away, but Dzansi will try, of course, and if a spot doesn't become available he could still impress enough to land on the practice squad.

#62 DL C.J. Brewer: Here's our defensive interloper, and he is one of the most recent additions to the 90-man roster. Brewer was one of a small handful of players with prior NFL experience who participated in the team's rookie minicamp in May and he showed enough to subsequently get the 90th spot on that roster. He started out as an undrafted rookie with the Bills in 2022 and spent most of last season on Buffalo's practice squad, getting a late-season promotion and appearing in two games. He also then went on to play 10 games for the Houston Roughnecks in the CFL.

#64 G Aaron Stinnie: Like Leverett, Stinnie has started for the Buccaneers in the past and would surely like to ascend to such a role again. In his case, Stinnie got his shot in the 2020 postseason when the since-departed suffered a broken foot in the playoff opener. Stinnie started the next three games, including Super Bowl LV, and acquitted himself quite nicely. In fact, his postseason performance in 2020 bought him a one-on-one battle with Cappa in the following season's training camp to win the right guard spot, but Cappa held onto the job and had a fine 2021 campaign. Stinnie was in the running for a starting job again last summer but saw his season end abruptly with an ACL tear in the second preseason game. So Stinnie's top-level goals for training camp are twofold: First, demonstrate that he has recovered fully from his injury and is back to his previous form and second, fight for another shot at the starting lineup. Given all the movement in the lineup from last season to this one, that has to be considered a realistic goal, at the least.

#66 C Ryan Jensen: Jensen doesn't have much left to prove as a player or as an onfield tone-setter, but he has one obvious objective for this year's camp. He sustained a significant injury on just the second day of last year's training camp and missed the entire 2022 regular season, so getting completely back to pre-injury form is clearly goal number one. Jensen did not have surgery after his injury and was stunningly able to return for the Bucs' one preseason game, but he subsequently did not take part in offseason practices even when he was in the building. That was an unsurprising approach; Jensen knows what he's doing and can hit the ground running in training camp without field work in May and June. Getting back in the mix from the beginning of camp would be invaluable for the veteran, however, as he is likely to have new starters on both sides of him along the front line. More than any other position, the offensive line needs to develop chemistry in order to be at its best on Sundays.

#67 G Luke Goedeke: The Buccaneers are connecting a few dots when it comes to moving Goedeke out to right tackle, and the 2022 second-round pick will look to show that those dots form a straight line to him excelling at that spot. Tampa Bay drafted Goedeke with the idea of moving him inside, and in fact he opened the season as the starter at left guard, but his natural position at Central Michigan was right tackle. In the '22 regular season finale, with the Bucs already locked into the fourth seed in the NFC playoff field, the team rested most of its regulars and gave Goedeke a spot start at his college position. It went well. That emboldened the team to make the Wirfs shift to the left side and make Goedeke their first option at right tackle. After using his rookie NFL camp to make the difficult transition to the pros and to a new position, Goedeke can head into his second camp fully focused on proving he is an NFL-caliber right tackle.

#68 T Michael Niese: Niese originally signed with the Broncos as an undrafted free agent out of Temple last spring, but he spent his entire rookie season on the Bears' practice squad. The Buccaneers signed him to a reserve/future contract in January and now he heads into his first camp in Tampa. Denver saw the 6-5, 295-pound Niese as a likely convert to a guard spot, but the Buccaneers initially have him listed as a tackle. This may actually be a good thing for Niese; if he can display some ability at both spots that will make him a much more attractive candidate as an O-Line reserve. The Buccaneers definitely value positional flexibility in their lineman and that is particularly important when trying to land a spot as a reserve on the 53-man roster. Like the four undrafted rookies in the current O-Line room, Niese has yet to put on pads for the Buccaneers, so the beginning of training camp will be an opportunity for him to make a good first impression.

#69 G Cody Mauch: For the second year in a row, the Buccaneers selected a tackle from a relatively small school with the clear intention of moving him inside to guard. After the Goedeke selection in 2022, the Bucs traded up two spots in order to land North Dakota State's Mauch, a red-headed grinning mauler from the Ryan Jensen mold. Mauch is an excellent blocker on the move, making him a perfect fit for guard in the offensive scheme that Dave Canales is installing. As noted above, the Buccaneers didn't take long to insert Mauch into the first-team line, where he is going to get the first shot to replace the traded Shaq Mason at right guard. So Mauch heads into his first camp with the objective of continuing to learn his new position and the Canales playbook, and to prove that the team's confidence in him as a potential Week One starter is justified.

View some of the best pictures from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2023 Asset Shoot.

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