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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

3 Storylines to Follow at First Open OTA

What to watch for when the Bucs take the field on Thursday.

Check out photos from the first day of OTAs at One Buccaneer Place.

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READ: 5 PLAYERS TO WATCH AT OTAs1. Is Jacquies Smith ready to take the next step?

Defensive end Jacquies Smith finished 2014 with 6.5, the second-most of any Buccaneer. After enduring a rocky road and becoming a starter in the NFL, Smith is expected to be responsible for one side of the team's defensive line in 2015. The Bucs didn't pick up an edge-rusher in the draft, which many analysts isolated as a position of need, possibly foreshadowing a trust that the Bucs have in Smith.  "I honestly think that I'm just scratching the surface," Smith said. "I think that I can be a whole lot better. I consider myself a double-digit sack guy. I really do think that."

2. The first offensive line group.
Offensive linemen Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet were selected in the second round of this year's draft and are expected to compete for starting jobs. But the jump from college to the NFL is a drastic one and there will be an adjustment period. Offensive line coach George Warhop said that Smith would have to beat out Kevin Pamphile for the job at left tackle, so he probably won't run with the ones on Thursday. Warhop said that Marpet has competition for the right guard job and rattled off a laundry list of names. Whatever configuration trots out on the field on Thursday, it will be different than last year's; two starters from 2014 are no longer with the team.

3. Musical chairs at running back.
The Bucs have three experienced running backs on their roster – Doug Martin, Charles Sims and Bobby Rainey. There are two ways that things could shake out between them: one player emerges as the go-to back or all three share the ball-carrying duties evenly. OTAs, like any other time on the practice field, present an opportunity for one of the three backs to separate themselves from the pack.

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