Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5 Predictions for Training Camp

Training camp is right around the corner. Here are a few things to expect.

Take a look at the top photos from Noah Spence's 2016 campaign.

1. Noah Spence breaks out.
It's no secret that Spence played through a shoulder injury that could have sidelined him for a good portion of last season. Despite that, he still finished his rookie year with 5.5 sacks. Pictures have circulated this offseason of Spence looking much leaner; Spence claims he's the same weight he was a year ago but has trimmed off some body fat and gained muscle. With one year of NFL experience under his belt, Spence is primed for a breakout season. Expect him to shine at camp.  

2. Devante Bond wins the SAM job.
There are two players at the front of the line to become the Buccaneers' starting strong side outside linebacker, but it's unlikely both will be on the field for all of camp. Bond, a 2016 draft pick, was unable to contribute during his rookie season due to an injury, but is expected to be the Bucs' starting SAM when camp kicks off. He'll have to beat out rookie Kendell Beckwith, but there is no timetable set as to when Beckwith will return from a knee injury he suffered in college.

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  1. O.J. Howard dominates.**
    Howard has a reputation as a standout receiving tight end and flashed that ability during OTAs and mini-camp. But he's also renowned for his blocking ability, something that will be on full display when training camp kicks off. Howard's 6-foot-6, making him a difficult matchup for a defensive back, and is also fast enough to beat linebackers on deep routes. He'll be a tough assignment, regardless of who is covering him.

4. Jude Adjai-Barimah holds down the slot.
Barring any injuries, Vernon Hargreaves and Brent Grimes should be the Buccaneers' starting corners this season. But the battle for the No. 3 job will be highly-contested. Adjei-Barimah has starting experience both in the slot and on the outside and is a likely candidate to fill the role. Also keep an eye on Javien Elliott, who came on strong at the end of the 2016 season.

5. Doug Martin plays with a chip on his shoulder.  
Martin has proven that, when healthy, he can be one of the best running backs in the league. He was not healthy a year ago and it showed in his play. The Buccaneers' coaches have raved about Martin all offseason and even though he'll miss the start of the season as he serves a suspension, look for him to play with a chip on his shoulder during camp.

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