5 Questions as Mini-Camp is Set to Begin

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The best photos from the Buccaneers' 2016 OTAs.

  1. Will the defense continue to thrive?**
    Through OTAs, the Buccaneers’ defense has impressed head coach Dirk Koetter. Despite learning a new defense, the unit forced several turnovers, including at least three interceptions by Vernon Hargreaves. Will the offense catch up during mini-camp?

2. Where does Caleb Benenoch fit in?
The rookie offensive lineman was forced to miss OTAs because of a rule regarding UCLA’s academic calendar, but he will return to the team for mini-camp. The Buccaneers valued his versatility when they drafted him; Benenoch played both guard and tackle at a high level in college. Which position will the Bucs start him out at camp, and which unit will he be working with?

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Pictures of the Buccaneers' first-round draft pick during Rookie Mini-Camp and OTAs.

  1. Will Hargreaves or Spence get any first-team reps?**
    Throughout voluntary mini-camp and OTAs, both Hargreaves and Spence have been working exclusively with the second-team defense. Hargreaves had a strong performance in OTAs, intercepting at least three passes, while Spence has been as impressive as he could be without pads on. With either of them get any work with the starters, or will they remain with the twos through this week’s action?

4. Who has the edge in the battle for the center job?
The Buccaneers have two qualified centers in Evan Smith and Joe Hawley, with both competing for the starting spot. Smith began last season as the Bucs’ starter before an injury brought Hawley to Tampa Bay and propelled him into the starting lineup. When Smith returned, he was used mostly as a reserve at guard. Hawley has been working with the ones so far during offseason workouts. Is there anything Smith can do this week to help narrow the gap?

5. Which under-the-radar player will stand out?
The Buccaneers will begin training camp with 90 players, but nearly half will be cut as the team makes their way down to 53 players for the regular season. There are several undrafted free agents on the 90-man roster, and although they face an uphill battle to make the team, it’s certainly possible. Last season, Adam Humphries and Donteea Dye earned a spot at training camp through tryouts and both appeared in regular season games and caught touchdowns. He’s not an undrafted rookie, but Bernard Reedy could be an under-the-radar player who turn heads before mini-camp breaks.

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