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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5 Takeaways from OTAs, June 2nd

A few notes from the Buccaneers' third open OTA practice.

1. Ali Marpet has been working at center.
The Buccaneers have an interesting battle set to take place at center with Joe Hawley and Evan Smith both having starting experience. But the team tried a new face out at center on Thursday to help build depth. Despite being the starting right guard, the Bucs worked Ali Marpet at center. Tampa Bay will likely have just two alternates on the offensive line on game day, so it will be critical that all players who dress can play multiple positions.

2. Johnthan Banks practiced with the starters at corner.
Brent Grimes was unable to practice on Thursday, so Johnthan Banks stepped in and worked with the first team alongside Alterraun Verner. The pair began last season as the Bucs' starting cornerbacks. Jude Adjei-Barimah served as the Bucs' nickel back with Vernon Hargreaves working with the twos.

3. Luke Stocker appears to be the starting fullback… for now.
When the Bucs' offense came out for seven-on-sevens at the start of practice, they did so with Stocker playing fullback. Tampa Bay is without their fullback from a year ago, Jorvorskie Lane, who was lost during free agency. Rookie Danny Vitale is expected to compete for the fullback job, but it appears it belongs to Stocker for the time being.

4. The defense dominated the day.
Thursday's practice was highlighted by several impressive plays by the defense, including a handful of interceptions. Adjei-Barimah, Daryl Smith, Bradley McDougald and Isaiah Johnson all recorded interceptions before practice was over.

5. Kenny Bell looks sharp.
We haven't seen much of Bell in a Buccaneer uniform after the team drafted him in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Despite high expectations, he missed his entire rookie season with a hamstring injury. He appears to be picking up right where he left off last season, though, and was impressive during Thursday's practice. There were a handful of passes right on his fingertips that he hauled in without breaking his stride.

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