Buccaneers rookies at OTAs and mini-camp.
READ: OFFENSIVE STORYLINES1. A new signal-caller.
It's typical for the middle linebacker to be the one to call out the plays to the defense. For the Buccaneers, that will be Bruce Carter, who was signed as a free agent this spring after spending 2014 with Dallas. Mason Foster, now with Chicago, handled the team's play-calling duties last season. So far, Carter's been handling the responsibility well, according to Head Coach Lovie Smith.
2. The competition at safety.
Media in attendance for OTAs and mini-camp saw a variety of safeties working with the first-team defense, including Chris Conte and D.J. Swearinger, who will be playing their first season with Tampa this fall. They are among several Bucs that could end up starting this season; five-year veteran Major Wright, up-and-comer Bradley McDougald and 2012 draft pick Keith Tandy will compete for playing time in the defensive backfield.3. Lansanah vs. Alexander.
Danny Lansanah's windy road to the NFL took him through the UFL, to a handful of different NFL practice squads and eventually to a desk job before he emerged as one of the Buccaneers' starting outside linebackers last season. But there will always be competition, and Lansanah will have to hold off Alexander, a fourth-round draft pick out of LSU, to retain his starting job. **
- Can Jamal Young be this year's Cinderella story?**
Jamal Young was working at a WalMart when he received a phone call from the Buccaneers telling him he had been signed as an undrafted free agent. Young hardly has any football experience – he played briefly at a community college after completing a career as a sprinter at Southern Mississippi – but has intriguing size (6-3, 240) and speed. He's working to make the team as a defensive end.
5. Who will start beside Gerald McCoy?
McCoy has established himself as one of the best defensive tackles in the game; Pro Football Focus went as far as naming him the league's best pass-rushing defensive tackle in 2014. But who will earn the other defensive tackle spot? Clinton McDonald started 13 games last season while Akeem Spence started five, but Henry Melton, who was signed from the Cowboys this spring, will also be in the mix to earn the starting job.