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Baker Mayfield's Ownership in 2024, K.J. Britt's Larger Role, Cody Mauch's Development & More | Brianna's Blitz 

A look at key quotes from the podium during voluntary Organized Team Activities

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K.J. Britt's Expanded 2024 Role

K.J. Britt made a significant impact in defending the run last season, garnering an increased number of snaps. Upon return from injury in 2023, Devin White was utilized in a rotation with Britt. Britt had four game starts last season for the Bucs and amassed 29 tackles (one for loss) with tenacity between the tackles. The heavy hitter constricted run lanes and played with aggression to bolster the defense. Following the departure of White in free agency to the Eagles, Britt will have an increased role in 2024, prompted by growth in mental comprehension.

"Obviously, he can play all three downs," said Head Coach Todd Bowles on Britt. "We have so many packages and guys to move around – it's a little early to determine who will be on what. In one week, he could be, in one week, he may not be, depending on who we're playing and what we have available. But he's ready to play all three downs. I love his maturity. He's grasping the mental part of the game and becoming the leader of that defense along with Lavonte [David] and 'Win' (Antoine Winfield Jr.) and Vita [Vea]. We're kind of happy with where he's progressing right now… "It was never his coverage skills, with him. It was always his eyes. His eyes have gotten a lot calmer. He's settled down, he knows what's going on, and he understands where he needs to be on the field. I think he's doing a lot better at that."

Clean Bill of Health for Jamel Dean

Jamel Dean missed several games last season with an ankle injury and amassed four passes defensed, two fumble recoveries and 61 tackles in 13 starts during his 2023 campaign. He contributed 712 snaps last season and will strive to make his presence felt in 2024. Throughout OTAs, Dean has prioritized enhancing his press bail technique and working on the JUGS machine to practice catching. Dean has the speed to stay with deep threats and the athletic prowess to play a variety of coverages. He crowds the catch space and will once again play a key part in Bowles' defense come fall.

"When he's healthy and he's on the field, he's a great asset for us," described Bowles of Dean. "To go from good to great, you first have got to be healthy. His message for camp is to master the defense and not worry about the offense. If he understands where his help is, he'll have a heck of a year."

Baker Mayfield's Ownership of Offense

In contrast to last season's competition with Kyle Trask, Baker Mayfield will enter the 2024 season with the starting signal-caller duties locked up. Mayfield took command of the offense during his 2023 campaign and guided the Buccaneers to their third-straight NFC South title an appearance in the Divisional Round of Playoffs. He concluded the year with career-highs in games started (17), completion percentage (64.3%), passing yards (4,044), and touchdown passes (28). Mayfield's final passer rating for the 2023 playoffs was 106.3, based on a 62.3% completion rate, 8.9 yards per attempt and 6-2 touchdown-interception ratio. That is the highest passer rating by any quarterback with at least 25 attempts in Bucs' postseason history. His yards per attempt (8.9) and touchdown percentage (7.8%) were also new team postseason records. Throughout the season, Mayfield galvanized the Bucs with moxie, movement skills, arm talent and anticipation. During OTAs, Bowles discussed Mayfield's ownership of the offense in 2024.

"It's the same Baker, it's just him and Liam [Coen] getting on the same page, him and Thad [Lewis] getting on the same page [and] embracing the offense that is getting installed and checking to the right plays," stated Bowles. "The drive and the vigor is always there, but the maturity of how he's handling the situation right now – learning a new offense – has been great."

Cody Mauch Growth in Second Season

In the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Bucs drafted North Dakota State's Cody Mauch, who earned consensus FCS All-American honors in 2022 while playing left tackle for the Bison. Upon his arrival in Tampa Bay, the Bucs moved Mauch inside to right guard and he manned the starting role. As expected, Mauch underwent a learning curve in his transition to the pros but made progress down the stretch. Mauch played all 1,237 offensive snaps Tampa Bay totaled in 2023. On the heels of a promising rookie campaign, Mauch's goal is to add mass for 2024.

"Obviously, the biggest thing for Cody, [is] you look for more strength, obviously, coming in out of college last year," said Bowles. "He's worked on that in the offseason – he looks bigger. He's always been smart, he's always been tough, and I think the game has slowed down for him quite a bit."

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