As training camp creeps inexorably closer, we're taking one final look at the 90-man roster the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will take into that most formative of months. While camp itself is technically only about three weeks long, practice work will continue right up until the September 11 season opener, and three preseason contests will provide an even more important opportunity for players to make their marks.
While the Buccaneers as a team will be shaping its roster and installing its playbooks, the individual players on that 90-man roster will come to camp with a variety of personal goals. Some will be fighting for starting spots, some will be looking to move up the depth chart ladder and some will simply be trying to stick around past August.
In the two weeks before the start of camp, we're going to take a look at what those individual goals might be for every player who is reporting to Buccaneers camp. These are their 'Camp Goals,' and today we're running down the players in the jersey number 10-19 range.
#10 WR Scotty Miller: After a 2021 season marred by a turf toe injury and a subsequently diminished role in the offense, Miller has a golden opportunity to reestablish the productive connection he had with Tom Brady during the 2020 Super Bowl campaign. With Chris Godwin's availability for the start of the season in question, the Buccaneers are going to be looking for new contributors in the passing attack. Miller isn't exactly new, but he could return to a prominent role as a deep threat. That's what he'll be looking to prove in camp and the preseason.
#11 QB Blaine Gabbert: There were some mixed signals in the spring as to whether or not Gabbert would have to contend with a push from second-year quarterback Kyle Trask, but it seems obvious that the number-two job behind Brady is his to lose. The Tampa Bay coaching staff clearly puts a lot of value on Gabbert's previous starting experience and his knowledge of the scheme. Therefore, Gabbert's goal in camp will be to make it clear that he is still the best choice in that second slot.
#12 QB Tom Brady: Brady obviously has nothing left to prove, and we all know his goal every season is to finish it with the Lombardi Trophy in his hands. In service of that overarching goal, Brady's efforts prior to the regular season will likely center on working out who is preferred targets will be, particularly while Godwin is out. Brady will get a chance to figure out what Russell Gage can do, and he'll also have some time to find out who and how many of the team's tight ends can contribute in the passing game with old pal Rob Gronkowski riding off into retirement again.
#13 WR Mike Evans: Speaking of nothing to prove, all Evans does every year is eclipse 1,000 receiving yards, and he has also averaged nearly 10 touchdowns per season. During minicamp, Evans said he felt great physically as he continues to tinker with and hone his year-long training regiment. And that will be a big part of the goal for Evans: stay healthy, hit his preferred playing weight and be ready to dominate as usual when the games that count begin.
#14 WR Chris Godwin: This one is simple: Godwin's goal is to get back on the field, and as soon as possible. Given that he hasn't yet returned to practice after tearing an ACL last December, he is likely to start camp on the active/PUP. That doesn't preclude him from returning to the field at any time, but it gives the Bucs the option of using the reserve/PUP list before the start of the season if necessary. That is not the goal for either the team or the player, because players who land on PUP have to sit out at least six games.
#15 WR Cyril Grayson: Like Miller, Grayson is another receiver with an opportunity and a desire to prove that some good work of his in the past, even if it's not in a huge sample size, is indicative of what he can do with more playing time. Grayson, the former track star who has worked hard to form himself into a legitimate NFL receiver, came on strong late last season before missing out on a playoff showcase due to a hamstring injury. Grayson credits Brady with helping him believe he belongs in the NFL; now he wants to make Brady (and the coaching staff) believe he should be a regular in the offense.
#16 WR Breshad Perriman: Perriman's goal may be to establish a little bit more career continuity than he has had in recent years. After reviving that career with a massively productive finish to the 2019 season in Tampa, he spent one year with the Jets before signing with Detroit in 2021. He didn't stick with the Lions and ended up in Chicago but didn't get any playing time until he was released and picked back up by the Buccaneers. Perriman subsequently made a handful of big plays but would still probably like a larger does of action and some stability throughout the season.
#17 WR Russell Gage: Gage may have the most to gain in July and August of all the Bucs' receivers, save perhaps the rehabbing Godwin. He followed Brady's recruitment down I-75 from Atlanta to Tampa and now may be a starter to begin the season if Godwin isn't ready. Even when Godwin is back in the mix, the Bucs want to find ways to feature Gage both in the slot and on the outside, giving play-caller Byron Leftwich more looks to work with. Gage's goal in camp will be to get on the same page with Brady and learn just what is the demanding quarterback will be expecting of him.
#18 WR Tyler Johnson: The former fifth-round pick out of Minnesota did take a step forward in his second NFL season, tripling his catch total to 36 and nearly doubling his yardage total, though he did not find the end zone after scoring twice as a rookie. He'll need to continue to progress if he's going to prove to be a long-term front-line option in the Bucs' offense. The 6-1, 2-6-pound Johnson profiles a bit like Chris Godwin physically, so if he could show off his blocking skills in the run game and his toughness over the middle he could open some eyes on the coaching staff.
#19 K Jose Borregales: No gray areas here: Borregales' goal is to put the ball through the uprights. Rookie punter Jake Camarda is probably going to handle kickoffs, so all the Bucs need to know about their first-year kicker is how reliable he can be on field goals and extra points. Borregales is in a straight-up competition with veteran incumbent Ryan Succop, so his overall goal is obviously to win the Bucs' kicking job and establish himself in the NFL. But he can't control what Succop does, so on a daily basis Borregales will simply be focusing on making all of his own kicks. This will be particularly important during the three preseason games.