Skip to main content

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Updates: Preseason 2023

Keep informed with our daily updates: News, notes and more throughout the end of Summer, Training Camp & the Preseason

August 31 Updates

Of the six undrafted rookies who made the Bucs' 53-man roster to start the season, cornerback Derrek Pitts probably would have been the toughest to predict before Tuesday's round of cuts. Wide receiver Rakim Jarrett and running back Sean Tucker both generated plenty of training camp buzz, safety Christian Izien won the slot corner job, outside linebacker Markees Watts had some flashy moments in the preseason game and safety Kaevon Merriweather was a somewhat obvious guess given the team's lack of depth at that position.

Pitts, meanwhile, was one of 10 cornerbacks on the Bucs' roster before the cuts and on the preseason depth chart he occupied the fifth slot on one of the two cornerback rows. He was not brought to the post-practice interview table at any point during camp and his name wasn't volunteered by any of the coaches who were.

Clearly, though, he was getting the job done on the field…and one aspect of that job in particular.

"Pitts was one our better special teams players," said Head Coach Todd Bowles to explain giving the rookie defensive back a coveted roster spot. "He did a heck of job on kickoff and as a gunner. When you come down to the end fighting for that last roster spot, you're going to need a guy who can do that."

Pitts had one kick-coverage stop in the preseason to go with five tackles on defense. If he can secure the other assignment as a punt gunner opposite Zyon McCollum, he would not only be on the active roster but would have a helmet on for game day instead of landing on the inactive list. And even though he didn't get much outside attention during training camp, he got enough feedback within the building to know he had a shot at making it through Tuesday's cuts.

"Yeah, I had a good feeling, just by the older guys in the room complementing me on certain things I do on the field," said Pitts. "Then we get into the team room and some of the coaches tell me, 'Good job.' I just felt comfortable in the situation."

CLICK HERE for more of Coach Bowles' thoughts about the Bucs' 53-man roster.

Footballs sit on the field before an NFL football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

August 29 Updates

The Buccaneers have made a couple of changes to their schedule due to the expected inclement weather caused by Hurricane Idalia. Fortunately, the current week is a bit of bonus opportunity for work as the preseason has concluded and the regular season games don't start until next week.

After giving players two days off and then only conducting a walk-thru on Tuesday, the Buccaneers were originally planning to practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Thanks to Idalia, the team has chosen to cancel that Wednesday workout. In addition, the practice on Thursday has been moved from a 9:00 a.m. start to 10:45.

The players and the coaching staff will then be off from Friday through Sunday before returning to work on Monday, September 4, which is Labor Day. The Buccaneers kick off their regular season on Sunday, September 10 at Minnesota, with a 1:00 p.m. kickoff at U.S. Bank Stadium.


August 27 Updates

The Buccaneers finished up their three-game preseason schedule on Saturday with a 26-20 win over the Ravens, a game in which 67 different players saw action for the home team. With that last round of game tape, the coaches can now begin the process of trimming the roster from the 90-man camp limit to 53 players for the regular season.

It won't happen in a single day. The deadline for getting down to 53 players is at 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, August 29. But with the players all getting three days on their own after Saturday's game, there's no reason not to start making moves early. In fact, multiple teams around the league have already announced some of their cuts. In his day-after-game press conference on Sunday morning, Bucs Head Coach Todd Bowles indicated that his staff would be meeting that morning to begin those discussion.

"Maybe some of the obvious [cuts], we may do something today," said Bowles. "The rest of the guys, we'll probably wait. It'll be like a two-and-a-half-day process for us. We'll still meet and go over things; some decisions we have to make and some guys we try to get to the practice squad. It may start today. We'll see how meetings go. If not, definitely tomorrow."

Even though teams have been and will continue announcing their roster moves over the weekend and on Monday, the players who are cut won't hit the waiver wire until Tuesday's deadline. Teams can then put in claims and potentially be awarded their claimed players on Wednesday.

CLICK HERE for more of Coach Bowles' thoughts the day after Saturday's win over Baltimore.


August 26 Updates

Ryan Jensen, the Buccaneers' Pro Bowl center who missed the entire 2022 regular season due to a training camp knee injury, will now miss a second straight season. During the third quarter of the Buccaneers' preseason television broadcast, General Manager Jason Licht announced that Jensen will be placed on injured reserve in the coming days.

Players who land on injured reserve prior to the roster cutdown to 53 players are not eligible to return at any point during the upcoming season.

Jensen went to the Pro Bowl following the 2021 season and was a key figure in the offensive line that helped Tom Brady and the Buccaneers win Super Bowl LV after the 2020 campaign. He first joined the Bucs as an unrestricted free agent in 2018 and then signed a new multi-year deal in 2022. He started every game, playoffs included, over his first four seasons in Tampa. He also made a surprise return from his preseason injury last year to start and play every snap in the Bucs' postseason loss to the Cowboys.

Robert Hainsey, who replaced Jensen for all 16 regular-season games last season, started Saturday's preseason finale against Baltimore at center. Nick Leverett has also been in competition for the starting job.


August 24 Updates

Buccaneers Head Coach named sixth-year veteran Baker Mayfield the Buccaneers' starting quarterback on Tuesday, ending what had been a hotly-contested competition between Mayfield and third-year player Kyle Trask. Bowles praised both quarterbacks for their work in training camp and the preseason but believed Mayfield had a little better understanding of the playbook.

"We love everything Kyle [Trask] has done and he's gotten leaps and bounds better – and he has in the spring, and he's continuing to get better," said Bowles on Tuesday. "We're excited about him. Kyle is on the come [up] but we like both guys, we like where we're at."

The Buccaneers had good reason to believe that Mayfield was capable of running an NFL offense well – they've seen him do it. Particularly in his standout 2020 season, Mayfield created game tape that showed the former first-overall draft pick putting his talents to good use. With Trask, who spent his first two seasons sitting behind Tom Brady and Blaine Gabbert, that evidence just wasn't there yet.

Now the Bucs think they do have some evidence of Trask's ability to operate an NFL offense, and they're excited about what that means for their quarterback position as a whole.

"And the cool part about us is we've got all the film, so we get to watch all the quarterbacks that are playing in the preseason, whether they're playing the starters for a few series or the backups for a few series," said Offensive Coordinator Dave Canales on Thursday. "If you watch Kyle's film and you throw on any of the games across the league, you'll see this is a real talent – this is a real starting level talent at quarterback. He just has [calmness] in the pocket, he's accurate and he just stays cool throughout the whole thing – good or bad series, he's right back on it. Pretty cool."

Trask played four offensive series in the preseason opener after Mayfield started and got the first four. He started the second game and directed all six first-half possessions before later re-entering the game after an injury to John Wolford and handling four more drives. Overall, he completed 26 of 38 passes (68.4%) for 317 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He showed the ability to drive the ball downfield and put up a strong average of 8.34 yards per pass attempt.

CLICK HERE to listen to more of Canales' thoughts on the quarterbacks, his play-calling and how the Bucs' offense is coming together.

TAMPA, FL - August 11, 2023 - Quarterback Baker Mayfield #6 and Offensive Lineman Robert Hainsey #70 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the preseason game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs lost the game, 27-17. Photo By Mike Carlson/Tampa Bay Buccaneers

August 22 Updates

The Buccaneers will play their preseason finale on Saturday night against the Ravens at Raymond James Stadium. For a number of veteran starters, it will mark their only extended game action prior to the start of the regular season.

The Buccaneers held 21 players out of their first preseason against the Steelers and then 26 in Week Two against the Jets. Among the starters on offense who are healthy but have yet to take a preseason snap are wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, left tackle Tristan Wirfs, left guard Matt Feiler and running back Rachaad White. Baker Mayfield, who was named the Bucs' starting quarterback on Tuesday, was in for four drives in the opener and didn't play in Week Two.

Shortly after announcing that Mayfield would start over Kyle Trask, Head Coach Todd Bowles also indicated that the starters would play against the Ravens, potentially for the entire first half.

"Everybody's playing," said Bowles. "Baker's one and Kyle's two. The first unit will be out there; in the second half, the second unit will be out there."

Center Ryan Jensen has not practiced in over a week and won't play on Saturday if he is not fully back in action by Thursday. Robert Hainsey and Nick Leverett have each started one preseason game in his place. Whichever one is deemed the starter during Jensen's absence will get a chance to play with the full intended offensive line this weekend.

"They've had a lot of practice time together," said Bowles of the O-Line starters. "I'm not concerned from that standpoint. You always want it to go smoothly on game day. We'll get to see what it looks like this weekend. But they got a lot of practice time together, they're communicating well, we'll just continue to grow. I'm comfortable with where they're at."

CLICK HERE for more on Baker Mayfield being named the starting quarterback.

August 20 Updates

By Tuesday, August 29, when the NFL requires each team to trim its roster from 90 players to 53, the Buccaneers will have to decide how many men it wants to keep at each position on the depth chart. It's a zero-sum proposition – choosing to keep one more player at one spot necessarily means keeping one less somewhere else. However, these decisions can be made a bit easier by players who can fit into more than one category.

Dee Delaney is one such player.

Delaney first entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Miami with the Jaguars in 2018. He bounced around a bit from there, spending time with the Jags, Dolphins, Jets and Commanders and appearing in a total of three regular season games over three seasons. But he has found a home in Tampa since signing with the Buccaneers in May of 2021, appearing in all but two games over the last two years and logging over 400 defensive snaps to go with extensive action on special teams.

The key for Delaney finding some roster permanence has been his versatility, as he has seen action at outside corner, slot corner and safety during that span. This preseason, he has been filling the same sort of role and once again proving his overall value on a 53-man roster.

"He's very valuable because he's versatile," said Head Coach Todd Bowles on Sunday. "When it comes down to cuts, you need a guy that can play two or three positions, so you can keep somebody else at another position. He's making his presence felt, he's making himself known – he's been doing that all training camp. We're taking notice."

It was hard not to notice Delaney on Saturday night in the Bucs' 13-6 preseason road win over the New York Jets. He made a nifty shoestring catch of a deflected pass at the goal line in the third quarter to preserve the Bucs' 10-6 lead, a play the Bucs had to challenge to have an original ruling of incomplete overturned. He later picked off another pass late in the fourth quarter while playing safety, though that takeaway was erased by a pass interference penalty on another Bucs defender. He finished the game with a team-leading seven tackles, as well.

CLICK HERE for highlights from the Buccaneers' win in the Meadowlands on Saturday.

S Kaevon Merriweather #26

August 18 Updates

The Buccaneers will play their second preseason game of 2023 on Saturday against the Jets, and thanks to the joint practice those two teams conducted on Wednesday, a good number of starters may get the night off. Some position groups will see their in-game snaps dominated by rookies and other young players, and that's particularly true at safety.

The Buccaneers have seven players listed at the safety position on their current depth chart, though rookie Christian Izien has mostly been working at slot corner, where he is considered the frontrunner for the starting job. A couple of the team's nominal cornerbacks, such as Dee Delaney and Josh Hayes, also have some positional flexibility that could factor into the equation at safety on Saturday night.

However, for the most part the Bucs will likely be leaning on a quartet of four young safeties who have a combined one regular-season defensive snap in the NFL. That one belongs to first-year defensive back Nolan Turner, an undrafted free agent out of Clemson a year ago. He could be joined in the mix by three rookies who also went undrafted this year, Iowa's Kaevon Merriweather, Delaware's Kedrick Whitehead and Rutgers' Avery Young. It should be noted that Whitehead was held out of practice on Thursday, making his availability on Saturday a question mark. The same is true of Izien.

Antoine Winfield Jr. and Ryan Neal are the Bucs' starting safeties, but Winfield is currently dealing with a sore calf. Neal and Winfield were both held out of last week's preseason opener anyway, with Turner and Merriweather getting the start. The latter two got 33 defensive snaps against the Steelers while Whitehead drew 30. Young was just added to the Bucs' roster the day after that opener against Pittsburgh.

Assuming those young players do get large snap shares on Saturday – and another alternative isn't obvious – they'll get an extended chance to show that they have improved their grasp on the Bucs' defensive schemes. That's where Head Coach Todd Bowles said the inexperienced safeties need the most work.

"They're physical, that's without a doubt," said Bowles. "But the mental part they've got to get down, understanding formations and understanding what plays are coming in down-and-distance, they're working through that part of it. But from a physical standpoint I think they've played well."

CLICK HERE for a guide to how to watch Sunday's game between the Bucs and Jets at MetLife Stadium.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - August 17, 2023 - Wide Receiver Chris Godwin #14 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during 2023 Training Camp practice at the New York Giants training facility. Photo By Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers

August 17 Updates

NFL teams cover a wide variety of specific situations in their practices so that they feel ready for anything that might come their way on game day. Every now and then, a practice includes a 'Sudden Change' notation.

In this type of drill, coaches script a surprise change in a game's circumstances and confront the players with it, breaking the normal flow of practice. The most obvious example is a turnover by the offense, which forces the defense to hurriedly get on the field and get ready to keep the opposing team from capitalizing on it.

This week, which the Buccaneers are spending in New Jersey in order to get in some joint practice work with the Jets prior to the two teams meeting for a game on Saturday night, a sudden change on a more macro level was introduced to the schedule. The original plan for the week was for the Bucs and Jets to get together at the Jets' facility for practices on both Wednesday and Thursday. However, the schedule was altered at the beginning of the week to include only one joint practice. The two teams elected to work separately on Thursday, which meant the Bucs had to find a new location to get their work on.

Fortunately, there are two NFL teams in the vicinity. The Buccaneers could have found a nearby high school willing to let them use their fields for a couple hours on Thursday, but they found even nicer accommodations near MetLife Stadium, which is where both the Giants and Jets play. The Giants have their training facility adjacent to the stadium, and on Thursday they made it available to the Buccaneers for a morning workout.

After practice, Head Coach Todd Bowles thanked the Giants organization for their gracious invitation, specifically noting the Maras, Head Coach Brian Daboll and Senior Vice President and General Manager Joe Schoen.

"The Giants were very generous," said Bowles. "We're thankful that they let us use their facility. Daboll, Joe Schoen, the Mara family – grateful for that.

"We got a lot done today. We felt good about it. We had some things to work on from the first game that we wanted to work on. But impromptu…sudden change is going to happen in football and we've got to be ready to adjust."

Both cornerback Carlton Davis and outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett admitted after Thursday's practice that they would have welcomed one more day of work with the Jets just to keep the competitive juices flowing. But the players and coaches were satisfied with the overall work they got done over two days in New Jersey.

"It's football practice," said Davis. "Our coaches were saying we had to adjust to this, how no matter what the situation is you've just got to get your work in. As long as there's a field, grass, the sun is out you've got an opportunity to get better.

CLICK HERE for more of Coach Bowles' thoughts after Thursday's practice.

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - August 16, 2023 - Quarterback Baker Mayfield #6 of The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Aaron Rodgers during 2023 Training Camp practice at the New York Jets training facility. Photo By Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers

August 16 Updates

The Buccaneers' original plan for the second week of the preseason was to conduct joint practices with the Jets at their facility on Wednesday and Thursday morning before the two met for a game at MetLife Stadium on Saturday night. Prior to the team's trip to New Jersey, Head Coach Todd Bowles indicated that two days of competitive reps and scripted situations against the Jets' offensive and defensive personnel would be all the work many of his starters would need. As was the case in their preseason opener against Pittsburgh, the Bucs planned to devote most of the snaps on Saturday to younger players.

As it turned out, however, the Bucs and Jets will only work in tandem for one day, as the teams chose to hold separate practices on Thursday morning. After that joint workout on Wednesday, Bowles said his rotational plans for Saturday's game haven't changed.

"No, we'll have a good practice tomorrow," he noted. "[The starters] will see most of the work tomorrow, too, so we've got a lot to put in that they can learn from."

Practicing with the Jets was undoubtedly beneficial, but Bowles says the team has some things it needs to accomplish on its own, as well.

"It's always good to work against somebody else because you see all kinds of different looks," he said. "But we'll go against ourselves tomorrow because we know what we need to see come the season. We've got some things we need to get accomplished, so we're pleased with that."

CLICK HERE for more of Coach Bowles' thoughts about Wednesday's practice.

August 14 Updates

The Buccaneers' decision as to who will start at quarterback when the regular season begins won't be made until at least after this weekend's preseason game against the Jets. It may take even longer to answer the question at center.

The complicating factor at center is that it has three moving parts, while the quarterback competition is simply a head-to-head battle between Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask on the football field. There are three potential options at center, starting with Pro Bowler Ryan Jensen if he gets cleared for full activity before the Bucs start preparing for their Week One game in Minnesota. If Jensen remains out of the picture, the job will go to either Robert Hainsey or Nick Leverett.

Jensen has made an impressive non-surgical return from last year's training camp knee injury, even playing in the Bucs' Wild Card game against Dallas last January. He was not placed on the active/PUP list to start training camp, which was seen as a good sign. However, he has yet to take part in full-team drills in 2023 and has received a number of days off during camp. On Sunday, Bowles reported no new update on Jensen's prognosis.

 In the meantime, the Buccaneers have alternated first-team snaps between Hainsey and Leverett, both of whom started for the team last season. Head Coach Todd Bowles and his staff will determine a starter from that duo unless and until Jensen can fully practice.

 "When we go into the season, I don't consider having anybody if they haven't practiced," said Bowles. "You always prepare if somebody gets hurt or if somebody is going to stay hurt. We prepare that way every day, so that hasn't changed."

 Hainsey started all 17 regular-season games for the Bucs in 2022 after Jensen was injured. Leverett took over at left guard in Week Eight and held onto that job for the remainder of the season, though he was injured and inactive for the aforementioned playoff contest. Both players projected as experienced, high-end reserves on the Bucs' line with veteran addition Matt Feiler slotting in at left guard and the hope that Jensen would return to his spot at the pivot.

 Even if Bowles names a starting quarterback before the preseason finale against Baltimore on August 26, he may wait until after that game to announce which player will be delivering the football to that passer.

 "Again, both had playing time, both are very good, both are very smart, very quick," said Bowles. It's going to come down, probably, to the last game."

 CLICK HERE for more of Coach Bowles' thoughts after Monday's practice.

August 13 Updates

The Buccaneers resumed practice on Sunday at team headquarters after their preseason opener on Friday and a resulting day of rest on Saturday. They did so without three members of their eight-man 2023 draft class. Outside linebackers Yaya Diaby and Jose Ramirez - third and sixth-round picks, respectively - and fifth-round linebacker SirVocea Dennis all watched from the sideline as the Bucs put in a little over two hours of field work inside their indoor facility.

Fortunately, none are dealing with serious injuries. The three rookies just got an extra day of rest after feeling the lingering effects from the action on Friday night.

"They're just sore," said Head Coach Todd Bowles at the conclusion of practice. "Those guys will be fine. They played most of the game. Just coming back after that, they got days off."

The Buccaneers held 16 players out of the game against Pittsburgh who are listed as starters on the current depth chart, creating more of an opportunity for the younger hopefuls on the roster. Dennis and Diaby both started the game and saw extensive action.

Running back Rachaad White was one of those rested starters on Friday night but he was back in action on the practice field Sunday. Near the end of the session, White pulled up and got attention from the trainers on a concern with his lower leg. Bowles does not believe that is a serious issue, either.

"It probably scared him more than anything else, but he should be fine," said Bowles.

CLICK HERE for more updates on the Bucs' return to practice in today's Training Camp Report.

TAMPA, FL - August 01, 2023 - Wide Receiver Mike Evans #13 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during 2023 Training Camp practice at AdventHealth Training Center. Photo By Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers

After a day off on Saturday, the Buccaneers returned to the practice field on Sunday afternoon...specifically the turf field inside their indoor facility at the AdventHealth Training Center.

Originally scheduled as an outdoor workout, the practice was moved inside, perhaps to escape forecasted afternoon temperatures in the high 90s. The Bucs are scheduled to be on the field from 1:00 to 3:40 p.m.

The Buccaneers have mostly chosen to work through the heat and humidity during training camp, as this is just the second practice the team has taken inside. There was also an evening practice in the indoor facility on August 1. This is the second-to-last practice scheduled for the open portion of training camp, as the team will take the field once more on Monday morning before leaving on Tuesday for New Jersey. The Buccaneers and Jets will conduct two joint practices at the Jets' camp location before meeting in a preseason game on Saturday night.


August 9 Updates

With free agent acquisition Baker Mayfield and 2021 second-round pick Kyle Trask engaged in a head-to-head battle for the starting quarterback job, Buccaneers coaches have chosen an alternating-practice approach as the equitable way to divide snaps at training camp. Mayfield runs with the first team throughout the entirety of practice one day; Trask gets that assignment the next day.

The Buccaneers will take the same approach to their preseason slate, or at least the first two-thirds of it. On Wednesday, Head Coach Todd Bowles officially confirmed recent reports that Mayfield will be the first man up when the preseason begins on Friday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Raymond James Stadium.

"Yeah, he'll start this week, Kyle will start next week and we'll go from there," said Bowles after practice on Wednesday morning.

Bowles noted that there was no real significance to the order in which the two quarterbacks will get their starting opportunities.

"Not really," he said. "We'll just go in and switch them out. It just happened to be [Mayfield's] turn."

Trask will also get an opportunity to play on Friday after Mayfield's stint is over, but the coaches are not making a specific effort to get the quarterbacks in with first or second-team units. Bowles said that some veterans at other positions will be held out of the game entirely, which could include some of the starting offensive linemen.

CLICK HERE to review Bucs' first depth chart of 2023.

August 8 Updates

The Buccaneers released their first "official-unofficial" depth chart on Tuesday morning, something that was required in the week prior to their preseason opener against Pittsburgh on Friday night. In the middle of the defense, as always, was the starting off-ball linebacker duo of Lavonte David and Devin White.

David has been a starter since the first week of his 2012 rookie season and has opened all 166 games in which he's played; similarly, White stepped right into the front-line unit after he was drafted in 2019. Since White's arrival, that tandem has accounted for 136 of a possible 146 inside linebacker starts for Tampa Bay over four seasons, playoffs included. When both are healthy enough to suit up for games, which is most of the time, they generally play every single defensive snap of every game.

Of course, that will necessarily come to an end at some point, though the Bucs may not want that to be soon. If nothing else, both David and White are currently under contract with the team for just one more season.

Listed in the two second-string spots at linebacker on that new depth chart are third-year man K.J. Britt and fifth-round rookie SirVocea Dennis. Britt, also a fifth-round pick in 2021, was the primary backup to both David and White last year and Dennis has made a very strong first impression in his rookie training camp, turning in a string of flashy plays. Whether they're needed to fill in for David or White at some point this season or are developing toward a larger role in the years to come, Britt and/or Dennis could be the team's future at the linebacker position.

As such, those two are among the players Head Coach Todd Bowles is particularly eager to see play under the lights on Friday night.

"I think we've seen a lot from him," said Bowles of Dennis. "Just [looking for] a continuation of what he's done: getting his run reads down, he's a very good pass dropper, he's a very good blitzer, actually – we hadn't started to do that yet. Just getting the special teams down and be ready to play. I want to see him and K.J. [Britt] work together Friday night – that'll be a good tandem for us to see. And going forward, just keep continuing to grow and learning the system. I think he's doing that."

If Dennis has a nice showing in his first NFL preseason game, he'll have Britt to thank in part for that. Though he's not the most seasoned veteran on the roster himself, Britt has been making a point of helping the rookie out.

"K.J., he's like another big brother to me," said Dennis. "He's helping me with the playbook, probably the most out of everyone in the room. We do really everything together. We go to lunch together, [and] we work out together. I'm really in his back pocket, trying to soak in everything, everything I can. He's there for me."

CLICK HERE to hear more of SirVocea Dennis' thoughts prior to his NFL debut.

August 7 Updates

Midway through the Buccaneers' 10th practice in training camp on Monday, second-year wide receiver Deven Thompkins took off down the right sideline with rookie defensive back Josh Hayes in tight pursuit. Depending upon the accuracy of the height listed for Thompkins on the Buccaneers' roster, he was giving up about three or four inches to his opponent. Both leaped high, but it was the receiver who came down with the ball after making a spinning catch and crashing to the grass.

The play delighted just about everyone, including Thompkins himself, who let out a celebratory yell. At this point, though no one was particularly surprised.

It was third-string John Wolford who threw the pass, so Kyle Trask was able to be an interested spectator with a good line of sight. Trask said the latest in a string of incredible leaping catches for Thompkins led him to a realization about the young receiver.

"I'm definitely still wowed every time he makes a catch," said Trask. "He's like a little firecracker. He's a ball of energy. He's awesome out here. No matter what, he's the same player every day, always going a thousand miles per hour and making those kinds of catches kind of on the regular. It's really impressive. It kind of occurred to me today after he made that crazy catch that this is kind of like what he does. He's known for just attacking the ball and going up and getting whatever comes at him."

Thompkins came to the Bucs last season as an undrafted rookie out of Utah State. He had an impressive first NFL training camp, though it's safe to say he's gone to a whole new level in 2023, and that earned him a spot on Tampa Bay's practice squad. He got a series of game-day elevations while on that unit, then was promoted to the active roster in December after he took over the punt and kickoff return jobs. Since he was active for the last six games, playoffs included, the coaching staff found a few ways to work him into the offense and he eventually got 79 snaps on offense, resulting in five catches for 32 yards and two carries for 26 yards.

His second training camp is leaving the impression that the Bucs need to find even more offensive snaps for him this season.

"He's very competitive," said Head Coach Todd Bowles. "He got in a little bit last year towards the end. He's not just a punt returner, he's a very good receiver. He plays bigger than his size – we like to think he does from a pattern standpoint. He has outstanding hands and we're just watching him get better and better. He's starting to make those plays look routine."

CLICK HERE for today's Training Camp Report, with thoughts on Thompkins' camp performance and other takeaways from the first two weeks of practices.

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 24: Cornerback Darrelle Revis #24 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on November 24, 2013, in Detroit, Michigan. The Buccaneers won 24-21. (photo by Matt May/Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

August 5 Updates

While the 2023 Buccaneers put in another day of work on the practice field on Saturday at training camp, the organization as a whole enjoyed one of the most historic days in franchise history. In Canton, Ohio, long-time Buccaneer legend Rondé Barber was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2023.

But Barber wasn't alone in his Tampa Bay representation on Saturday afternoon. One of other members of this year's nine-man class was fellow cornerback Darrelle Revis, who spent one season in a red and pewter uniform.

Mostly known for his eight seasons with the New York Jets, Revis became a Buccaneer in 2013 when he was acquired from New York in a trade, with the Jets getting a first-round selection in that year's draft and another conditional pick that ended up being a fourth-rounder in 2014. Revis played one season in Tampa before moving on the following year to the New England, where he won his one career Super Bowl ring. He returned to the Jets for two more campaigns before finishing up with a five-game stint in Kansas City in 2017.

Considered one of the best pure cover corners in NFL history, Revis went to seven Pro Bowls in his 11 seasons, including his one in Tampa that saw him record two interceptions, 11 passes defensed, two fumble recoveries and a sack. He was also a four-time Associated Press first-team All-Pro selection and the possessor of an all-time great nickname, "Revis Island." He finished second in the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year voting in 2009, just his third season in the league.

There are now 11 people in the Pro Football Hall of Fame who have ties to the Buccaneers. Barber became the fifth who spent all or the majority of his playing career in Tampa, joining Lee Roy Selmon, Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks and John Lynch. Others with ties to the Buccaneers who preceded Revis into the Hall include wide receiver Tim Brown, Head Coach Tony Dungy, guard Randall McDaniel, executive Ron Wolf and quarterback Steve Young. Dungy, like Selmon, Sapp, Brooks, Lynch and Barber, is also in the Buccaneers' Ring of Honor at Raymond James Stadium.

CLICK HERE for a closer look at how Rondé Barber described his now-complete football journey on Saturday.

August 4 Updates

Linebacker Devin White is in the midst of his fifth Buccaneers training camp, and it may be his best one yet. On Friday, 10 days into that camp, Head Coach Todd Bowles spoke glowingly about how White has performed so far, and how thoroughly he has taken ownership of the defense as its on-field play-caller.

"Devin has done great," said Bowles. "He's been outstanding. He's really taking the onus of understanding the defense and it's his defense to run. He knows when he can cheat plays and when he can't cheat plays – that shows the growth he's [had] over the past year."

White has put together a robust stat line over his first four seasons, combining 483 tackles with 20.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries, 15 passes defensed, 35 tackles for loss, 55 quarterback hits and two defensive touchdowns. Bowles can see how even with all that production, White's game is still evolving.

"It's a continual growth thing," said the coach. "It's a growth thing for all of the guys that come in. You really don't grasp it – he does more, or just as much, as the nickel. Between that spot and the nickel, they probably do more and have more assignments than anybody over there. It's got to be constant thinking and constant changing and he's been doing a great job at it. He's even more comfortable now."

CLICK HERE to review today's Training Camp Report.

August 3 Updates

Training camp practices don't come with stats, but a conservative estimate of the number of passes third-year tight end David Wells has caught through the Buccaneers' first seven workouts this summer would be: A lot.

Tampa Bay's coaching staff hopes to see even more when the preseason games begin in a little over a week.

Wells is in his first Buccaneer training camp after first coming to Tampa last September. He had two different stints on the Bucs' practice squad covering a total of 15 weeks and 14 games. He did not see any game action for the team but showed enough to land a reserve/future contract to stay in Tampa in January and is now making it pay off with a strong start to camp. Most recently, he hauled in a long pass down the middle during a two-minute drill on Thursday morning, getting the second-team offense inside the 10-yard line.

"Well, we have had him here; we had him last year as well," said Head Coach Todd Bowles shortly after that practice. "He has shown to be a very good receiver. He has done surprisingly well at blocking and is efficient as well. I will be happy to see him in preseason games. He will be a guy we are watching because we really like the initial part of what we have seen."

Wells first entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of San Diego State in 2018, signing with the Cowboys, and has been employed by some team or another for the majority of the last six years. He's had to move around a lot, though, spending time with seven other NFL teams before coming to the Bucs, most of it on practice squads. He got into three games with the Cardinals in 2021, starting one of them, but did not record a reception.

Wells is working hard to make the most of his most recent opportunity, according to one of the men responsible for getting him the ball.

"His communication [is good]," said quarterback Baker Mayfield. "He is always – whether he catches the ball or not – he is coming back to the quarterbacks and talking like, 'Hey, did you like what I did right there? This is what I saw. Do you want me to change it? We can talk about it.' He is always constantly communicating, which is really rare. It is great to have guys on the same page who want to continue to do that."

CLICK HERE to hear more of Baker Mayfield's thoughts on the Buccaneers' tight end room.

TAMPA, FL - August 01, 2023 - Outside Linebacker Yaya Diaby #0 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during 2023 Training Camp practice at AdventHealth Training Center. Photo By Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers

August 2 Updates

The Buccaneers have moved into the second week of training camp, with six practices over the course of the first eight days. After an off day on Wednesday they will get back to work for another long week before they even get to the first preseason game on the schedule. Head Coach Todd Bowles, who has been a part of 23 other NFL training camps as either a coach or a player, knows how the repetitive nature of the process and the lack of a true opponent can start to affect the players' focus.

"We are in the dog days of camp," said Bowles. "You don't have preseason games this week. You are pleased and unpleased, tempers flare, it is about that time of camp where things get antsy. Now you have to concentrate and focus on fundamentals, technique, and be playing smart. I am looking for that to increase."

Bowles has frequently praised the players' effort level and their retention of the playbook but at times has noted "sloppy" play in practice. In the particularly hot and muggy morning workouts, this can be particularly true near the end of two hours of field work. What Bowles needs from his players moving forward, as they prepare for the regular season opener on September 10, is a strong attention detail, even amidst the dog-day doldrums.

"We have had the out-of-pad days, we have had the acclimation of pads, and we have had the energetic practices," said Bowles. "Now we have to sit down and focus on the X's and O's and understand the execution of it all."

CLICK HERE for more of Coach Bowles thoughts after Tuesday's night practice.

August 1 Updates

The Buccaneers hadn't drafted a punter in the fourth round or higher in nearly a quarter-century when they used the 133rd-overall selection in the 2023 draft on Georgia's Jake Camarda. Given how Camarda's rookie season went, they probably won't be selecting a punter in any round again for quite some time.

Camarda's 48.8-yard gross punting average as a rookie was the best in a single season in franchise history, and it wasn't particularly close. Bryan Anger held the previous record at 45.9 in the 2016 season. Camarda finished with a 41.6-yard net average, the second-best mark ever for a Bucs punter. He somehow blasted SIXTEEN punts of 60 or more yards, something no other Bucs punter had ever come close to accomplishing. Overall, Camarda finished fifth in the NFL in gross punting average and 11th in net average. Those numbers were not good enough to get Camarda any sort of award recognition as a rookie, but his coach, Special Teams Coordinator Keith Armstrong, thinks he has definite Pro Bowl potential.

"No doubt, no doubt," said Armstrong when asked that very question. "He is extremely talented. Obviously, punts and kicks off - he does a really good job with both. He has a strong leg, very athletic guy. He loves ball. I cannot say enough about him."

As Armstrong notes, Camarda also handled the Bucs' kickoff duties and sent 60 of his 78 kicks into the end zone, leading to 40 touchbacks. As for Camarda's disparity in gross and net average rankings, Armstrong believes that can be tightened up by more effective directional kicking, and expects that to happen in 2023. If so, Camarda may not have to wait long for the Pro Bowl buzz to start building.

CLICK HERE for more of Coach Armstrong's thoughts on the state of the Bucs' special teams.

The Buccaneers' offensive line spent most of the 2022 season adjusting to the retirement of left guard Ali Marpet, the free agency departure of right guard Alex Cappa and the training camp knee injury suffered by center Ryan Jensen. The combined weight of those losses – albeit temporary in Jensen's case – was underscored by the fact that both Marpet and Jensen were coming off Pro Bowl appearances. The returns were up and down, and while the Bucs' last-place ranking in rushing yards was the result of multiple factors, the team knew it had some work to do up front in the 2023 offseason.

The end result, if the Bucs' current plan continues to come to fruition, will be a starting five without a single position filled by the same player that manned it in Week One last season.

Pro Bowler Tristan Wirfs has moved from right tackle to left tackle and second-year man Luke Goedeke has stepped into Wirfs' former spot. Jensen is working his way back towards fully reclaiming his center spot and the Bucs found value in free agency with former Charger Matt Feiler, who is running with the first team at left guard. Starting at right guard is rookie Cody Mauch, the 48th overall pick in the 2023 draft. The Bucs have high hopes for all five of those O-Line solutions, but it's perfectly reasonable to consider some of it a question mark until it is proven on the field.

Fortunately, Mauch does not look like he will be a worry, as the former small-school college tackle seems to be taking to his new spot on the interior like he was born for it.

"[We're] very pleased at this point," said Head Coach Todd Bowles of Mauch's camp performance. "He's a very smart guy. Obviously he's going to see more defenses and different looks as we go, but he's handled everything with ease. We like the way he comes to practice every day. We like his approach, we really do. He understands the game a lot."

CLICK HERE for more of Coach Bowles' thoughts about the first day of pads in practice.

July 31 Updates

When the Buccaneers hit the practice field for the first time in training camp, only one player on the 90-man roster wasn't ready to go. Wide receiver Russell Gage was in the latter stages of recovering from a lower leg injury sustained in the offseason and spent the first three practices working with a trainer on a separate field.

On Sunday, however, Gage joined his teammates in practice as they returned from a full day off. The sixth-year pass-catcher took part in individual-position drills but was not involved in full-team periods. Gage experienced no ill effects from that first bit of work, so on Monday he took another step forward, taking part in both "indies" and the first wide receiver-defensive back one-on-one drill of camp. This steady progression could have Gage back to full participation soon.

"He's getting back to normal," said Head Coach Todd Bowles. "We're working him in gradually. It's good to see him out there."

Rookie defensive lineman Calijah Kancey was not on the field Monday after sustaining a calf injury early in practice the day before. Bowles noted on Sunday that Kancey would need an MRI examination to determine the severity of the injury, then revealed on Monday that the MRI would take place that afternoon. The Buccaneers' next practice is on Tuesday night, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

CLICK HERE for more updates from the AdventHealth Training Center in today's "Training Camp Report."

TAMPA, FL - July 30, 2023 - Wide Receiver Mike Evans #13 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during 2023 Training Camp practice at AdventHealth Training Center. Photo By Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers

July 30 Updates

The Buccaneers have 12 scheduled practices over the first 15 days of their 2023 training camp, and all but one of them begins at 8:30 a.m. The exception is the night practice that the team will conduct in its indoor facility on Tuesday, August 1.

While Head Coach Todd Bowles surely has multiple reasons for constructing camp in this manner, one of them is undoubtedly about the steam West Florida summer weather. Temperatures tend to peak in the late afternoon, often well into the 90s, and rain is a near-daily occurrence at that time of day as well.

None of which is to suggest that a 130-minute practice on a Tampa morning is a breezy walk in the park. It may not be as hot in the a.m. hours as the afternoon, but it is most definitely hot, not to mention sticky. On Sunday morning, as the Bucs conducted their fourth practice of camp, temperatures were nearing 90 by 10 a.m., with humidity figures above 70%. And on this particular morning, unlike the team's Friday practice, there was little in the way of a breeze or cloud cover to provide relief.

As has been the case through the Buccaneers' entire existence of nearly 50 years, the team tends to consider this oppressive environment – and their ability to master it – to be an inherent advantage when the season begins and the games are played in similarly hot weather. That said, the first week of this year's camp has seemed particularly challenging.

"You can definitely get a leg up on the competition if you push through the heat," said cornerback Carlton Davis after Sunday's practice. "I think it has been one of the hottest summers in years, I read somewhere. It is just a hump in the road that we have to get used to getting over – especially during the season when things or conditions might not go our way or whatever it is. We have to be able to fight through it."

Mastery over the heat and humidity doesn't come in one day or one week. On Sunday in particular, Bowles could tell that the heat was making it difficult for the players to stay sharp mentally. He expected to count a lot of "M.E.'s," or mental errors, when the team reviewed practice tape later in the day.

"I thought the effort was outstanding," said Bowles. "I thought it was sloppy. I thought it was sloppy. I think we had more 'M.E.'s' than we've had since we started camp, after a day off. We've got to clean that up. The effort again is great, but effort and sloppiness gets you beat."

Even a somewhat sloppy day can still help the Bucs with team-building in another way.

"It has been some good competition out here," said Davis. "It has been really hot, so we have been having to really get in our bags and push each other. Every year when you come out here, it is a grind. I can feel the team getting closer and closer every day."

CLICK HERE to hear more of Carlton Davis' thoughts after practice.

July 30 Updates

On a morning in which one of the Bucs' rookie defenders from Pitt sustained an injury that could sideline him for a while, the other former Panther in the team's 2023 draft class kept his own momentum going.

The Buccaneers used their first-round pick in April on defensive lineman Calijah Kancey, then went back to the Pitt well in the fifth-round to snag off-ball linebacker SirVocea Dennis. Practicing primarily with the second-team defense behind entrenched starters Lavonte David and Devin White, Dennis has made a string of flashy plays during the first week of training camp, including an interception on Thursday. Dennis doubled up his pick total in Sunday's practice, under-cutting a route during a red zone drill and snaring the ball on the run, to the delight of his teammates.

Dennis' big plays have definitely caught the coaches' attention.

"Oh, he's done a great job," said Head Coach Todd Bowles. "He's a smart player. He's an instinctive player. As you can tell, getting his hands on balls almost every other day, or every day has been good for him and we really like where he's at right now. He's just got to keep growing."

The Buccaneers generally only put two off-ball linebackers on the field at any time, and David and White form one of the best duos at that position in the NFL. However, the Bucs have hinted that they may find a way to get Dennis on the field at times, too, if he continues to show the type of playmaking that led to him accumulating 239 tackles, 15.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, five passes defensed and two interceptions over the last three seasons at Pitt. Hauling in an interception every other day is a good way to do exactly that.

CLICK HERE for more on SirVocea Dennis' fast start to his first NFL training camp.

July 28 Updates

In 2022, Vita Vea's fifth season in the NFL, the former first-round pick recorded 6.5 sacks in 14 games played. Not only was that Vea's single-season career high so far, but it also led all Buccaneer defenders in that category.

Those are positive developments for Vea, who had gone to the Pro Bowl the year before after a 4.0-sack season, but they are not quite satisfying for either the player or the team. Vea would like to amass even more sacks in 2023, and even if he doesn't he is expected to continue doing the things that help his teammates get to the quarterback.

The Buccaneers' defense as a whole has been remarkably consistent in the sack department since Todd Bowles' arrival in 2019. As a team, Tampa Bay generated 47 sacks in 2019, 48 in 2020, 47 in 2021 and 45 last year. Those totals ranked tied for seventh, tied for fourth, seventh and tied for seventh in the NFL in those four seasons, respectively.

A more telling statistic regarding how good a defense is at getting opposing quarterbacks to the ground is sacks generated per pass play. Tampa Bay's defense has ranked 12th in that category in each of the last two seasons after finishing seventh in the 2020 Super Bowl year and 18th back in 2019. Kacy Rodgers, the Bucs' defensive line coach, wants to see those numbers get better in 2023.

"That's just been the main emphasis the last couple of years – that our sack numbers have got to go up," said Vea after practice at training camp on Friday. "That was the main [thing] Kacy has been emphasizing for us every day in practice and off the field in meetings, trying to help us rush the passer better and contribute to the team to do our best to win and succeed at that phase of the game."

After Vea finished at the top of the Bucs' list in 2022, Head Coach Todd Bowles noted how unusual it seemed to have the sack leader be an interior lineman instead of an edge rusher. And, of course, the Bucs have enjoyed the spoils of one of the NFL's best edge rushers in recent years, as Shaq Barrett racked up 37.5 sacks from 2019-21 before suffering an Achilles tendon tear midway through last season. Barrett is back and the Bucs loaded up at outside linebacker in the 2023 draft, hoping to get that more robust pressure off the edges. That said, the Bucs would be just as happy if Vea and impressive rookie first-rounder Calijah Kancey can spearhead a ferocious interior rush to lead the way.

CLICK HERE to hear more of Vita Vea's thoughts after Friday's practice.

July 27 Updates

When 27 of the 90 players on your trainig camp roster are rookies, it is inevitable that two of them are going to end up in head-to-head battles on the practice field from time to time. There was just such an occurrence about halfway through the Buccaneers' practice on Thursday morning, when former Maryland wideout took off down the left sideline with former Alabama State cornerback Keenan Isaac in hot pursuit. The 6-3 Isaac had a three-inch size advantage on Jarrett and stayed in tight coverage, but when the ball arrived it was Jarrett who was able to leap high and snatch it before falling to the ground.

Jarrett took a moment to admire his work as his offensive teammates cheered before running back to the huddle. He likely enjoyed the moment once more later in the day when the coaches and players went over the practice tape to highlight good and bad moments. As an undrafted player, he's trying to make a strong impression on his coaches and teammates, and Thursday's acrobatic catch wasn't the first time he did so.

"He is making a ton of plays," said quarterback Baker Mayfield. "In one-on-one situations, he has a really good ability to high-point the ball. He has good body control when he is in the air. Those are guys that when you have the one-on-one matchups in third down situations like that, you are going to try and find those guys who you know are going to make contested catches. I am truly impressed with how he has been so far throughout the offseason and early in camp. He is excited about continuing to progress as well."

The Buccaneers have a presumptive first three on the receiver depth chart in Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Russell Gage, but very little in the way of proven options beyond that. Seven of the other eight wideouts on the depth chart are either rookies or second-year players, six of whom went undrafted. The exception is David Moore, a sixth-year player who signed with the Bucs late in the offseason. The Bucs could keep up to six receivers on the 53-man roster, so there are definitely opportunities available for some of those younger pass-catchers.

And, of course, it is not unusual for one young receiver or another to shine at various times during training camp. The key, as always, is sustaining that level of play from practice to practice and week to week. For Jarrett, the key to doing so may be what he does off the field.

"He's got to get the playbook down," said Head Cocah Todd Bowles. "We know the talent is there. He can run, he can stop, he can run with the ball, he can jump and catch. It's not just about that. It's about learning the scheme and fitting in and seeing how many things he can do. We think he's very talented. Again, it's two days in. We're not crowning anybody on or off this team. We've just got to see how the body of work builds over time, but we like the athlete we brought in and we like the tools that he has. He's great to work with."

CLICK HERE for more of Baker Mayfield's thoughts after the second day of camp practice.

The Buccaneers are two days into their training camp practice schedule, which means the quarterback competition between Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask is still in its nascent stage. The Bucs don't know yet whether Mayfield or Trask will be under center in Week One, but they do know that whoever gets that job will be counting on Tristan Wirfs to provide them with critical blindside protection.

After three sublime seasons at right tackle, which included two Pro Bowl invitations and one first-team Associated Press All-Pro selection, Wirfs is moving to the other end of the line to replace the departed Donovan Smith. Both Wirfs and the Bucs' coaches began this transition with full confidence that it would succeed, and nothing has happened yet to change their minds. The Bucs won't put on full pads until the beginning of next week, so the work in the trenches hasn't been particularly combative yet, but Wirfs has displayed good technique at his new position.

"Tristan's a worker anyway," said Head Coach Todd Bowles on Thursday. "As soon as you challenge him to do something he's going to work his tail off to do that. He's adjusted well over there, I think. There's probably still some kinks he needs to work out, probably when we get in pads, from a hand-placement standpoint, but I think he's done an excellent job so far."

The Buccaneers continue to run with the starting offensive line that took shape during OTAs, with Luke Goedeke replacing Wirfs at right tackle, free agent acquisition Matt Feiler manning left guard and rookie second-rounder Cody Mauch stepping in at right guard. Third-year veteran Robert Hainsey is running with the first team at center, as he did for all of the 2022 regular season, but the Bucs are anticipating Pro Bowler Ryan Jensen reassuming that job when he's more fully recovered from his knee injury. Jensen notably avoided the active/PUP list to start camp and was in action for a number of drills on Wednesday, but on Thursday he watched the action from the sideline.

This was a scripted plan, not a setback for Jensen.

"We have a good program for him," said Bowles. "We knew he wasn't practicing today but he gets his work done and we're confident in the schedule and we'll keep seeing if he progresses."

CLICK HERE for a photo gallery from the Bucs' second camp practice.


July 26 Updates

Six years into his NFL career, and heading into a seventh, Chris Godwin already ranks as one of the best third-round picks the Buccaneers have ever made. That's saying a lot, given that the list includes two Hall of Famers (John Lynch and Ronde Barber), not to mention Donnie Abraham, Mark Carrier, Scot Brantley and, more recently, Jamel Dean.

Godwin already ranks second in franchise history in receptions, receiving yards and 100-yard games, and he needs just two more touchdown catches to take over second on that list as well. He's also earned a Pro Bowl invitation and posted just the second 100-catch season in franchise history. The problem for Godwin when it comes to establishing his place in the Bucs' record books is that every season he's been in the league he's had Mike Evans as a teammate, and Evans seems to break some new record every few months.

Evans, of course, had a three-season head start on Godwin and thus has a big lead in all the Bucs' career receiving categories. For instance, while Godwin has a very impressive 5,666 receiving yards already – 648 more than Carrier, who held the Bucs' record for roughly two decades – Evans is already past the 10,000 yard mark and is almost halfway to 11,000.

Evans has also made his mark on the NFL's record book, most notably by becoming the first player ever to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first nine seasons. That total of nine 1,000-yard seasons, recorded at any point in a player's career, is already tied for third in NFL history with Hall of Famers Tim Brown and Terrell Owens plus Larry Fitzgerald and Jimmy Smith. One more season in quadruple digits would lift Evans out of that tie and pull him even with Randy Moss for the second most in NFL annals. Jerry Rice, the wide receiver G.O.A.T., holds the record with 14.

Godwin has seen enough of this to be fazed by Evans' accomplishments anymore, but he still knows how much work goes into making them happen.

"There's not enough words to say about how impressive Mike is," said Godwin. "Obviously, he's done something that nobody else in NFL history has done, and that's a testament to who he is as a person but also as a player. He comes in, he does his job, he's not like some diva demanding the ball, regardless of who the quarterback is, what the situation is, how many games he plays. He's going to go out there, he's going to perform and you know what you're going to get from Mike. So whenever stuff like that happens where you get in a position to capture a new record or tie a record, it's like, 'That makes sense,' because he's that guy. I couldn't be more happy to keep playing by his side."

CLICK HERE for a photo gallery of Bucs veterans arriving for the start of training camp.

July 25 Updates

The Buccaneers and 11th-year defensive lineman Will Gholston showed a lot of patience in waiting until the eve of training camp to get a new contract in place. They also displayed some creativity.

To compensate Gholston fairly but also more easily fit his contract totals under a tight salary cap, the Buccaneers made use of a new option introduced in the 2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement. It's called a "four-year qualifying offer," and this is the first time Assistant General Manager Mike Greenberg and the Bucs have been able to make it work.

To qualify for this type of contract, a player must have four more credited seasons and he must have an expired contract after at least four years of continuous service with his current club. That was certainly the case for Gholston, who has already played a solid decade for the Bucs – on a total of three previous contracts – since being drafted in the fourth round in 2013.

What makes this type of contract attractive to both the team and, in this case, the player is that it can include more actual cash for the player without having it all count against the cap. Gholston's contract only counts as the minimum for a player of his experience (approximately $1.165 million) but pays him an additional $1.35 million.

Teams are only allowed to access this extra $1.35 million once a year, although it feasibly could be split between more than one contract. However, situations that fit this opportunity, as Gholston's did in 2023, are not particularly common.

General Manager Jason Licht discussed the way in which the Bucs and Gholston reached agreement on a new type of deal during an appearance on the Ronnie and TKRas Show on WDAE on Tuesday afternoon.

"We've been in contact with Will throughout the whole process," said Licht. "We were able to do a deal that was very friendly for us in terms of the salary cap and it's a special VSP deal that you can do with one player that's been on your roster for four years or more. He earns more than the minimum but only counts minimum for us, so it was a win-win. He looks like he's been working out very, very diligently when we saw him for the first time today in a long time. It looks like he's ready to go and he's very excited. I know his teammates are, too."

CLICK HERE for more on Will Gholston's return to the Buccaneers.

On Tuesday morning, Buccaneers Head Coach Todd Bowles said the Buccaneers would "monitor" and "manage" Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen as he continues his return from a knee injury suffered early in last year's training camp. Jensen missed the entire 2022 regular season but did make a surprising return to action for the playoffs before being limited during 2023 offseason work.

On Tuesday afternoon, General Manager Jason Licht added more information to the discussion about Jensen's return, most notably revealing that the fiery lineman would not be placed on the active/physically unable to perform list for the start of camp. Teams place players on the active/PUP list in order to retain the option to move them to the reserve/PUP list at the start of the regular season. However, that also prevents the player from participating in most camp activities until they are activated from the list, including walk-throughs. That the Bucs eschewed the active/PUP option, which had to be exercised at the beginning of camp, indicates optimism that Jensen won't have to miss time when the season begins.

"He's not going to begin camp on PUP," said Licht during an appearance on WDAE's Ronnie And TKras Show on Tuesday afternoon. "So he's going to be out there and there's going to be a period where we have to see how the knee reacts when he's out there going through some periods. And that's going to be a little touch-and-go here for…I don't know, I can't put a time period on it. But we'll see how it goes. [We're] cautiously optimistic with injuries like that. It is positive thing that he's going to be out there practicing. I'll take that, and we'll see where it goes from there."

CLICK HERE for five things to keep an eye on, including Jensen's status and the team's O-Line shuffling, as the Buccaneers open training camp.

On Tuesday morning, Buccaneers Head Coach Todd Bowles confirmed that every player on the team's 90-man roster had reported for training camp. Apparently, most of those 90 men will also be in action when the team holds its first camp practice on Wednesday morning.

Among the players for whom question marks remained about their availability for the start of camp after they were sidelined in the spring were outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett (2022 Achilles tendon tear), center Ryan Jensen (2022 knee injury), wide receiver Russell Gage (hamstring) and rookie running back Sean Turner (heart concern unearthed at the Combine).

"Almost everybody's healthy," said Bowles. "Shaq has been cleared to go, obviously. We'll monitor Ryan some and manage him. We've got a little bit of a ways to go with Russ but he's a lot better, as well. Everybody's ready to go.

"[Jensen] will do some things and we'll monitor him and we'll see how the knee responds. [Tucker] has been cleared to practice as well. It's more of a medical thing. It had nothing to do with us; it's about how he's feeling and what he was going through. You want to be careful about that type of thing that he had. Once they cleared him, he's about as happy as anybody. We're excited to see him."

Barrett and Jensen are Pro Bowl performers at their respective positions and are obviously expected to play key roles in the Bucs' efforts to capture a third straight division title. Gage worked through a string of injuries in his first season as a Buccaneer after rarely missing games over four years in Atlanta, and his hamstring injury in the spring put him behind a bit to start camp. However, it's noteworthy that the Buccaneers are not putting him on the active/PUP list to start camp, so he will be able to take part in walk-throughs and some other team activities, with the goal of returning to practice a week or two into camp.

As for Tucker, training camp will be the first opportunity for the Bucs to see the former Syracuse star in action on their own practice fields. Tucker, who ran for 3,182 yards and 27 touchdowns in 33 collegiate games, has been itching to show off his skills for his new team.

"It took us to put the reins on him," said General Manager Jason Licht. "He wanted to go 100 miles per hour. Health and safety is of utmost importance to us. It was a situation where something was found at the Combine he didn't know he had. He'd been training 100 percent, 100 miles per hour and it wasn't helping the situation so we just shut him down for the entire spring and now it's worked out – so far, knock on wood – where he's fully cleared. I think it's going to pay off for us."

CLICK HERE for more on Shaq Barrett preparing himself for training camp.


July 24 Updates

The Buccaneers made one change to their training camp roster on the afternoon of rookie report day, waiving undrafted rookie inside linebacker Jeremy Banks. The team now has one open spot on the 90-man camp roster as they prepare to welcome the veteran players back on Tuesday.

Banks was one of 20 rookie free agents Tampa Bay added to the roster in the weeks following the 2023 draft, in which the team drafted eight more NFL newcomers. He played his college ball at Tennessee and was the Volunteers' leading tackler in 2021 with 128 stops. The Buccaneers still have 27 rookies on their current camp roster after Monday's move.

CLICK HERE for a closer look at Monday's signing of another 2023 rookie, second-round draft pick Cody Mauch.


The summer break is over and the Buccaneers are getting the gang back together. That process began on Monday when rookies and players receiving treatment for injuries reported for the start of training camp. The Bucs' veteran players will join them on Tuesday.

Tampa Bay is taking 28 rookies into camp this summer, including the eight they selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. That represents 31% of the 90-man roster the Bucs are permitted to assemble for the offseason program and training camp.

As all players do at the start of camp, the rookies who reported for work on Monday first underwent physicals in the morning. The reporting day schedule also included several meals, coaches meetings and a meeting with the players in the afternoon.

The Buccaneers' will take the practice field for the first time on Wednesday morning.

CLICK HERE for a look at the 90-man roster the Bucs are taking to training camp.

TAMPA, FL - January 13, 2023 - Helmet during practice at AdventHealth Training Center. Photo By Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers

July 19 Updates

Thirteen of the NFL's 32 teams have at least begun to assemble their 90-man rosters for training camp; the Buccaneers and the rest of the league will be joining them next week.

The Jets and Browns, who will play in the Hall of Fame Game on August 3, were permitted to bring their whole rosters in, rookies and veterans, a week before the other 30 teams. The Jets had all players report on Wednesday while the Browns brought the rookies in Wednesday and will add the vets on Friday. Eleven other teams required rookies to report on Tuesday or Wednesday but won't add in veteran players until next week.

The Buccaneers have set next Monday, July 24, as their report day for rookies, and the veterans will join the group on Tuesday. The first practice in the Bucs' 2023 camp will take place on Wednesday morning; the first practice open to select groups will take place on Sunday, July 30.

For the 15th summer in a row, the Buccaneers will conduct their training camp at their team facility, the AdventHealth Training Center. The Bucs brought their camp operations home in 2009 after seven years at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex in order to make use of the building's state-of-the-art training technology, its three pristine practice fields and - for the inevitable days with inclement weather - the Indoor Facility.

Conducting training camp at home has become the overwhelming trend in the NFL. In 2002, when the NFL expanded to 32 teams, only 10 held their training camps at their own facility. This year, 25 of 32 teams will train on their home turf.

Joint practices have also become increasingly common during the NFL's preseason slate. The Buccaneers and Jets will conduct a pair of coordinated practices on August 16 and 17 at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center before meeting for a preseason contest at the Meadowlands on Saturday, August 19. The Bucs and Jets are one of 20 pairs of teams that will hold joint practices at some point in August.

CLICK HERE for the Bucs schedule of training camp practices, including one that is open to the general public.

TAMPA, FL - March 16, 2023 - 
Signage during Ronde Barber Appreciation Day at The Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Golf Course. Photo By Tori Richman/Tampa Bay Buccaneers

July 17 Updates

As far as Buccaneers fans are concerned, the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be saving the best for (nearly) the last during their 2003 enshrinement ceremony.

The Hall of Fame will welcome nine new members as the Class of 2023 on Saturday, August 5, in a ceremony in Canton, Ohio. Long-time Buccaneer great Rondé Barber is one of five modern-era selections, going into the Hall along with one coach/contributor choice and three seniors committee selections. Each of the nine (or in two cases, speakers on their behalf) will have an opportunity to deliver an acceptance speech of an approximate length of 10 minutes. Barber is slated to make the eighth speech, with former Browns tackle Joe Thomas wrapping it up in the ninth spot.

Barber will be presented by his twin brother, Tiki, who was a standout running back for the New York Giants.

Barber is set to become the 11th person inducted into the Hall of Fame who has ties to the Buccaneers, and the fifth player who spent all or the majority of his career in Tampa, joining Lee Roy Selmon, Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks and John Lynch. Barber played his entire 16-year NFL career for the Buccaneers and set franchise records for games played (241), games started (232), interceptions (47) and non-offensive touchdowns (14). He ranks fourth in NFL history in that lattermost category, finding the end zone 14 times during the regular season, plus once more in the postseason with his famous 92-yard pick-six that 'shut down the Vet' and sent the Buccaneers to their first Super Bowl. Barber is the only player in NFL history to record at least 40 interceptions and at least 25 sacks.

Here is the full speech order for the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony on August 5: Zach Thomas, Ken Riley (honored posthumously by his son Ken), DeMarcus Ware, Joe Klecko, Chuck Howley (presented by his son Scott), Darrelle Revis, Don Coryell (presented by his daughter Mindy), Rondé Barber and Joe Thomas.

CLICK HERE for more on Barber's selection for the Hall of Fame's Class of 2023 and why he is bound for Canton.

Latest Headlines