As is customary the week before a game, the Buccaneers released an unofficial depth chart ahead of their Week One contest against the San Francisco 49ers at home. Why this is newsworthy is in that last sentence: Week One. This is the first depth chart since the Bucs’ roster has been pared down to 53. As such, let’s take a look and pull out any potential notes and (over)reaction.
-Though special teams might not be the first place your eyes go, it’s interesting to see that new Bucs’ running back T.J. Logan, who played for Head Coach Bruce Arians in Arizona, is listed as the primary kick returner already. While with the Cardinals, Logan averaged 24.7 yards across 12 kickoff returns last season. He was with the Atlanta Falcons this preseason before getting released and subsequently signing with the Bucs over Labor Day weekend.
-The defense lists two rookie starters. The first is (unsurprisingly) first-round pick Devin White at inside linebacker, opposite veteran Lavonte David. White will also be responsible for calling the defense on the field, equipped with the green dot and therefore the headset that links him directly to his coaches. The other rookie is safety Mike Edwards, who has been nursing an injury the past few weeks. He returned to practice on Tuesday during the portion open to the media. Health will likely determine whether Edwards or third-year safety Justin Evans, who is coming off a prolonged injury himself, gets the start.
-Rookie outside linebacker Anthony Nelson, after being sidelined for all of the preseason, has also returned to practice and is now listed behind Carl Nassib. It looks like Nassib and veteran newcomer Shaq Barrett get the nod on the outside for the Bucs heading into Week One.
-The only other rookie starter is kicker Matt Gay, who won the starting job following his fifth-round selection this past draft out of the University of Utah. Gay hit not one, but two 50+ yard kicks in the preseason, including a Heinz Field-record 55-yarder in the Bucs’ preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
-Wide receiver Justin Watson looks to be the Bucs fourth receiver. He’s listed behind wide receiver Chris Godwin on the depth chart, with rookie sixth-round pick Scotty Miller behind Watson.