-The big news is that the team 'became the Bucs' this week, as Head Coach Bruce Arians says. The roster was cut down to its first iteration of 53 on Saturday. I say first, because it's like a living, breathing thing – always changing and evolving as the season goes on. That started almost immediately with the claiming of running back and kick returner T.J. Logan. More on that later.
I wrapped up everything you need to know about each phase of the ball with a nice little bow. Take a look below and get familiar with your Buccaneers before the season opener on Sunday.
Offense and Special Teams Breakdown:
Along with trimming down the roster, players voted on team captains. Those were announced this week by Coach Arians. Three offensive captains are quarterback Jameis Winston, wide receiver Mike Evans and left guard Ali Marpet. Defensive captains are inside linebacker Lavonte David and outside linebacker Carl Nassib. Special teams captain is running back Dare Ogunbowale.
The honor is something not lost on Winston, "I am just humbled that the guys would choose us to be their leaders," he said. "Having that 'C' on your chest definitely means a lot. It is my duty to serve my teammates to the best I possibly can."
-Like I mentioned before, the Bucs began shuffling around the roster almost immediately and claimed T.J. Logan off waivers from the Arizona Cardinals. The team's first unofficial depth chart of the season revealed that Logan will be an immediate contributor on special teams, as he's listed as the starting punt returner already. Logan comes with a 24.7 return average on kicks in his one season in Arizona. He originally entered the league as a fifth-round pick by the Cardinals in the 2017 NFL Draft out of the University of North Carolina.
-This week on the Salty Dogs podcast, Jeff Ryan and Scott Smith sat down with linebacker Jack Cichy. The second-year player had just started to come on last season before an ACL injury suffered in the Bucs' Week Six win over the Cleveland Browns sidelined him for the rest of the year. Cichy came back with a vengeance this offseason and rehabbed extremely hard to get back. He was ready to go for training camp and got a lot of meaningful work in preseason games. Cichy had to prove himself all over again to this new coaching staff and was rewarded with a spot on the 53-man roster. His energy on the field is evident – and from his conversation with Scott and JR, that energy carries over to everyday conversation.
The countdown to season kickoff is on! The Bucs are kicking off the NFL's 100th season with a FREE Tim McGraw pregame concert for all fans with a ticket to the home opener on Sept. 8! Get your tickets today.