Tampa Bay Buccaneers

What to Watch at Training Camp, August 17

A few things to look for when the Bucs take the field on Monday.


Behind the scenes photos from the Bucs' preseason game in Minnesota.


1. The right tackle.
The Bucs don't know exactly how long right tackle Demar Dotson will be sidelined after suffering a knee sprain in Saturday's game against the Vikings, but Head Coach Lovie Smith said that Dotson would definitely not be suiting up against Cincinnati in the Bucs' second preseason game. Smith singled out two players, Kevin Pamphile and Patrick Omameh, as potential suitors to fill the void, with rookie Donovan Smith presumably manning the left side. Keep an eye on who's working with the first team today.

2. Kenny Bell as a kick returner.
There had been a handful of players rotating as the Bucs' kick returner during training camp, but Bell and Kaelin Clay were the only players to field kickoffs on Saturday. Clay was listed as the Bucs' starting returner on the team's initial depth chart, but Bell had the better day, averaging 4.5 yards more per attempt. Bell wasn't listed on the depth chart at all at kick returner prior to the game; Bobby Rainey was listed as Clay's backup.

3. Mike James' role.
James got the bulk of the Bucs' carries on Saturday, running the ball seven times, and was also tied for the team-lead in receptions with four. Doug Martin, Charles Sims and Bobby Rainey are likely locked into the 53-man roster, so James will have to beat out rookie Dominique Brown for a chance to make the team. James is listed ahead of Brown on the Bucs' roster and had 11 touches against Minnesota, compared to Brown's four.

4. A new punting competition.
About two months ago, the Bucs claimed Spencer Lanning off of waivers to compete with Michael Koenen for the starting punting job. That won't be the case after Lanning was waived last week. Instead, competing with Koenen will be Karl Schmitz, a rookie who turned heads with the Broncos this spring. Both players booted four punts on Saturday, with Koenen averaging 47 yards per punt and Schmitz averaging 45.5. Schmitz had the longest punt, 57 yards, compared to Koenen's long of 56.

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