Tampa Bay Buccaneers

What to Watch at Training Camp, August 6

A few things to keep an eye on when the Bucs take the field on Thursday.


Photos of quarterback Jameis Winston at Buccaneers Training Camp.


1. Ali Marpet's progress.
Unlike Donovan Smith, who's been working in with the starters almost daily, Marpet has spent most of his time during training camp working with the second-team. There's bound to be a drastic transition from Division III, where Marpet played in college, to the NFL. But Head Coach Lovie Smith said that Marpet's still very much in the hunt for the starting right guard job. "We're working three or four different guys," Smith said. "That right guard is an open competition. Garrett Gilkey is working with the ones right now but Ali's in there, Ali Marpet's in there."


2. Henry Melton's role.
Melton was acquired as a free agent to help bolster the Bucs' pass-rushing efforts and add depth along the defensive line. Gerald McCoy and Clinton McDonald, who have been the two starting defensive tackles in camp, have been dominant in their ability to get to the passer. Melton will have a significant role in that rotation, and it will be interesting to see which situations the Bucs' staff uses him in during camp.

3. Who's working in the slot?
During spring workouts, Isaiah Frey spent significant time working as the Bucs' third corner, but since camp started Leonard Johnson's held down that role. Johnson has played well in camp and is working on solidifying his role as the Bucs' nickel corner.

4. The competition at punter.
Michael Koenen has been the Bucs' punter for the past four seasons, but he'll have to survive a training camp battle to remain the team's starter. The Bucs signed Spencer Lanning, a starter for the Browns in 2014, as a free agent this spring. Lanning was released by Cleveland after the team acquired Andy Lee, a three-time Pro Bowler.


5. The Buccaneers' second live webcast.
Today at 2:30, Casey Phillips and Scott Smith will be talking Bucs football for a half hour on the Bucs' second Training Camp Report Live episode. The first episode, which aired on Tuesday, featured Mike Alstott and Gene Deckerhoff as guests. Tune in to Buccaneers.com at 2:30 to watch.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.