Tampa Bay Buccaneers

What to Watch at Training Camp, August 8

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


Photos from today's training camp practice at One Buccaneer Place.

  1. Big plays.**
    Jameis Winston has no problem airing the ball out, but the Bucs' secondary proved stout on Friday and prevented the offense from pushing downfield. Winston did connect on a few deep passes, including an impressive throw to Vincent Jackson. Will the Bucs' receivers win the battle downfield on Saturday, or will the defensive backs walk away the victors for a second day in a row?

CAMP RECAPS: DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6

2. Have Ali Marpet and Donovan Smith settled in?
For the first few days of camp, there were several different combinations used with the first-team offensive line. But for the past two days, it's been rookies Ali Marpet and Donovan Smith lining up with the starters at right guard and left tackle, respectively. If those two continue to work with the first group, there's a good chance they'll be in the starting lineup when the Bucs take on the Vikings next weekend.

3. Doug Martin's explosiveness.
Martin got a nod of confidence from Head Coach Lovie Smith, who said that he would be the Bucs' "lead guy" in the backfield moving forward. After watching Martin in practice, the decision shouldn't come as a surprise. The Bucs' defenders usually don't take the running backs to the ground during training camp, so it's not a completely live go, but Martin has broken free on a couple of runs that would likely have been touchdowns in a game setting. His lateral movement and effectiveness in the screen game have been particularly impressive so far.


4. The kicking competition.
Brandon Bogotay is attempting to beat out Patrick Murray, the Bucs' starter in 2014, for the starting kicker job. It's pretty simple to dissect a kicking competition – the guy who makes more kicks is the better performer. So far, the better kicker has been Murray. But there are still two weeks of camp and four preseason games to go before a decision is made.

5. Austin Seferian-Jenkins' blocking.
Seferian-Jenkins has been working with the Bucs' starting offense since the start of camp and provides Winston with a third target that's 6-foot-5 or taller. He's proven to be a reliable receiver and has been a staple working in the middle of the field throughout the Bucs' first few training camp practices. But catching passes is just half of a tight end's job. If he proves to be a consistent blocker, it will only increase the number of snaps he takes come game time.

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