The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will hold the first practice of their 2022 training camp on Wednesday, July 27, beginning a league-mandated build-up period that will eventually lead to full two-hour practices early the following week. One way or another, Tampa Bay players will start making headlines from day one and won’t stop until it’s done. Hopefully most of this news is positive – the offense is thriving, the defense is freezing, the sleepers are emerging, the coaches are happy.
But there’s all kinds of news coming out of training camp and preseason. There are still a few contracts to sign, players are suffering or recovering from injuries, depth charts are upside down. Everything is a potential title.
All this week, digital contributor Amy Schwartz, writer/reporter Brianna Dix and I are engaging in a series of roundtable discussions regarding the Buccaneers’ upcoming training camp. You can find the schedule of our daily topics below. Today we’re going to think about the future and imagine something we hope to see when it’s all over.
Specifically, here’s today’s roundtable question: What headline would you most like to see in the local or national media regarding the Buccaneers at the end of training camp and preseason?
· Monday, July 4: Name a sleeper on the list of 90 men in the Buccaneers camp that you will be watching closely.
· Tuesday, July 5: What’s the best test a Bucs roster player or unit will get in joint practice with the Dolphins and Titans?
· Wednesday July 6: What headline do you hope to read about the Buccaneers at the end of training camp and the preseason?
· Thursday July 7: Which Buccaneer do you think needs the most to have a good camp and a good pre-season performance?
· Friday July 8: Identify a one-on-one battle between two buccaneers you’re most looking forward to seeing during camp training.
Training camp will officially end around mid-August but, of course, the team will continue training until the season opener against Dallas on September 11. The last pre-season game will take place on Saturday August 27. So let’s look at it this way: It’s a title you want to encounter on the first day of Dallas week, as we move into the regular season.
Duplicate answers between the three of us are not allowed, so the order of picking is sometimes important and we rotate that order all week. It’s my first shot at pole position, with Amy second and Brianna third. So I’m going to get started…
Scott Smith: “Chris Godwin Full Go for the start of the season”
Wide receiver Chris Godwin, who is a vital part of the Buccaneers offense in many ways, tore his anterior cruciate ligament Dec. 5 in a game against the New Orleans Saints. Since then, he has undergone surgery and worked through months of rehabilitation. While most of his teammates were going through the offseason program and hitting the field for OTAs and minicamp, Godwin was attacking his rehab with the focus everyone knew he would. In the meantime, he has also signed a lucrative new long-term contract with the Buccaneers after being given the franchise tag for the first time.
Head coach Todd Bowles has firmly refused to set a specific timeline for Godwin’s recovery or set a target date for his return to the field. Godwin also didn’t set a specific goal, at least when he spoke when signing his contract in late March, but he saw that he was very happy with the way his recovery was going. I suspect he will receive the Active/Physically Unable to Perform designation when camp begins. Teams do this when a player isn’t ready to start training at the start of camp, but might be somewhere along the way. If they are still not ready to go when the regular season arrives, then they are eligible to be moved to the reserve/PUP roster, after which they must miss at least the first six games of the season.
I’d be quite happy if Godwin didn’t start the season as a reserve/PUP because that would mean the team hopes he misses less than the first six games. But the headline I’d really like to read, if I’m being greedy here, is that Godwin will be in uniform on 9/11 against the Cowboys. At the time of his injury last year, Godwin was averaging a career-high 7.0 receptions per game. With three and a half games still to play, he was well on his way to breaking the Bucs single-season record of 106 catches, set by Keyshawn Johnson in 2001. He clearly has a great relationship with Tom Brady, he’s an absolute beast in the slot machine and he’s key to the quick passing game that Brady used last year to thwart Cover Two’s defensive looks. And Godwin is one of the best run-blocking receivers in the league and an active participant in the team’s running plans.
I’m looking at that first day where Godwin runs out to participate in training, and hopefully that starts a process that will see him ready to go on day one.
Amy Schwartz: ‘Buccaneers offensive line shines, sets standard for offense’
I would like to echo Scott and say that I support his title as training camp and pre-season draw to a close. My second choice for the main title would be The Buccaneers offensive line shines, sets the standard for the offense.
In quarterback Tom Brady’s two seasons in Tampa Bay so far, we’ve seen how critical the offensive line is to the Bucs’ season success. The Bucs were able to keep their line intact for two seasons, but this offseason was a whole different story. The start of the offseason looked like the offensive line might come back depleted after the retirement of Ali Marpet and the signing of Alex Cappa in free agency by the Cincinnati Bengals, but somehow the Bucs seemed to have taken over. Line continuity has kept Brady healthy and added to the passing game’s strength over the past two seasons. I think training camp will be extremely important for the group to continue to build new chemistry to keep the offense going.
The addition of former New England Patriots guard Shaq Mason should be a seamless transition given his previous relationship with Brady, but the left guard position remains one of the main issues of the season. The Buccaneers drafted Luke Goedeke with the 57th overall pick and it’s obvious he’ll push for the starting position, but Aaron Stinnie and Nick Leverett could make their own effort to secure the starting role.
While the left guard position is a question, the veteran leadership of Ryan Jensen, Donovan Smith and Tristan Wirfs almost guarantees the line will be successful again this season. I’m looking to see the offensive line make a statement and be the solid foundation the Buccaneers offense needs for the 2022 season.
Brianna Dix: “Joe Tryon-Shoyinka ‘turns heads’ during training camp”
The Buccaneers refused to re-sign Jason Pierre-Paul and sophomore Joe Tryon-Shoyinka will have an increased role in the Bucs defense in 2022, facing Shaquil Barrett. During training camp, Tryon-Shoyinka will work to solidify his role in the starting lineup. It may be an under-the-radar title, but nonetheless essential to solidifying the defense.
The Bucs selected Tryon-Shoyinka in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft in Washington. To maximize his time on the pitch, Tryon-Shoyinka became a rotating chess piece in his rookie campaign. He was asked to play a variety of roles, including rushing from the edge, lining up as a technical three, and performing off-ball linebacker duties in coverage. In 560 defensive snaps last season, Tryon-Shoyinka recorded 10 quarterback hits, five tackles for loss, three passes defended and 4.0 sacks. Pierre-Paul became an unrestricted free agent in March after a season that limited him to 12 games with a shoulder injury. Now, Tryon-Shoyinka will get the chance to specialize in a stationary role as an outside linebacker/3-4 defensive end. One of Tryon-Shoyinka’s biggest advancements in year two is understanding the pursuit’s entry angles both outside and inside, as well as evaluating its advantages over to an offensive lineman to counter the opposition.
Tryon-Shoyinka is flexible for his frame and despite the limited sample size in the NFL and as a Husky — starting a year before retiring from the 2020 season and declaring for the NFL Draft — it has an advantage; not having to unlearn bad habits developed in college during the acclimatization period. His previous experience as an athlete was reflected in his passing arsenal: basketball taught lateral agility and baseball engaged hip movement/hand-eye coordination to cultivate success on the field. grass. With raw athleticism, Tryon-Shoyinka will go from a Bucs rotation depth option to a defensive cornerstone. Developing his craft during training camp will lay the groundwork for the 2022 season. From flashes on some subsets to a full-time role, Tryon-Shoyinka is focused on exceeding expectations in 2022 and showcasing the skills that made him a first-round selection.
Career trajectories can change in an instant and I’m hopeful this boot camp will mark the emergence of Joe Tryon’s Shoyinka as a Buccaneer!