The Tampa Bay Buccaneers reported Wednesday after a rough offseason in which their quarterback was suspended three games.
The players spoke publicly for the first time Wednesday, reaffirming their faith in backup Ryan Fitzpatrick to get them through the start of the year. Fitzpatrick was also confirmed as the season opening starter by Dirk Koetter.
Fitzpatrick Went Two and One Last Season As a Starter
The players in the locker room are familiar with Fitzpatrick and don’t expect a drop off during these first three weeks. Mike Evans is grateful to have an experienced backup.
Winston has overshadowed Dirk Koetter’s job security this summer, after a massively disappointing 2017. He won’t commit to Jameis Winston as the starter in the fourth game. Koetter says he has to that spot back through camp and the preseason.
“Week Four is a long ways away,” Koetter said. “Week Four is a long ways away. So, you know, let’s worry about Week Four in Week Four. Right now, let’s worry about preseason and getting ready for the Saints.”
Winston says he understands any disappointments the fans have and is ready to get back to work.
New Names in the Bay
The Buc’s defense ranked 23rd against the run last season and was dead last in sacks in the NFL, with only 22. Former high draft pick Noah Spence, is also fully healthy after being injured most of 2017.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) July 26, 2018
Running Back Up for Grabs
Peyton Barber, Charles Sims and Jacquizz Rodgers will be competing for touches along with USC rookie Ronald Jones. The second round-draft pick is speculated to be the main competitor with Barber once camp winds down, for the starting spot.
Barber impressed the staff over the last five games of 2017 with 335 rushing yards on 78 carries and 12 catches that totaled 83 yards.
Running back and defensive line are the most intriguing positions on the roster, but everything is overshadowed by Winston and his looming suspension during the first week of Buccaneer’s camp.