Never too early for depth chart
The Bucs, like many NFL teams, won't publish a depth chart until they're a week or two into training camp. It's just too hard to tell right now.
But that doesn't mean we can't offer our take on what it might look like. So, for now, let's take a peek at the defense. Remember, these are projections based on what we know at the moment (not much). If someone breaks out and has a spectacular camp, anything could change.
I've gone over the roster several times now, comparing it against last year's starting lineup. Gotta tell you: I'm having a hard time getting up the nerve to replace any of last season's starters.
So here's my lineup -- for now:
RDE: Gaines Adams
DT: Jovan Haye
NT: Chris Hovan
LDE: Kevin Carter
SLB: Cato June
MLB: Barrett Ruud
WLB: Derrick Brooks
RCB: Ronde Barber
LCB: Phillip Buchanon
SS: Jermaine Phillips
FS: Tanard Jackson
You might disagree with my take. I'll admit there are a couple of positions for which you can make an argument. For example, it's entirely possible new acquisition Marques Douglas will beat out Carter at left end. Or, maybe the Bucs have a different plan that involves playing Adams there while sliding Greg White into the starting lineup at right end. I happen to think the Bucs like White as a spot player in passing situations as he still hasn't proven himself against the run. But that's just my educated guess.
Another position up for debate: left cornerback. Maybe Eugene Wilson opens camp by turning heads and gives Buchanon a run. Wilson has been a starter for most of his career, albeit at safety. But my guess, for now, is that Wilson will be the nickel back on opening day.
For the most part, the signings on defense, in particular, have been for the purpose of adding depth. We all know that's critical after last season's rash of injuries. But, at least for now, I'm having a hard time finding new acquisitions who are going to crack the starting lineup. We'll tackle the offense some other time. Feel free to dissect this at will.