Thoughts on the depth chart
First of all, I talked to Michael Clayton, right in photo, this morning and he said he wasn't shocked that Maurice Stovall was listed ahead of him on the depth chart. He said he wasn't going to spend much time thinking about it at this point in the preseason because the depth chart is likely to change several times before the start of the season.
But anyhow, I see this as more than an effort to send a message to Clayton. The Bucs believe Stovall has earned the playing time, and he's going to get it until someone or something changes the coaches' minds.
Elsewhere, although the depth chart lists Kevin Carter as a backup at left end, we know that he will get a significant number of snaps there and at under tackle, where Jovan Haye, left in photo, is listed as the starter. This much we know: Carter is going to play A LOT. Heck, they need him. Outside of Haye and backup Ellis Wyms, the Bucs are in the same boat as last season at under tackle without Carter playing there.
At tight end, Alex Smith is listed as the starter, with Anthony Becht and Jerramy Stevens behind him. But remember, the Bucs use a whole lot of two-tight end sets, so they'll liikely use all three of those guys extensively.
Finally, at quarterback, Bruce Gradkowski's place at No. 4 on the depth chart tells us that he is in danger of being cut. But from where we sit, we can't see the Bucs paying a quarterback $2-million (Chris Simms) to be third on the depth chart. Typically, your No. 3 quarterback is a guy who costs next to nothing and is there largely for insurance purposes. Definitely something to keep an eye on.
For those of you out there, anything surprise you on the depth chart?
Photo by Carrie Pratt | Times: Jovan Haye, left, is listed as a starter at defensive tackle. Michael Clayton has been usurped by Maurice Stovall.