Details will decide battle between Ogletree, Underwood
Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams are the Bucs’ two starting receivers. Of that, there is no doubt.
But there’s no certainty about who will assume the role of No. 3 receiver, a job that comes with quite of a bit of snaps in the Bucs offense. But for the Bucs, it’s a good problem to have.
They like the two options they have: Kevin Ogletree and Tiquan Underwood. Both have talent and both have shown signs of bigger things to come.
So, ultimately, some other elements will play a role in deciding this key position battle. Among them: Who proves more capable of showing the versatility needed to perform numerous roles in the offense. With the Bucs placing an emphasis on moving Jackson and, at times, Williams, to different spots on the field, the third receiver will have to adapt accordingly.
“Those third and fourth receivers have to know all the positions and be able to make plays in all the spots as an outside receiver, as a single receiver and as a slot receiver,” receivers coach John Garrett said. “That’s the goal: to have complete versatility where you can mix and match three or four guys and put them all in different spots instead of the same place. That way you (show) less tendencies.”
That’s something the Bucs hope will keep defenses guessing as Tampa Bay again attempts to establish its deep passing game. Jackson has been frequently lined up as a slot receiver during training camp practices, and seems likely to be a fixture there in the 2-minute offense.
The race for the No. 3 spot likely won’t be decided until well into the preseason, after the Bucs have seen Underwood and Ogletree in action.
“(Ogletree) has an opportunity to play a big part,” Schiano said when asked about the free-agent signing from the Cowboys.
“But if I’m Tiquan Underwood, I’m saying that opportunity’s mine. So, what we have a great competition for that third receiver spot.”