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Veterans over rookies, all over Bucs’ initial depth chart

Little surprises in first "unofficial" depth chart, with preseason opener three days away in Miami.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is officially listed as the team's No. 2 quarterback, though he'll start in place of Jameis Winston during his three-game suspension.
(CHRiS URSO | Times)
Ryan Fitzpatrick is officially listed as the team's No. 2 quarterback, though he'll start in place of Jameis Winston during his three-game suspension. (CHRiS URSO | Times)
Published Aug. 6, 2018|Updated Aug. 7, 2018

At the risk of sounding too much like Dirk Koetter, don't read too much into the "unofficial" depth chart released by the team in advance of Thursday's preseason opener against the Dolphins in Miami.

There are small morsels of information to be gleaned, but more often than not, anything close to a tie will show veterans ahead of rookies, as is usually the case in a first depth chart of training camp.

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With 91 players, the chart is four and five deep, with plenty of room for movement up and down in the four preseason games before NFL rosters are cut to 53 in early September.

We've embedded the full depth chart in a tweet here, but a few observations:

— Even the top rookies aren't listed as starters. So Beau Allen remains ahead of Vita Vea at DT, Ronald Jones is listed as a co-third RB behind Peyton Barber and Jacquizz Rodgers and corners Carlton Davis and M.J. Stewart are listed behind starters Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves.

— There's a curious wrinkle on punt returns, where veteran DeSean Jackson is listed as the No. 2, behind returning starter Adam Humphries. Jackson has four career punt-return touchdowns, but none since 2010. He hasn't returned punts regularly since 2013, when he was with the Eagles.

— Backup linebackers? Top three are listed as Devante Bond (SLB), Riley Bullough (MLB) and Cameron Lynch (WLB). Again, rookie Jack Cichy is listed third at SLB.

— Koetter mentioned over the weekend that Adarius Taylor and Alan Cross were the (emergency) backup long-snappers behind starter Drew Ferris. Depth chart reveals that the backup holder (!) behind punter Bryan Anger would be … do-it-all safety Keith Tandy, then No. 3 QB Ryan Griffin.