Competition For Bucs WR Depth Roles Is “Open Season”

The Bucs’ Tremendous Bowl repeat hopes fell brief in 2021, and accidents had been a serious cause why. Tampa Bay was hit particularly arduous on the vast receiver place, which led to what now appears like a crowded room coming into the summer time.

After all, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin stay atop the workforce’s depth chart. Godwin is presently recovering from the torn ACL he suffered in December. However recent off of signing a brand new three-year, $60 million deal, his position because the 1B to Evans’ 1A stays intact.

Vast receivers coach Kevin Garver stated Tuesday that behind the Bucs’ prime two receivers, the competitors might be vast open for the remaining spots within the room. Russell Gage, Tyler Johnson, Breshad Perriman, Cyril Grayson, Jr., Scotty Miller and Jaelon Darden are amongst these within the combine. The recently-signed Gage, who’s making $10 million per 12 months, appears a secure guess to be WR3 this 12 months.

“It’s open season. Actually, competitors throughout the board for all these guys,” Garver stated. “All of them received totally different abilities and talents and convey one thing totally different to the desk. Actually trying ahead to the competitors as this strikes alongside.”

Garver: “You Can By no means Have Sufficient Vast Receivers”

Bucs WR Breshad Perriman – Picture by: USA Right now

Nobody has to inform the Bucs that receiver depth might be examined over the course of a season. Within the late levels of 2019, accidents to Evans and Godwin left the receiving corps naked. That led to the emergence of Perriman, who posted three straight 100-yard video games to finish that season.

Then, after a comparatively wholesome 2020 season, Tampa Bay needed to faucet into its depth once more in 2021. Godwin’s harm and Antonio Brown’s outburst and subsequent launch opened the door for Grayson. He made huge performs down the stretch, however by the postseason, each he and Perriman had been sidelined with accidents.

Garver stated Tuesday that the Bucs know they’ll by no means have sufficient expertise within the room, particularly given what they skilled lately.

“It’s the ‘subsequent man up’ mentality for us for positive,” Garver stated. “You by no means know when these accidents are gonna come up and also you’ve received to have sufficient expertise in there to line up and win week to week.”

The excellent news is, the Bucs have plenty of gifted receivers vying for these open spots behind Evans and Godwin. Tampa Bay added three extra as undrafted free brokers, together with Western Kentucky’s Jerreth Sterns and Utah State’s Deven Thompkins. Sterns led the FBS with 150 catches for 1,902 yards and 17 touchdowns. Thompkins was second with 102 receptions for 1,704 yards and 10 TDs.

Garver stated the workforce has plenty of depth, and every man must method the competitors with the appropriate mindset.

“These guys are combating on daily basis,” he stated. “They’re combating for a job from the highest to the underside, and that’s received to be the mindset.”

Offseason Program To Be Key For Gage

New Bucs WR Russell Gage and S Antoine Winfield, Jr.

New Bucs WR Russell Gage and S Antoine Winfield, Jr. – Picture by: USA Right now

The Bucs made a giant addition to their receiving group in March, signing Gage, the previous Falcons standout. The 2018 sixth-round choose was particularly harmful towards Tampa Bay the final two years, posting 30 catches for 317 yards and two touchdowns over 4 video games.

“Russ is a superb addition to the room for us. Glad to have him on our workforce,” Garver stated Tuesday. “Clearly, [we’ve] been going towards him the final couple of years and [he] has actually put collectively two productive years in Atlanta. So, I feel that the proof is kinda within the pudding with him.”‘

Whereas Gage is anticipated to be the workforce’s No. 3 receiver this fall, Garver stated the offseason program – and particularly part two practices – might be key for getting him on top of things.

“I feel the largest factor for him is coming in and studying a brand new offense and studying terminology,” Garver stated. “Studying how we run our routes and the ins and outs to it. Get on the identical web page with Tom [Brady]. I feel these issues are going to be huge for him.”