TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hit the field starting Tuesday for a mandatory minicamp ahead of next month’s start to training camp and even though they return the entire starting roster from last year’s Super Bowl winner, there’s plenty of work to do ahead.
While most of the focus will remain on quarterback Tom Brady, the Bucs must find out who will be backing up the future Hall of Fame quarterback. The team has last year’s backup, Blaine Gabbert, still on the roster and his primary challenger appears to be this year’s second-round draft pick, Kyle Trask.
The former Florida Gators quarterback may one day be the heir apparent to Brady and he will likely get most of the work during the minicamp. Trask will be learning from head coach Bruce Arians, offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, and Brady. Considering that pedigree, Trask couldn’t be set up any better for long-term success as a quarterback in the NFL.
Beyond Trask, the Bucs hope to get a look at their first-round pick this year, Joe Tryon. He hasn’t played in a real football game in a long-time. He’s battling back from surgery after opting out of last season and could take some time to work back into game shape. If he can translate his production to the NFL, the Bucs may have a long-term solution as an edge-rusher.
The Bucs will also have quite a full stable of star running backs for Brady to hand the football off to this fall. The Bucs return Ronald Jones, Leonard Fournette, and Ke’Shawn Vaughn, who all played integral roles for the team during its eight-game winning streak to end the 2020 season with a Super Bowl win. Tampa Bay also added Giovanni Bernard to the mix, who caught the ball well out of the backfield for the Bengals and could be a big part of the offense moving forward.
Finally, the defense will have plenty of eyes on it after doing something few teams had ever done, completely shutting down Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Bucs harassed Mahomes all night and never let him get comfortable in the pocket. Ironically, it was almost the same formula used by the New York Giants to stop Brady in two Super Bowl losses.
Tampa Bay should be poised to once again make a run at the Super Bowl as long as Brady stays healthy and the defense continues to come together. The start of minicamp Tuesday will go a long way to filling the gaps behind the starters to fortify an already formidable roster.