Bucs camp: Three goals and top battle

Looking at the Bucs' priorities

Three goals:

  • Determine the right rotation for quarterbacks Jameis Winston, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Griffin in training camp and preseason. This isn't as easy as it sounds. Winston still is the starter, but he will miss the first three games, so the Bucs have to get Fitzpatrick at least half the reps in practice. It's also possible Fitzpatrick plays the most in the third preseason game and Winston has to get most of his reps in the fourth.

  • Jell as a defense. There's a lot of new pieces, particularly on the defensive line. What is the defensive line rotation with Beau Allen and Vita Vea? Vinny Curry and Noah Spence? The Bucs also have questions in the secondary. Second-year pro Justin Evans is a lock at free safety, but does Chris Conte retain the job at strong safety? Can Vernon Hargreaves hold onto his left cornerback spot? The Bucs were last in total defense and sacks a year ago. A lot of strides have to be made.

  • Improve the running game. Ronald Jones II could be the biggest difference-maker on offense and a big-play running back that could take the pressure off Fitzpatrick early in the season. The offensive line is the key and center Ryan Jensen may bring the attitude of finishing blocks that the Bucs need.

Top battle:

--Right cornerback between Vernon Hargreaves, Carlton Davis and M.J. Stewart. With only one career interception, Hargreaves is guaranteed to start at slot corner in nickel situations. But to hang onto his starting job, he has to play better than the Bucs' rookies. Davis, 6-foot-1, gives the Bucs the length they lack at that position. Stewart came on late in the offseason.

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