TAMPA – In advance of their first preseason game Friday at Cincinnati, the Buccaneers released their first depth chart on Monday.
One of the few surprises is that Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard are both listed as starters at tight end on offense.
That doesn’t necessarily suggest the Bucs will always open up in a two tight-end set but it’s an interesting note nonetheless.
With Brate and Howard listed as starters, slot receiver Adam Humphriies is listed as a backup behind DeSean Jackson at wide receiver.
Also worth noting is that the Bucs have Doug Martin listed as their first-team running back with Jacquizz Rodgers as the backup.
Martin will open the season on the sideline as he still has to serve the final three games of his four game suspension for last year’s PED violation.
The offensive line is as expected, but Joe Hawley is listed as the backup center while Evan Smith is listed as the backup right guard.
Over on defense, Devante Bond is listed as the starting strong-side linebacker with rookie Kendell Beckwith as his backup.
At safety the starters project what we’ve seen been seeing consistently in camp, where Chris Conte and Keith Tandy have worked almost exclusively with the first team.
One interesting note on defense is that Sealver Siliga is listed as the backup nose tackle behind Chris Baker with rookie Stevie Tu’ikolovatu listed as the third-stringer.
Over on special teams, Roberto Aguayo is listed ahead of Nick Folk at kicker but that, of course, could change depending on performance in camp and preseason games.
Humphries is listed as the top punt returner with Vernon Hargreaves and Bernard Reedy ranking second and third.
At kick returner, Ryan Smith is still listed at the top with Donteea Dye and Josh Huff as his top backups.