Bucs' starting lineup projection features newcomers on defense

A young Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense led by Jameis Winston continues to build on a promising 2015 season, while a number of new faces will make their marks in Mike Smith’s defense. Here’s a projection of who the starters will be:


Quarterback (Jameis Winston): Winston, who threw for 4,042 yards, 22 touchdowns and 15 interceptions his rookie year, wasted no time this offseason. He came into training camp 20 pounds lighter, thanks to a tough training regimen and not eating after 7 p.m. Look for him to cut down on interceptions and show improved mobility and footwork.Wholesale Tampa Bay Buccaneers jerseys

The Buccaneers are counting on quarterback Jameis Winston to build on a strong rookie season. Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports
Running back (Doug Martin): After two injury-plagued, uninspiring seasons in 2013 and 2014, Martin rebounded in 2015-16 and showed the burst and explosiveness that brought about a stellar rookie season. He was subsequently rewarded with a new contract. Martin will continue to benefit from not being the lone ball carrier and having Charles Sims around.

Receiver (Vincent Jackson): After four straight seasons of at least 1,000 receiving yards without missing a start, Jackson suffered a knee injury that forced him to miss seven games last year. He is hands-down Winston’s most reliable target and can line up anywhere on the field.

Receiver (Mike Evans): Evans had some uncharacteristic drops in 2015, and his production in the red zone fell from 12 touchdowns to three, but he managed to record his second consecutive 1,000-yard season. He’ll benefit from having a healthy Jackson lining up on the other side and not having defenses zero in so closely on him.http://www.tampabaybuccaneersjerseyspop.com
Tight end (Austin Seferian-Jenkins): Seferian-Jenkins has missed 16 games in two seasons, so health is a concern. He was booted from practice during the final week of OTAs because, according to head coach Dirk Koetter, he “didn’t know what he was doing.” He will line up in the traditional “Y” position.

Tight end (Cameron Brate): The former undrafted free agent out of Harvard earned four starts last season and emerged as one of Winston’s favorite red zone targets. Brate will line up in the “F” spot or H-back role. (The Bucs will have two starting tight ends, instead of carrying a traditional fullback.)

Left tackle (Donovan Smith): Just like Winston, Smith dealt with a steep learning curve last year and had to face the likes of J.J. Watt, Cameron Jordan, Robert Mathis, Trent Cole, Greg Hardy, Kony Ealy, Ryan Delaire, Jared Allen, Jason Pierre-Paul and Everson Griffen. At times, he struggled (remember the wicked spin move Griffen put on him?), and at other times, he held his own, including keeping JPP, Hardy and Watt from sacking Winston.Cheap nfl jerseys

Right tackle (Demar Dotson): Although it’s close between Dotson and Gosder Cherilus, Dotson has the slight edge. Cherilus will be a solid backup swing tackle and will provide veteran leadership in Logan Mankins’ absence.

Left guard (J.R. Sweezy): Despite missing the offseason program because of an undisclosed injury, Sweezy edges out Kevin Pamphile for the starting left guard position. He has massive shoes to fill with Mankins' retirement.

Right guard (Ali Marpet): His jump from Division III to the NFL (and inside from tackle to guard) wasn’t without a few growing pains, and he won’t have Mankins to lean on anymore, but Marpet grew quickly last season and hopes to continue.
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Center (Joe Hawley): His performance last season beat Evan Smith for the starting job, and he’ll build on that while Smith serves as a backup center and guard.



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