Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2013 training camp primer


The Bucs spent big in the offseason to upgrade their defense, but quarterback Josh Freeman remains an enigma. Is he getting his last chance with the team this year?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished 7-9 in coach Greg Schiano's first year. On the surface, that was an improvement over their 4-12 campaign in 2011, but they suffered yet another second-half collapse. Quarterback Josh Freeman regressed and the defense gave up the most passing yards in the league as the Bucs lost five of their final six games.

The team set out to upgrade their porous secondary in the offseason, spending big in free agency and giving up their first-round pick for a marquee name, but will it be enough to get the team back into the playoffs?

Let's take a look:

Offseason changes

The biggest move by far was the trade for cornerback Darrelle Revis. When healthy, Revis might be the best defensive back in the league, but he's recovering from a torn ACL and came at a hefty price. They also spent big in free agency, inking safety Dashon Goldson to a five-year, $41 million deal. Not all of their moves were additions, though. They let defensive end Michael Bennett walk and recently traded cornerback Eric Wright to the 49ers.

In addition to those moves, the Bucs have guards Carl Nicks and Davin Joseph coming back from season-ending injuries. Their returns could be big for Doug Martin, who already had an impressive rookie year without them.

Training camp location and schedule

For the fifth year in a row, the Bucs will hold training camp at team headquarters on One Buccaneer Place. This is part of the growing trend of NFL teams training closer to home to connect with fans. One of the team's most popular training camp traditions is the annual Night Practice game, an intrasquad scrimmage held at Raymond James Stadium. This year's Night Practice will be held on July 27.

Training camp is open to the public and tickets are free. All practices start at 8:45 a.m., with the exception of the Night Practice game. Here is the complete schedule from the team's official website:

Date Time
Thursday, July 25 8:45-11:30 a.m., Practice
Friday, July 26 8:45-11:30 a.m., Practice
Saturday, July 27 6:30-9:00 p.m. (Night Practice at Raymond James Stadium)
Monday, July 29 8:45-11:30 a.m., Practice
Wednesday, July 31 8:45-11:30 a.m., Practice
Thursday, August 1 8:45-11:30 a.m., Practice
Friday, August 2 8:45-11:30 a.m., Practice
Saturday, August 3 8;45-11:30 a.m., Practice
Tuesday, August 6 8:45-11:30 a.m., Practice
Thursday, August 8 Preseason game--Tampa vs. Baltimore (7:30 p.m. ET)
Saturday, August 10 8:45-11:30 a.m., Practice
Friday, August 16 Preseason game--Tampa @ New England (8:00 p.m. ET)
Saturday, August 24 Preseason game--Tampa @ Miami (7:30 p.m. ET)
Thursday, August 29 Preseason game--Tampa vs. Washington (7:30 p.m. ET)

Position Battles

Cornerback--The Wright trade came out of almost nowhere and completely upends the depth chart behind Revis. Rookie Johnthan Banks may have the upper hand on a starting job after initially being projected as a nickel back this year. Leonard Johnson, Anthony Gaitor and Danny Gorrer will also be in the mix.

Wide receiver--The starters are set with Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams, but the depth behind them is a bit murky. The Bucs added Kevin Ogletree in free agency to push Tiquan Underwood. They also signed Steve Smith, but he retired shortly after OTAs due to knee problems.

Tight end--This position is a major question mark after the Bucs let Dallas Clark walk in free agency. Luke Stocker is currently the front-runner to win the job, but he'll face competition from Tom Crabtree, who played for the Packers last year. The two combined for a grand total of 24 receptions in 2012.

Defensive end--Another position left in flux due to free agency. Bennett's departure opens the door for Adrian Clayborn, but he's still recovering from a torn ACL and will likely start camp on the PUP -- missing valuable practice reps in the process. Da'Quan Bowers is another injury concern after missing six games last season. The Bucs got just 27 sacks in 2012, 30th in the league, and have done precious little to upgrade this unit. If Bowers and Clayborn go down again, it will be down to Daniel Teo-Neshiem and William Gholston.

Tampa Bay's complete depth chart can be found here.

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