The Tampa Bay Buccaneers confirmed on Friday that rookie quarterback Jameis Winston will be the team's starter, as noted by ESPN. Head coach Lovie Smith said that Winston will be the team's starting quarterback, and that he'll take the first reps at the position when the Buccaneers open training camp on Saturday.
This isn't a surprise, but nothing was guaranteed, even for the first overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft. There have been plenty of teams who have made their rookie quarterbacks go through a competition to earn the starting role, though it's typically obvious that rookie will win the starting gig. Winston represents the future of the Buccaneers, and it's no surprise to see Smith put 100 percent faith in Winston from the onset.
This news comes just a day after the Tennessee Titans confirmed that Marcus Mariota will not have to go through a competition for the starting job either. That confirms the Buccaners and Titans will face off in Week 1 with two rookie quarterbacks starting the game. Below, we've got more news and notes from training camps around the league.
Cassel working with the starters
Buffalo Bills quarterback Matt Cassel took the first reps when the team opened training camp on Friday, according to Tyler Dunne of The Buffalo News. The Bills have a wide open quarterback battle between Cassel, Tyrod Taylor, E.J. Manuel and Matt Simms. Cassel is the favorite to win the job, but smart money is on him not taking all the starting reps in coming days.
The Bills will likely give multiple players reps with the starters throughout training camp and the preseason to determine the starter. Manuel was the guy last season but his stats have been underwhelming and with Rex Ryan newly in charge of the team, nothing is guaranteed. It's a bit too early to read into how each player looked thus far, but Cassel didn't receive great reviews from Bills beat writers.
Pryor turning heads, Bowe is positive about every single thing
Terrelle Pryor is an interesting player for the Cleveland Browns, and he's been impressing thus far in training camp. Pryor made the transition from quarterback to wide receiver this offseason and while the odds were always long that he'd be able to find success doing it at the next level, he did look like a natural doing it in training camp, according to Tony Grossi of ESPN. Pryor was running routes and catching well, and his teammates had a lot of good to say about him.
Also of note from Browns camp, quarterback Johnny Manziel struggled in his first action on Thursday. His first four dropbacks of camp saw him take a sack, another sack, throw a near interception and throw a pass that was batted down at the line. Now technically .... TECHNICALLY ... that's improvement from one snap to the next, right?
For better news, you need just check out Kevin Jones' timeline, where he has a bunch of quotes from Browns wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, saying a number of things. Bowe said that Friday's Browns offense "was one of the best training camp practices he's been a part of in nine years in the league," said that Joe Haden is the best quarterback he's seen since Champ Bailey and also that he's never seen someone transition to wide receiver as smoothly as Pryor.
49ers move Boone to left side
The San Francisco 49ers have a pair of incredibly talented offensive linemen in left tackle Joe Staley and guard Alex Boone, and now the pair will combine to make the left side of the line rock solid. Boone, the team's primary right guard, is being shifted over the left guard spot vacated by Mike Iupati this offseason. It was previously thought the 49ers would have a competition for the left guard spot, but Boone is one of the top guards in the league and that spot is considered the premium over the right guard spot.
With Iupati's departure and right tackle Anthony Davis' retirement, the 49ers will now have a competition at center, right guard and offensive tackle. Joe Looney and Marcus Martin are expected to land the center and guard spots, respectively, especially with Daniel Kilgore still nursing an injury. At right tackle, rookie Trent Brown and offseason signing Erik Pears should compete for the job. It will be interesting to see how those shake out when the 49ers open camp proper on Saturday.
Nicks working out with the starters
The Tennessee Titans know that Kendall Wright is their top receiver, but everything after him is a bit of a question mark. Heading into training camp, it was assumed Justin Hunter would take the bulk of the snaps opposite Wright. On Friday, that wasn't the case, as Hakeem Nicks took the bulk of the snaps, with Hunter and rookie Dorial Green-Beckham working in later, according to ESPN.
Most assume that Green-Beckham will take a starting role sooner rather than later. He's a rookie, but he's part of a very strong class of receivers and fits the bill of a starter. Nicks signed with the Titans this offseason after multiple disappointing seasons with the New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts. At one point, Nicks looked like an elite receiver, and is still 27 years old so there is plenty of room for him to shock everyone and have a huge year.