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Tampa Bay Buccaneers True or False: June Edition

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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The favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl once again, the reigning world champions, opened minicamps last week. Able to bring back all of their starters from a season ago, the team will again look to be lead by one of the best defensive units league-wide. Tom Brady will also return at the helm of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense in his age 44 season.

With one of the best groups of pass-catchers in the entire NFL, look for the 21-year veteran to be sharper in his second year in Bruce Arians‘ downfield passing scheme. Set to open their 2021 campaign against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, September 9, the team has the fourth easiest strength of schedule based on records from a year ago. Looking to fill out their depth roster spots as training camp opens in a little over a month, positional battles on defense and special teams linger over one of the best young rosters in the game.

Can Kyle Trask Earn the Backup Quarterback Spot?

True. Earning the praise of Arians at the Buccaneers OTA sessions, Trask was lauded for his mental sharpness. Selected 64th overall in the 2021 draft, the 23-year-old led the Florida Gators to 19 wins over his final two seasons. Amassing over 7,000 passing yards and 69 touchdown passes during his time in Gainesville, he helped lead Dan Mullen‘s group to a 13th ranking in the AP poll in 2020 while earning a finalist nomination for the Heisman Trophy.

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Returning both veterans Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin on one-year deals, look for Tampa Bay to cut one of the two quarterbacks before the season’s start. Keeping a veteran at the No. 2 quarterback spot during most of his coaching career, if Trask continues his strong play during the offseason, look for Arians to change his philosophy and give the rookie the nod as the backup behind Brady.

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Will Leonard Fournette be the Lead Option in the Backfield?

False. A hero for the Buccaneers during their playoff run a year ago, Fournette rushed for 300 yards and three touchdowns in four games. Along with this, the former fourth overall pick also added in 148 receiving yards and one touchdown. Finishing off with 135 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns in the Super Bowl, the 26-year-old re-upped with the team on a one-year $4 million contract at the beginning of the offseason.

Likely to be in a battle with third-year man Ronald Jones to begin the season, look for the USC alumn to earn the nod as the primary man in the backfield. A shifty runner with the ability to make opposing defenders miss and turn on the jets in the open field, he rushed for a career-high 978 yards in 14 games last year with a healthy 5.1 yards per carry.

Should Jaelon Darden Handle the Return Duties?

True. Solid as a punt returner during his time at North Texas, Darden racked up 310 yards and one touchdown with a health 8.9 yards averaged per run back. Along with this, the 22-year-old also amassed 295 kick return yards during his freshmen season with the Mean Green. Electric with the ball in his hands, he offers the Buccaneers special teams unit a threat to score every time he touches the ball.

After moving up for him in the fourth round of the draft, look for the rookie to struggle to earn time behind a loaded wide receiver room. In need of an upgrade, with primary return man Jaydon Mickens averaging just 6.2 yards per run back in 2020, look for Darden to give Tampa Bay the threat they have needed for years.

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Will Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett match their Combined 17.5 Sacks from Last Season?

True. One of the best pass-rushing tandems in the league in 2020, the duo racked up 17.5 sacks, 30 quarterback hits, and 18 tackles for loss. Continuing their strong seasons in the playoffs, they made life tough on Aaron Rodgers in the NFC Championship. Helping the team punch their ticket to the Super Bowl, the pair combined for five sacks and four tackles for loss in a dominating effort by Todd Bowles defense.

With Pierre-Paul set to enter the final year of his contract next season, general manager Jason Licht retained Barrett after inking the 28-year-old to a four-year extension. In a prime situation to replicate their success heading into next season, the Buccaneers blitzed their opponents on 39 percent of their defensive snaps a year ago. Furthermore, with all 11 starters returning after remaining a top 10 unit league-wide last season, look for their two-star edge players to wreak havoc once again in 2021.


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Main Image Credit: 
Embed from Getty Images

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Check us out on our socials:   
Twitter: @PTSTNews and @TalkPrimeTime
Facebook Page: Prime Time Sports Talk
Join our Facebook Group: Prime Time Sports Talk 
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