Jacquies Smith, George Johnson leaders among DEs

TAMPA, Fla. -- It’s time for our weekly look into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ mailbag.

@PatYazESPN: Right now, it looks as if the Bucs will start Jacquies Smith and George Johnson at the defensive end spots. Smith was a pleasant surprise, recording 6.5 sacks last season. He should benefit from having an entire offseason with the team. Johnson was signed as a free agent from Detroit, where he had six sacks in a backup role. The Bucs believe Johnson can make the transition to being a starter. There are no superstars at defensive end, but the Bucs believe they have good depth with Larry English, T.J. Fatinikun, Lawrence Sidbury and William Gholston.

@PatYazESPN: It appears as if Danny Lansanah has a strong grip on the strong-side linebacker job. He exceeded all expectations last year and was making lots of plays in the offseason program. Many thought that rookie Kwon Alexander was drafted to compete with Lansanah. But Alexander has been getting most of his work as the backup middle linebacker.

@PatYazESPN: I think you're going to see a lot more of the tight ends in the passing game than you did last year. New offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has a history of using tight ends heavily. This is good news for second-year pro Austin Seferian-Jenkins. His production was limited as a rookie by injuries. But I think Seferian-Jenkins will be a big part of the offense this year.

@PatYazESPN: I say D.J. Swearinger has a better shot at starting at safety than Chris Conte. I say that because I think Swearinger has much more upside. He was a second-round pick by Houston in 2013. Things didn't work out in Houston, but Swearinger has talent and should benefit from a change of scenery.