The Tampa Bay Buccaneers open training camp on July 28 at the team's headquarters in Tampa, Florida. Here's a closer look at Bucs camp, which wraps up on Aug. 24.
Top storyline: This is no longer Lovie Smith's team -- it's Dirk Koetter's -- which means the clock starts ticking now, as Koetter's two predecessors each got only two years each before they were fired. Under Koetter's direction last season as offensive coordinator, the Bucs finished fifth in the league in offensive yardage -- ahead of the New England Patriots -- and drew praise from ownership. Koetter was also commended for his work in the development of rookie quarterback Jameis Winston. What does Year 2 have in store for Winston? And how will he progress with another season in Koetter's system? So far, all signs are pointing upward.
If Winston does ...: Improve in the red zone and the offense can capitalize on all the yardage by putting points on the board, the Bucs can be dangerous. Tampa Bay finished with 379.5 yards per game last season but was 20th in the league in points per game (21.4), making all those big plays futile too often. Winston had the league's second-worst red-zone efficiency -- completing 42 percent of his passes there -- and the team was 22nd (52.9 percent) in red zone conversion.
Player who will have fans buzzing: Winston is getting the ball out quicker, has improved his conditioning significantly and is making more plays outside the pocket. Aside from his occasional tendency to overthrow his receivers, he has total command of the offense. Also, wide receiver Kenny Bell was the darling of training camp practices last year, but a hamstring injury forced him to miss his entire rookie season. With his 4.3 speed, the fifth-round pick out of Nebraska can truly stretch the field, adding a dimension this offense has missed and making for some exciting one-on-ones.
Position battle worth watching: It's a given that Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans are the No. 1 and No. 2 receivers, but the third receiver spot is up for grabs. Louis Murphy is coming off a torn ACL. Bell can line up inside and on the outside. Adam Humphries is more of a true slot receiver, and he and Bernard "Speedy" Reedy can both contribute in the return game.
That rookie should start: Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves may have been working with the second-team defense during minicamp, but each day he had one or two impact plays, including tipping a pass that Keith Tandy intercepted at the goal line and a beautiful leaping interception in the corner of the end zone. Koetter assured that Hargreaves is "going to play," and it's just a matter of whether Hargreaves is better suited for the outside or the inside at nickelback.
Veteran whose job is in jeopardy: Two years ago, defensive end George Johnson was the Cinderella story of the Detroit Lions, which is why the Bucs traded a fifth-round draft pick in exchange for him and a seventh and then signed Johnson to a three-year deal worth $9 million. But Johnson didn't record a single sack last season, which was a huge disappointment, even for a player who may be best suited in a rotation. Also, veteran safety Major Wright struggled at times during minicamp. He was working with the second-team defense and twice allowed Cameron Brate to score on red-zone plays he should have been able to make. Johnson and Wright can still help themselves when the pads come on.
Who will bring the heat? Defensive end has a lot of question marks. Free-agent signee Robert Ayers should lock up one spot, but who starts opposite him? Jacquies Smith, a starter from last season, is coming off shoulder surgery. Rookie Noah Spence has enormous potential, with general manager Jason Licht calling him the "best pure pass-rusher in the draft." Meanwhile, William Gholston had what Ayers called "the best offseason of anyone." Johnson also is trying to get back to his 2014 form, and Howard Jones had five sacks in 12 games last season.
Making do without Mankins: With the retirement of Logan Mankins, the offensive line has a huge void to fill at left guard. The team signed J.R. Sweezy, and offensive tackle Kevin Pamphile spent the offseason lining up inside while Sweezy recovered from an undisclosed injury. Last season's backup center, Evan Smith, is also capable of playing guard, and the Bucs believe rookie Caleb Benenoch can line up all across the line.
What fans will be saying after camp: They will say the defense has a lot more impact players this season. And Winston has improved by leaps and bounds since the first snap of his rookie campaign.
For daily updates at camp, check out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers page.