The Tampa Bay Buccaneers open training camp on July 25 at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Florida. Here's a closer look at the Buccaneers' camp:
Top storyline: Starting quarterback Jameis Winston will miss the first three games of the regular season because of suspension. Aside from missing the first half of a game against Clemson in 2014, this is the first time Winston has received significant punishment for his off-the-field behavior. Winston's has been omitted from the franchise's promotional videos heading into training camp and is not among the players featured on murals outside Raymond James Stadium. Though Winston will still be able to participate in training camp and preseason games, how will the ban affect him, and how will it affect the perception of the Bucs' franchise quarterback within the organization, among teammates and in the community?
QB depth chart: After Winston, there's veteran backup Ryan Fitzpatrick, who started three games for the Bucs last season and won two of them. Their third quarterback, Ryan Griffin, adds an interesting dynamic. Prior to suffering a sprained shoulder last year during camp, many thought he was actually outplaying Fitzpatrick. That's why the Bucs signed him to a one-year contract extension last year despite already having two healthy quarterbacks. Going into his fifth year, Griffin has yet to throw a pass in a regular-season game, but a strong camp could make things interesting as far as who ultimately replaces Winston.
Bubble watch: Running back Charles Sims is the biggest name on the Bucs' bubble. The 2014 third-round draft pick had more than 1,000 all-purpose yards in 2015, and he averaged 4.5 yards a carry in 21 touches last season. But as an unrestricted free agent this offseason, he didn't re-sign until the day of the draft, and it was $800,000, just barely over league minimum -- that's not much commitment. With Ronald Jones now in the fold, along with Peyton Barber and Jacquizz Rodgers, plus undrafted free agent Shaun Wilson turning some heads with his pass-catching ability, could Sims be the odd man out?
This rookie could start: First-round draft pick Vita Vea will start opposite Gerald McCoy at defensive tackle. There's a good chance Jones can grab the starting running back spot. The rookie to watch is cornerback Carlton Davis -- can he beat out Vernon Hargreaves and Ryan Smith to start on the outside opposite Brent Grimes? "He's off to one of the fastest starts of the rookies," coach Dirk Koetter said of Davis, who was getting plenty of first-team reps during mandatory minicamp.
Offensive line update: The right side of the O-line remains a big question mark, with starting right tackle Demar Dotson missing mandatory minicamp while recovering from offseason knee surgery and projected right guard J.R. Sweezy getting released in June. Dotson has been cleared to participate in camp. Caleb Benenoch, who saw action in 13 games last season with five starts, stepped into Sweezy's role this offseason. Considering the Bucs' 3.64 rushing yards per carry over the past two seasons ranked 30th in the league, the Bucs can't afford another year of getting pushed around up front, especially if they have to rely even more on the ground game given Winston's suspension.
D-line ROI: On paper, the Bucs made major upgrades to their defensive line in drafting Vea, trading for Jason Pierre-Paul and signing Beau Allen, Vinny Curry and Mitch Unrein during free agency. The $54.5 million allocated to their defensive line in 2018 ranks second only to the Dallas Cowboys in cap spending. So it's not that their 22 sacks from last season "should" improve. It's a must. "You don't really find out what you have until you put the pads on," McCoy said. How long will it take the unit to start producing results, though? "I don't know, to where we're gelling? It could be midseason, it could be beginning of the season. It could be two weeks into training camp. The only way to control that is to be the best 'us' every day," McCoy said.
"I've gotta be the best Gerald, JPP's [gotta] be the best him, and so on and so forth, and just let the pieces fall where they may. But everybody has to control themselves and bring their best every day, and then eventually we'll start getting the type communication and chemistry that we'll need to be able to gel, and then we'll start to flow. ... I'm excited about the progress we've made up until this point."
For daily updates at camp, check out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers clubhouse page.