Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 5/21/12
This season the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be playing for new head coach, Greg Schiano.

A vital part of putting a successful product on the field will be having the right players playing the right positions.

Although teams are just beginning OTAs and training camps, this article attempts to show what Tampa Bay’s starting line-up should be come Week 1.


QB: Josh Freeman: Being the “veteran” quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Josh Freeman will have the opportunity to prove himself to new head coach Greg Schiano. I expect Freeman to be the starting quarterback in the preseason and at least Week  1 of the regular season.

However, if Freeman starts throwing the ball to the other team too often or is unable to win games, do not be surprised to see Dan Orlovsky or some other quarterback leading the team.

RB: LeGarrette Blount:  I believe and hope that there is going to be a healthy competition between LeGarrette Blount and Doug Martin in training camp and going into the regular season. However, similar to Freeman, I think Blount will get a few chances to prove himself in the regular season. For Blount to be successful though he will need to gain yards consistently while not coughing up the football.

FB: Erik Lorig: Erick Lorig played in 16 games last season for Tampa Bay and was used as a blocker and tight end option. Last season Lorig gained 53 receiving yards on six receptions and was responsible for two first downs. Lorig will be listed as the fullback, but depending on the offensive game plan,Lorig could play some downs as a tight end or many players could be lined up in the fullback position, for blocking purposes.

WR1: Vincent Jackson: Last season Tampa Bay finished 16th in terms of total net passing yards with 3,650. This offseason, in an attempt to upgrade the receiving crew, Tampa Bay signed free agent Vincent Jackson. Last season with San Diego, Jackson played in all 16 games and accumulated 60 receptions, 1,106 yards, and nine touchdowns.

Additionally, Jackson has only committed one fumble in his seven seasons in the league, which is good news for a Tampa Bay team that fumbled away the ball 16 times last season, which was tied for second most in the league.

WR2: Mike Williams: Mike Williams is a good receiver that has been productive in his first two seasons in the NFL. However, Williams has suffered from poor play at times by the quarterback, and because of the youth and inexperience of his receiving teammates. If Josh Freeman plays well this season, Williams should greatly benefit from playing alongside Vincent Jackson.

TE: Kellen Winslow: Kellen Winslow has three seasons under his belt with Tampa Bay, and has been a consistent target for Josh Freeman over that span with 218 receptions.

In addition to 218 receptions, Winslow has been responsible for 2,377 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns in the past three seasons. Winslow is a great tight end, but can only continue to improve as Freeman improves.

LT: Donald Penn:  Donald Penn has been a regular fixture on Tampa Bay’s offensive line over the last five seasons playing in 80 games and starting 76. This season Penn will be helping Tampa Bay rejuvenate an anemic offense.

LG: Carl Nicks: Carl Nicks is another excellent free agent signing by Tampa Bay this offseason. Nicks has played in 64 regular season games in his four years with New Orleans and was part of the 2011 offensive line that allowed Drew Brees to be sacked just 24 times.

RT: Jeremy Trueblood: Jeremy Trueblood has played in six seasons for Tampa Bay, appearing in 92 games, and starting 83. In addition to blocking on the offensive line, Trueblood has three fumble recoveries.

RG: Davin Joseph: In his six seasons with Tampa Bay, Davin Joseph has played in 61 games, starting 60 of them. Additionally, Joseph has received Pro Bowl honors in 2008 and 2011.   

C: Jeremy Zuttah: Jeremy Zuttah has played in several different positions on the offensive line for Tampa Bay, and this season will likely be a starter as a center.  


DE: Adrian Clayborn: Adrian Clayborn had a good rookie season where he recorded 42 total tackles, 7.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles. Clayborn looks to be a crucial part of Tampa Bay’s plans to put a dominating defense on the field.

DE: TBD: The team will be without defensive end Da’Quan Bowers for at least part of the 2012 season, as he suffered a torn Achilles tendon last week. According to Buccaneers.com, the team’s plans to replace Bowers will be a process of evaluating their current roster of defensive ends while also keeping an eye out for a potential replacement in free agency.

DT: Brian Price: Brian Price played in 15 games last season, starting 14 of them, and accumulated 24 tackles and three sacks. Price has playing experience, which gives him the opportunity to prove himself in the 2012 season.

DT: Gerald McCoy: After playing in only 19 games in his first two injury-ridden seasons, Tampa Bay is hoping Gerald McCoy can finally be the player worthy of the No. 3 overall pick the team used to get him. In his two shortened seasons, McCoy showed promise with 39 overall tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles and four passes defended.

If McCoy can stay healthy in 2012, Tampa Bay’s defense will be a forced to be reckoned with in the NFL.

CB: Eric Wright: Another one of Tampa Bay’s big acquisitions in the offseason was Eric Wright. Wright spent his first four seasons in the league with the Cleveland Browns, before playing for the Detroit Lions for one season in 2011. In his five seasons in the league, Wright has accumulated 323 total tackles, three forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries. Additionally, Wright has been responsible for 13 interceptions, resulting in 254 return yards, and one touchdown.

CB: E.J. Biggers: With Ronde Barber moving to safety, and Aqib Talib facing possible suspension stemming back to criminal charges from 2011, E.J. Biggers is the player who should be starting at cornerback. In two seasons with Tampa Bay, Biggers has played in 32 games, starting 12, and has accumulated 117 tackles, two interceptions, and 21 defended passes.

FS: Ronde Barber: In 15 seasons with Tampa Bay at the cornerback position, he has played in 225 regular season games recording 1,142 total tackles, 27 sacks, 15 forced fumbles, 12 fumble recoveries, and 192 passes defended. Additionally, he has accumulated 43 interceptions, with 763 return yards and seven touchdowns. Barber is moving to free safety this season, and so far, he says he is feeling comfortable at his new position.

SS: Mark Barron: In four seasons with Alabama, Mark Barron recorded 229 total tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles, seven interceptions and an interception returned for a touchdown. Barron has a fast motor that allows him to get to ball carriers quickly, knock away passes, and make interceptions - which is why he was a high draft pick, and is going to be an immediate starter. 

LB: Mason Foster: In his only season with Tampa Bay, Mason Foster recorded 84 total tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, an interception and two passes defended.

LB: Quincy Black: Quincy Black has played in 72 regular season games for Tampa Bay since the team drafted him in 2007. In his five years with Tampa Bay, Black has recorded 248 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and three interceptions.

LB: Lavonte David: In the second round of this year’s Draft, Tampa Bay selected Lavonte David from Nebraska. David put up impressive numbers in his two seasons with Nebraska, accumulating 285 total tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.

David is fast, tackles well and is good at chasing down ball carriers, which will help him in the fast-paced NFC South division and is the key reason why he should become an immediate starter.

K: Connor Barth: In his three seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Connor Barth has made 63 out of 75 field goals, and has made all 71 extra points he attempted. Barth is one of the best kickers ever to play for Tampa Bay and was rewarded in the offseason with a new four-year contract.

P: Michael Koenen: In his first season with Tampa Bay, Michael Koenen punted the ball 67 times for 3,023 yards, with 24 punts inside the 20-yard line.  


Pete Carroll refutes report that Kam Chancellor will miss rest of season

Pete Carroll not ruling out possibility Kam Chancellor injury is career-ending

Top prospect Anfernee Simons may enter NBA Draft

Kam Chancellor will miss remainder of 2017 season with neck injury

It's all on Russell Wilson as injuries decimate Legion of Boom


Simone Biles criticism leads to apology from Gabby Douglas

Lonzo Ball explains why he skipped Lakers-Suns fight

Dale Earnhardt Jr. shares early-career regrets

LaVar Ball downplays President Trump’s role in helping son

Philip Rivers cleared to play Sunday against Bills

Simone Biles blasts Gabby Douglas over response to sexual abuse post

Sports & Politics Intersect: Is Jerry out of his league?

The 'An I, Tonya for an eye (or knee)' quiz

Should the Broncos make Tyrod Taylor their next quarterback?

15 mid-majors you need to know before you hear about them in March

NCAA college football 2017 Week 12 predictions

NFL Week 11 predictions

Follow Ben Simmons as he leads us to the NBA's unknown future

The Saints flipped the script to revive their season

The 15 best and 15 worst MLB signings of the last decade

The 'It's a major award!' quiz

Vikings' unnecessary quarterback conundrum is Mike Zimmer's doing

Time to admit the Blues are good, but can they be great?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Is Jerry out of his league?

15 mid-majors you need to know before you hear about them in March

The 'An I, Tonya for an eye (or knee)' quiz

Should the Broncos make Tyrod Taylor their next quarterback?

The 15 best and 15 worst MLB signings of the last decade

The 'It's a major award!' quiz

Follow Ben Simmons as he leads us to the NBA's unknown future

The Saints flipped the script to revive their season

NFL Week 11 predictions

NCAA college football 2017 Week 12 predictions

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker