Maybe As Soon As Week One

Jason Licht and Charley Casserly
Video Interview courtesy of NFLNetwork.com

Jason Licht, General Manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is confident that the two second round offensive linemen his team drafted will be starters this season. In fact, he told Charley Casserly in an interview for the NFL Network that he believes that Ali Marpet and Donovan Smith can be starters “maybe as soon as week one.”

Jameis Winston

This comes after a season where the Buccaneers put Josh McCown in harm’s way week after week behind a “rebuilt” offensive line that couldn’t stop anyone from reaching the pocket. The 2014 season meant that the Buccaneers could select Jameis Winston #1 overall to be their franchise quarterback.

Of course, with an offensive Offensive Line, the Bucs were afraid to put their #1 pick behind them  without some massive changes. With the 2 second round rookies showing significant improvement in the first 5 days of camp, the prospects of Winston’s survival through week 3 of the regular season is looking up. Licht is feeling better about the improvement of the line after seeing the rookies learning the offense and adapting to the speed of the NFL (and the Buccaneers defensive line).

Buccaneers Defense

Broncos Open Training Camp with Questions

Denver Broncos Hat
Entering the fourth year and likely final year of the Peyton Manning era, it is now or never for the Denver Broncos to win their first Super Bowl Championship since John Elway led the team to back to back championships to end his career. Much like the other 31 teams in the NFL, questions abound entering the 2015-2016 season.

How will Peyton Manning adapt to Gary Kubiak’s system?

Peyton Manning Bobblehead
After ending the last three seasons without a Super Bowl victory, the Broncos and now Chicago Bears Head Coach John Fox agreed to part ways. Enter former Texans Head Coach and Broncos backup Quarterback Gary Kubiak. Notorious for his zone blocking run oriented scheme which favors cut back runners similar to Terrell Davis and Arian Foster, it remains to be seen how Kubiak will adapt to Manning’s talents and vice-versa. If Manning can be satisfied with a decrease in numbers and fewer passing attempts, a diversified Broncos offense should lead to more sustainable offensive success.

Who will start at running back?

Prior to season ending injuries to Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman, the Broncos running game had been stagnant to say the least. Forced into action last season due to injuries, C.J. Anderson enters training camp as the favorite to start after a strong 2014-2015 campaign. Similar in style to Terrell Davis, the job is Anderson’s to lose, but he should be pushed by both Ball and Hillman.

Can the linebackers stay healthy?

When healthy, the Broncos have a solid linebacking corps. As training camp begins, neither Brandon Marshall nor Danny Trevathan are fully cleared to participate in drills. With a strong pass rush anchored by Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, and newly drafted Shane Ray; and a stellar secondary featuring Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib at corner, linebacker is the Broncos’ defensive weakness. Marshall and Trevathan staying healthy is essential for success come playoff time.

Will this season end with a Lombardi Trophy?

The only question that really matters. While the Broncos should remain competitive and will likely win the AFC West, overtaking either the Patriots or Colts to even represent the AFC in the Super Bowl will be a difficult challenge.Lombardi Trophy

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