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3 Key Training Camp Battles for the Buccaneers

Larry Rupp
Three key training camp battles for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Three key training camp battles for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. / Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to return all 22 starters from their Super Bowl-winning squad, but that doesn't mean that all of their spots are locked down. Training camp is where players battle to prove their worth and there seem to be position battles out on the field every year.

Head coach Bruce Arians has been adamant that this is a new team and he wants to see who performs well in practice before naming any starters. With that in mind, here are three key position battles to watch as the Bucs get ready for kickoff in September.

Buccaneers Training Camp

1. Leonard Fournette vs. Ronald Jones (Running Back)

The one position battle that everyone will be keeping an eye on in Tampa Bay is in the backfield. Ronald Jones may have a slight edge over Leonard Fournette given his experience with the team, but this one is far from over. Fournette shined during the postseason as he averaged 4.7 yards per carry and scored a touchdown in three of the team's four games. On the other side, Jones has proven he is capable of being the go-to ground-and-pound running back as he was just 22 yards short of a 1,000-yard season in 2020. Expect this one to go down to the wire.

2. Jordan Whitehead vs. Mike Edwards (Safety)

On the defensive side of the ball, most starters are clear for the Buccaneers. The safety position is the one spot that there may be some competition. Antoine Winfield Jr. is an obvious starter, but the difference between Jordan Whitehead and Mike Edwards isn't too obvious. Whitehead had offseason surgery on a torn labrum, but improved his play throughout the 2020 season. Edwards stepped up in Tampa Bay's playoff run by intercepting Drew Brees in the NFC divisional round and breaking up 3 passes total. It could simply come down to who looks better at practice.

3. Jason Pierre-Paul vs. Joe Tryon (Outside Linebacker)

This one may be a bit of a stretch given Jason Pierre-Paul's resurgence during the 2020 season. He racked up 9.5 sacks and 2 interceptions and earned his third Pro Bowl nod. However, rookie first-round pick Joe Tryon has reportedly been crushing it at practice and has even caught the attention of Arians on the sidelines. Tryon posted 9.0 sacks in 23 college games and has the physical features needed to play in the NFL. The former Washington Huskie could push for playing time right away and give a 32-year-old veteran in Pierre-Paul a run for his money.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.