Bucs’ right guard Alex Cappa looks to be back in form after recovering in the offseason from a fractured ankle. The injury occurred in the Wild Card round against Washington, which opened the door for Aaron Stinnie to spur the Bucs on their Super Bowl run.
Although Stinnie survived some tough matchups on his way to the a world title, most assumed the job would still be Cappa’s this season. The Humboldt State product didn’t allow a sack in 17 games last year, and he’s quickly gotten back to an impressive level of play in camp.
“Cap looks like he’s full speed,” Bruce Arians said. “He’s not holding back at all.”
Cappa confirmed as much.
“I feel great, no problems,” Cappa said. “I was good in mini-camp , so I’ve been good for a while. It’s been fun to be rolling, but yeah, I feel great.”
Entering training camp, Cappa is the clear starter at right guard. He’s received all the first team reps and played well in the process. But after Stinnie played so well in big games during Cappa’s absence, is the job open for competition?
“Stinnie’s putting a lot of pressure on him,” Arians said. “Stinnie played really well when he got his opportunity last year.”
Cappa seems unfazed, pointing out that there’s competition at every position. Whether it’s Stinnie or another player lobbying for right guard, Cappa knows he has to earn the starter’s role.
“It’s always a competition,” Cappa said. “Obviously, everybody wants to play, everybody wants to start, everybody’s competing. I don’t think you look at anything like (it’s) for sure, I think we’re all just competing, all trying to put our best on the field, and you don’t really view it like that, to be honest.”
Versatility may be the key to Stinnie eventually winning a starting job. Rookie Robert Hainsey has been serving as the team’s No. 2 center in camp, but it’s clear the Bucs would love to see Stinnie prove himself to be a reliable snapper too. But Stinnie’s mixed results as a pivot haven’t exactly moved him up the depth chart just yet.
“I wish he could snap the ball better,” Arians said. “His snaps are really really good and then all of a sudden one goes flying over the quarterback’s head. Aaron is a solid player. There’s always competition.”