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Tim Massaquoi vs. Mark Anelli
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have two starting-caliber tight ends in Anthony Becht and Alex Smith, and they plan to feature them in Bucs head coach Jon Gruden’s offense quite often again this season.
With the Bucs planning to feature more two-tight end set formations again this year, the team could keep as many as four tight ends on their active roster. However, with Becht, Smith and TE/long snapper Dave Moore favorites to make the team, the remaining tight ends – Tim Massaquoi, T.J. Williams, Mark Anelli and Boone Stutz – likely will battle it out for one available roster spot.
One of the competitors, Williams, who entered the league in April as a sixth-round pick, is out of the mix after he suffered a torn Achilles tendon during Tampa Bay’s mandatory mini-camp in late-June.
Williams wasn’t a lock to make the team anyway. Massaquoi, a seventh-round pick, was outperforming Williams during the offseason.
With Stutz auditioning at long snapper and newcomer Matt Kranchick behind in terms of learning the playbook, the backup job behind Becht, Smith and Moore could come down to Massaquoi and Anelli.
The 6-foot-3, 248-pound Massaquoi is a bit undersized but has impressive athleticism and power, which could come in handy in the run-blocking department.
Anelli (6-3, 265) impressed the Bucs coaching staff this offseason by picking up the offense rather quickly. He’s versatile enough to line up wherever the Bucs need him to, too.
The player that makes the biggest contribution on special teams likely will win this training camp battle. However, that impact could come in two different areas as Anelli is attempting to unseat Moore as the team’s long snapper. That will be tough for Anelli to do as Bucs special teams coach Richard Bisaccia has been very pleased with Moore.
Advantage: Tim Massaquoi
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