Four minutes before the first training camp practice of 2018 could even begin, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers heard the lightning sirens come on over One Buc Place that triggered their retreat into the safe indoors of their brand new practice facility.

It was there that the month-long question of which quarterback will be taking the first team reps was answered.

It was Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Franchise quarterback Jameis Winston is set to open the season on a three game suspension. Though he is expected to be the starting quarterback when he returns, it appears head coach Dirk Koetter is putting all hands on deck to make sure Fitzpatrick is as ready and as comfortable as he can be for Week 1 in New Orleans.

Fitzpatrick was even seen after practice getting some extra dialogue on the practice field with wide receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson.

Though these men played together when Winston was hurt last season, chemistry is key and they need to do everything they can to make sure it’s as good as it can be.

Rookie running back Ronald Jones was the second-team back in camp today, behind Peyton Barber.

Jones had a nice run in the scrimmage — albeit with no pads — where he would have taken it to the house on a long touchdown, but an area where the Bucs really need Jones to succeed is in the passing game. On day one, he didn’t impress in that area.

That will be something to monitor as training camp goes on. Jones’ quickest way to playing time is likely as the third down back, but that role is also the more technical.

Can Jones be a quick learner? To be continued.

On a final note for the offense, one of the best offensive plays of the day came from tight end O.J. Howard, who looked confident in his first day back.

As a rookie last year, Howard was tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns with six. Though Cameron Brate signed a big extension this offseason, don’t expect that to cap the ceiling of Howard at all in this offense. He’ll still be used plenty — especially if he was as confident as he was on day one.

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
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jiggyjoe
jiggyjoe
3 years ago

Here is my beginning of the season guess on what will happen. Fitzpatric will play well and Winston will be the backup for this season and traded away next year. The Bucs will get a new starter at QB next season through the draft or in a trade. I have little faith in the head coach. He doesn’t learn by his errors or he is just too stubborn. He should let someone else call the plays. He should follow the system The Great One does in New England. He does not call his plays…..

nitey
nitey
3 years ago

I think OJ and Godwin will make some real impact this season. We have a really strong wide receiver and tight end group. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a trade before the final roster cuts out of one of these two groups.

a-bomb
a-bomb
3 years ago

Please, please stop it with the Fitz will replace Jameis talk. It is just nonsense. Fitz is a journeyman QB and a decent back-up. He is not a starting caliber QB. Like it or not, Jameis is the better QB. If the Bucs decide to part with him it will not be because Fitz is a better QB.

jiggyjoe
jiggyjoe
Reply to  a-bomb
3 years ago

The problem with Jameis is that he is not a starting caliber QB either. As I said, Jameis will be gone next year. Fitz can win as many as Jameis.

Casey Morgan
Casey Morgan
3 years ago

Fitz will start the first 4 games. Winston can’t practice until after the Monday night game week 3. Fitz will be 3-1 and we have a QB controversy…

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
3 years ago

Finally!! Something to read and digest about real stuff on the field, and not just endless futile arguments about opinions!

Even if it is just a practice field.