We’ve written extensively about the all-important training camp battle for the Bucs WR3 job, and Bruce Arians may have shed some light on the frontrunner for the spot, at least as of mid-August.
“The guy that’s looking really really good is Justin Watson,” Arians said. “He lost 10 pounds and I think he hit 21 miles an hour the other day on the field, that’s flying. He looked very confident in what he’s doing. Justin, Scotty [Miller], we got a bunch of different pieces there. Jonathan Franklin looked good, [Bryant] Mitchell has looked good, it’s a battle for three, four, five and six, and we might have different packages for the different three.”
Bucs WR Scotty Miller – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Unmentioned is heralded fifth-round pick Tyler Johnson, who was one of the most productive receivers in college football at Minnesota, but could be off to a slow start due to how little rookies have been able to be on the field this offseason. The former Golden Gopher also hasn’t practiced much with the team yet due to minor injury.
Last year both Watson and Miller saw playing time when Mike Evans and Chris Godwin battled injuries late in the season, with Watson getting 230 snaps to Miller’s 177. Miller’s speed is a trump card that Watson hasn’t possessed during his two years in the league, but if he’s gotten more explosive as he’s lost weight, the Penn product may be closer to canceling out Miller’s expected advantage.
Still, Arians remains high on Miller and the versatility he provides the Bucs receiving room.
“In the passing game he’s a feisty blocker,” Arians said. “For us, the slot is a big time blocker with 11 personnel, so it’s hard for him. I don’t want to get him broken up blocking and lose some speed. There are things that he can do in the middle of the field and when we’re in our 4-wide receiver set he’s always the slot. We’ll try to use him as much as we can inside, he’s such a potent guy outside too with that speed.”