While the series will undoubtedly feature the same tired storylines – like following the undrafted, hard-working receiver try to crack the roster, or listening to the most eccentric position coach yell odd obscenities, or seeing how early coaches wake up – there should be some areas of legitimate interest as well.
Here are five points of interest to look forward to in “Hard Knocks: Training camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:”
Martin proving his worth
After getting a nice new contract last spring, Doug Martin has an uphill battle this offseason.
Due to a looming four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, Martin’s guaranteed money on his five-year deal can be voided. Martin is coming off a dismal season in which he ran for just 421 yards and three touchdowns in eight games.
The Buccaneers are likely to add another running back in the draft as this year’s class is very deep at that position, meaning Martin will have added competition while trying to prove he’s still worth his $5.7-million salary and avoid being cut.
Judging Winston’s character
Who is Jameis Winston, really?
The Buccaneers quarterback had a questionable reputation coming out of college, showing a lack of maturity and signs of sexist, misogynistic behavior. He continued that display this offseason when he appeared in a Tampa classroom and said, “the ladies, they’re supposed to be silent.”
Winston apologized for his “poor word choice,” but that didn’t do much to silence the crowd that’s been criticizing him for his questionable ability as a role model.
The Bucs will have a say in what will be broadcast on the show, so any egregious remarks by Winston may just get cut out, but this will be the first time fans get a lengthy behind-the-scenes look at the young quarterback.
Any Miko Grimes appearance
The most entertaining personality on the Buccaneers isn’t actually on the team.
Miko Grimes, the wife of cornerback Brent Grimes, has been commenting on her husband’s teams, teammates, and the way they’ve been covered for years – primarily via social media. She’s never held back about her true feelings, nor has she felt any particular need to censor herself.
If she shows up on camera – in any capacity – it will undoubtedly become television gold.
Aguayo attempts to stay employed
Remember when the Buccaneers traded their third- and fourth-round picks to trade up and select a kicker in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft?
Good, because that’s an unforgivably terrible decision and should never be forgotten.
However, the kicker who was taken – Roberto Aguayo – may soon be forgotten.
Aguayo had a brutal first season, regularly being overcome by the pressure of a big kick, and may be cut just one year into his career. Ten-year veteran Nick Folk will join Aguayo in camp for a kicker competition that could see the Florida State product go down as the worst draft pick in franchise history.
Can Jackson complete the offense?
The Buccaneers already had a lethal quarterback-receiver combination with Winston and Mike Evans, but now they’ve added a burner who can stretch the field.
DeSean Jackson will be a home-run threat any time the ball comes his way, but the speed at which he can mesh with Winston and the Tampa Bay offense will be a major factor.
Winston and Jackson have heaped praise on each other since before the signing, so it will be interesting to see if they can keep things positive through the dog days of a Florida training camp.
(Photos courtesy: Action Images)
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