Tampa Bay will open its preseason schedule on Friday with another rookie offensive lineman as a starter, as Arron Sears was named the first-team left guard after Monday afternoon's workout.
The Buccaneers released their first official depth chart after the workout. Sears, a second-round pick out of Tennessee, has beaten out veteran tackle Anthony Davis — for now — as the starter.
Last year Davin Joseph worked his way into a starting spot at right guard by preseason's end and started 12 games after an injury. In 2005, Dan Buenning became the starter at left guard as a rookie and started all 17 games that season. He is now the third-string center.
Tampa Bay hosts New England on Friday night at Raymond James Stadium.
The biggest stunner on the depth chart was the drop of Bruce Gradkowski from second string, where he appeared to be after mini-camp, to fourth string. Jeff Garcia, not surprisingly, was named the starter. But Luke McCown played his way into the backup role with a stellar camp, and, despite his sore throwing elbow, Chris Simms is the current No. 3.
Also, Maurice Stovall played his way onto the first team as the wide receiver opposite Joey Galloway. Michael Clayton, the starter there the past two years, dropped to second string. David Boston is backing up Galloway on the other side.
There were no major surprises defensively. Patrick Chukwurah was named to the first team at right end, but first-round pick Gaines Adams is second string. All seven of the Bucs' defensive draft picks are on the first three teams and should see plenty of action on Friday.
Mark Jones held onto his spot as the top kick and punt returner, with Chad Owens the second string selection for both. It's interesting to note that Jones is the third-string receiver backing up Galloway, while Owens is fifth-string.
Need some "Instant Analysis?" Bucsblitz.com's Matthew Postins breaks down some of the key depth chart revelations in the first edition of Instant Analysis.
Tampa Bay depth chart (as of Aug. 7)
Left guard: Arron Sears, Anthony Davis, Jonathan Clinkscale
Quarterback: Jeff Garcia, Luke McCown, Chris Simms, Bruce Gradkowski
Right end: Patrick Chukwurah, Gaines Adams, Greg White
Placekicker: Matt Bryant
Holder: Josh Bidwell
Punt returner: Mark Jones, Chad Owens, Kyle Smith
Kick returner: Mark Jones, Chad Owens, Chad Lucas
Long snapper: Andrew Economos
Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association and has won national awards for his Buccaneers coverage from the PFWA, the National Newspaper Association and the Associated Press Sports Editors.