Bucs release first depth chart

Tampa Bay released its first official depth chart of the preseason after Monday afternoon's workout, and one rookie found his way into a starting role — but it wasn't Gaines Adams. Also, a link provides Matthew Postins' analysis of key positions on the chart in the debut of "Instant Analysis."

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)


Wide receiver: Joey Galloway, David Boston, Mark Jones, Chas Gessner, Chad Jones/Kyle Smith

Left tackle: Luke Petitgout, Donald Penn, Jabari Levey

Left guard: Arron Sears, Anthony Davis, Jonathan Clinkscale

Center: John Wade, Matt Lehr, Dan Buenning, Nick Milhauser

Right guard: Davin Joseph, Jeb Terry, Enoka Lucas

Right tackle: Jeremy Trueblood, Chris Denman, Dennis Roland

Tight end: Alex Smith, Anthony Becht, Jerramy Stevens, Keith Heinrich, Matt Herian/C.J. Leak

Wide receiver: Maurice Stovall, Michael Clayton, Ike Hilliard, Paris Warren, Chad Lucas/Jovon Bouknight

Quarterback: Jeff Garcia, Luke McCown, Chris Simms, Bruce Gradkowski

Running back: Cadillac Williams, Michael Pittman, Earnest Graham, Kenneth Darby, Lionel Gates

Fullback: Mike Alstott, B.J. Askew, Byron Storer


Left end: Greg Spires, Kevin Carter, Julian Jenkins, Jeremy Pittman

Defensive tackle: Chris Hovan, Ryan Sims, Darrell Campbell

Defensive tackle: Jovan Haye, Ellis Wyms, Greg Peterson, Tim Jones

Right end: Patrick Chukwurah, Gaines Adams, Greg White

Strong side linebacker: Cato June, Quincy Black, Sam Olajabutu

Middle linebacker: Barrett Ruud, Ryan Nece, Antoine Cash

Weak side linebacker: Derrick Brooks, Jamie Winborn, Adam Hayward

Left cornerback: Brian Kelly, Phillip Buchanon, Marcus Hamilton, Carlos Hendricks

Right cornerback: Ronde Barber, Alan Zemaitis, Sammy Davis, Torrie Cox

Strong safety: Jermaine Phillips, Sabby Piscitelli, Donte Nicholson

Free safety: Will Allen, Tanard Jackson, Kalvin Pearson


Punter: Josh Bidwell, Sean Douglas

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.

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