We've talked about many different position battles these past few weeks. One thing we haven't done is discuss the position battles that appear to have already been decided. Not the ones that were never in doubt, like the job of starting undertackle or weakside linebacker, but the battles that some expected to emerge -- and have already been decided.
Leonard Johnson seems to be at the top of the depth chart as the slot cornerback, but more interesting is the battle for the outside cornerback positions. That battle is being handily won by Johnthan Banks and Alterraun Verner, both of whom are ahead of Mike Jenkins. Jenkins is only seeing some time with the starters because of Verner's minori injury the past few days. The veteran free agent was hyped a bit because he's a local product and people love locals, but he's not exactly winning.
That makes Mike Jenkins the fourth or even fifth cornerback on the depth chart, depending on the exact game situations they'll face. Lovie Smith did call that competition 'heated' during OTAs, but there has been no real evidence of that heat. Enjoy a season on the bench, I guess?
Hey, remember how we have this annual debate on how the Bucs should try finding an upgrade over Mason Foster and move him to the strong side? Remember how every time we talk about maybe this guy challenging him but it never really going down that way? Yeah, it's happening again.
The Buccaneers brought in Dane Fletcher to compete at middle linebacker, but Lovie Smith has been nothing but complimentary of Mason Foster throughout this process. He's talked about blitzing, about Foster losing weight to get faster and fit this defense better -- and Foster has repaid him by showing up with some splash plays in training camp so far.
As much as people don't like Dashon Goldson, he's not going to be replaced. It's not just that he's a good player (which he is). It's that Lovie Smith likes him, and Mark Barron too. He's consistently brought up Goldson alongside McCoy, David and Foster when talking about pieces already in place on defense. On Sunday he told Warren Sapp that their safeties are as good as any two safeties in the league.
They do have depth at the position at least. They like Keith Tandy, though I'm entirely sure as to why they like him, and they brought in Major Wright as some added depth as well.
Lovie Smith has been very positive about Mike Glennon the past months -- ever since the draft. He's their quarterback of the future. He's going to be a good quarterback. They can win games with him etc. etc. etc.
None of that changes one constant: Lovie Smith and company believe Josh McCown is the best quarterback on this team.
They've consistently praised his leadership, and every single player has done so as well. Even Jonathan Casillas has compared him to Drew Brees in that respect. But everyone has been extremely complimentary of his play during the offseason as well, even while praising Mike Glennon in the same breath. Lovie Smith has repeatedly called him the team's starter.
Simply put: all indications are that Josh McCown will start this season as the Bucs' quarterback.