We haven’t even reached the first preseason game and already there’s a shakeup. According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Chris Godwin will start opposite Mike Evans at receiver.
Coming out of college, Matt Harmon viewed Godwin as one of the top prospects in the draft and having all the tools and skills to become a “top flight receiver in the NFL.” Now, he looks as if Godwin has worked his way on to the field in a much larger capacity.
But where does that leave DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries?
As I’ve said many times - both in writing and on podcasts - that DJax’s usage was frustratingly confusing and that the Bucs’ offense could benefit greatly from running him out of the slot while lining Evans and Godwin up on the outsides. It appears as if that is the direction the Bucs are leaning early on in camp.
Don’t get me wrong, I still believe there will be plenty of opportunities for Evans and DJax to line up opposite each other in two receiver sets, and opportunities for Evans to work the slot - causing mismatches galore - while Godwin and Jackson can work the outside and stretch the field.
I wrote on Bucs Nation a little while back that Humphries may be the odd man out, and with the emergence of Godwin to go along with Evans, DJax, Cameron Brate, and O.J. Howard all getting their share of targets it is starting to appear that Humphries’ role will be diminished.
Bear in mind that even with this report, when the Buccaneers released their first depth chart, Evans and DJax are still listed as receivers one and two. However, the depth chart is going to change quite a bit between the first preseason game and the first real game.
I love the fact that Koetter and Monken are working Godwin on the outside more as Godwin could very well develop into a dynamic player in the league. It will also give us a glimpse into the future as the Bucs will have a decision to make on DJax as to whether he will return for the final year of his contract or the Bucs will move on from him without any kind of cap hit.
Now it’s up to the quarterback - whoever that may be for each particular week - to utilize these weapons to the fullest and make Tampa Bay the biggest offensive threat in franchise history.