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Last season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers basically came out of nowhere and not only took home the NFC Championship trophy but then also upset the Kansas City Chiefs for their second Super Bowl victory in franchise history.
The countdown to the 2021 season has begun, and the team has worked hard in the offseason to get all their key players, including wide out Antonio Brown and safety Chris Cooper, back under contract.
Tampa looks like they will once again be tough to beat, with Tom Brady returning for another season and looking for yet another title.
On Wednesday, the reigning champions released their first depth chart of 2021, and there are not too many surprises on it.
One move is at the starting running back spot, where the coaches have installed fourth-year running back Ronald Jones.
Last season, Jones rushed for 978 and seven scores, including a 98-yard score.
Two other running backs who could contribute are returnee Leonard Fournette and Giovani Bernard, an offseason pickup from the Cincinnati Bengals.
Fournette played well when Jones went down with injury. He rushed for 448 yards and a touchdown in four games.
At the tight end spot, it doesn’t come as much of a shock that the team will once again look to future Hall of Famer Rob Gronkowski, who returns for another season in 2021.
The former New England Patriots pass catcher had an impressive first season in Tampa, hauling in 77 passes for 623 yards and seven scores.
‘Gronk’ will be backed up by O.J. Howard, who played in just four games a season ago with 11 catches for 146 yards and a pair of scores.
The tight end job clearly is Gronkowski’s as of now, and the Bucs are counting on him to step up and be a solid safety outlet for Brady once again.
Changes will likely come for the Bucs prior to the season opener, but for now, the depth chart indicates that the team is ready to challenge for another NFC title in 2021.