Wednesday was no usual training camp practice for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as they hosted the Miami Dolphins for the first of two joint practices this week.
The Buccaneers must have recognized the disparity between Wednesday’s practice and the standard camp practice, because they did something probably very few people expected.
Per The Athletic‘s Greg Auman, the Buccaneers started Nick Leverett at left guard against the Dolphins. This is big, considering veteran Aaron Stinnie is not only the favorite to win the job, but he opened up camp with the 1s.
Nick Leverett working as the first-string left guard today, which is a big opportunity for him.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) August 10, 2022
It’s a tremendous opportunity for Leverett. And while it’s not the best look for Stinnie and rookie Luke Goedeke -the other top players vying for the starting gig- there is still a long way to go when it comes to determining who wins the job.
But, for now, it appears as if Leverett is the lead man. Wednesday will feature a lot of good-on-good and the Buccaneers knew that coming in. Which means, they want to see what he looks like against top competition. And, they currently think he is the best guy to take on top competition.
It wouldn’t make much sense for them to keep Stinnie away from the 1s. Even though he’s a vet, he’s an inexperienced one and the Buccaneers need a full evaluation if they envision him as the starter.
Which backs up Leverett, even more. The Buccaneers are obviously liking what he’s doing or else he wouldn’t be on the starting line Wednesday. Which, ultimately, is a big surprise.
We’ll see what happens on Thursday. But for now, it appears as if Leverett has a leg up on his competition.
Featured image via Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports