September 25, 2023

Bucs Life

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Guard Battle

2 min read

When you need protecting, you call a guard, and this is a battle that shouldn’t be a battle at all.

Ali Marpet: It’s a given, Marpet will be starting at Left Guard, the guy is the best offensive lineman we have, and short of a meteor strike, nothing is going to bump him from his spot.

Alex Cappa: While the Right Guard position isn’t locked up, it should be Cappa’s job to lose, despite the rumors that he has had issues catching on to the new scheme. We’ve seen that he can take over and change the outcome of the game, but his consistency is what we are left wondering about. Can he play up to the caliber we need him to, week in and week out, or will he wind up losing the spot?

Zack Bailey: If there is a rough piece of work on the training camp roster this year, Bailey is that man. He has struggled with his footwork as well as letting his left hand get a little wild which has resulted in him far too often finding himself on the outside shoulder of his target. He has certainly shown heart battling back from a broken leg and an ankle injury, and he packs enough power that he rarely will lose a battle, but that may not be enough if he can’t bring his level of play at right guard to where it was at left guard.

Ruben Holcomb: An undrafted rookie out of the University of Indianapolis, Holcomb has put together a college resume that turned heads, but it hasn’t been enough to get him past the practice squad of both the Buccaneers and the Bills. He has the size, agility, and work ethic necessary to be an every-down player in the league, but he hasn’t been able to convert his ability into a roster spot thus far.

With Marpet and Cappa certainly making the roster, the only battle will be between Holcomb and Bailey for the 3rd and final guard spot. Holcomb seems to be a little more ready, but Bailey appears to have a higher ceiling. It’s a battle that could go either way, but don’t be surprised if Holcomb and his Division II background prove to be the feel-good story of training camp.