Vincent Jackson is assured of a starting job as a wide receiver with the Buccaneers this season and Mike Williams will probably be across from him, but there isn’t much certainty behind them on the depth chart.
As Stephen Holder of the Tampa Bay Times points out, the Bucs have nine other receivers vying for either three or four more jobs on the roster. The list includes players who have contributed to the Bucs in the past (Preston Parker, Dezmon Briscoe), players who have more promise than a track record (Arrelious Benn, Ed Gant) and, in Tiquan Underwood, a player mostly known for his haircut. It’s a group that Underwood thinks will be better because of how much everyone will be pushing for playing time.
“It’s just a bunch of guys trying to make a name for themselves in this league,” said Underwood. “That just brings about competition. Competition is always good, because that makes the cream rise to the top.”
It’s not a bad notion, especially on a team with a new coach and new eyes looking at the roster. Everyone needs to prove that they have something the rest of the candidates can’t offer and such a situation gives you the best chance of putting together the most effective group possible. That doesn’t mean the end result will be a successful one, there are no guarantees that the cream of this group will challenge opposing defenses, but it gives them a lot better chance of having a winning group than simply handing everyone jobs early in the process.