Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield said last month that wide receiver Russell Gage “is the perfect slot for our system” and he may kick off his first season with the Bucs doing more than that.
Chris Godwin is still recovering from a torn ACL and may not be ready to go at the start of the regular season. That would leave Gage as the No. 2 wideout behind Mike Evans and quarterback Tom Brady made it clear at last week’s minicamp that he has high expectations for his new teammate.
“He has to have a big year,” Brady said, via Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. “That is a very important role for an offense that throws the ball as much as we do. . . . Russ, when he is out there, there is a lot of work that needs to go into the next six weeks to be ready. We’re challenged right out of the box this year.”
The Bucs open with the Cowboys, Saints, and Packers in September and it seems likely that Gage will be front and center on offense when they hit the field for those games. If he’s up to the task, the offense in Tampa should again be a difficult one to slow down.