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Buccaneers 53-man roster: Breaking down Jason Licht and Lovie Smith's first Bucs squad

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The Buccaneers have named their first 53-man roster of the Lovie Smith era, but there are already reasons to believe change is on the way soon.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made their final roster cuts on Saturday evening to get down to the 53-man limit, giving them their first game-ready squad in the Lovie Smith era.

Here is the full roster, using depth chart positions from training camp, along with observations and areas that will likely change before Week 1 against the Panthers.

The Offense

POS FIRST SECOND THIRD OTHER
WR Vincent Jackson Louis Murphy Robert Herron
LT Anthony Collins Kevin Pamphile
LG Logan Mankins Oniel Cousins Kadeem Edwards
C Evan Dietrich-Smith Josh Allen
RG Patrick Omameh Rishaw Johnson
RT Demar Dotson
TE Brandon Myers Luke Stocker Austin Seferian-Jenkins
WR Mike Evans Chris Owusu Russell Shepard
QB Josh McCown Mike Glennon
RB Doug Martin Bobby Rainey Charles Sims Mike James
FB Jorvorskie Lane

Changes are almost guaranteed on offense, as the Bucs will place Charles Sims on Injured Reserve and find a replacement. That replacement will almost certainly be a kick returner, as the Bucs let go of Solomon Patton, who seemed to "win" the kickoff return job in camp before being waived.

Furthermore, the Bucs will likely not bring all 10 offensive linemen into the regular season, as only seven or eight will dress on game days.

And with Sims' injury, the Bucs may look to add another running back, although Martin, Rainey and James are all capable of carrying the load, and Lane can fill in as a ball-carrier when needed.

The Defense

POS FIRST SECOND THIRD
LDE Adrian Clayborn William Gholston
DT Gerald McCoy Da'Quan Bowers
DT Clinton McDonald Akeem Spence
RDE Michael Johnson Steven Means Scott Solomon
SLB Jonathan Casillas
MLB Mason Foster Dane Fletcher
WLB Lavonte David Danny Lansanah
CB Alterraun Verner Rashaan Melvin
CB Mike Jenkins Johnthan Banks
CB Leonard Johnson Quinton Pointer
SS Mark Barron Bradley McDougald
FS Dashon Goldson Keith Tandy

The defense doesn't offer quite as many surprises, although fans were caught a bit off-guard with the release of Major Wright. But Bradley McDougald impressed during camp, and Keith Tandy is versatile and plays well against the run.

Quinton Pointer earned a spot on the roster at cornerback, which means the Bucs are a bit thin at the "outside" cornerback positions. There may be an addition here if the health of Melvin or Jenkins is in question for Week 1.

And with only five linebackers, but a wealth of defensive linemen, look for some changes to be made to balance out the defense and provide adequate cover at all positions.

Special Teams

POS FIRST
P Michael Koenen
PK Patrick Murray
LS Andrew DePaola

The departure of Connor Barth is the big news for the specialists, but the change at long snapper is worth making note of as well.

And with plenty of veteran kickers on the market, Patrick Murray may not open the year as the kicker, and if he does, he'll have a short leash. He did well in camp and preseason, but there are proven kickers available in the free agent market who could take his job should he stumble.

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