Offensive Line: Above-Average The Bucs have two Pro Bowl guards in Davin Joseph and new addition Carl Nicks. Left tackle Donald Penn made the Pro Bowl in 2010, but is currently out with a calf injury. Jeremy Zuttah moves from guard to his more natural position of center. Right tackle Jeremy Trueblood is a decent player, but gets too many boneheaded penalties.
Wide Receivers: Above-Average New addition Vincent Jackson gives the Bucs the true No. 1 receiver threat that they haven't had in years. Mike Williams caught 65 balls a year ago, but 2011 was considered a disappointing season for him. Being the No. 2 option should take some pressure off and help him be more productive.
Preston Parker had a good year as the slot receiver last season and is looking to keep that momentum going. Arrelious Benn, who was the starter opposite Williams last season, has been sidelined most of camp with a leg injury. Another new addition, Tiquan Underwood, appears to be having a strong camp and may make a push for playing time.
Running backs: Above-Average LeGarrette Blount rushed for over 1,000 yards as a rookie two seasons ago. Now, after a disappointing 2011, he is in competition with rookie first-round pick Doug Martin for the starting position.
Blount's major deficiencies were fumbles and blocking on third down. He appears to have improved on both this offseason. However, Blount is most impressive when there is live contact and he is breaking tackles.
Martin, on the other hand, has very good lateral quickness as well as straight line speed. He can look impressive even in shorts.
No matter who wins the starting job, new head coach Greg Schiano has already said he wants a committee approach to running the ball. Both guys will get touches, and the running game should flourish behind the retooled offensive line
Tight Ends: Above-Average Dallas Clark has been hurt a lot in recent years, and in turn, his production has dropped off. He has looked good in camp so far, but there is still the chance that he might get hurt again during the season. Second-year tight end Luke Stocker is a blocking specialist for the run game.
Quarterbacks: Above-Average Josh Freeman is a very gifted young quarterback. This year will be an important one to find out which Freeman is the real Freeman, however. Two years ago, he led the Bucs to a 10-win season. Last year, he had a major hand in a 10-game losing streak.
There have been a lot of excuses thrown out on either side, but the time for excuses is over. Freeman has to step up and move forward in his development, or it will soon be time for the Bucs to move on. With Dan Orlovsky behind him, they likely won't be moving on this year.
Defensive Line: Above-Average Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has to play 16 games. It's more important that he play a full season than if he reaches certain statistical goals because one tends to go with the other. If he plays every game this year, he should finally have those sack and tackle numbers that Bucs fans have been waiting for.
The Bucs have already lost defensive end Da'Quan Bowers for what will probably be the whole season with an Achilles tear. He was set to battle Michael Bennett for the starting left defensive end spot. Bennett is a good player, so him starting isn't an issue. But with Bowers out, the lack of depth may be an issue.
Adrian Clayborn notched 7.5 sacks as a rookie a year ago and hasn't come close to tapping into his full potential yet.
Linebackers: Average Second-year middle linebacker Mason Foster is a solid player. I believe he is better suited to play outside linebacker, however. Quincy Black was awful in 2011, but so far, he is reportedly having a good camp. I'll believe it when I see it.
Rookie second-round pick Lavonte David is the other likely starter on the outside. He will be a good player in time, but I think he is going to have a lot of ups and downs this year.
Secondary: Above-Average Ronde Barber is finally making the transition from corner to safety heading into his 16th season in the NFL. I think he will do a great job there, especially in pass coverage.
The other safety is rookie first-round pick Mark Barron, and he will give the Bucs a presence in the box defending the run that they haven't had since John Lynch left. Corners Aqib Talib and Eric Wright should be able to hold their own.
Special Teams: Above-Average Connor Barth only missed two field goals on the season a year ago. Punter Michael Koenen was in the top 10 in the NFL in average net punt yardage. Preston Parker and Sammie Stroughter are capable if not dangerous return men.
Coaching: Average Coach Schiano did a great job building up the football program at Rutgers. The transition from college coach to NFL coach has been a rough one of late, though. In addition, he hired an offensive coordinator in Mike Sullivan, who has never been an offensive coordinator before.
On the defensive side, he hired Bill Sheridan, who was fired after one year, the only time he had been a coordinator previously, to be defensive coordinator. That is not to say these guys can't do the job. I just have to point out that they will all be learning on the job together.
I do believe running backs coach Earnest Byner was an excellent addition to the staff.