Can the Buccaneers retain their swagger?

Matt DeYoung • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:03 AM

Defense: 3 (senior Tanner Jacobs, LB; senior Norris Ellis, DT; senior Dakota Smith, LB)

Key Losses: QB Adam Poel, RB/LB Dalton Stenberg, WR/DB Alec Smith; LB Jerry Westerman; S Erik Johnson

Burning Questions

• Who will replace Adam Poel as quarterback for the Buccaneers? Poel took virtually every snap for the Bucs the past two years, leaving very little game-time experience for the Bucs’ backup signal callers. That leaves a pair of inexperienced seniors — Scott Staal and Steve DeWitt — battling it out for playing time. “The biggest question is how our quarterback play is going to be,” coach Mike Farley said. “Since I’ve been at Grand Haven, we’ve been blessed with really good quarterbacks, going back to Dan Bosch, Kent Viening, Bryan Kiel to Adam Poel. The last five years, we’ve had four outstanding quarterbacks. This year, we’re going to be counting on the development of Scott Staal and Steve DeWitt. The big question is, neither one of those kids has a lot of game experience. At this point Scott probably has the upper hand.”

• Do the Bucs have a realistic shot to defend their O-K Red Conference championship with so few returning starters? Farley noted that while his team lost many of its full-time starters, the Buccaneers will still be a senior-laden team in 2011. “You look at it on paper and we have four starters on offense and three on defense. We’re going to have some seniors who have some experience. Defensively, we will probably start 7-8 seniors, and anywhere from 9-10 seniors on defense. We’re still going to be a senior-dominated team. It really helps when you’re building a program being able to replace seniors with seniors. We have some kids with some experience. Danny Cotter played some defensive back last year, and Adam Krizan saw a lot of time at linebacker. They didn’t start, but they gave us some reps. Mike Ginocchio started one game for us on the offensive line. We’ve got a bunch of kids who have experience who are going to be able to help us out.”

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