Since his hiring, Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith has been very good about naming tentative starters.
But he hit an exception last week at the NFL owners meetings when he was asked to name his starter at right guard.
“I can’t give you a good answer for that,’’ Smith said.
The reason is simple. The Bucs don’t have a clear-cut starter at right guard. Assuming Carl Nicks is healthy – and the Bucs are optimistic about that -- he’s the starter on the left side. But the right side remains a question mark.
“I’ll just say everybody will get an opportunity,’’ Smith said. “We have some options at the position and we’ll just kind of let it all play out. The offensive line, even though there’s been a lot of subtraction, I like the additions that we’ve added and George Warhop is an excellent offensive line coach and we’ll get a good group together.’’
The Bucs seem set at the other offensive line positions with Anthony Collins at left tackle, Demar Dotson at right tackle and Evan Dietrich-Smith at center. But right guard still needs to be sorted out.
Maybe Meredith wins the position. Or maybe Cousins does. Or maybe the starter will come from what remains in free agency or the college draft.