Is Dotson A Lock To Return?

June 13th, 2018

Rehab hiccup?

When the Bucs announced that right tackle Demar Dotson had to have knee surgery, it sure shocked Joe.

The announcement came days after Dotson sat down and taped a recording of the “Ira Kaufman Podcast.” On that very day, Dotson told Ira and Joe that he received a clean bill of health to resume all football activities.

Then all of a sudden he had knee surgery?

At the time of the announcement, Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht had reassuring words that Dotson is expected to rock and roll come training camp, which is roughly six weeks away (Dotson has not been out at One Buc Palace on the sidelines of underwear football like his teammate J.R. Sweezy has been).

Well, yesterday, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter seemed to have a kernel of doubt in his mind whether Dotson will actually be ready come August.

Koetter was asked about offensive linemen in underwear football and in his response, Koetter kept the door cracked open that Dotson may not be ready.

“Caleb [Benenoch] played a lot of football last year so we look at Caleb as a starting talent whether he ends up in the starting five or not,” Koetter explained. “He has started games for us before. So really the guy you’re talking about the most there with the least experience is Leonard Wester. He’s played a little bit. These reps that he’s gotten have been invaluable. If Dot’s back and ready to roll in the fall, which I think he will be, then Leonard’s reps will be cut back. So, he should be taking advantage of this.”

That’s a bit different than expecting Dotson back.

Now this could be nothing. Or, perhaps Dotson’s knee isn’t responding to treatment as the team expected? It could be all sorts of things. Dotson does turn 33 in October.

When the announcement of Dotson’s surgery was issued, Joe feared this could be something bigger, despite many readers dismissing any such fears.

Again, Dotson and Sweezy have combined to miss 36 games the past three seasons. So you can see why Joe has been nervous about the right side of this line.

29 Responses to “Is Dotson A Lock To Return?”

  1. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Troubling! If not by August, surely soon after…

  2. richbucsfan Says:

    an indication the Bucs don’t have the horses to get it done?

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    There will still be opportunities to pick up a player….the key is likely Sweezy….if he is cut we will save appx $6mil and should be able to use that on an Olineman.
    If Benenoch is ready and capable….that would help greatly, but an injury along that line would be troublesome. I don’t think we have the depth there like elsewhere.

  4. Bobby M. Says:

    Dotson isn’t going anywhere….this team is desperate and Dotson knows the system. its literally the only reason Sims was resigned. If it were a new regime installing a new offense, then Dotson is probably gone. Even if he’s not ready week 1….they’ll still keep him around for depth. Injuries have happened every year on our line, we literally cant have enough depth.

  5. Pickgrin Says:

    Bucs will likely need to draft an OT in either 1st or 2nd rd next year.

    Dotson’s “surgery” was reported to be an arthroscopic “clean up” procedure – meaning he should be back to full go within 8-12 weeks at most.

    Dot played great last year when healthy. He was in fact our best and most consistent OLine player when he was out there.

    But father time is undefeated – and 33 in the NFL is approaching senior citizen status.

    Dotson can surely be counted on to play well in 2018 – as long as he is healthy.

    Missing 8 games the last 2 years and 18 in the last 3 years does not, however, breed much confidence that big Dot can stay healthy and available for all 16 games this year.

  6. Not there yet Says:

    At least you admitted it could be nothing because it is a big nothing. He said he thinks he will be ready in August right. Don’t know how Dirk would know the status of Dotson or Beckwith in August when it’s early June. Also said Webster would lose those valuable reps when for returns.

    Uh yea someof us like to go directly to the source and hear what players and coaches say in press conferences. But its torture to sit and listen to dot and Jpp talk

  7. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Why does it seem like Licht is super slow to realize the needs of this team and yet we as fans are on it immediately? Edge guy… 4 ever, RB 2 years late, CB, 2 years late, OT- missed, but he gets TE & LB as if that is the key to winning football

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “So you can see why Joe has been nervous about the right side of this line.” Golly Joe, in most past articles I’ve gotten the impression that the Bucs’ OLine is solid. NOW you’re ‘nervous’ about roughly half of it? Some (including me) pushed for Licht to pick up at least 1 experienced FA OLineman this spring. But noooo, we were ‘solid’. Reality is that our OLine has 3 of 5 healthy starting linemen AND very limited depth. That’s not solid IMO; that’s a prescription for disaster. Great offenses build the trenches first. Nice to have a stockpile of ‘weapons’ but if you can’t launch them, they’ll never realize their full potential.

  9. Bucsfanman Says:

    We definitely need to have a plan in place for Dot. It’s been pretty clear for some time that he will need to be replaced.
    That said, if he’s healthy and can play, it gives us depth and experience.

  10. Joe Says:


    Not sure what you are trying to get at. When starters expecting to start within a handful of days are all of a sudden question marks, that tends to fuel doubt.

    Joe has advocated getting a veteran back up before.

  11. The Buc Realist Says:

    Don’t worry Defense Rules!!!!! Once Payton Barber is getting the rock, then it will be ” a top ten O-line” according to Joe!!!!!!!! The table is set according to Joe!!!!!!!! Only the coaches can get in the way and stop this train, according to Joe!!!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Joe Says:

    Duthsty Rhothdes:

    Bucs have been rather candid that Koetter craved O.J. Howard.

  13. Reality-is-a-Beotch Says:

    If team is lucky dotson will not return. He should have been upgraded years ago. Good story below average player.

  14. Knoxville Buc Says:

    There’s a different vibe or feel this year with this Bucs team. Like last year for an example. There was hype,a glimmer of hope, speaking for myself I was feeling very optimistic that we’d have a good year. This year the different vibe is, WE STILL SUCK… don’t kid yourselves, we will be in last place in the south for what the 8th time in 10 years. 6 weeks from training camp and you don’t know is starting on the right side of your line? You have a rookie RB and 2 or 3 others that couldn’t make 3/4 of the other NFL teams. BUCS ARE A LOCK TO RETURN TO THE CELLAR

  15. 813bucboi Says:

    @joe….heard cappa’s taking reps at C & LT?…….

    pamphile is looking real good right now….so is Richie….


  16. Owlykat Says:

    Dotson is no below average player! He has been our best Offensive Lineman for years. He also has fresher legs than many linemen his age. It took years of development (by a real OL Coach prior to Warhop) so he did not start til he was older. There are a number of top OL at his age and many NFL Linemen don’t hit their prime til they are 30. The Oakland Raiders plan to use our former LT, that Licht fired when he was hired thinking he was too old, this season if he does not retire and he has out performed our Turnstyle D. Smith every year! Just look at the ages of the All Pro NFL Linemen!

  17. Casey Morgan Says:

    Knoxville Buc: Perhaps you should watch crappy Tennessee Titans football. Yes we know who is starting on the right side of the line– Dotson. And what is wrong with adding a rookie running back?

  18. TOM Says:

    IMO Dotson & Smith are average tackles. They definitely need an upgrade, and before signing Smith to a new contract, lets see what kind of season he has. If the Bucs end up 8-8 that would be a successful season.

  19. Not there yet Says:

    @Knoxville Buc

    Having a rookie running back is suddenly a bad thing? Peyton barber led the team in yards per carry last year, do you honestly want to see 4 backs playing every week again? Caleb has been here a couple years and could fill in and we also drafted a rookie….news flash rookies play uh marpet, Donovan smith, we played with those two and Dotson at theend of the season, you are letting Joe get you hyped up for nothing. But At least you came out and made your stance known…. Finishing in last place 8 out of 10 times obviously shows there’s a chance your wrong.

    saying we still suck in June, apparently you are watching nfl rewind because this season hasn’t started yet….haven’t even seen a preseason game yet and like media you’ve already predicted the season based on the last decade…um ok yea why think logically.

  20. Owlykat Says:

    Warhop has earlier this year bragged that D. Smith is “one of the three top LTs in the NFL” which shows how ignorant he is. If it were true D. Smith would have already been voted an All Pro. Warhop’s lack of expertise explains why we have had poor OLs the entire time he has been here. If we had hired a Buckner quality OL Coach he would have already told Licht to hire a new LT in the draft because he was moving D. Smith to LG where he would have a shot of one day being an All Pro because of his run blocking ability. He would have moved Marpet to RG which he had already played at an All Pro level, and trained Cappa to play RT instead of teaching Cappa to play Center like Dumb Warhop is doing right now. That way Dotson could be used at LT if needed where he has trained before if a rookie LT needed more time to develop. Cappa is an excellent OT and no Center material!

  21. Reality-is-a-Beotch Says:


    Being the best o lineman on a completely embarrassing team is hardly anything to brag about. Raise your standards dotson sucks. He will do well writing for jbf when career is over.

  22. JimmyJack Says:

    Most all of the fans on this site said they weren’t worried about Dotson because Licht said he would be back. Now everybody will start to worry a bit a get more worried about RT with each piece of bad news.

    I said it from the start and say it again. Dude goes down with freaking knee surgery then don’t expect anything more then IR, unless you don’t mind getting let-down.

  23. Defense Rules Says:

    @Owlykat … “Cappa is an excellent OT and no Center material!” Agree that he’s not Center material, but I’m not convinced he’s the answer to our Tackle (and Guard) problems either. Having a nasty streak sounds nice, until you come face-to-face with NFL DLinemen who are even nastier (and stronger) than you are. Cappa looks to me like he needs to pack on about 20-30 pounds of muscle, gain some real experience (and not in Div II football) … THEN we might be talking about him being an ‘excellent OT’. Bucs needed to pick up at least 1 veteran OLineman (preferably 2) this spring. There’s still time prior to the start of training camp, but more than likely it won’t happen until after other teams cut down their rosters (if it even happens then). Bucs weak link right now is (1) our OLine; and (2) our Secondary. The latter has some decent rookie potential. The OLine? Not so much.

    And Joe, Sweezy has been a question-mark since Day 1. Dotson is 33 & has a history (recently at least) of missing games due to injury. Benenoch & Wester strike me as both being ‘average’ at best. Evan Smith is a decent backup (for several positions), but really don’t want to see him starting unless someone goes down with an injury. Adding Jensen was an awesome move (in spite of the cost), but we needed (and still need) more OLine help. Article after article (not just on JBF BTW) kept saying that our OLine was fine … defense sucks. We’ve improved the DLine (hopefully), but our OLine is still deficient IMO.

  24. 813bucboi Says:


    well said…I agree 100%


  25. stpetebucsfan Says:

    It’s starting to get pretty clear. We have a solid to good center/left side of our OL.

    The right side is up in the air. In a perfect world Benenoch and Cappa would work out as starters and we’d have an OL for the future. Hard to count on Cappa but Benenoch is ready to blossom. He’s a talented athlete for such a big man.

    And so I agree with D.R. We really should try to add two more OL for depth and competition.

  26. Buccano19 Says:

    Encouraging… per @gregauman(twitter):
    “Bucs tackle Demar Dotson says his knee is recovering well from meniscus surgery. About to start running, expects to be healthy for start of training camp.” – Jun 13

  27. Owlykat Says:

    DR apparently you make your assessment of Cappa’s abilities on how he looks. That is a mistake! The following comes from an expert assessing the top 10 athletes at the Senior Bowl: 1. Tip of the Cappa

    If you know where Humboldt State is, that’s already a win for you. If you don’t, you’ll learn quickly thanks to offensive lineman Alex Cappa. A small-school stud who made the most of his trip to Mobile, Cappa proved he could hold his own against competition from top programs across the country.

    Too bad you didn’t watch the Senior Bowl! Unlike you I don’t make my assessments based on looks.

  28. Owlykat Says:

    R is a Beotch. Dotson is a lot more than the best Lineman on our team. Pro Football Focus rates him very high compared with all NFL Tackles. He is in the Top 7. And an arthroscopic correction of a minescus year is no major surgery to recover from. He will be running soon and playing at his normal high level.

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    Owlykat … “DR apparently you make your assessment of Cappa’s abilities on how he looks.” Not basing it on how he looks at all. Prior to the draft he was viewed as a 4th or 5th rnd pick. A number of strengths, but 2 of his biggest weaknesses were: (1) Defenders with pop can bounce him back a step or two with their initial contact; (2) Could struggle with bull-rushers. BOTH of those weaknesses are significant against seasoned NFL DLinemen. Cappa is 6’6″ and listed at 305. He could hold another 20-30 lbs, and packing on more muscle would help him better handle bull-rushers and stronger, nastier OLinemen. Long way from playing against college DLinemen to trying to win in the trenches against someone like JJ Watt.