Demar Dotson Uncensored

August 3rd, 2018


His right knee may not be 100 percent, but Demar Dotson’s truth-meter is working overtime.

The longest-tenured player on the Bucs stayed after practice at the indoor facility the other day, patiently signing autographs for more than 50 fans. He smiled for pictures and shook hands before reinforcing his reputation as Tampa Bay’s most candid player.

Ask Dotson a question, even a sensitive one, and you don’t see the hesitation so prevalent among pro athletes. You don’t sense the filter that so often trades in straight talk for drivel.

Dotson, who turns 33 in October, speaks his mind. He tells it like it is, letting the sound bites fall where they may. And if you heard him on our podcast this summer or read his quotes through the years, you know he is a stand-up guy.

“I’m not where I want to be at the moment,” he says of his rehab from offseason surgery to repair a torn meniscus. “I thought I’d be a little farther ahead at this point, but I’ve still got time to work my way back into it. Next week, maybe I’ll be doing some 11-on-11. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m going to get there.”

In the meantime, Dotson has kept a close eye on the battle at right guard, where Caleb Benenoch is trying to hold off Alex Cappa, an impressive rookie from Humboldt State.

Tough talk from Demar Dotson on himself and teammates

“You’ve got two young guys competing hard there,” he says. “Caleb was more comfortable playing tackle than guard, but he has a good opportunity in front of him. Cappa is strong, smart and athletic. He’s got all the tools and he’s going to be a good player in this league. Yes, he’s from a small school. Jason Licht does a good job finding those guys.”

Dotson says the addition of five new defensive linemen has been a game-changer for the organization.

“We’ve got quite a group up front now,” he says. “It’s something we haven’t had around here in a long time. Jason Pierre-Paul is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL — when he really wants to turn it on. That was my biggest concern when we traded for him … which JPP are we getting? But the guy has been going hard, really competing in the run game.

“He’s all over the place, over the guard, over the center, out on the edge. Then you’ve got Coach Buckner screaming at his guys and making us better as an offensive line. Noah Spence is having a great camp. He put on 20 pounds and I thought he’d lose some of his speed, but he hasn’t. Then you’ve got the two guys from Philly who just won a Super Bowl, but they don’t have their noses up in the air.”

I asked Dotson about the enhanced work ethic evident in a camp with minimal distractions.

“That’s what we needed,” he says. “Last year, there was so much hype and we hadn’t done anything to deserve it. Then we had Hard Knocks coming in, praising everybody. That’s a bad sign. When we had Hard Knocks coming in, I said to a lot of people that it wasn’t a good thing. It seems like everybody is more focused this year, keeping their heads down and going to work.

“You’ve got a different kind of energy. Last year, with the cameras around, some things were fake and phony. You could tell some people were doing things for the camera. Now, there’s no cameras around and people know this is like a do-or-die year for us. We’ve got to win for Dirk and we’ve got to win for ourselves. We want Dirk to be around here. There’s only way that will happen — this football team has to win.”

Now in his 40th year covering the NFL, Ira Kaufman is the most revered sports personality and writer in the Tampa Bay area. He scored a full-time seat at world headquarters in July of 2016. Tampa Bay’s only Pro Football Hall of Fame voter, Ira busts out columns here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and his award winning podcasts fire Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can also hear Ira on SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio Wednesdays at 5 p.m. during football season. Also a TV star, see Ira now on Mondays at 10:30 p.m. on Spectrum Sports 360 (aka BayNews 9). Ira also is part of the FOX-13 Tailgate Sunday NFL show and enjoys beet salads, Riesling, tennis, Chiefs victories and needling Joe.

14 Responses to “Demar Dotson Uncensored”

  1. Pickgrin Says:

    “Cappa is strong, smart and athletic. He’s got all the tools and he’s going to be a good player in this league. ”

    Really glad to hear Dotson say this about our young D2 rookie 3rd rd pick. Gives me hope that if Benenoch is ready for prime time – we might just have a pretty decent Oline this year and be in decent shape moving forward.

  2. The Buc Realist Says:

    How many players have to say that Hard Knocks was a distraction before joe and the so-called fans finally learn???? Then again, joe and the so-called fans still think talk show dominik brought in all the supposive talent!!!!!!!!!!

  3. bucsfaninchina Says:

    As opposed to “Kid came from a small school, he’s way in over head.”

  4. DB55 Says:

    this is like a do-or-die year for us.
    If I only had a nickel

  5. Stewart4President Says:

    “We’ve got to win for Dirk and we’ve got to win for ourselves. We want Dirk to be around here. There’s only way that will happen — this football team has to win.”

    I think this is the first time I have heard a Bucs player actually say this. I hope that the rest of the team feels the same way. Even when we were out of the playoffs last year, our last three losses of the season were by 3 points each.

    I saw the team quit on Raheem, Schiano, and Lovie, as shown by the late season blowouts. If the players want to keep Koetter, they can’t give up at anytime this season like they did in 2011, 2013, and 2015.

  6. Wausa Says:

    Dot is pretty candid

  7. BigMacAttack Says:

    Very intelligent 🤓 assessment of the team. I hope he can have his best season, but it’s nice to know there are viable options on both lines. When was the last time there was that much depth here?

  8. 813bucboi Says:

    Dotson is the only player saying HK was a distraction….cam brate just said a couple weeks ago that it was not a distraction….and HK is still no excuse to have a lousy season…..


  9. Defense Rules Says:

    813bucboi … “HK is still no excuse to have a lousy season.” You’re right bucboi, it’s no excuse. But Dots isn’t using it as an excuse … he’s simply saying that it factored in, which it did. Like Ira said, Dotson “tells it like it is.”

  10. Buccfan37 Says:

    My response to Dotson is hear hear or is it here here.

  11. BoJim Says:

    ‘ It seems like everybody is more focused this year, keeping their heads down and going to work.’

    That’s what I want to hear!

  12. Buc1987 Says:

    Freaking A…JUST win.

    Ira…I was having my linguine alfredo, contemplating 0-3 out of the gate.

    Realistically…who knows? It is the NFL afterall and the Bucs could go 3-0 out of the gate and finish 3-13. Cause I’m a Bucs fan and THAT would figure!

    At this point I’m numb. Always be a fan. We’ll all know when they’ve turned the corner. I kind of think their on the right track now, but this IS our team.

    Need to see more…..but that’s why we have you guys out there. I trust you and the Joes. Do your thing!

    Thanks for stopping by.

  13. SeattleBuc Says:

    This dude deserves to go to the playoffs in his career.

  14. Mickey DuVall Says:

    Mr Kaufman. Sorry, but I didn’t have an email for you. I hope this note finds you. I won’t take too much of your time. I just wanted to put in a good word for Eddie Meador being a senior finalist for the hall of fame. He played 12 seasons for the Rams, was their rookie of the year in 1959, and named to the pro bowl 6 times. He is STILL the Rams’ leader in interceptions, fumble recoveries, and blocked kicks. He is from my hometown and I just wanted to put his name out there. I believe he belongs in the Hall of Fame.
    Thanks for reading this.