The Bucs Found A Capable Guard

September 9th, 2014

Left guard Garrett Gilkey weighed in on his new team and first performance, and drew Lovie Smith accolades.

New Bucs All-Pro guard Logan Mankins went down with a knee injury Sunday, and Joe’s going to guess most Tampa Bay fans have no idea who replaced him.

The fact is second-year man Garrett Gilkey, who arrived in Tampa last week after being among the Browns’ final cuts, did a solid job against the mighty Panthers defensive line, especially in pass protection.

Yes, Joe was battered and abused by fans for suggesting the offensive line was not dreadful Sunday, and not why the Bucs lost. But the film doesn’t lie. At least the O-line was in the neighborhood of average. At least one sack McCown took was on Doug Martin’s bad blocking, and another was on McCown holding the ball.

Last night on Total Access on the Buccaneers Radio Network, Lovie Smith praised Gilkey and explained Gilkey was the backup center/swing guard on Sunday and played much sooner then planned with such limited time with the playbook and few reps.

“I though Garrett did a great job, you know we put him in a tough situation right away,” Lovie said. “And he did, he came right in. He got some reps last week, but not a lot, and a lot of those were at the center position. For him to come in and start playing at the guard position right away, and not make a lot of mistakes. You know, again, our play has to be better, but he didn’t stop our offense from being able to score those 14 points at the end of the game, and get ourselves in position at the end.”

For those unfamiliar with Gilkey out of Division II Chadron State, Joe really recommends this moving ESPN feature. Just a stunning story of abuse and perseverance.

Joe talked to Gilkey for a while in the sad Bucs postgame locker room on Sunday. He’s clearly an intelligent guy and said he “absolutely” has the Bucs playbook down in just six days.

Gilkey was hard on himself, though, despite jumping into a challenging situation.

“I wasn’t happy with how I started. I felt very rusty the first two series,” Gilkey said. “And I need to do a lot better in my preparation, to step up from my first snap.”

Gilkey played right guard through the preseason with Cleveland, so the left side was yet another adjustment to him. A strength of his, he said, comes from the “intellectual standpoint,” and Joe suspects Gilkey will be sharper if he fills in for Mankins again.

Just like the Bucs signed then-rookie Ted Larsen after the Patriots made him one of their final cuts of 2010, and Larsen filled in very well during that successful season, Gilkey appears to be a quality scrap-heap score for Jason Licht.

33 Responses to “The Bucs Found A Capable Guard”

  1. The Fuzzy Red Coin Purse Says:

    We’ll take any help we can get.

  2. RachelWatson'sthong Says:

    I felt the O line was not nearly as bad as I anticipated. Welcome Gilkey! Gotta hurt being cut by the Browns. Ouch!

  3. mpmalloy Says:

    LOL we got taken by Billy Belichick AGAIN!

    Belichick >>> Bucs entire coaching staff and front office combined

  4. jo_mama Says:

    We will take any help we can get. Unless they have ever used the “N” word and it was recorded on video.

  5. Buddhaboy Says:

    Good story on Gilkey Joe. The paths some of these kids take are truly amazing. SO when someone is brought in from the scrap heap, it truly is the chance of a lifetime. Hope he suceeds.

  6. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    September 1st, 2014 at 12:53 am
    2013 Draft Prospects – Garrett Gilkey, OT
    Watch college highlights from draft prospect Garrett Gilkey, a tackle from Chadron State.—Garrett-Gilkey-OT/c2f45b48-a338-43e3-8cdd-f8be13b648c1

  7. Buccfan37 Says:

    It’s the old any given team beating any other team on any given day thing. The Steelers were fortunate to hold off the Browns comeback. The bucs of course play them both at their stadiums. Cleveland is capable of beating you too.

  8. DB55 Says:


    Like I said on Sunday night I didn’t notice a drop off when he came in. Can we call him sunshine?

  9. David Says:

    Another site said he was “terrible in all phases”. I didnt watch him too much i was busy trying to “will” Mccown into NOT throwing another intception with some jedi mind tricks! Lol

  10. RastaMon Says:

    drop off…how could the OL play drop…when they were on the floor already…drop off ?….Carolina had the Bucs beat everywhich way with 8 minutes left in the game….they let up….fact jack

  11. Warren Says:

    He did have a false start in the closing seconds when we were trying to mount a miracle last ditch drive but overall the line did hold up well with him being dropped in there unexpectedly. The O-Line has responded to the challenge for the most part. Let’s see what the coaches can get out of the D-line and defense in general, and our QB and RB’s when they show them tape of them sucking up the joint. I bet next game we won’t have to complain about their effort and energy level.

  12. 1bucfan88 Says:

    He was no Oneil Cousis, that’s for sure

  13. DallasBuc Says:

    Given the FA talent evaluation by do-no-wrong Lovie and his lapdog GM, especially on the oline, it is hard to get excited about yet another scrub from Ckeveland. What the hell are they doing over there at OBP? They aren’t improving this football team.

  14. eric Says:

    great read JOE!

  15. eric Says:

    now if we can return the other Cleveland reject and return him to the scrap-heap I will be happy!

  16. Michael Says:

    Profootballfocus disagrees entirely. Bucs were rated 5th worst in the league in pass blocking, 6th worth in the league in run blocking and Gilkey was rated 8th worst overall among players who played 25% of their team’s snaps (66 in total).

    Please tell Joe who did the evaluation of the Bucs game tape and what their football qualifications are. You can’t. That says a lot about PFF. Their data is interesting and sometimes fun, and it’s nice that NFL teams read it, but NFL teams also read a lot of things. It’s not gospel by any stretch. It’s a business geared to fantasy football players.

    If you want to play more stats games, then look at how the Bucs offense Sunday compared to how other offenses fared against Carolina last year. All of a sudden the Bucs look very average, and not among the worst in the NFL.–Joe

  17. billy buckaroo Says:

    Give the kid a chance to play then and don’t yank him and cut him off of a bad play or two.
    Give the offense lineman a chance to get used to each other and play as a unit
    All this plug and play hour by hour isnt getting anywhere

  18. Bucnnole Says:

    Still can’t figure out what game Joe watched. Keeps say the O line did an Ok job. Really? Where were the holes in the run game? Where was the pass protection in the first half? Guard play was especially bad as I saw several pulls and traps get blown up because the playside guards and tackles couldn’t get off their blocks. No one got to the second level to block linebackers(huge problem against a LB rich team like the Panthers). Keuchly was having his way with the interior of the line. And further more, anyone who says Evan Dietrich Smitj was a good signing is either crazy or a sheep who doesn’t understand the inner workings of an O Line. He never was able to properly support the failing guards in run blocking. I realize it’s the first game and I will patiently wait to see if they improve, but many of the mistakes were basic fundamentals taught early in football. No line will make for no run game which will make for lots of L’s

  19. Capt.Tim, Back from Davie Jones's Locker Says:

    True, as I noted Sunday- this guy was a pleasant surprise.
    We have soon good young talent. Still need more experienced starters.
    Cut the useless cousins- sign Incognito

  20. Capt.Tim, Back from Davie Jones's Locker Says:

    Incognito will sign for league minimum- and becomes our 3rd best linemen on day one.

  21. Cobraboy Says:

    Terrific article!

  22. Orca Says:

    DallasBuc Says:
    September 9th, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Given the FA talent evaluation by do-no-wrong Lovie and his lapdog GM, especially on the oline, it is hard to get excited about yet another scrub from Ckeveland. What the hell are they doing over there at OBP? They aren’t improving this football team.

    This is your response to picking up a young player off waivers who comes in and plays a decent game with less than one week of practice. And you deny that you’re unreasonable in your criticisms.

    And what is it exactly that you would have them do right now to improve the team? And give me something more than “sign Incognito”… Seriously, if you want to engage in constructive discussion, name some realistic things they should do to improve the team now, since you’re so sure they’re not doing anything.

  23. Buc Fan #237 Says:

    Now THAT is one handsome devil!

  24. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Aikman Efficiency Ratings Formula

    “The Aikman Efficiency Ratings measure offensive and defensive performance using a combination of seven key statistics identified by Troy, and then measured against league norms (and extremes) established over the last 10 years. An offense or defense performing exactly at league norms in all categories will achieve a score of 75. The better the offense or defense, the higher the score on either scale.

    It will take a truly exceptional unit to score more than 90 during an entire season on either the offensive or defensive scale. Higher scores are possible in individual games.

    The seven categories measured are:

    • 20% Adjusted Points — Total Points Scored or Allowed minus Points on Returns and Safeties
    • 20% –Turnovers
    • 20% Red Zone Efficiency — Measured by Percent of Possible Points
    • 10% Yards Per Play — divided into Yards Per Rush
    • 10% Yards Per Pass — includes yards on plays involving sacks.
    • 10% –First Down Achievement
    • 10%– 3rd Down Conversion Percentage

    Percentage of Possible Points in the Red Zone is figured by taking the number of Red Zone Chances times 7, then dividing it by the number of Points Actually Scored (defined as TDs times 7 plus FGs times 3).

  25. Evan Says:

    That article was great. Glad to have him.

  26. Matt B Says:

    What Bucnnole said. Spot on. Amen. To say the o-line play was acceptable or adequate indicates to me that some people’s expectations have been ratcheded down far too low.

    That said, I am happy we picked up Gilkey and wish him success.

  27. RastaMon Says:

    “Cap”able guard…. where is Richie

  28. BucTrooper Says:

    Amazing. 9 years in New England… doesn’t miss a game. Mankins comes to Tampa for 1/2 a game, leaves with a hyperextended knee.

  29. DB55 Says:

    That’s the difference between playing for champions vs chumps. Want to!

  30. DB55 Says:

    EDS is soft like ice cream.

  31. Buc1987 Says:

    Yes sir my cousin was just doing A/C work when his agent called and said the Bucs wanted him to try out …again for the LS position. He told his agent to tell them that he’s coming to Tampa but if he comes that he’s going to sign a contract and he’s done trying out for them. He was that blunt with them having tried out like 3 times or so. I think twice under Dungy and once under Gruden.

    He just told them straight up. I’m not trying out anymore. You’re signing me or I’ll keep doing A/C work. LOL and they signed his ass.

    That’s his story but it could be just BS.

  32. Bogiedr Says:

    So Joe, who do we believe? Mr. Duemig tells us constantly the profootballfocus tells the real story of what happened, now you tell us that essentially PFF is aimed at fantasy football which makes it sound like hogwash … Which is right? Who do I believe?

    PFF does tell a great story. Joe’s not saying they’re flat wrong, but Joe can’t take what they put out there as gospel. Duemig himself has said many times it’s hard to grade a player effectively without knowing his assignment and job on a particular play. –Joe

  33. Daryl Parisi Says:

    Great story Joe, thank you! I always root for the bucs but I’m really rooting for this guy. Prepare for greatness and bring it on Sundays! Go bucs!