Lovie Tips Hand On Left Tackle Approach

March 30th, 2015

lovie smith 0807There was an interesting progression of exchanges at the NFL Owners Meetings in Phoenix, where Joe had breakfast with Lovie Smith and other media types last week.

It started with Joe asking Lovie Smith whether Demar Dotson is a left tackle or a right tackle.

Lovie didn’t really answer, saying he had not informed Dotson of the 2015 plan but said Dotson showed last year he could be versatile.

But then when asked about playing a rookie at left tackle, Lovie said he believes left tackles often can be plug-and-play out of the draft.

“I think nowadays there’s a more finished product coming in, and you can get away with [a rookie at left tackle],” Lovie said. “A lot has to do with who that guy is. I see most of the left tackles that end up being left tackles play early. You know, you don’t necessarily take one to develop. Normally, that guy is kind of ready to play right away.”

Joe found that intriguing. Does Lovie’s feeling about left tackles thriving quickly mean that Dotson, a true project shifting from right tackle to left tackle at age 29, is not the guy?

Certainly, Lovie easily could have said Dotson can be a starting NFL left tackle. He could have raved about how it’s incredible that a guy like Doston can shift from right to left successfully. But Lovie really didn’t go there.

Considering the Bucs did nothing for their shabby O-line this offseason, except ditching Oneil Cousins and Anthony Collins, it sure seems Tampa Bay is committed to finding a starting left tackle in the draft. Man, that feels awfully scary, especially if there’s a 21-year-old QB under center.

25 Responses to “Lovie Tips Hand On Left Tackle Approach”

  1. bucco brice Says:

    The season ended with Dotson getting beat for a safety at left tackle I believe. Foreshadow? …don’t like him at LT and not sure he’s part of the plan down the road…

  2. bucco brice Says:

    more right tackle types in this draft so he might end up at LT…scary!

  3. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    There are at least a half dozen or more LT prospects in this draft capable of starting right away.

    And so assuming Scherf and Peat go in the top 15 that means it should be relatively easy to trade that high 2nd round pick #34 to get back near 20 or lower in the first.

    There are two in state propects that should be able to start.
    Flowers from Miami…although Walter Football has him ranked #1 for LT’s even over Peat..

    And D.J. Humphries from Florida who is slated 4th by Walter Football.

    Humprhies is projected to start day one on the NFL site.

    At variuos points over the past several weeks, Iowa’s Brandon Scherff, Pitt’s T.J. Clemmings and LSU’s La’el Collins have been mentioned as the top offensive tackle available in the 2015 NFL Draft.

    As teams further evaluate players though, each prospect has started to slide down boards a bit, and some scouts have said they might be better suited to play guard at the next level. Another offensive tackle prospect, however, is trending the other way — Florida’s D.J. Humphries, who is beginning to gain buzz as the best prospect of the bunch.

    “He has a chance to be a starting left tackle, Day 1, at the next level,” NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah said on NFL Network’s “Path to the Draft.” “I don’t know if I can say that about any other offensive lineman in this class. It’s very deep, but (Humphries) has the best feet of the bunch.”

    Jeremiah ranked Humphries as the No. 14 player overall in the draft in his recently updated list of top 50 prospects. Humphries was considered to be one of the top players at his position coming out of high school and put together a solid career at Florida, but he has been dogged by questions about his size and strength.

    A strong showing at the NFL Scouting Combine, however, has helped Humphries begin to put those issues behind him, and he is picking up steam as the potential first offensive tackle drafted.

    “The big question was the weight,” Jeremiah said. “(He played at) 285 pounds but showed up at 307 in Indianapolis

  4. bucs4lyfe Says:

    I don’t think he tipped his hand about anything. I think that is lovie answering your question and letting you interpret the undertone of it. we clearly don’t have a left tackle and haven’t traded for one, licht already said there’s no point making a change at rt tackle and Dotson is old in football years, we haven’t drafted a left tackle and teams don’t typically trade left tackles so yea we gotta draft so it seems 2nd round is going to come down to end or left tackle, considering he signed a lot of defensive line help and no offensive line help I think that kind of answers that question of what we will do with that pick unless someone you cant simply cant pass on falls in the draft

  5. bucco brice Says:

    that’s the problem…all those LT guys will be gone by #34…and hate the trading picks to move up

  6. Celly Says:


    trading a high 2nd to move back into the 1st is one of the best times to trade up.

    would you rather hope the guy you want falls to the 2nd where you can only get him on a 4 year contract or throw away a late round draft pick and grab the guy you REALLY want and get him on a 5* year contract?

    *5th year team option.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Lets face it……drafting a starting left tackle with your second pick is simply a default maneuver…..we really don’t have many other options…..perhaps we will be able to pick up an older castaway cap casualty after the draft…

  8. Pawel Says:

    Yeah and then who is there after Dotson, NOBODY. Pray Dotson stays healthy for another year.

  9. Dewey Selmon Says:

    You need to cover a rookie qb’s blind side. Unless there is a can’t miss at DE with pick 34, u need to take care of this in rd 2.

  10. The Buc Realist Says:

    Lovie translation – I failed finding one in free-agency for the second year in a row. So I will look for one in the draft.

    also, if they do not draft one, Lovie will tell us that there is “value” in undrafted/practice squad left takles.

  11. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Yeah and then who is there after Dotson, NOBODY. Pray Dotson stays healthy for another year.

    Are we sure there is nobody. You’ve given up on Pamphile? Lovie claims he hasn’t yet. We can pray to discover a gem in later rounds or as TBBF mentioned…we get first dibs off the waiver wire…we wont’ find a franchise LT there but we may be able to fill the gap until we can draft our franchise LT.

    I’m still not sold we can’t get a franchise LT along with our Franchise QB THIS year.

    Celly made great points about the contract advantages as well. If we could get a Humphies/Peat/Flowers I’d toss in a couple of other picks to make that move. Next to franchise QB’s franchise LT’s are the hardest to come by.

  12. WS99 Says:

    TJ Cummings seems to be on the list. He has a scheduled work out soon, not that it means much. The thought of having a rookie LT protecting a Rookie qb is scary. What would it take to get Donald Penn back? Lol

  13. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Not a lot of LT prospects but there are some. Fisher from Oregon is one of the guys I see in the early 2nd a lot who has been projected as a possible LT.

  14. Stanglassman Says:

    I hear question marks on Fisher is his ability to hold blocks long and cover 5/7 step drops in pass blocking because he has never been ask to do it.

  15. robert 9 Says:

    lol rookie left tackle and fat/slow QB.

    this should be interesting!

  16. BirdDoggers Says:

    It sounds like Lovie is keeping his options open. Finding a LT in free agency was next to impossible this year, so the draft is the most likely route to filling the position. If that doesn’t work, they have Dotson as the last resort.

  17. Ricky D Says:

    That was Logan not Demar that got beat on that safety. A stunt play!

  18. Stanglassman Says:

    And it wasn’t even all Logan’s fault. The kick was 2 1/2′ lower than it should and would have been had they kept Barth.

  19. Chris Says:

    St. PeteBucsFan- that was a horrible analysis. Schreff isn’t even going to play tackle, he’ll be a guard.

  20. Chris Says:

    St. PeteBucsFan- Schreff isn’t even going to play tackle, he’ll be a guard.

  21. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    So all the analysis was flawed because Sherff may end up at guard?

    Walter Football has him going to the Rams at 10 as a T/G

    BTW It was a long post so I can understand you missing this part….

    As teams further evaluate players though, each prospect has started to slide down boards a bit, and some scouts have said they might be better suited to play guard at the next level.

  22. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    BTW Walter football has three tackles going in the late teens and as Chris points out some may end up moving to guard.

    But Andrus Peat is projected at 25th to the Stinking Panthers. I’d trade to move up to get Peat.

    The NFL.com take on Peat…

    BOTTOM LINE Big and powerful with a right tackle’s play strength and demeanor, but enough foot quickness to protect on the left side. Peat has the physical tools to be an upper-echelon run blocker with pass-protection ability, but he needs to improve his technique in order to protect with consistency. Peat has been well-coached and is one of the most game-ready offensive linemen in this year’s draft.

  23. Mike10 Says:

    Being negative is exhausting, so I’m going to paint a smile on.

    Bucs are going to either pick up a LT once another team cuts him, move Dotson over, or draft their LT at the position of BEST VALUE. But they’re smart and will not reach for the pick just because it’s a position of need.

  24. Capt.Tim Says:

    It’s the ussual method of Operation in the NFL.
    You draft a QB- then you draft a LT to protect him
    It’s a good draft for good LTs, but a bad draft for great ones. We probably can get a good one at 34. Then draft a guard in the Third, center in the fourth.

    Then need a safety, slot receiver, middle linebacker, and punter.
    Stop gap vet at DE this year, draft our guy next year- better class for DEs, plus rookie QB and line= high draft pick next year.

    For the phenom fameis Jameis to have a chance to develop- we gotta get him a line. The guy is the best talent since Andrew luck- but he’s about as mobile as Luck!
    Better give him a pocket

  25. Pickgrin Says:

    Go get Cam Erving. Make Jameis happy 🙂