Donovan Smith Got Roasted

May 15th, 2015
Harsh words for the Bucs' new left tackle, from those who know his game well.

Harsh words for the Bucs’ new left tackle, from those who watched his games.

Researching all things Buccaneers, as Joe does daily, Joe found a troubling podcast in which a former NFL offensive lineman and a Penn State beat writer skewer Bucs rookie left tackle Donovan Smith.

Man, that was surprising. Joe was expecting a little happy talk about the No. 34 overall pick, and the man who will protect Jameis Winston’s blind side.

Ross Tucker, a friend of Joe who spent eight years playing guard and center in the NFL, works for Keystone Sports Network, a Pennsylvania outfit devoted to Penn State coverage, and NBC Sports. Tucker does all kinds of breakdowns on Penn State football, and joined beat writer Bob Flounders to talk about Smith shortly after he announced he was turning pro.

Both were very down on the Bucs’ second-round pick, No. 34 overall.

“I thought he took a big step back this year. I thought he clearly was overweight. He played lazily. He really did,” Tucker said. “Even in the Pinstripe Bowl, getting beat inside on an inside move and like clapping his hands. He wasn’t even close to redirecting his weight back inside. I mean, if he thought at any time [turning pro] that this was a possibility. I’m like amazed he didn’t put forth a better performance to help his draft stock.”


Flounders said Smith was inconsistent, agreed he was too heavy and questioned whether he even had an NFL future. Flounders speculated Smith leaving school with remaining eligibility might have been motivated by the success of former Penn State tackle Garry Gilliam, an undrafted rookie with the Seahawks last year.

This was darn harsh stuff to hear from a couple of respected guys about a key piece to the Bucs’ puzzle.

Joe might need a pre-happy hour beer today.

74 Responses to “Donovan Smith Got Roasted”

  1. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Well that’s depressing.

  2. bucco brice Says:

    yeah, beers for me too…go Pamphile ugh 🙁

  3. WS99 Says:

    It’s a new day! He will be alright. I keep hearing that he’s lazy. Yet he’s got all these awards and his film looks pretty good to me but what do I know. All I know is we got a young tackle with the same measurable a as the tackles drafted in the first round and he’s a year or two younger. All I see is Penn 2.0 and I’m stoked.

  4. bucs55 Says:

    Don’t be down joe. It’s a fair breakdown of Smith.

    But let’s look deeper.

    He has the tools and intangibles and skill to be a first round Tackle.

    If motivated he can stop any of the top rushers in this draft.

    He needs some coaching but our coaches feel protecting Winston, winning superbowls, and going against the best competition will motivate him.

    First and foremost the bucs got a raw guy with the athleticism to be great at tackle.

    @ dubcity6

  5. Scott Says:

    Well he sure as heck has the highest ceiling out of all the OTs that were still available !! played in a pro style offense . I bet he does fine

  6. tmaxcon Says:

    The real question is do you trust Warhop to get the best out of this guy.

  7. Danati74 Says:

    Mixed reviews on this guy. We have good scouts on our team. If this is the guy they wanted than lets just be happy we got him. Everyone and their moms wanted us to go tackle after the #1 pick…and we did. Lets just wait and see what happens. If Pamphile gets the nod,..good for him too. Eventually they both will be starters. Fingers crossed.

  8. @Hands2theFace Says:

    Let’s see what NFL coaching and playing with pros can do before we kick this kid and our season in the crotch…

  9. REDDMAN Says:

    CON: He doesn’t have much of a Kick step in pass pro, kind of shuffles his feet. PRO: He has a great punch with a strong upper body. Drives well in run. Basically seems to only use enough energy to get the job done. AKA the lazy tag.

  10. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I’m honestly not really worried at all.

    Penn st changed blocking schemes and in general the line played worse with O’brien leaving it sounds like. Even so; in most the film I’ve watched the dude was pretty consistent and has all the tools to be an NFL LT. He dominated Randy Gregory and in general played up / down to the level of his competition; so hopefully being challenged weekly in the NFL motivates him to always be striving to be the best he can

  11. Scott Says:

    Honestly if The Jameis Winston effect is true. This guy should be playing his best ball yet . Jameis gets the best out of everyone

  12. Andrew 1 Says:

    To some degree, I agree with the harsh words. If you go back and watch him, he does look a little overweight and at times even looks disinterested, especially when it comes to blocking in the running game. However, even with those criticisms being true, through three games that I watched him he hasn’t given up a single sack, and on average only gave up about 2 QB pressures a game. That’s tremendous from a fat, lazy left tackle, don’t you think? So I guess what I’m trying to say is that the talent is clearly there, so if someone could whip him into shape the skies the limit for this guy.

  13. bucs4lyfe Says:

    a nice paycheck is very motivating to get an even bigger paycheck. if he plays left tackle the truth is he’s going to make money in this league. lol Winston took a step back according to most people last year and he still was the best qb in the draft, it’s not that serious joe all this college football talk about new nfl rookies is pointless, he’ll be taught how to play the position by professionals

  14. Buc-A-New Says:

    I for one am really tired of pessimism regarding this team. This kid is the next Carl Nicks without a toe problem. #OPTIMISM!!

  15. mike Says:

    i thought fisher would have been a better pick than kenyatta wal… i mean d smith

  16. salish_seamonster Says:

    I’ll still take the opinion of Jason Licht and the Bucs personnel department over a Penn State beat writer.

    Also, Smith was apparently was highly regarded by most NFL teams, otherwise he would not have been invited to be in the green room for draft day.

    I imagine the Bucs were aware of his inconsistencies, but at the end of the day saw tape showing he played strong against higher competition (a good sign), has superior physical tools and intelligence, and felt they would be able to work with his inconsistencies.

    Not worried. I’ll start worrying when his performance with the Bucs warrants criticism.

  17. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Im very worried and think the OL Coach Ihop had a say in both this selection as well as the D3er… anyone could give credence to coah Ihop is beyond me….and as stated in earlier articles the new OC kind of threw ol IHOP under the bus….i hope koetter has a say in canning ihop once this fails….well when it does fail with a D3er and this lazy nittany cow, lovie will be gone licht will be gone and the draft and FA abilities of these bafoons will hover somewhere around .100, my 5-11 projection is sinking by the day

  18. briandorry55 Says:

    There are plenty of good things to read about him too…like how he shut down Randy Gregory.

  19. SteveK Says:

    I am thrilled that we actually drafted some fuking O-Linemen for the first time since The Bruce Allen era. Was I surprised by the two guys we picked, and where we picked them; absolutely.

    I am just jolly as hell we finally invested draft picks for the O-Line. Both Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet are intriguing prospects. I hope they both develop into at least league average players and we would be looking a HUGE upragde from last year.

  20. Capt.Tim Says:

    Hard to believe! A high profile player would be critizied!!
    What’s next? Open critism of our political leader??
    I know my band only received the highest praise.
    You should never draft anyone that isn’t loved by EVERYONE!!


    I think he may need to drop a little weight, threat he grow back into as he gets older.
    He’s a huge guy, with fast feet and Long Arms.
    That’s hard to find
    I’m sure the Penn st. Coaches told him what his playing weight had to be.
    And I doubt they played Lazy players.
    Be glad when camp opens. It’s the slow season for news

  21. drdneast Says:

    The word on Smith is he plays to the level of his competition. He won’t be fang many Johnson’s so that’s a good thing He dominated against Randy Gregory when he played against him.

  22. Patrick in VA Says:

    @drdneast – maybe that’s where the “lazy” evaluations came from. If he can get up for games against Gregory and other top shelf talent then why is he not dominating the guys he’s going against that is supposed to be lesser talent. If he’s playing at a consistently high level then he should be bowling over the second tier dudes.

  23. BuccaneEric Says:

    Hopefully being a Pro now and protecting the #1 draft pick will motivate him to change his rep. Oh, and $.

  24. rayjay1122 Says:

    Lets just see how the depth chart plays out. I am willing to give the guy a chance plus I think he may be a little more motivated blocking for America’s QB. When interviewed, Smith sounded like he was excited to be Winston’s team mate and to help build something special. The season can’t get here fast enough. Thankfully the Lightning are still in the hunt for the championship or else it would be extremely boring right now. Plus the Rays being competitive in spite of some pitching injuries is keeping their games watchable. Go Bucs, Bolts and Rays!!!

  25. Wally Says:

    That’s pretty much what I read about him after the draft, Lazy, takes plays off, needs upper body work. I wondered how he made it so high on the Buc’s draft board.

  26. BoomBoomBoom Says:

    If he is lazy and not working to get better we will find out soon enough!

  27. BuccaneEric Says:

    Wally, the recent draft history hasn’t been stellar, to be kind. That might be why he was so high on their board. Just ineptitude. I’m hoping they see something in him. If Jameis can’t get him motivated then no one can! Except for maybe Tony Robbins!!!! Lol

  28. Andrew 1 Says:

    @ Wally

    “I wondered how he made it so high on the Buc’s draft board.”

    Simple, he was the closest thing to an elite pass protector left on the board, and protecting their huge QB investment was the main thing on their minds.

  29. JoeJoes Fungi Nails Says:

    Kan you say Kenyatta……just teasing……He’ll be fine…

  30. gotbbucs Says:

    This is exactly what I saw when I watched him. He looked very clumsy to me and did not move well in the running game. Licht says that he’s a patient blocker, I see a nonaggressive offensive lineman that will get destroyed by speed rushers.

  31. BuccaneEric Says:

    Fungi, I like a lot of your posts. But don’t say Kenyatta!! Lol!! Hopefully both of our second round O Lineman are hits. If they’re not, it will be an even longer season. Rookie QB and bad O Line equals bad offense. Go O Line!!!

  32. unbelievable Says:

    Let’s just relax til we see him take the field. I’m more concerned about Warhop’s ability as a coach, than this guy’s motivation to be honest.

    There was not a single tackle in this draft that did have flaws in his game, whether it be size, speed, or technique.

    Size, speed, and strength can not be taught. Technique and execution can.

  33. WS99 Says:

    I say he ends up being better than Peat. Let’s see

  34. dcommand Says:

    I think he’ll be a very fine right tackle in the NFL.

  35. BrianBucs Says:

    The Bucs drafted him that high for a reason. Maybe he’s a good fit for what they are going to do on offense. No confidence in Warhop though, the man that brought Oniel Cousins from Cleveland with him because of his high NFL ceiling

  36. headstoskywayaqftergame Says:

    Just watching the vs. Ohio state highlights on you tube show him not very active and getting smoked inside. oh no !

  37. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    That’s why I said yesterday that our best picks in correct order were


  38. HolyBuc Says: has 18 games of Hackenburg up go watch and count how many times #76 his LT gets roasted. Let your own eyes make up your mind. I only wish we could see more of his run blocking.

  39. cmurda Says:

    Laziness and weight can be controlled. Talent and skill cannot. I’m okay if he needs a little push in the butt. These can be corrected, coached, and worked with. He already possesses the skillset with which to work with.

  40. Kevin Says:

    Remember when we had Zuttah, Penn, and Joseph? I would take them back right about now. Don’t they have that much in cap space anyway????

  41. SOOFIERCE Says:

    No worries, Winston will command, demand, and down right expect all of Smith talents come game time… Or he will erupt like Chucky use to!

  42. Buc-A-NeW Says:

    I for one am really tired of pessimism regarding this team. This kid is the next Carl Nicks without a toe problem. #LOL LOL SOS

  43. WS99 Says:


    That’s a hell of a filter you got there. The comment didn’t even go into moderation it just disappeared into thin air. Impressive. You know I was being sarcastic, obviously!

  44. WS99 Says:

    Jaboo at the VA with 20 rookies signing autographs and taking pictures.

    He just doesn’t “get it”. #embarassment.

  45. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    I really liked this pick when we made it. Since then I have seen multiple stories and they are all the same. He is lazy, doesn’t love football, and has a real chance to eat himself out of the league. I sure do hope he gets it together and finds that drive and desire all great players have. He has a ton of talent. That would be a huge loss

  46. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    He dominated Gregory, and came highly suggested by his old coach Bill O’Brien.
    I have to think that our scouts did their homework on him and Marpet, or we are in BIG trouble.
    Big Guys like him just Love to eat, so let’s allow Mankins to make him some BBQ, and have Jameis feed him some Crab Legs, before we pass judgement.
    I think he is gonna be just fine at left tackle here in Tampa, for a long time.

  47. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Gotta Pay Homage to one of the Greatest Musicians EVER.

    Rest In Peace Mr. Riley B. King (September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015)

    I thank you for the wisdom, that you have bestowed upon my Life Brotha…..

    U will Be Missed!

  48. RP Says:

    One flash is good enough for Jason Licht.

  49. tval Says:

    I agree w/hands 2 the face. He had good coaching early on but diatractions and turnover cldve impeded his progress honestly. Psu usually had great line guys but lost probably their best line coach on dline, that undoubtedly helps the offense, to the buckeyes. Urban didnt hesitate to snag up probably the most respected coach from paternos tenure

  50. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I have seen multiple stories and they are all the same. He is lazy, doesn’t love football, and has a real chance to eat himself out of the league.

    Remember when we had Zuttah, Penn, and Joseph?

    Guys this kind of makes me smile. Especially since Joe may be the biggest Donald Penn fan since Mama Penn.

    If this guy is what many of you are suggesting then we have found a young very talented Donald Penn. I LOVED Penn as well but he suffered from many of the same characteristics. And yet he was an effective LT…and that’s all we need…a player who can be competent at LT. I’d actually rather be All Pro up the middle so Fameis gets a second to breathe before tossing it. Yeah nobody wants him blindsided but a lot more than an LT getting beat has to happen before the QB gets blindsided….like longer routes with the QB focused downfield and totally unaware of his pocket situation. However a great rush up the middle gets in the QB’s face before he can even cut the ball loose at times.

    Dotson was a pretty good RT and a mediocre LT with limited experience. Worst case scenario Dotson beats out Smith for the left side. I don’t see it happening though. If Smith plays up to his competition the Bucs will not have the same problem as PSU providing Smith with killer competition every week.

  51. WS99 Says:


    Place me right behind mama penn and joe then cuz I’m a fan. I’ve met mama penn and she’d make a bigger and better center than EDS. Mama Penn don’t play that!

  52. Destinjohnny Says:

    Jason and lovie can afford no mistakes

  53. kaput Says:

    I think we’re going to be in good shape going forward. Smith knows how to put teams together that wins 8-10 games most seasons, and he’s done it without a franchise quarterback. If Winston is the guy like we hope, he’s going to be in good shape going forward.

    They’ve got time.

  54. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    I’m a big fan of Penn’s as well. And in fact if we all think about it one of the reason everybody loves Penn is because he is honest!! When he played poorly or let himself get a bit out of shape he didn’t mind throwing himself under the bus.
    Penn certainly has my respect.

    But I worked in the biz for awhile and just imagine you have to interview guys all the time. If they are not like Penn who was engaging honest and accessible, press guys can cop an attitude. The fact that this is coming from PSU reporters makes me question their “personal” relationship with Penn.

  55. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Oops their relationship with Smith obviously not Penn.

  56. WS99 Says:

    Penn is a MAN! He calls it like it is and always got his teammates back. Penn @ 50% > Collins @ 1000000000%

  57. The Real Drew Says:

    How did you get respect for Ross Tucker? I can’t listen to Sirius NFL in the morning because I know he lurks there.

  58. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Yeah agree about Penn. Another one of my favorite former Buc OL from a bit farther back was Frank Middleton. He never shied away from the truth and he was a mean nasty motha on the field. I’m not sure why we let him go to the Raiders. No he’s not an All Pro but he played decently, brought toughness to the line and was accountable.

    I’ll always remember after a particular brutal outing against the Saints or it might have been the Cards…whichever we got our butts kicked horribly. Middleton said with play like that maybe we should change our names from the Tampa Bay Bucs to the Tampa Bay Sucs. Another honest line.

  59. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I’m curious guys…what say ye.

    We’ve all heard about bulletin board material…quote or quotes from players or supporters of an opponent belittling or degrading your team.

    How about for individual players? Do we think that Lovie or Warhop might collect some of this crap and lay it out in front of Smith? They could say we don’t believe this…we’re behind you….now go out there and prove we and YOU are correct and the doubters are the losers.

    Maybe the Bucs are using JBF as bulleting board material. LOL
    Just today they could fire up Smith and Banks,

  60. WS99 Says:

    When men were men.

  61. Buc-A-New Says:

    @DB….we still are man. Just that the definition has changed somewhat in today’ vernacular.
    BTW, that last post with the LOLs wasn’t mine.

  62. Jfat Says:

    Watch the one on one drills at the senior bowl. Lazy or not the guy is basically a brick wall once he gets those meat hooks in. I only watched their game against Ohio state and he only got beat once.

    In his interview at the senior bowl he said he needed to work on his consistency so I think he knows he wasn’t always playing his A game. Can we give him a bit before we start bashing the kid because some relative unknown radio host labeled the guy as lazy based on one play?

    Don’t sleep on America’s left tackle.

  63. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    A man that big just can’t be that bad…..let’s just make sure his big toe is OK….

  64. ERIC Says:

    When i saw him play against ohio state thought he graded out pretty well

  65. Claud Says:

    Lovey knows talent! “Anybody who knows football, knows we are right on the edge of greatness!” Lovey is a looser!! 2-Something(14)!!!!

    He’s your man Joe…….

  66. DallasBuc Says:

    What?…our bobblehead GM poorly evaluating talent at the left tackle position?
    Not possible
    Everyone try to remember that it was incompetent Lovie Smith that hired this strange little man to play GM. He is about as good as anyone else that likes to play GM on Bucs sports blogs. The man is not actually qualified or really in charge. He just bobbles his head a lot in front of microphones and recording devices as he gushes over his sure thing left tackle or his 2nd round Hobart diamond-in-the-rough.
    Each turn in Bucs leadership more ironic than the last.

  67. bucsbedabest Says:

    The problem is not Lazy Shade. This is a must read article on Warhop. It speaks for itself….

  68. MadMax Says:

    @LUV, Im so glad I went to see BB in 2011 at a blues festival (only time I saw him). To be his age and the condition he was in, he still put on one helluva show.

    I’ll have to admit, Im feeling better about the Marpet pick than D. Smith, but lets give him a chance to be coached up and face tough competition. He def has the size and skills, I just want to see that drive.

  69. BuccaneEric Says:

    WS99, How dare Winston waste time signing autographs and parading in front of the camera for pictures. Just another example of his entitlement mentality! He should be studying the playbook! Just being a lazy Jamarcus! LOL!!!!!!

  70. Simpleasthat Says:

    Just how the hell are we going to block anyone this season?

  71. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    How did Mankins block people all those years for N.E.
    Smith for G.B.
    Dotson for us when he had adequate help.

    The OL truly is an example of the old cliche…a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link. Last year we had two invisible links!! No wonder the other three sucked. If the two rookies become at least servicable it will also elevate the play of Mankins,Smith and Dotson.

  72. Capt.Tim Says:

    (Sigh) guess we should cut him.

    Funny, aren’t these the same reporters who thought Anthony Collins was a great Left Tackle? . . .

    I remember the day the idiots cut Donald Penn.
    Posters here were celebrating
    I told you we’d miss him for years

    We just invested a second round pick on a guy. If we are lucky, in a few years- he MIGHT be as good as penn

  73. Pat Says:

    Can Dirk appoint his own O-Line Coach?

  74. Oahubuc Says:

    Tucker bashes anything even tangentially related to the Bucs. I think we might be one of the many teams who cut him in training camp or looked him over and said no thanks.