Garrett Gilkey Is Your No. 1 Right Guard

August 2nd, 2015

GilkeyJoe can’t shake that annoying Emergency Broadcast System tone pulsing through his head right now. For now, on August 2, Garrett Gilkey is the Buccaneers’ first-team right guard.

It doesn’t mean much this early, but Bucs fans’ panic last year about Oneil Cousins and Jamon Meredith starting at guard proved legitimate. And it led to the panic-move trade (but a very wise trade at the time) for Logan Mankins in late August.

Joe asked Dirk Koetter about this development, after seeing Gilkey work — and struggle — with the first unit over the past two days. Koetter confirmed that Gilkey is top dog in a wide open battle.

“We’re working three or four different guys,” Koetter said. “That right guard is an open competition. Garrett Gilkey is working with the ones right now, but Ali is in there, Ali Marpet’s in there And Kadeem [Edwards] is also in there, No. 73. Those three guys are kind of battling for that spot right now.”

The X-factor here is that the team has not practiced in pads yet. Players can’t hit each other and play real football, so judgment is difficult. But somebody has judged Gilkey worthy of this shot.

Pads likely come on tomorrow. Joe really is pulling for Gilkey, as he does all the Bucs. Perhaps Gilkey can look like a solid NFL player.

After practice today, Demar Dotson said he trained with Gilkey most of the spring and called Gilkey a changed man. He said Gilkey told him back in March that he wanted the starting right guard job and was going to do everything to get it.

Joe won’t sleep well tonight. But this is the season of optimism. Regardless, Joe can’t wait to get a look at Marpet and how his strength measures up in practice when hitting is allowed.

23 Responses to “Garrett Gilkey Is Your No. 1 Right Guard”

  1. Fsuking Says:

    Man that’s depressing

  2. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I’ll try to keep an open mind about Gilkey but last year is still stuck in my mind.
    Of course he was forced into a position he had never played.

    If Gilkey can turn out to be at least serviceable perhaps Marpet can move to center and free us from Smith. i have almost as bad a taste from Smith as I do Gilkey!

  3. Abdominal Snowman Says:

    I don’t know how you can evaluate any RG on this team when they have to line up against GMC play after play. I can’t think of a RG on this planet that could handle that load alone.

  4. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    Like you said Joe, with OUT pads. We will see how this plays out WITH the pads on. I like his story, easy guy to root for, and he was in a bad spot when he was forced into the C spot. All that said, If he beats out a 2nd rounder and a 5th rounder, he better be another Penn who was cut and has a damn good thing going.

  5. The Real Malloy Says:

    I think everyone keeps forgetting that he’s a guard. He was never a center and that was a bone-head mistake. I personally like the kid and am pulling for him. He’s in a better place mentally and I think we could do worse. That being said, obviously we’re all pulling for the Pride of Hobart to win the job and nail it down for 10 years. I agree with SPBF though…maybe Marpet moves into that C role and rids us of E. Smith. I dont dislike him as much as most of you, but I also don’t see him becoming a pro bowl center.

  6. Nirobe Says:

    If gilkey plays better it means he followed orders to play bad so bucs could tank

  7. LakelandBuc Says:

    I like Garrett Gilkey as the starting Right Guard, I believe he will have a good season this year.

  8. Pawel Says:

    With the quick ball release, maybe we will be ok.

  9. Owlykat Says:

    I don’t trust WarFLOP who puts his Brownie Pet above all else. Don’t forget that Gilkey was also used at guard last year too and was a gosh awful turnstile!
    All you have to do is see his negative rating with Pro Football Focus. EDS is a miserable Center because he is a Guard out of place. Move Marpet to Center now and EDS will easily beat out Gilkey in pads. I am hoping Edwards is a lot improved to be able to compete there too. I want to see Pamphile at RT too in pads and see if he is improved enough to allow Dotson to move back to LT if Smith can’t handle NFL pass blocking. If not Smith would be the best choice for RG because he is a stud run blocker who can excel as an NFL Guard.

  10. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Dancing Panda is four year starter at Penn at LT bro that’s what he’ll be as a Buccaneer for a very long time.

  11. brett Says:

    Dotson and Donald Penn were undrafted free agents. I would hope Gilkey or one of last year’s rookie late round picks would take a big step in year two. Mankins is getting old and Evan Smith isn’t that good. We better hope the Bucs can develop some lineman.

  12. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    I’m with Nirobe no-one on that line played to their full potential considering WINSton was the objective. The WartHogs will be fine this season.

  13. DallasBuc Says:

    Okay, say it with me now slowly…
    Lovie Smith and little lapdog Licht!

    No fan base should be forced to relive rank failure at leadership two years in a row. Usually you don’t get the opportunity to screw up again after you achieve worst team in league status but when you are lovable LovieDovie Smith you get the rare opportunity to do it all over again.
    We are welcome apparently

  14. bucsbedabest Says:

    I swear to God I could feel the hair on my arms lift up. I have been a supporter of George Warhop and want to give him until the end of this season before passing judgement, however if Gilkey ends up the starter I promise the OL is going to struggle. I am going to do myself a favor and ignore this post.

  15. Harry Says:

    So, how do you all feel about that “bold move” by L&L now to gamble on drafting Ali “Hobart” Marpet when there were still plenty of NFL ready OGs to choose from? Hopefully Marpet will turn out to be a good player, and I will be rooting for him. I just don’t like the approach of taking a gamble when there is a more sure bet on the table. The Bucs Oline is in no position to be gambling

  16. Capt.Tim Says:

    Gilkey looked god at Guard last year.
    I am rooting for him, and think Marpet is probably a season out before he starts
    Marpet will be a pro bowler. Incredible strength to to speed to agility. Just needs a season to adjust
    I am really optimistic about Gilkey keeping the seat warm until then.
    Then, Meybe,Gilkey gets some practice in at Guard. They say he has the Smarts.

    Why not? You can always find a spot for intelligent, hard working guys with a decent skill set!

  17. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    marpet is a season out? then dont draft him in 2nd round… take a flier on lael collins… who is ready now or the FSU center trae jackson… no faith in OL coach and no faith in bucs personnel decisions… good thing koetter has experience working with a crap OL

  18. Buccfan37 Says:

    At least the competition is there. May the best player win.

  19. LargoBuc Says:

    Could have had AJ Cann. I like my guards to be big, mammoth road gradders that make d linemen feel the pain.
    Look if Gilkey is hungry and ready to fight for it then great. It kinda semed last year like Merredith and Cousins felt like they were safe because they were all we had. No motivation. No fight. It resulted in trading for Mankins it was so bad. But I think Mankins and Dotson will be improved in year two. It should help Smith and Gilk alot.But the key will be ES. He has to step his game up. He just seems fat and grumpy. No motivation. You want your center to be a little smaller than your guards and tackles. Hes gotta have quick feet. Strength is a bonus but the quickness is a must. I have not seen that from ES. He looks even more obese this year. If anything Mankins, who is ripped out of his mind, looks like a center and ES looks like a guard.

  20. Idontwannahearitanymore Says:


    I basically agree with your criticisms, but your proposed solutions have too many moving parts. Let’s give the players some time with pads on and let the coaches feel out who can best play where, OK?

  21. bucsbedabest Says:

    Capt Tim – Gilkey looked good at Guard last year.? Are you kidding me? He was horrible. Ask yourself one question. If Garrett Gilkey was waived by Tampa tomorrow would any other team pick him up?

  22. Brent Says:

    Could have had aj cann and kept draft pick. Hopefully marpet will work but that was a Dubois move by gm.

  23. Capt.Tim Says:

    Mccan will be a good starter.
    Marpet was superior in speed,srtrength,, and waaaay more agile.
    If it takes a season, to get the Best Guard in the NFL- is it worth it?
    Of course it is. The top guards in this draft all had the skills to start in the NFL.
    Only one had the skills to be an incredible talent. Ali Marpet.
    He will be the anchor to our line for a decade. Thats worth spending a season.

    And Yes, Gilkey was surpringly good last year, something i commented on at the Time.
    And im Lucky- i dont have to get my opinion from others. I actually watched him play, and saw that he was doing better than” holding his own”. He actually was consiistently getting his man going backward on running plays,and was quick to get outside to pull. Was go on getting posistion on Trap plays, and held his gronnd on Passing plays.

    Probably why they kept him, and tested him at center- in a meaning game( Jameis)
    Im not scared of him starting
    And no one here was screaming louder about Oneil cousins and friends. I said he was horrible the day they drafted him.
    Capt. Tim knows O-line.