Lovie Backs Rookie O-Linemen

August 30th, 2015

Rookie left tackle Donovan Smith got the head coach’s blessing today, but are other O-linemen safe?

Don’t look for Lovie Smith to get squeamish and bench rookie offensive linemen Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet.

The head coach put his foot down today at One Buc Palace.

A question posed to Lovie, who already had called the play of the O-line unacceptable, sort of asked the head coach whether he’s be changing the starting offensive line with his rookies struggling.

Lovie quipped that if he started changing lineups for shoddy play, then most of the team would be affected.

“Guys are going to have bad plays. You look at the overall picture with those guys, and for rookie offensive linemen, we think we have two pretty good players,” Lovie said of Marpet and Smith. “Are they Pro Bowl-ready right now? No. But they’re making progress.”

Joe is proud of Lovie for standing strong and being grounded in reality with the rookies.

Joe’s issue is with Evan Smith and Logan Mankins. Remember, Lovie called Smith a “foundation” player and a “consummate football player.” Lovie already has said publicly that he thinks Mankins should be voted captain of the Buccaneers. Yet these two guys aren’t showing up to play and protect the No. 1 asset of the franchise, Jameis Winston.

Don’t be surprised if the Bucs make a significant change on the offensive line, whether from a guy in the organization, such as Jeremiah Warren, or when teams make final cuts and the Bucs can pounce with their No. 1 overall waiver claim.

65 Responses to “Lovie Backs Rookie O-Linemen”

  1. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    Joe, we all see Warren needs to play. I wonder if Lovie has the testicular fortitude to pull the plug on E(d)S or BBQ Logan. When Warren is in the game, the line plays better, and makes Logan better. I hope he turned the corner by playing the human missile that is Kwon, that making the move now is the move to make.

  2. Fsuking Says:

    Donovan Smith looked OK. Mankins looked bad. Evan Smith looked a little slow. Marpet had that day that everyone thought he would eventually have (awful). Fortunately Gosder looked great. He has very quick feet and I’m shocked he was available for us to snatch up.

  3. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    When I watched the replay I tried to focus on OL but mostly Marpet.

    The question, especially for Marpet, was whether he could physically hold up against NFL level talent after playing much smaller, slower, less talented players in Div III. That’s a legitimate question.

    From what I can see both Marpet and Donavan Smith have the talent, the attitude and physical skills. They are woefully lacking in experience. The Brownies 3-4 confused the hell out of them. That first quarter A gap sack was as much ignorance of the scheme as it was physical failure.

    A question for guys who were at the game. Generally a center is barking out blocking assignments pre snap…along of course with the QB. Does EDS handle any of this or are the blocking calls totally on Fameis? I can’t tell on TV.

  4. tmaxcon Says:

    Mankins, EDS and Gilkey should be released…. Simple as that!

    go with youth at least they are trying and care. Mankins is a washed up has been with NO knees. What has his leadership brought this team NOTHING… If your leaders play with NO heart and make excuse after excuse you get performances like the entire 2014 season and the Vikes and Browns games of this year. GMC is in the same boat. Shut up and play…. If your leaders accept no effort and poor execution like the head coach does the team is destined to fail once again. GMC is a good player but not a great player nor a leader. Great Leaders demand accountability and personal responsibility this team has ZERO… the only thing this team is good at is making excuses and following the lead of their clueless coach.

    Lovie has not been relavant in 7 years (last playoff win). Stop freaking talking and win some damn games.


    stop with the Lovie gave full control to Koetter crap…. Lovie did not even allow him to select ONE coach not one. The qb coach is a lovie guy not a kotter guy… Lovie is too stubborn to allow anyone to do their job and that is why he is failing right before your very eyes…. Simple as that!

  5. tmaxcon Says:

    i respect most of you optimists out there that being said at some point the bills come due and the excuses made to support your optimistic view become meaningless chatter. Loive has made mistake after mistake and I am sorry there is NO reason a 2-14 team should show up unprepared, unmotivated and with no heart or effort. Preseason or not there are NO excuses for that… It’s all on the man in charge and that is the incompetent Lovie Smith… Reality Sucks!

  6. Kalind Says:

    I agree Lovie has a problem on his hands. Mankins and ES are woefully unable. Evan smith needs to be shopped just like Glennon. Load up on a couple of late-mid round picks, forget Bosa (OSU slobs never work out. Same same for players under Urban Meyer, not to mention rookie DEs ALWAYS as a rule struggle) pick up a solid Dend in FA, draft Stanley, movie Donovan Smith to RT or LG and let Warren play.

    Your welcome. Hey Jason Licht, I’m available to be a consultant whenever you need, man.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Most of those sacks were from blitzes……poor protection rather than Oline getting beat…..some of this is Winston’s inexperience. I also note that we are pretty successful when we throw on 1st down…..we need to use the short passing game until Winston gets into a rhythm.


    I wouldn’t consider myself an optimist regarding the Bucs….but, I hesitate to express negativity….it just isn’t my style…..I feel the pain of losing and it is exhausting…
    I am hopeful that we are trying some things in preseason and that we will make some adjustmets…in particular on offense. I also think the expectations were set way to high for Winston……the constant daily articles overselling his skillset and abilities….I think he will be fine…but he needs time…this is not a good team and that doesn’t help him.

  8. JabooBuc Says:

    Could their possibly any trade market for EDS? I highly doubt it. Hard to I,aging an NFL team with a worse line situation than the Bucs and if the Bucs don’t want ya then that speaks volumes.

    However, I am huge advocate in getting rid of the guy by whatever means necessary. Never been a fan and have see quite enough of this guy. Next please.

  9. JabooBuc Says:

    ^there . I hate typing on my iPad.

  10. Bucnut2 Says:

    I’ll say it again, at least 3 of the sacks were on JW, not the line. I know the line has problems but this is a typical diversion tactic. And BTW Joe, JW in not the #1 asset of this franchise, not even close!

  11. Pelbuc Says:

    Tmax makes a great point. For the worst team in football last year to show up for a game completely unprepared and uninterested falls completely on the HC. Mankins and EDS are just delaying any rebuilding of the Oline. Really dumb planning for the future.

  12. Bucnut2 Says:

    PelBuc- totally agree!!

  13. Lakeland Buc Says:

    tmaxcon, it has nothing to do with the coaches. My problem with Koetter is his game preperations and his offensive schemes. I can understand that you have a short week to prepare for Cleveland defense. But my question is: did this offense practice against a 3-4 defense? Did Jameis prepare against a 3-4 defense?. Why wasn’t there any passes in the flat to the backs, Charles Sims caught the first pass to a back, with 22 seconds on the clock before the half. On 3rd and 1, why are you throwing a pass downfield to Vincent Jackson? If Dirk Koetter is so good as an OC, why haven’t he been offered an Head Coach job? He was Head Coach at Boise State and Arizona St for 8 seasons. He was OC for Jacksonville and Atlanta for 6 seasons. And he helped getting Jack Del Rio and Mike Smith fired, with his reckless , vertical colllege passing game. And now it’s Lovie Smith time to get a taste of it, he’s the 3rd former NFL DC, to entrust Dirk Koetter with their offense. I don’t know what you all see on the field, or maybe you see what you wanna see. But one thing is for sure, facts do not lie.. People lie all of the time, but stats do not lie. But i’m pulling for Dirk Koetter, I know we can win the NFC South. And we will win the NFC South, i’m not hating on Dirk Koetter. I’m only presenting facts here, I just hope the man realize his mistakes. LET’S GO BUCS.

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We have $14 mil in cap tied up this year with Mankins, Smith & Koenen…….we could dump all three without a hit….Go ahead and develop some rookies……hit the waiver wire…..use the money in FA next year to fill a couple of holes…..we are truly in a rebuilding year and these older players aren’t helping….

  15. Newbucsfan Says:

    If the Bucs are to have the type of surprise success that we want to see then they must focus on the ground game. Joe hates to hear Lovie talk about takeaways but great defense getting takeaways and a good running game w/ short passes and play action here and there is the ticket. Don’t put too much pressure on Jameis and the o-line for passing situations.

  16. Newbucsfan Says:

    And put warren in to replace EDS at center and have EDS fight marpet for the right guard spot.

  17. Newbucsfan Says:

    I think that they have had Jameis pass the ball alot this preseason as a game plan. Jameis probably won’t be throwing downfield to often this season. Run, run and then run some more to chew up the clock and pass the ball when needed or close to the red zone to Evans.

  18. Lakeland Buc Says:

    I’m still going on record to say that we will win the NFC South this season. Matter of fact, I was very impress with our performance Saturday night. Now it’s time to trim the fat, and get rid of a lot of waste. I just hope they make the right decisions,some veterans are not deserving of a roster spot. I believe there will be some suprise cuts this season. Now this is the time for the position coaches to earn their money, and pick the best players for that position. BUCS IN 2015

  19. Fsuking Says:

    You are crazy for blaming sacks on Jameis. You have to realize we were playing a great secondary that was blitzing nearly every play against an overwhelmed line. We also had scrubs in at receiver with the exception of VJax. The only sack (1st one) that could even kinda be blamed on Jameis was a play where nobody was open. There is a free trial of NFL game pass available I suggest you take a look for yourself. Jameis had 3 bad throws all game.

  20. Newbucsfan Says:

    Tightends will still chew up the bucs defense but not for big gains. They will be short gains that will have the opposing team make long drives down field by design. Slow the game down, chew up clock, get a take away and put the offense in good position to score. The only teams the bucs will need to be worried about will be ATL, Dallas, Eagles those could get ugly. They only know how to play uptempo offense.

  21. Newbucsfan Says:

    Just split the division and the bucs have a chance to win it!

    ATL’s schedule is brutal as well as the panthers. The bucs have a legitimate shot if healthy

  22. Bucnut2 Says:

    Fsucking- JW himself and barber said that JW was not calling the correct protections. One day later the bucs front office and media who ALL either drafted JW or pounded the table for him are spinning the story. Go re watch the game, you’ll see what Jamies is saying. 3 of those sacks he either held the ball too long or didn’t call the correct protection.

  23. Fsuking Says:

    We could cut Koenen and EDS without any drop in play but cutting Mankins is a foolish proposition. He is our best Interior lineman by far right now. I know panic mode has set in for most people in Tampa but it’s way too early to get crazy. We haven’t even had the pleasure of seeing 4th quarter Jameis, who will be the best 4th quarter QB in NFL history. The season starts Sept. 13 for us real Bucs fans who haven’t already given up.

  24. Bucnut2 Says:

    Sorry meant fsuking

  25. Fsuking Says:

    I have rewatched the game many times. Jameis will never blame anyone but himself for anything. Also, it would be EDS’s job to reaffirm the protection scheme and adjust it if necessary. You can’t put that all on Jameis when a veteran center is making the same mistake.

  26. Bucnut2 Says:

    Look I just want everyone to put aside their homer instincts. I’ve been a season ticket holder for 4 years and consider me a great fan. But. Being a fan doesn’t mean we check our brains at the door and buy everything we are being told. I favored mm over JW not because of any of the feild stuff but because I believed and still do mm will be a better pro. The local crowd and this regime has their entire collective career based on JW. You don’t pick a bust with the first overall pick and survive. So I filter everything that comes out of lovie, licht, and the local media and go by what I see NOT what someone is telling I saw. I re watch each game on all 22 and while JW has had some good moments, overall he has IMO really struggled. He does not see open recievers and locks on to his primary read way to much. But don’t believe me check it out for yourself. He is hitting on less than 50% of his passes. Sounds like the next josh freeman to me

  27. Bucnut2 Says:

    Fsuking- I’m sure you have watched the game a lot. How many picks do you think JW would have had if the Browns DBs could catch, 3or 4

  28. Bucnut2 Says:

    I count at least 3

  29. Fsuking Says:

    Ok so you just hate Jameis. I am also a season ticket holder and I can promise you I know quite a bit more about the QB position than you and most others on this site. I can’t argue that he has looked bad at times in the pre-season. He has also done good things. My point is that if you base your expectations on pre-season production as a rookie you will look stupid. If coaches did that, Payton Manning would be working at Walmart and Andrew Luck would be sitting on the bench waiting for a shot.

  30. Fsuking Says:

    I saw a genuine article showing that Andrew Luck would have thrown 38 picks last year if every ball that could have been caught was caught. That’s not how football works.

  31. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Mankins needs to earn his $7mil…..so far I haven’t seen it. He will likely be gone after this year….

  32. Fsuking Says:

    Our entire O-line isn’t worth 7 mil

  33. Bucnut2 Says:

    Ok, not sure how you think you know more than me, dude you don’t know me. Please don’t play the hater card, it’s not accurate and is a knee jerk for anyone that doesn’t think JW is the next great QB. First I like the kid. Second I think he has the intangibles to be be a great pro, just not the skills. His footwork remains questionable and his delivery is slow. I must say he has improved, but nit to the point where he can be an effective NFL QB week in and out. Ill repeat what I’ve said before had JW played college football somewhere other tan ,fsu,Florida or Miami, most bucs fans would be jumping off the bridge right now. The fact that he played at fsu has most people remembering his great college success to the NFL. It doesn’t translate and the more objective one looks at it the more one realizes JW is at this point a disappointment. I can think of no NFL type outside of Tampa that thinks he’s on track to be a great pro. Most objective observers think he has a LONG way to go.

  34. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    When I was still a working stiff the press boxes at every football game passed out a typed up written play by play. Listed every play on a line with down, distance, play called and the result.

    These things were ALWAYS more valuable than a simple stat line but never more important than in a preseason game. Apparently many of us saw different games in the 1st half. I didn’t watch the 2nd half on replay so I have zero knowledge of how the scrubs fared for either team.

    And so to simply presents stats is misleading. It seemed to me that our biggest fault on defense was not stopping third down. I would love to see the pbp line on that first long drive and how many times McCown played out his butt. He completed one pass with a guy in his grill and his receiver #11 made a great play on it. Give them both credit. Same for the Hartline TD..two NFL players making a highlight play not our defense sucking. I didn’t see us get pushed around.

    I DID see a TE wide open in the end zone. That didn’t require a great play from Josh. That WAS US suckingg. And it’s disturbing because our defense seems unablet to locate TE’s. That IS on Lovie. But the rest didn’t look that bad on D.
    It was McCown with the VERY BEST game he’s played since Chicago days.

    Let’s see what happens against the Titans. IF we play with no emotion and get drilled then I’ll panic. IF JW tosses a couple of TD’s leads us to a potential game winning FG’s late that our kickers don’t convert but Marcus ALSO plays well and his kicker makes a long FG to win it at the end are we all going to be saying Oh noes we picked the wrong guy? Seriously?

    If MM stinks it up against us I’m not going to throw him under the bus either.
    Some thoughts to consider. It is irrelevant which team got the best QB. What counts is if the QB each team got is a franchise QB capable of leading a team to the SB. I simply believe that it’s possible for both to be great.

  35. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Ill repeat what I’ve said before had JW played college football somewhere other tan ,fsu,Florida or Miami, most bucs fans would be jumping off the bridge right now.

    Since we all agree that jumping off the bridge of course is a metaphor I’m not sure I agree with your point. MOST posters on this site seem to be metaphorically jumping off the bridge to me!!! And some of them are even FSU fans and one of them got sooo aggravated with me when I was supporting Mariota because of his Jameis love. LMAO

    Now here I am defending his guy and he’s seems worried. Ah it’s a Bucs life eh?

  36. Bucnut2 Says:

    As to his picks, I am simply saying that you can’t give him a pass on everything. If you blame him getting sacked on ES and the o line, why is he not hitting check downs or throwing the ball away. Dude he is getting sacked AND completing less than 50% of his passes. What would his completion rate be if he would have thrown the ball away when he should have?

  37. Fsuking Says:

    I’m just saying as a former QB who studies the position and who’s brother is a college football QB, it’s safe to assume that I know more than a guy who doesn’t think Jameis Winston will be a great pro based on hatred.

  38. Bucnut2 Says:

    St Pete agreed

  39. Bucnut2 Says:

    Fsuking- I’ll ask again, please stop playing the hatred card, it’s not true. Can’t we disagree on a player without name calling?

  40. Bucnut2 Says:

    I slept a holiday inn last night, doesn’t that make me an expert?

  41. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Winston has been oversold ever since we drafted him…..he is a rookie with a world of talent on a bad team…..it will take some time for “America’s QB”

  42. Fsuking Says:

    Dude his completion percentage is 0% and he has thrown 0 picks. You will not convince me Jameis is bad based on a game and a half of preseason football. Also, most NFL analysts have been high on Jameis throughout training camp and they will be the first to tell you that he has potential to be a star.

  43. Bucnut2 Says:

    Fsuking- I don’t think JW will be a great pro based on footwork, his slow release and lack of scanning the field. Assuming you are/ were a QB could we argue about those items rather than name calling?

  44. Bucnut2 Says:

    I didn’t say he was bad. His body of work over 3 partial games is a abroad of 32, completion percentage of < 50 and no touchdown passes. What am I missing?

  45. Bucnut2 Says:


  46. Fsuking Says:

    I know he might have struggles this year but you can’t hate on him before they happen. Payton Manning went 7 games before he finally threw more TD’s than picks in one. Playing QB is hard (as I know and you probably don’t)

  47. Fsuking Says:

    He has a strong arm and one of the highest football IQ’s around. His release is not a problem whatsoever. He does have some poor footwork but is athletic enough to compensate until he gets that cleaned up. Mark Sanchez has the best footwork in the NFL, is Sanchize gonna be a star? Tom Brady’s preseason stats this year are only slightly better than Jaboo’s. Does Brady suck?

  48. Bucnut2 Says:

    I didn’t play QB but can imagine it’s extremely difficult. So we are no supposed to analyze and just keep praying he develops? I’m ok with that because I have to be. Like it or not we are married to JW for at least 4 years. Btw, the manning and luck comparisons are bogus because of the release difference with manning and mobility with luck.

  49. Jason McLaurin Says:

    Mankins and Smith are playing terrible this preseason. I think they should consider giving Gilkey an honest shot at right guard and move Marpet to left guard in place of Mankins because hes cut worthy now due to his salary along with terrible play. They need to use their cut day to rid themselves of those bad and high priced players like Evan Smith, Logan Mankins and unheralded people like Lansanah, Jaquies Smith, Mcdougald should not be in the starting lineup playing over better talent like Swearinger, Carter,and Melton at defensive end.

  50. Bucnut2 Says:

    Josh freeman had a strong arm, could make all of the throws

  51. Bucnut2 Says:

    The bucs brass were concerned about freeman comparisons, that’s why JW wears 3 not 5

  52. Lakeland Buc Says:

    You can watch a game, and everything don’t show up on stats sheet. There’s one play in particular, when Jamal Young had the sack on McCown. But McCown ducked out of Young way, and he ran right into Kwon Alexander. But on the game’s boxscore, Jamal Young name is not mention. He should have been rewarded a QB pressure, at PFF he would have been rewarded a pressure. So if you want reliable stats, those Geeks at PFF is the place to go. GO BUCS

  53. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Joe Iosefa…cut…not surprised…

    Did he even get a carry?

  54. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    I guess that’s a pretty good endorsement of Javorskie Lane.

  55. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Probably….if we keep a FB…

  56. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Once again brotha, I agree with your POV

    Side Note: Da’ Bear – CB Tim Jennings was just released. We need another corner – Should we pick him up?

  57. Fsuking Says:

    Hmm… Jameis had to change his number cause Josh Freeman was #5? That’s a solid theory you got there. I heard Rodger Goodell was giving the other team Dirk Kotters play calls from his invisible blimp above the stadium. That’s been hurting Jameis a lot.

  58. Wausa Says:

    It may seem strange to try but when we get our right tackle back from injury it may make sense to plug him into the interior of the line.

  59. Bucnut2 Says:

    So if not that, why is he now wearing 3?

  60. Bucnut2 Says:

    Fsuking- i think we will just have to agree to disagree. I sincerely hope that you are right and I am wrong. IMO JW best case is Jay Cutler wort case Byron Leftwich. My guess he lands in the middle, an ok NFL QB, nothing special.

  61. Bucnut2 Says:

    I hope am i am wrong.

  62. tmaxcon Says:


    Jennings would be a nice addition. I would suspect a contender would pick him up.

    Hope you are well sir. I thought of you when Kendricks signed his deal.

  63. Fsuking Says:

    You said that Jameis Winstons ceiling is Jay Cutler!?!?!? Of course I’m right I thought I was disagreeing with someone intelligent. My mistake!

  64. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Aye, I’m good brother.

    I Hope you & yours are as well.

    Too bad we couldn’t add Mychal Kendricks


    Because how is it that – We knew Bruce Carter wasn’t the answer at Middle Linebacker- And “the powers that be” didn’t?

  65. LargoBuc Says:

    Hoping a waiver pick up can come in and be a competent starter on the o line is a bit of a long shot. Maybe you can replace E Smith, but replace him and Mankins? We’re kind of stuck with them. All we can do is hope they play consistent come September. I sure as hell dont trust Gilkey to be our starting guard for 16 games. We already have two rookies on the line. Im not going to get frusterated until the season starts.
    As for the rookies, its good to see them get their asees kicked in pre season. Thats the only way a young lineman can improve.
    As for Jameis, we all knew there would be lots of peaks and valleys. Lakeland, your right. Koetter cant force his four vertical scheme. With a rookie qb and an average at best o line, we dont have the personel. Koetter has to call games based on the strength of our offense, and what the defense gives us. The Titans d is similar to cleveland, minus the all pro shut down corner. And I didnt see Koetter take what he was given. You cant do that, especially in our situation.
    Oh yeah. So if Lovie keeps the o line the way it is, he’s incompetent. If he mixes thing up two weeks before the season and our line looks worse, he’s incompetent. I have no issue with Lovie right now. If our team plays dead week one, i’ll have a problem. But that hasnt happened yet and it shouldn’t so im good.