Don’t Forget The Offensive Line

November 26th, 2015
Logan Manknis and the offensive line have been stellar.

Logan Manknis and the offensive line have been stellar.

Yes, it is easy to fall in the trap exalting America’s Quarterback, Bucs’ signal-caller Jameis Winston.

It’s pretty simple to get worked up over the running of Doug Martin, back to his Muscle Hamster self.

It’s easy to cite the solid if not superb work of Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans.

But without a credible offensive line to block, those four guys might have far different seasons. Bucky Brooks of has a really good breakdown of how the Bucs have become a playoff contender, and he also makes mention that the offensive line deserves props, too.

For all of the credit that Martin rightfully deserves for sparking the Buccaneers’ running game, it’s worth mentioning the drastic improvement on an offensive line featuring a pair of rookies leading the way. Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet have played exceptionally well at the point of attack, exhibiting a toughness and nasty demeanor that has fortified the Buccaneers’ blue-collar approach. Smith, in particular, has been very impressive manning the edges in the run game. From sealing the edge to latching on to defenders on the second level, Smith has grown into a solid player early in his career.

People seem to forget Smith while raving about Marpet. Understandable, because Marpet’s rise is especially stunning given where he came from. At least Smith was blocking past and future top-shelf draft picks like Joey Bosa and Randy Gregory; whereas Marpet was blocking tackling dummies with a pulse in Division-III.

But Smith has quietly put together a solid season. The spreadsheeters who take notes on All-22 may not like him, but Joe doesn’t give a damn what they like. Joe is all about results.

7 Responses to “Don’t Forget The Offensive Line”

  1. Bob Says:

    He is just so big, he appears slow, but his feet move quickly. Just think how much more effective he will be in the coming years!

  2. godzilla13 Says:

    There are those who question Donovan Smith’s footwork, hustle and playing to the whistle. I was one of them. Then there are those who say its all about the results. Donovan Smith is the anchor of the Black Pearl. He has shown improvement in each game this year and is playing his best at the right time of the year. Compare D Smith to any other of the OT taken in this years draft and he may just be the best of the group right now. Did anyone else notice who was leading the way on the 58 yard run by Doug Martin? Yes, it was D Smith who scored one of three pancakes on the day. Pro Football Outsiders ranks the Bucs OL 8th overall compared to 32nd last year. That is quite an accomplishment for this team and and it all starts with the LT.

  3. mac Says:

    Our line improved when Koetter brought in Hawley… Good move… It allowed us to move Smith to backup guard\center where he belongs…

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

    I love myself some Ali I mean how can you not when you read about his story. Everytime I think about it Rocky comes to my mind. But I wanna salute you Joe for giving some recognition to D. Smith,folks wanna talk about footwork and the like as if rookies are suppose to be perfect in year one. Same folks gripe about Jamies footwork see his results. All I know is I’ve witnessed this young man face Watt,Hardy,Gregory along with prominent others and none of whom were all over Jamies’s a$$. It’s time for Bucc nation to start acknowledging the effort of this young man. Thanks for leading the way Joe.

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

    And p.s for you draft another left tackle and move Smith to guard type take that sentiment and shove it up your a$$. He’s the Buccs left tackle for atleast the next ten years.

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

    What up tom E. Dancing Panda on deck homie. I was trying to tell you a few months ago.

  7. Dave Says:

    The way I see it the O Line is pretty much set for years except Mankins.
    They are deep all over the offense sans another WR, but even that is looking up with Dye and Humphries.
    They can concentrate on DE and DB and winning the division for about 7 years straight !