Decision Time For Lovie Smith

December 13th, 2015
Gosder Cherilus has an interesting nugget in his contract

Gosder Cherilus has an interesting nugget in his contract

The Bucs’ offensive coaching staff suggests personnel groupings and starting lineups, but the real decisions lie with Lovie Smith.

Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter often makes that clear.

So a huge call lies with Lovie this morning. Who will he start at right tackle?

Gosder Cherilus made 11 consecutive starts to start the season before a minor knee injury in Indianapolis. He was solid, hardly great, but the Bucs’ O-line was gelling, reviving and thriving.

In comes 30-year-old Demar Dotson at right tackle last Sunday, the incumbent starter until he seriously injured his knee on August 15. Dotson was solid last weekend against the Falcons.

Cherilus, 31, practiced all week and is healthy.

Joe suspects Dotson gets the call today, primarily to let Cherilus’ knee enjoy another week of rest. That can only help the veteran of 111 starts get as healthy as he can, regardless of his role.

There’s also an interesting nugget Joe read on, which is a reliable source for players’ contracts. Per Rotoworld, Cherilus gets a $1 million roster bonus if he plays in 75 percent of the Bucs’ snaps this season. Could that possibly be a factor in the decision?

9 Responses to “Decision Time For Lovie Smith”

  1. Kevin Says:

    You’d think if the Bucs offered him that contract…it would be wrong to not give him the opportunity to start if he felt he was healthy enough and well enough to make the start and perform well. I think they will put him in there and pull him if he’s looking bad. If I knew I could make a go and they benched me to save a million bucs I’d be pretty upset.

  2. The Buc Realist Says:

    hahahahaha. lovie makes the decision of who starts on the O-line, hahahahhahah
    and you said I come up with wacky “conspiracy theories” Joe!!!! hahahahaha

  3. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Lovie doesn’t write the checks. He couldn’t care less about bonuses and incentives. The best (healthy) player will play.

  4. James Says:

    Bucs Realist… Lovie is the head coach, all decisions run through him. That’s why if the team sucks the head coach gets fired! Kotter can give his opinion all day long but Lovie has final say. I’m sure that’s true for 95% of teams in the league if not all teams.

  5. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    This is easy to take care of…depth and a good locker room are important. Dot and Goz are not young dudes…probably smart to lock them both up in the hopes of getting RT solidly covered for next year.

    And so you immediately go to Goz and say he’s already earned that 1,000,000 bonus because he’s played hard and he was available. It’s better for the team for Goz to rest his knee some more while letting Dot get back into game shape. we’ll have two solid RT’s for the stretch/playoff? run. And so Goz gets his money and his respect and he’dbe cool with the decision.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The question is obviously….what % has Cherilus played thus far…..75% would be 12 full games…..I think he has played at least 10….and maybe missed a few snaps in them…..perhaps he’s played 11… would be quite obvious to me if he isn’t permitted to reach 75%.

    I really don’t think Lovie would make a decision based on the bonus…..Cheirlus has another year on his contract with guaranteed $$$…..wouldn’t want to deliberately upset him.

    I agree with Joe here…..let Cherilus sit a week….see how Dotson plays.

  7. Jason McLaurin Says:

    I say if they both play well then sit the rookie linemen D. Smith because thats who may not be ready for the run there. Then there’s Marpet who they were resting for a few weeks while another veteran came to life in E. Smith. They’ve done a great job of instilling confidence in the veterans again by addin a real center and another tackle. I say lets sit the rookies the rest of way and go with the veterans so they earn their money and one more season of keep as well. I mean all of them have 1year rremaining on contract with the team after this season anyway. So we dont have to cut any of them at this point and still develop rookies for the future up front because I think we may need to draft two tackles still for our outside because I like Marpet, Pamphile and Smith to be our trio on the inside. We need to use one of the first three picks on a right tackle in this years draft along with some Dbs.Safeties and Cornerbacks are a premium must grab this season from the draft.

  8. bucfan999 Says:

    It’s a moot point as far as Dotson is concerned…..he is INACTIVE FOR TODAY”S Game. GO BUCS!!!!!

  9. godzilla13 Says:

    It was obvious today that Demar Dotson is a better tackle than Gosder Cherilus.