“I Watched Him A Lot”

April 6th, 2016
A playoff head coach watches Donovan Smith

A playoff head coach watches Donovan Smith

One day, Joe wants to watch film with one of the stat nerds who issues phantom grades to offensive linemen based on their twisted, non-reality scoring chart.

This is why Joe keeps writing about what real football men say about Bucs left tackle Donovan Smith.

The stat geeks think Smith stinks, and Joe just doesn’t get it.

At the NFL Owners Meetings, Joe caught up to Texans head coach Bill O’Brien, who entered the NFL head coaching ranks the same year as Lovie Smith. O’Brien managed a winning record despite garbage at quarterback and a bust of a No. 1 overall pick.

Joe talked to O’Brien about Smith, his ex-player at Penn State.

Joe didn’t want to delve into Smith with O’Brien unless he actually watched his film and kept up with his pro game. O’Brien told Joe he watched Smith significantly, beyond preparation for the Bucs-Texans game last September.

“I watched him a lot. He had a good year,” O’Brien said of Smith. “He’s a big guy, athletic guy, loves football, great teammate.”

O’Brien went on to talk about Smith’s durability and “great personality” in college. O’Brien said Smith had all the drive and intangibles for NFL success, “big guy that was funny, good sense of humor, good teammate, so I’m not surprised.”

Well, there you go, another football man confident Smith is an ascending player coming off a strong rookie year, one in which he didn’t miss a snap.

22 Responses to ““I Watched Him A Lot””

  1. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    Great player, he’ll just get better, and he’s so good with his fans..love this guy!

  2. Tom S. Says:

    Here’s hoping that Smith continues to work on his craft. His reputation in Happy Valley was that of someone with top notch physical abilities who played great his freshman year and sort of coasted after that.

    It will be interesting to see how Smith handles working with Sweezy who is a road grader but not known for consistent pass blocking after having Logan Mankins to help him last year.

  3. Bucsfanman Says:

    No complaints here. He certainly exceeded expectations. I think he’ll continue to grow and be a solid player for a long time.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Even if he ends up at another position on the line….he was a great pick…..I root for him to stay at LT so we can concentrate on other needs….

  5. Buccfan37 Says:

    Donovan is like one of those giant teddy bears. Sunshine Superman.

  6. 813bucboi Says:

    screw whoever hates on d.smith…the kid played great last year… not to mention being throw into the fire as a rookie playing the second toughest position coming out of college…he had a great year…GO BUCS!!!

  7. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    If you guys get a chance to see him when he periscopes from his home or his twin sister’s..it’s a riot! He will answer any questions at all..and who else dares to put his camera pointing right at his sister’s nostrils while she has no idea!! lol..

    He did tweet out something I and others didn’t quite get..he said..

    “Just met Sweezey and all I can say is..”

    Didn’t elaborate at all..

  8. Thomas Bowery Says:

    Stats are for arseholes. Nuff said. Good steady player who is not as bad as the so called experts say. Watch the film.

  9. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    I’m a proud statistician – I bear no shame in that.
    I don’t get into petty name calling – because I’m cut from a different cloth.
    I keep it chill on this blog – Just like I keep chill in person.
    As for Donovan Smith – If quick check in your archives – and your
    Quickly realize that – I’m the ONLY one that begging for the BUCS to draft Donovan Smith as far back as 2014!!! Most folkz had never even heard of the guy.

    I’m glad Licht drafted the kid – I’m happy he’s developing well – if he continues down this path. He might be eating pineapples one day. Now
    With that said – do I think he’s the next coming of Art Shell or Jonathan Ogden? Of course not – Do I feel the BUCS should add a more blue chip
    Prospects to this budding offensive line – Yes.

    Smart money will always protects your #1 investment.
    Especially when you review just a few – 2016 defensive opponents.

    St. Louis Rams
    Seattle Seahawks
    Oakland Raiders
    Denver Broncos
    Kansas City Chiefs
    Arizona Cardinals
    San Francisco 49ers

    Not pretty

  10. Pickgrin Says:

    If you can find a gargantuan, athletic Oline player in the 2nd round that starts an entire year at left tackle and plays pretty well as a rookie – ya done good.

    Nice job Jason Licht and Co.

    What struck me last year when I got an up close look at Smith during training camp – was how LARGE this man is. His athleticism is quite impressive for a guy this size. Hopefully Smith will be holding down Winston’s blind side like a brick wall for the next 10+ years.

  11. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    *”If you do a quick check in your archives – and you’ll
    Quickly realize that…

  12. Idontwannahearitanymore Says:

    “…Texans head coach Bill O’Brien, who entered the NFL head coaching ranks the same year as Lovie Smith.”

    I don’t think so. I thought Bill O’Brien started in 2014 and Lovie Smith had been a head coach since 2004.

  13. IndyBucsFan Says:

    Hey joe, a while ago you posted a video of him, marpet, and winston. Where can I find it at?

  14. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Donovan Smith will be even better these next few years, as his body matures even more.

  15. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Not to say obrien isn’t telling the truth, but you know Donovan’s former coach is going to sing his praises. I think Donovan did a fine job. It wasn’t always pretty but he did a good job for a 2nd round rookie. I also didn’t watch him every single play. The stat nerds watch him every single play. Maybe it appeared he did a good job to people not really paying attention, but for those that took the time to watch him on every single play, he didn’t appear as good. For the most part you praise lineman on big runs, and you bash them for their penalties and obvious blown assignments/getting beat for a sack. I can’t honestly sit here and say that Donovan was a dominant LT. I really didn’t pay him much attention. The only time I paid attention was when he got a penalty of got beat bad on a sack. I assume he did a decent job through out the year, because Martin had a heck of a season and Winston wasn’t sacked much.

  16. Pickgrin Says:

    Trubucfan – that’s the sign of a good Olineman. The one you don’t notice very often.

  17. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    You could be blind – but still hear the dominance of Jonathan Ogden.

    Side Bar: I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him a couple times – at my favorite buffet in Las Vegas. One of most laid back – down to earth dudes you’ll ever meet.

  18. BoJim Says:

    He played GREAT for a rookie. I expect him to become a formidable lineman in the very near future.

  19. Bob in Valrico Says:

    A very daunting task for young Jameis against all those imposing defenses.
    Not only will he need good protection but wide receivers that pull in passes that are not perfectly placed because of the pressure on Jameis.

  20. "That guy" Says:

    D smiths is a roa grader, plays the run very well. But his foot work in the passing game is sub par and will be exploited against a good speed rusher

  21. Architek Says:

    “game is sub par and will be exploited against a good speed rusher”

    It’s ppl like this that make me puke. A couch GM/SME grade out a professional and critique a rookie that did nothing but protected Jameis blindside successfully and started 16 games and faced the most fierce DEs in the league every week.

    No that’s not important – we didn’t just see him throwing DL around in the run game like a rag doll. And sometimes intimidating DTs; no that’s nothing at all…


  22. Power Vapor Says:

    I give him a C+. He does things Oline coaches hate in the passing game. Too tall on contact. Over extends and wiffs. I see promise but he has to keep improving and stay away from bad habits in his pass protect. That said, I like him and I think he will improve because, by all accounts, he’s dedicated to the game.