Spring Flush For J.R. Sweezy

June 16th, 2016
Bystander as spring practices end

Bystander as spring practices end

It’s six weeks from training camp, and new Bucs big-money guard J.R. Sweezy is the ultimate unknown in many ways.

Sweezy had a “procedure” done this offseason, per the Bucs, and he has been shelved since he arrived. Minicamp ends today and Sweezy is expected to keep on watching.

Tampa Bay signed Sweezy ($9.5 million this season) to play left guard and replace Pro Bowler Logan Mankins. That’s a lot of faith in a guy who was a solid starting right guard for the Seahawks after they converted him to offensive line from defensive end.

Meanwhile, Sweezy must adapt to a new side of the O-line, something he acknowledged would have a learning curve, and Donovan Smith also has said he’s anxious to get alongside his new line mate and learn how to work together.

Throw in a brand new offense for Sweezy, with Dirk Koetter adding even more elements like no-huddle, and Joe’s got fingers and toes crossed that Sweezy can hit the ground running.

But hold up! Will there be real competition for Sweezy’s starting spot?

Versatile Kevin Pamphile, who made one impressive start for Mankins last season, is taking the majority of first-team reps at left guard, notes BSPN beat reporter Jenna Laine.

Pamphile, who lined up as an extra offensive tackle last season, continues to get reps at left guard with the first-team offense while J.R. Sweezy recovers from injury. Sweezy missed practice [Tuesday] along with center Joe Hawley, who was replaced by former starter Evan Smith. With the Bucs only dressing seven offensive linemen on Sundays, Pamphile’s versatility will be a huge asset.

Joe is too cynical to believe Sweezy will ride the bench, even if he struggles initially. That’s just life in the NFL. Guys getting paid guaranteed money see the field. So Joe can’t buy that Pamphile has a fair shot.

However, Dirk Koetter already has shown glimpses that he’s a different kind of coach in many ways. Perhaps Pamphile will get a chance to put Sweezy on the bench for opening day.

10 Responses to “Spring Flush For J.R. Sweezy”

  1. LakeLandBuc Says:

    The plan could be to move Marpet to center next season.

  2. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    Seems that way Lakeland… I always get nervous when they start moving linemen around but that’s why they get paid the big Bucs and I still play the lotto.

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Seeing the same thing Joe, that Dirk Koetter is ‘a different kind of coach’. Works hard it looks like at knowing his players very well, and that makes me suspect that he’ll be a bit of a gambler in tough situations.

    In the case of Sweezy vs Pamphile to start at left guard, I don’t think that JR’s salary will influence Coach’s decision. Which player he thinks can do the best job will win out I’m convinced. Most important criteria will be who can best protect Jameis in passing situations (both can run block). If it’s close, Sweezy will get the nod I’d think because of Pamphile’s better flexibility … he’s more valuable than Sweezy at coming off the bench and filling in at any position when needed, and I don’t think JR can do that. Not yet at least.

  4. Trox Says:

    Or could we ultimately see Marpet at center, Sweeny at RG and Pamphile at LG? Your guards are at a familiar position and when Marpet was drafted the thought was he could play center.

  5. Joehelldeloxley Says:

    I will probably say a very very stupid thing: is it possible to see Sweezy use at his initial position, I mean Defensive end, on some plays ?

    Ok let’s go, you can shout and laugh at me and my stupid question 🙂

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Let’s just hope this mysterious “procedure” isn’t on JR’s big toe……..I can recall a high-priced road grader guard having a problem that never went away.

  7. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Tampabaybucfan, Greg Schiano and MRSA wouldn’t let it go away.

  8. Tom S. Says:

    LOL JoeHell, Dirk Koetter would have to be an incredibly “different” HC to put a 300 lb guy who ran a 5 second 40 and started at guard the past 4 years at defensive end.

    Sweezy was taken in the 7th round in the NFL draft after totaling 11 sacks for his college career. Are you hoping he returns to his college glory when he played for a middling ACC team and gets roughly 3.5 sacks a year?

  9. Pickgrin Says:

    You just had to bring up Nicks didn’t you TBBF…..

    Man was that an expensive F-up

  10. teacherman777 Says:

    don’t you guys love the depth!!!??

    Evan Smith and Joe Hawley at Center.

    Cherilus, Dotson, and Smith at Tackle.

    Market, Sweezy, and Pamphile at Guard.

    We have solid backups at all three o-line positions.

    O-lineman go down every season.

    We are “blessed with depth”

    for the first time in over 10 years!!!