Make The Move Now

December 19th, 2016
The Bucs' O-line upgrade should start at center

The Bucs’ O-line upgrade should start at center

Joe realizes many fans have temporarily lost sight of the playoffs and are weak-minded this morning and thinking about 2017.

So this post’s for you.

The Bucs need an upgrade on the offensive line. No, Joe’s not talking about fire hydrant/turnstile backup right tackle Gosder Cherilus. That’s too obvious.

From left to right, Donovan Smith isn’t going anywhere. Kevin Pamphile has had an excellent year. Ali Marpet is a devoted young beast. Sidelined Demar Doston just signed a new contract and is so, so, so very appreciated these past two weeks.

So where’s the upgrade? Center.

The Joe Hawley Show should come to an end in Tampa. He’s an unrestricted free agent after the season, and with a history of knee injuries and far too many beatings over the second half of the season, it’s time to move on.

Joe feels badly typing this. Hawley, 28, is a great teammate and puts it all on the field every game. It’s just not enough. He’s the weakest link. That’s where the O-line upgrade should come.

Just look what signing free agent center Alex Mack has done for the Falcons’ O-line.

All preseason, and at times during this regular season, Dirk Koetter has said Evan Smith and Hawley are on as close to equal footing as possible at center. In August, Koetter even ranked as join “No. 1” centers on the depth chart. Joe had never seen that kind of respect paid previously.

Joe would make the move to Smith now to see if he can light a spark with fresh legs, and to see if the Bucs want to bring him back as their versatile center/guard backup next season.

Smith is set to earn $4.5 million (non-guaranteed) in the final year of his deal — what Cherilus is pulling down this season.

Go get a center this offseason, Bucs.

Or, if you’re going to move Marpet to center (a move Joe wouldn’t do but one that is pondered at One Buc Palace) make the move in the spring.

43 Responses to “Make The Move Now”

  1. Supersam Says:

    Our Oline is just to light in the ass if you ask me. Not enough meat.

  2. buc15 Says:

    Joe are you still drunk? Sure seems that way.

  3. Mike Johnson Says:

    Agreed wholeheartedly. I watched the game with my 12 yr old nephew. As he went to bed beginning of the 4th qtr. He turned to me and said, Uncle Mike, Dallas offensive and Defensive lines are a lot bigger and stronger than ours huh? Yep there nephew, You have just summed up the game!!

  4. Patrick in VA Says:

    Honestly, I think we should adopt a similar draft philosophy as Dallas has had. Let’s take the next 3 years and devote our first rounders to developing a monstrous line. We’ve got young superstars at key positions, let’s get tools to allow them to flourish. We can get a good receiver in the second round, or later. Getting the offense off the ground should be priority #1. It doesn’t matter if we get a shiny new receiver for Jameis if he’s on his back before he can throw it.

  5. ChanEpic Says:

    Joe(s), couldn’t this be a position targeted in the draft? Maybe a Toth or Guillermo?

  6. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    After getting Owned by Dallas, one has to wonder how long Goster will remain on the roster ?

  7. ChanEpic Says:

    @ Chris – I can only imagine how terrible Cherilus feels this morning. Some of the stuff he put on tape, for a national audience, last night was downright comical. Dude got punished all night.

  8. duthsty rhothdes Says:

    Licht has screwed up building this team from inside out especially in protecting jameis, letting all pro donald penn walk was mistake 1 then not grabbing both LaEl Collins and Laremy Tunsil when they could be had, you have those 3 w marpet and average d smith at right tackle, thats a 5 year wall for jameis

  9. tmaxcon Says:

    Dotson is garbage… Gos has been horrible but let’s not rewrite history or even worse try and convince ourselves the walking drive killing penalty machine aka dotson is a keeper. I agree center needs to be upgraded but RT is a huge need anyway you look at it. Dotson is garbage

  10. Turbo Kevin Says:

    in big games your teams deficiencies are magnified. You cannot hide a sub par offensive line. You can only scheme your way around it for so long. Eventually it will catch up to you and it has with the Bucs. Doug has very few holes and Jameis has no time. Dallas exposed how awful we are at OL. Our tackles have to be the collective worse in the league by a landslide. Our center is not costing us games our tackles are. Must address tackles in off season. Donovan Smith needs to be a backup not a starter.

  11. rayjay1122 Says:

    Well based on last night’s performance, the entire OL needs to be replaced. Every last one of them sucked. Of course in all fairness they were going up against a better DL even with their injuries.

  12. mike10 Says:

    Was it just me or does the whole line look undersized and overpowered? Now I like Hawley and I love how we’ve been building depth thru FA and the draft. So let’s just bring in new guys and accent them with vets on the bench… you need the depth

  13. ChanEpic Says:

    @ rayjay – that’s a really good point and one that extends to both sides of the ball. The Bucs went up against STOUT, Championship quality lines last night. If anything, this was a measuring stick game. We didn’t measure up, it’s just that simple.

  14. cmurda Says:

    I’m a fan of Hawley’s. I respect that man. In the interest of abiding by Joe’s understandable no cursing policy, I will just say no comment on Cherilus. With that said, there’s no question that Center needs to be addressed.

  15. iamkingsu Says:


    Where are you do you see this article??

  16. Patrick in VA Says:

    There’s no denying that Hawley’s knees are a problem. Dude went through a stretch where he was writhing on the ground every game. I think he’s a great backup to have. He has to know that taking backup money and stretching his career out by serving in a part time role is the way to go, given his brittle state.

  17. DallasBuc Says:

    Got pummeled by a very pedestrian front 4. Stop overrating this oline because it might make your BFF and business partner GM look bad. The whole unit got bullied all night.
    Your stuff is so ludicrous it’s funny. Bucs are 8-6. Open your eyes. –Joe

  18. Buc1987 Says:

    Build kid Famous a wall like they have in Dallas.

    Get him 1-2 more weapons. WR of course…and TE….no not Brate from Harvard either. Love the kid though, but if a stud’s out there go and get him for this young kid.

    Evans is a beast, but no speed.

    Damn it we need speeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed.

    Plus it might stop the double teams just a bit.

    Picture another Julio on the other side of Evans. That’s WHAT I’m talking about.

  19. German Buc Says:

    The funny (not to say totally weird) thing is, we still had a shot to win this game. So bring on the Aints and let’s see if the OLine is able to play above average. Nice chance to bounce back!

  20. Buc1987 Says:

    Oh and I forgot….


  21. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    There’s several ways that you can go with this – here’s just one.

    Solid Offensive Line Prospects
    • Ethan Porcic (Center) 6-5 / 325 LSU
    • Quenton Nelson (Guard) 6-5 / 325 Notre Dame
    • Dan Skipper (Tackle) 6-10 / 325 Arkansas

    Possible Projection
    LT Kevin Pamphile | Leonard Wester
    LG J.R Sweezy | *Quenton Nelson
    C Evan Smith | *Ethan Porcic
    RG Ali Marpet | Caleb Benenoch
    RT Donovan Smith | *Dan Skipper

  22. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Thank you Joe. Clearly this is the joe that is not pitching tents in his pants over the o line. This joe can see that martin is having issues, but the o line is seriously struggling. As much as the other joe wants to cover for the o line and blame every player for the offenses struggles. Im proud that this Joe has the wherewithal to say what other joe can not. Great job joe.
    You’ve lost your mind.– Joe

  23. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Ethan Porcic is a better prospect at guard – but giving time he could be a serviceable center.

  24. Buc1987 Says:

    lol LUV….I knew you’d show up for this thread.

    Can you also find us an early second rnd WR with speed?

  25. big serious Says:

    it was 1 play where i saw Noah Spence on roller skates down the field

  26. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Lol, like clock work

    Free Agent Prospects
    • Terrance Williams
    • Marquise Goodwin

    Draft Prospects
    • Amara Darboh 6-1 / 215 Michigan
    • Malachi Dupre 6-2 / 190 LSU
    • Isaiah Jones 6-2 / 197 ECU
    • Janarion Grant 5-10 / 174 Rutgers

  27. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    I swear Amara Darboh style of play – is a mirror image of Demaryius Thomas

  28. rayjay1122 Says:

    If we can win out, I think we still have a good shot at getting that 6th seed.
    Below is the Redskins remaining schedule. I think they could even lose two of the three.
    @ Bears

    Am I incorrect in believing that if we win our last 2 games, the Redskins lose at least once and the Packers lose one that we would get the 6th seed? I only ask because I thought I saw that we would want the Packers to win out and I did not get that because if they lose to Detroit we would have a better record than the Pack. If the Pack wins out and we were tied with Detroit, who would win the tiebreaker assuming that Detroit beat Dallas?
    Packers remaining schedule.

    Lions remaining schedule.

  29. Patrick in VA Says:

    @rayjay – Redskins are regularly bad in prime time games. So, it stands to reason that there’s a good chance they’ll drop the game tonight and NYG

  30. DallasBuc Says:

    “Your stuff is so ludicrous it’s funny. Bucs are 8-6. Open your eyes. –Joe”
    Hmmm?… let’s see, which observable fact is ludicrous?
    1. Oline was roundly pummeled by a very pedestrian Dallas front 4?
    2. The oline is overrated on JBF?
    3. Line is overrated to protect the fragile ego of BFF and business partner GM?
    4. GM is your BFF?
    5. GM is your business partner?
    6. The whole unit got bullied all night?

    You are right. These facts are ludicrous to the point of sadly amusing.

  31. unbelievable Says:

    Careful trubuc, Joe doesn’t like being called out for his clueless opinions on the o-line.

  32. c-spann Says:


    Dan Skipper is horrible, I am from AR and he is bad against speed rushers. but he is a mauler

  33. 813bucboi Says:

    @luv…..all good prospects…what do you think about cam robinson/ot?…james connor/rb?…..I say we grab an olineman early…first round…..GO BUCS!!!!

  34. Rrsrq Says:

    How many times do you see Hawley in Jameis or Doug Martins lap, way to many, he is small, but tough, but can be pushed back by most interior defensive linemen

  35. Cobraboy Says:

    Marpet to C, Sweezy to RG.

    I like Hawley, but he’s been getting blown away lately.

  36. $acbuc$ Says:

    All We need is some adjustments. Just like the defensive coaches asked the D what was going on in there mind. Do the same with the offense. I can’t understand why Hawley isn’t flagged every play. I like his pesky blocking style but his knees so bad he can’t stay on his feet and finish blocks. Gosh Your Sureless is garbagio. The suit and the tape he showed the world was for his football funeral. Dot take a pay cut or 86 that dude. If Wester start his toast too. Cameron gonna abuse him all game. Put Caleb at RT he will fight back and he got a punch. Leonard to slow for a speed rush.

    To anybody who knows football or has any connection to players, coaches, scouts, of the Bucs organization. Please tell them $acbuc$ ask if they could Put Josh Allen at Center and Caleb at RT. Better yet put the best buds on the blind side D.Smith/A.Marpet. There chemistry on the radio is phenomenal I could imagine it on the field. Patch it up this season but next year do it like this!

    LT- D.Smith
    C-Josh Allen or Ben Gottschalk
    RG-Sweezy or Benenoch
    RT-Kevin P or Caleb
    If you look the average age is probably 25 but I’m no expert. Thats a young line that can’t block for years to come. Let them start to gel NOW! No disrespect but it’s time for experience to take a bench seat.

    Y’all go to all these home games, OTAs, and training camps and can’t see. I’ve watched the Bucs for years from the others side of the country so YALL LUCKY!

  37. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “Build kid Famous a wall like they have in Dallas.”

    We will never have a line like that. Unless we want to spend 1st round picks on offensive line the next 3 years straight.

    That line is easily one of the best ever assembled; and is the best I can think of since maybe Tom Brady’s lines in the early 2000; but those lines were way better at pass blocking than run blocking. This line can just dominate everything.

    I don’t think we need a great line though for Jameis to be great. Just better than whatever the F8ck we all saw with Cherilus lol

  38. Bucsfanman Says:

    We need to relax a bit guys. Dallas didn’t get there overnight with their O-line and we sure as heck can’t replace everyone in one or two seasons AND get JW some weapons. Last night highlighted the reasoning behind bringing in guys like Sweezy and drafting guys like Smith and Marpet.
    It’s a need. DUH! It takes time.

  39. Defense Rules Says:

    One loss and everyone wants to gut the team? Well, OLine at least. Oh ya, WR corps. Maybe the DLine too. Oh ya, and safeties. RBs could be on the chopping block too. Newsflash: It takes YEARS to build a team that’s rock-solid at all positions. Two years ago Bucs were 2-14. Drafted very well (3 starters) plus several UFA pickups & we improved to 6-10 last year … 4 more wins, not bad. This year had another decent draft plus added several FAs and voila … even better season with at least 8 wins & possibly 10. The biggest reason for that improvement, this year especially, I think is due to better leadership (on the field and off) and better coaching (player development especially).

    That’s some excellent improvement in just 2 years. Bucs need to be very surgical in terms of what additive positions will give us the most bang for the buck. This coaching staff knows much better than any of us where its biggest weaknesses are, and so does our GM. Dallas didn’t build their OLine/team in a year. Neither did young teams like Oakland and yes, Tennessee. Agree with Bucsfanman … folks need to relax a bit. Let the season play out, then it’ll be time to re-evaluate what the needs are.

  40. Bucs_UK Says:

    I think Joe is forgetting Floppy Hat Sweezy. Line for next year will probably look like:
    Smith, Pamphile, Marpet, Sweezy, Dotson. With Smith at interior backup and Wester tackle backup.
    When you lay it out like that a 4/5/6 round tackle would be helpful for 2018.

  41. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I wanted us to draft Marpet to play center originally. He’s play the position before and many draft experts thought that was what he’d play in the NFL.

    Sweezy is here for a while, right? Put him at guard.

    Only thing is, Joe Hawley has won me over. If he were not getting injured so much…

    But the main issue I have with this is finding a good center elsewhere. People around here seem to forget how hard it has always been for the Bucs to find a good center. It hzxalways been the hardest oli e spot to fill a d keep filled.

    Keep Joe Hawley, but bring in competition. We need depth anyway.

  42. Buc1987 Says:

    Thanks LUV….I’ll check em out.

  43. Not there yet Says:

    You should feel bad for typing that garbage. Not much for facts on this post I guess, no reason why you would move on from the guy you just throw it out there praying for someone to agree. The only reason to move on is his contact being up but with this team’s injury history I’d draft someone then sign Hawley to a one year deal as a bridge

    However we did sign a free agent this summer that hasn’t played a single snap so if they expect him back and healthy I’d warm up to the idea of marpet at center and still sign Hawley.