“Sky’s The Limit”

December 8th, 2016
Coach defends maligned LT.

Coach defends maligned LT.

Regular readers of this here website know full well Joe wouldn’t soil his backside by using a printout of PFF tribe offensive line grades as toilet paper.

The PFF tribe, which despises Bucs left tackle Donovan Smith, sits in their dorms at 1 a.m. on Monday mornings pumping out what they believe to be good and bad play from offensive linemen. They have so, so many people conned that they are the truth of NFL football, it is mind-boggling. How many coaches or players, current and former, or NFL analysts does it take to remind folks it is virtually impossible if not irresponsible to grade offensive lines without knowing the line calls and individual responsibilities? When will folks begin to realize this PFF tribe grades are the internet equivalent of a fertilizer factory?

Joe can type with a large degree of certainty Smith has become a pinãta for too many Bucs fans based only on this PFF nonsense.

Joe thought America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, said it perfectly when asked after the Rams loss about Smith’s play. Jameis responded by asking, “How many times did Robert Quinn touch me?”

Quinn is the Rams’ right defensive end and was the main combatant with Smith.

Yesterday, Dirk Koetter was asked about Smith and Koetter came out swinging in his defense.

“Left tackle’s like quarterback – experience [is key],” Koetter said. “Just experience, different looks, going against different guys. Donovan’s going against an elite pass rusher pretty much every week and these guys all have different moves. He’s learning from them, he’s learning how to shut different guys down. Really the sky’s the limit for Donovan. He’s a huge, powerful, athletic, talented, smart guy and he’s got a very bright future. He’s got to just continue working at it. As important as he makes it, he’s going to continue to improve.”

If one doesn’t think Smith is doing a solid job — no, he’s not Anthony Muñoz, who the hell is? — just go down the list of defensive ends Smith has faced and how many sacks have they gotten against? That’s all Joe needs to know.

Besides, Smith is an absolute snowplow when it comes to the run game. The guy has played every snap since opening day of last year.

Smith is going to be just fine. If one is still wont to believe the PFF tribe, despite what legions of NFL types say, feel free to continue reading their fairy tales.

22 Responses to ““Sky’s The Limit””

  1. NewTampaChris Says:

    Overall, my “eye test” — while not as detailed as PFF analytics — says that the Bucs offensive line has played well this year. Jameis is not a guy to bail out of the pocket quickly, so that makes the low sack total even more impressive.

    Free agency hasn’t been great for the offensive line, so I’d like to see Licht use the draft to continue to invest in OL. Ditto for WR…although I would consider paying a boatload of Glazer cash to Desean Jackson as a free agent. Jameis needs some speed on the outside.

  2. BennyBucs Says:

    You’re definitely on to something Chris.
    D. Jackson needs to be playing in Tampa bay next year

  3. cmurda Says:

    Meh. I’m not on the D Jax bandwagon. I admit having him on the other side of Evans sounds appetizing but I just don’t expect us to throw a ton of money at a 30 year old receiver. The talent is still there but at his age, this is when injuries start to be a major problem. I think it makes more sense to draft a receiver and roll with what we got now. I’m thinking a high draft pick too. I want receiver within the first 2 rounds. Followed by safeties and DE and OL.

  4. flmike Says:

    Who knew Collinsworth has this much juice?

  5. firethecannons58 Says:

    I would say no to Desean Jackson because I am guessing he is going to be overpaid for a 30 year old with some injury concerns.

  6. pick6 Says:

    he’s certainly playing circles around his bookend tackle, Demar Dotson, but i don’t think it’s completely out of line to say he might be suffering through a mild sophmore slump. moreso as run blocker and in terms of penalties than in pass pro. he might just be missing the veteran Mankins next to him, or it could be tougher opponents, but he’s not quite where he was last year as an all-around tackle

  7. R.O. Says:

    He wasn’t graded a Franchise Left tackle in the draft and I believe some discussion by pundits thought he was better suited for the right side. Anyway it was a given that he would develop and get better overtime, called a “Ceiling” and as long as he doesn’t stagnate he is still reaching it…

  8. Hartless Says:

    No way to D-Jax. He’s getting older, has a TERRIBLE attitude, and the long ball is not Winston’s forte. Smith is a road grader that can pass block; he has high upside. Everyone gets best every now and again in the NFL.

  9. Pickgrin Says:

    “The guy has played every snap since opening day of last year.”

    This in itself is a key factor – availability – durability. Every one of our other starting linemen (and also primary backups) have missed games in that time frame.

  10. Doolnutts Says:

    cmurda Bucs will have around 60 million plus next season. Throwing some money at a guy like Jackson PLUS a draft pick isn’t a half bad idea. Jackson adds immediate speed and ability and wont be getting the double teams like Evans will. This combo would help make the brate/hump combo lethal!!

    As for the draft I just want Licht to keep doing his thing to be honest. I wont be questioning any of his drafts after what I have seen. (Including that kicker everyone loves talking about).

    Sure feels good being excited in this team. I am going to enjoy watching Licht, Koetter, Winston grow together!

  11. Jonny 2.2 Says:

    Disagree Joe. Donovan Smith has been bad to downright atrocious in games such as vs Rams, Panthers, Bears, Chiefs, Falcons (2nd time). Dotson has been horrible too and both our tackles hurt Jameis’ playmaking ability big time this season. I think most here like Smith simply because he’s a high draft pick.

  12. 813bucboi Says:

    I think d.smith has been very solid this year….he has his head-scratching moments but overall he’s good….I like him at LT….

    I wouldn’t mind d.jax at the right price….wr with speed and can return punts and kickoff’s….GO BUCS!!!!

  13. $acbuc$ Says:

    I agree Joe I was waiting on you to talk about D.Smith. Just on our 4 wins he has faced Leonard/Bears who he shut down. He crushed D.Ford/Chiefs all dam game and he missed the next game because Donavan rolled him. Clark/Seahawks never touched Famous one time and he’s good. Last but not least Melvin Ingram/Chargers now how many sacks he get on Winston. Zip Zero Zelch. Now Stop Hating! I got ever game recorded and for a second year players protecting the franchise he’s doing great. He doing better then any Tackle we ever had.

  14. Tony Says:

    Joe – sorry but you’re off here big time. Big time. Jameis is amongst the league leaders in QB hits and pressures this season and would easily have been sacked 10 more times were it not for his escape artist prowess. The Bucs recent improvement has aligned with the fact they are giving Smith (and Dotson) chip block help on most passing downs. Meaning, unlike the elite LTs, Smith cannot handle his assignments alone. That diminishes the Bucs from sending one more player out on routes or blocking an additional blitzer. We all remember the late game 3rd down conversion earlier in the year where Rvans was literally the only receiver running a route because the Bucs had to employ their max protect package. The Bucs are in the top 3 in the league at running max protect because their tackles aren’t capable by themselves. Smith will be much better served moving to RT or guard and the Bucs going after a much better LT if/when possible. Until then, the Bucs will be limited by Smith’s inefficiencies.

  15. Derekbucsfan Says:

    Doolnutts it is true we’ll have tons of cap space however you already know Evans and Winston will get top contracts when they’re due and that’s coming soon as well as Kwon. I think you can take a flyer out on certain receivers if the price is right garçon will be a free agent as well. I’d say continue to build through the draft that has definitely been lichts strong suit thus far. Top pick on receiver then bpa from there

  16. Brandon Says:

    The other side of 30 is when the SPEED WRs start to lose their juice. Considering DeSean is still only 5’9 and 170 lbs or so, I don’t see him being nearly as effective once his jets start to diminish. I’d love to see us grab a quality speed WR in rounds 1 or 2 in the next draft and have that player grow with us and add another dimension to the O.

    I’ve always saw Smith as better suited for RT. He’s a roadgrader with surprising agility. He’s done fairly well at LT… but he still might be best at RT.

  17. Caleb Says:

    You guys are a joke, we’re on a 4 game winning streak. D. Smith and the whole O-line has played well during this winning streak. Quit complaining, we’re playing well as a team and it’s showing up in the win column. As far as D. Jackson goes, that is laughable, really? This guy is either hurt or causing problems for the team he plays for. Definitely can do better than him for a WR.

  18. BuccoChacho Says:

    Maybe I am overly optimistic but I see it as realistic for the Bucs to be SuperBowl favorites next year if we manage to make it to the playoffs and perform well in free agency… the funny thing is we have the cap space to manage to make major splashes… DJackson would be and improvement but I think we can make better moves… why not bring in both Alshon Jeffery while he is cheap and Cordarelle Patterson as well as Eric Berry next year… at that point we can approach the draft with BPA instead of need based picks… I don’t think we will be able to get this to happen unless the Bucs make a deep playoff push

  19. Jonny 2.2 Says:

    Also this perception that Smith is great at run blocking, what are we basing this on besides subjectivity? This graphic shows that Bucs are atrocious running towards the left. The number indicates yards gained before a defender contacts the RB.https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CzHRInFWQAAFZsK.jpg

  20. Dreambig Says:

    I agree Caleb. Its amazing how these posters are smarter than Koetter who says sky is the limit for this kid. Smart, athletic, going against elite pass rushers every week. But hey, what does the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers know versus these self appointed brilliant talent evaluators who all of the sudden crawled out of the wood work since the Bucs started winning.

  21. Buc40 Says:


    I was in agreement with most of your post until you uttered the phrase:
    He doing better then any Tackle we ever had.
    Either you are a relatively new Bucs fan or you had a major brain fart!
    While he played many years in obscurity, the great Paul Gruber
    was the best tackle the Bucs have had.

  22. Owlykat Says:

    Dream big, these posters are correct. Without Winston’s great escapability he would be sacked far more and he has been pressured too much this year. Go back and look at the Oakland loss and Winston was being sacked so much we lost the game. We won’t win a Super Bowl until we have better tackle play. Look also at the holding penalties because our Tackles were getting beat. If you moved our LG to LT and moved Smith to LG next year and move our RG to Center with Hawley to back him up all after retraining during OTAs and play Swazey at RG, his natural position, and bulked up our UCLA Rookie Tackle to play RT and had Dotson to back him up, eventually we wouldn’t have to chip block anymore. I like the great job Dotson has done in his past but his age is catching up with him and we will have to replace him soon anyway. We don’t have our best OL yet.