Why Replace A Rock?

January 14th, 2017
Iron man.

Iron man.

Joe understands it’s a habit of some Bucs fans to rag on left tackle Donovan Smith.

If fans aren’t trying to chase him out of the state, they have some silly notion he can or should play right tackle. Joe isn’t sure where this fairy tale started but he suspects it is the PFF tribe, vocal Smith haters from the moment Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht drafted him.

Never mind that Smith recently said he would struggle trying to play right tackle.

Recently, multimedia maven Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com shared interesting data on Donovan Smith that should make Bucs fans take note.

Marpet and Smith were on the field for every one of the Buccaneers’ 1,138 offensive snaps this seasons, becoming the only Bucs on either side of the ball to play every single down. Marpet missed time with a leg injury during his rookie season, but since being selected in the second round of the 2015 draft, Smith has not missed a single play at left tackle. Marpet played more than any Buccaneer in 2016, taking a total 1,204 snaps – 1,138 on offense and 66 on special teams. Smith took 41 reps on special teams.

Think about that: Donovan Smith has not missed one snap in his two-year NFL career. That’s impressive. Joe isn’t sure if it was Bill Walsh or Bill Parcells who said the following: your best ability is availability. The fact Smith answers the bell each and every Sunday at such an important position speaks volumes to Joe.

Joe never understood this idea, and all the NFL folks Joe has spoken to in the past year are equally bewildered, that Smith is somehow a step down from the notorious Anthony Collins.

Joe has realized recently the same crowd bellyaching about Smith are the same voices who wanted to run Donald Penn out of town.

How’d that work out?

40 Responses to “Why Replace A Rock?”

  1. Architek Says:

    I like Smith but I would like to see him clean up his technique and develop some resemblance of consistency.

    He’s a powerful LT.

  2. Spacebuc Says:

    Continuity,what a concept!
    The o-line was much maligned, and some games rightly so, overall, they were much improved at the end of the season.
    Couple more pieces, and we’re taking elite caliber.
    Rock on, Licht!

  3. LargoBuc Says:

    I like Smith. Kind of gets a a bad rap. He could be a little better against the pass rush and a little competion would be good for him and Dotson. Its one reason I have thrown Ryan Ramczyk name out there recently. If nothing else we could always use oline depth. And grabing a top tackle seems smart considering how few tackles and how deep this draft is at receiver.


    I could not agree more Joe. have been a fan since the inglorious 0-26 days in the old sombrero. smith has all the characteristics of a great left tackle, not seen since the days of Paul Gruber, iron man of the first degree, and seldom mention in these spaces for his accomplishments.

  5. Jonny 2.2 Says:

    Smith is mediocre on his best days and those days are few and far between. Don’t care if he is very durable, the prerequisite is always for a player to be good.

  6. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Well Joe I think he would be just fine moving to the right side with an entire offseason to prepare for it. Everyone read that post a while back and his comment was in regards to moving from the left to the right side on a week’s notice. Most of the posters on this site watched every Buccaneer play last season and I would guess 80-90% thought the o-line was bad. We get it, for some reason you thought it was just dandy outside Gosder’s game against Dallas. The left side is critical in protecting Jamies and many of us feel an upgrade there is needed. I think D Smith would be and effective right tackle and a potentially great guard.

  7. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    As for availability, Aguayo didn’t miss a game either! Great!

  8. BuccaneerByBirth Says:

    Donovan is developing fine. LT is a hell of a position to play. But we need a new center to make running holes and allow JW to step up in the pocket. Look what a difference Alex Mack made in ATL

  9. Gencoimports Says:

    He’s serviceable. Not what I would call a liability to the team, but hardly someone you would build around either.

    There are many, many positions (WR2, C, RT, DE, DT, S), I would look at upgrading before looking at LT.

  10. Reza316 Says:

    He’s struggling at left tackle and admits he would struggle at right tackle, well they need to find something where he won’t struggle because he gets beat a lot. That’s Jameis Winston’s blind side, that position needs to be secure with a great tackle, period. And also, I thought it was a mistake to get rid of Donald Penn, he could still be our left tackle while Donovan got time to perfect his game as a backup, but the bucs are famous for letting talent walk out the door.

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    Donovan Smith is a warrior, and although some (including myself) would like to see him tried one spot over at Left Guard, I can’t ever remember hearing anyone say that “Smith is somehow a step down from the notorious Anthony Collins.” He’s done exceptionally well at LT for just being a 2nd year player.

    Trying Donovan at LG obviously assumes that Bucs can grab a top-tier LT someplace (and yes, those are awfully hard to come by). Love Ali Marpet at RG, but would like to see us try him at Center, IF JR Sweezy ever makes it back & can play RG. With Pamphile over at RT (I thought he did pretty good there), and with some (yet-to-be-found) super LT replacing Donovan (big assumption), Bucs would have an OLine comparable to Dallas and Oakland. Plus they’d have a lot more flexibility to cover LT in case of injuries (right now we have very few good options). Can just imagine the holes in the middle of the line that Donovan, Ali & JR could open up for our (yet-to-be-found) super RB.

  12. 941BUC Says:

    The only thing this kid needs is to be more aggressive.I guarantee that if he plays more aggressive people will take notice and compliment him instead of belittle him.

  13. Kalind Says:

    Right on Joe. Donovan is fine. He’s an above average LT. Needs his feet to move a little faster, but he’s a snowplow in the run game.

  14. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Actually 941 the only thing he really needs is quickness. That is not something that he can improve upon. He is a big body and gives decent effort, he just isn’t very quick and that is what is holding him back from being elite. Not much you can do about that.

  15. Supersam Says:

    Im fine with Smith at LT although I think he would be an all pro left guard.

  16. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    3 positions stand out as the most difficult to fill for any team.

    Obviously QB is tops but after that it’s either LT or DE.

    Tony Bosellis and Walter Jones are not available in every draft. I like Smith just fine and totally agree with the Joes on this one.

    Does he dominate? Nah but he’s done a servicable job at the most important and difficult position on the OL.

    I feel great about our OL. It’s a work in progress for sure but we have some talent. When we get a great RB like Cook or Fournette (not likely this year I get it) or even a pounder like the Texas kid that’s going to make our OL look better. How did Quizz rush for a yard more per carry than Martin? I love Quizz but he’s just competent to good not great.

    #3 is helping our OL because with his maturity and experience he’s starting to figure out how and when he simply has to unload the ball and he’s also getting really good in his pocket awareness. #3’s improvement helps our OL

    And last but not least the core of this OL is very young. Smith will be playing in just his 3rd year…he’s figuring out the toughest position on the OL and he’s going to be better this year than last. Same for Marpet and Pamphile. And then there’s Benenoch who I believe is a sleeper. If Sweezy comes back and plays even as well as he did in Seattle (nasty dude) now we’re cooking. Some talent and a lot of nastiness in our OL.

    I’m so freaking jacked for the next season I simply cannot contain myself!!!!

  17. Jason Mobsby Says:

    He came in to the season out of shape. lucky for all us he is a gifted with his natural size ( and youth ) which carried him through. He needs to work on his fitness during the off season.

  18. gotbbucs Says:

    Bottom line is, their not going to give up on Smith at LT this early after drafting him in the 2nd round. Center needs to be a priority this offseason. I love Hawley’s demeanor, but he’s not a starting caliber Center.

  19. DislocatedBucsFan Says:

    Joe I guess you’re not counting the many plays he took off or the look out block he attempted

  20. martinii Says:

    He is young, he is still learning, he is durable, right now he is cheap, so why mess with him when you have other critical positions RB, WR, DT to focus on. if you want to improve him and you lay awake at night worrying about his performance, then draft a strong back-up that can spend 2-3 years trying to beat him out. Otherwise get over it and let him grow.

  21. macabee Says:

    Patience! Patience! Baby Zeus in 2018. Orlando Brown, Jr/Oklahoma – 6-8, 340lb. Good offensive tackles are too expensive in FA.

  22. Maze Says:

    Guys like Luke Easterling and Josh Norris seem to think that’s what Bucs fans want. Lmao

  23. Buc1987 Says:

    I’m with martinii.

  24. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Being an iron man is great, and donovan smith i would say is a good player. But why not strive to be great? The bucs shouldnt settle on Smith just because he doesnt get hurt often.

    I ask:

    Is Donovan Smith an elite pass blocker?
    Is Donovan Smith an elite run blocker?

    His best attribute is staying healthy. While thatbis important, i’d prefer to have a guy who can stay healthy AND perform at an exceptionally high level.

  25. Tnew Says:

    The need to upgrade the left tackle position is so far down the list on upgrades needed on even the o line. One thing that would help is a better blocking tight end for one. In the 5th I think Jeremy sprinkle from Arkansas might be there. He has great hands, great size and runs block really good too. He’s a ooor mans OJ Howard. He was projected to go in the third but was popped for shoplifting at a belks during the belks bowl. Donovan Smith is not elite and I doubt he will be but he can be more than serviceable.

  26. macabee Says:

    Is Jeremy Sprinkle related to Annie Sprinkle? The Joes will know who I’m talking about. Probably got a poster of her hanging in JoeBucs headquarters. Lol.

  27. Trubucfan22 Says:

    With that said LT is not a priority. But if there is a player out there that could improve our o line, then the bucs should do what makes sense to get that deal done. If that is drafting or signing a LT, and moving D smith to another position, or benching him, then so be it..

    What irks me about D Smith is that he is not versatile at all. He can only play LT. while guys like Pamphile, Evan Smith, And Marpet can play pretty much anywhere on the O line. D Smith doesnt have the right attitude to be an interior lineman. And he publicly claims he would would suck as a RT. Even Dotson can move to LT if needed. D Smith’s unwillingness to learn a new position to better the team is what makes me not like him as much as i probably should.

  28. BigHogHaynes Says:

    When building a WALL, you must find the talent and develope it, move the peices around and find the correct fit, the time is now, without improved play from the O-Line…..there will be nice play-offs!!

  29. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Jonny 2.2 Says
    “Smith is mediocre…”

    I take you are a part of the crowd that does not understand how development works…

    Smith is doing fine, and this coming year he should advance in his abilities. Do you think most good linemen start out playing great? Players like that are ultra rare. He’s good enough right now, and he’s getting better.

  30. Pick6 Says:

    It shouldn’t be a priority, but the Bucs should assess their need as “Best Tackle Available” and not “Right Tackle”. It would be great news for the Bucs if they found a LT who is better than Donovan Smith. It would mean they’ve upgraded both tackle spots when Donovan slides over

  31. Dave Says:

    Smith is a good LT.
    Marpet is a pro bowler
    The rest of the line is average.

    Smith and msrpet are only getting better

  32. Pickgrin Says:

    We need better tackle play on both sides of the ball. The tape don’t lie. Simple as that.

    D. Smith is not a liability – but hes not one of the better LTs in the league and we need that for Winston ASAP.

    Hopefully Smith’s play improves this year. He’s got the size and reasonable athleticism.

  33. iamkingsu Says:


    Just like Gosder got worked the cowboys game the same exact thing happened to Smith against ATL but I know you forgot that. I know good tackles get beat every now and again but they don’t get worked or overwhelmed. And he was in over his head again Adrian Clayborn and company. And Vic Beasley isnt included in the company I’m referring too he was rushing on the other side.

  34. iamkingsu Says:

    Jameis eluded rushers time after time all year and you’ll think the biggest weaknesses are elsewhere??

  35. Gerald McRuud Says:

    Most penalized player in the NFL since he’s been drafted.

  36. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    ^ what Iamkingsu said! If Glennon had been our QB you all would have realized just how badly Smith was getting beat this season. JW’s amazing pocket awareness made everyone on that line look better than they were…..and they still didn’t look that good.

  37. BigMacAttack Says:

    It seems like everyone struggles at right tackle for the Bucs.

  38. Capt.Tim Says:

    No posters here are more clueless, than the Left tackle Critics.
    I dont believe one of them could identify the LT on the field.

    Smith is going to be an All pro LT
    He has good feet- and is incredibly strong.
    He is extremely aggressive.
    I dont recall ever seeing a LT knock as many opponents down, as Donovan.
    He and Marpet will anchor our line for years.
    Our need is at R
    Dotson and Cherilus are both good guys, but mediocre Right tackles.

    Center also needs an upgrade.

    Posters here have no Idea. They are same bunch i argued with about Penn.
    They were stupid then, stupid now

  39. jimmy Says:

    Smith is doing a Fine job. Bucs need to focus on WR

  40. PRBucFan Says:

    I seem to remember quite a few pieces earl on around these here parts about Penn and his weight. Just sayin lol