O-Line Experts Weigh In On Marpet Move

April 21st, 2017

In the lab

While Joe doesn’t like it, Joe has a very open mind about the Bucs’ great spring and summer “experiment” (Dirk Koetter’s word) that moves emerging star right guard Ali Marpet to center.

Joe has even talked to two big-time offensive line experts about the subject.

Back at the AFC Coaches Breakfast in Phoenix (yes, Joe was there), Joe tracked down new Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone, a renowned offensive line coach and a guy who played O-line in the NFL under Hall of Fame Dolphins head coach Don Shula.

Joe asked Marrone about a guard moving to center and what that really means and entails.

Marrone went right to his days under Shula and legendary Dolphins O-line coach John Sandusky, who held that job under Shula for 19 seasons. Sundusky, a former two-way NFL player and a four-time NFL champion, trained every single Dolphins offensive lineman how to play center.

It was religion, Marrone explained. Sandusky believed deeply in the need for every offensive lineman to have the skill set and the cross-training at center.

Sandusky was so big on it that he made Shula a believer and, per Marrone, Shula himself got his hands dirty helping coach guards and tackles the intricacies of center.

Of course, back in those days, teams had a ton more practices and time on the field.

Marrone remains in favor of guys getting cross-trained at center in case of emergency and for better knowledge of O-line play, though cross-training and a full position change is a different story.

Yesterday, Joe talked about the in-progress Marpet move with Ian Beckles, the former Bucs right guard and Tampa sports radio icon. Beckles is now heard on 102.5 FM, and on his weekly Flava In Ya Ear podcast.

Beckles said he’s a huge Marpet fan and likes the idea of Marpet moving to center because “center is a more important position,” the Bucs have had too much change at center, and America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, could use a consistent presence there for at least a few years to come.

Beckles said the Bucs must know already from practice that Marpet can handle the change and, particularly, that he’s smart enough to handle it.

“If Marpet’s as good at center as he is at guard, I would put him at center,” Beckles said. “I hope they know by now, because if he’s a below average center, then you’re messing things up. Because he’s a pretty damn good guard.”

Joe advised Beckles that Marpet has only practiced a little in pads at center, if at all, and really has no experience there.

Beckles then backed off a full endorsement of the move because it would be risky to give Marpet a lot of time to learn center on the job — on a team that’s expected to make the playoffs.

Beckles would prefer Marpet keep blossoming in his third year at guard.

“Don’t mess with that,” Beckles said. “The thing is, if you experiment and it doesn’t work, then you’re messing with some really good reps that he needed at guard.”

55 Responses to “O-Line Experts Weigh In On Marpet Move”

  1. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Trained EVERY single member of the OL to play center. Keep Marpet at RG and teach someone else.

  2. tnew Says:

    two times in a week that Joe is disagreeing with GMC…. Hater.
    Whaat? That makes no sense here.–Joe

  3. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    I agree with Marrone that Center is simply more important than Center and if the players are able to learn the different spots then it stands to reason we would want our very best OL at the most important position next to LT.

    If Sweezy comes back healthy and plays like he did his last year for Seattle the middle of our line is not only going to possess a nice degree of talent and athleticism….Marpet turned in the fastest 40 for an OL during his combine only to have Benenoch shave .02 off it. We have some good athletes.

    Best of all about our potential interior three. Down in the trenches where it gets dirty…all three…Pamphile…Marpet and Sweezy are known as mean nasty players…road graders with an attitude. If that materializes…and mean nasty attitude in the interior of our OL? Buy our tickets to Minny.

  4. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    BTW speaking of attitude…who do we think will be the first player to plant a DL or LB who takes liberties with #3? I like Marpet…Sweezy and Pamphile to be there to back up the franchise.

  5. 941BUC Says:

    Can we just draft one at round 2 or 3 and get the problem over with?if its really that big of an issue pull the trigger at round 2 and problem solved.leave mango at guard and the new guy at center.

  6. JimmyJack Says:

    St Pete. I agree but feel like you could add D. Smith to your list of nasty linemen. At least that’s my opinion of the guy when watching him play especially on runs.

  7. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    I agree that Center is the most important, and I would add its also the hardest to fill effectively.

    Personally, I’m hoping we draft a center.

    I think Sweezy should switch to the other side.

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    And I also don’t see how Sweezy can be effective after so much time off.

  9. d-roca Says:

    I think be will be a pro bowl center for years to come. Draft a guard instead or let the boys battle it out. Go bucs

  10. Pa Privateer Says:

    He doesn’t need more reps at guard. He is already an all-pro guard. There is plenty of time before training camp to see if he can progress into a center. If it does not work out then Marpet can move back to guard. It is a low risk, high reward issue.

  11. Steven007 Says:

    I think it’s a solid move. I wanted Marpet at C from the start. He’s smart, athletic, mobile and he has an attitude. Pretty much all prerequisites of good centers. I have to think that the brain trust is confident that this will work for any number of reasons. For all we know this is Marpet’s preferred spot as well. But it would seem a no brainer that even an inexperienced Marpet is an upgrade over Hawley (tough guy, always overpowered) and Smith (not good at multitasking from the tape I’ve seen). And Joe, I think tnew is referring to GMC saying he thought Marpet would be a great center. Though I’m not sure what the second reference refers to.

  12. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Love the move. I expect those interior three to be mean and surly next season Pete. Holes should be gaping for guy Dalvin next season. And man the speed in which he hits them. When they see it for the first time. Ima remind some of y’all about what you’ve said over the last few months.

  13. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    I happen to think my guy Big Sweez gone be great. A full year off, body should be good.

  14. 813bucboi Says:

    no doubt he can handle it….we need someone stout and nasty in the middle and marpet fits that bill….

    I also saw pamphile taking reps at center in TC during lineman drills…the oline will be tested early this year….they have to step up!!!…GO BUCS!!!

  15. EasyTheGreat Says:

    Marpet is the perfect size to play Center and has the athleticism that Hawley doesn’t. I can see him dominating at the position

  16. gotbbucs Says:

    Jesus, it’s snapping the ball, not trying to learn nuclear physics.

    I played both guard and center in college. The only difference is the distance between you and the DT at the snap of the ball. He’ll have to learn to get his off hand up fast and jump guys instead of wait for the rush. Shotgun snaps will take a few practices to perfect. Marpet is built to be a dominant center. He’ll be a better center than he is a guard.

    I loved center, I had control over the calls and it was close quarters combat. Its basically a three man show in the middle. He’s a mauler and will learn to love it too.

  17. 813bucboi Says:

    @nole…chatters getting louder about cook slipping into the 2nd round and it aint no smoke in the mirrors….lots of GMs concerned about his injury history, fumbles and arrests….after trading down in the first, would love for licht to trade back up into the 2nd round(again) to grab him…….lol….GO BUCS!!!

  18. tnew Says:

    Joe.. GMC, a guy who has more experience facing centers than anyone on the roster and has seen Marpet more than anyone on the team says he thinks Marpet is a great guard but will be a “next level Center”.

    And GMC thinks that he needs to do more in the fourth quarters, you disagreed..

    Just a friendly jab, but it is in context with the article.

    My thoughts are if Licht, Koetter, Warhopp and GMC thinks Marpet can be a better center than a guard, I would want them all fired if they didn’t put him at center because they were afraid to take that chance because he was a really good guard.

    The enemy of great is good.

  19. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Yea I read something to that effect everyday 813 “Dalvin slipping”. Wouldn’t make me no never mind if he slip to the second. Prolly would make people around here feel better about acquiring him That way. Wouldn’t make a difference to me either way. Long as he ends up in Pewter.

  20. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    Thanks for that perspective. Makes perfect sense.

  21. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    I recall Mongo during his rookie pre season. We faced the Bengals. I wanted to see how he would stack up against Geno. After three or four plays going head to head and Geno using various moves to get around Mongo I knew the Bull rush was eventually coming. Right on cue Geno hit Mongo with everything,Mongo planted his feet slid maybe a foot backward and the rush stalled right there at the los. It was then that I said to myself we got something in this kid. See I’ve read the complaints about Hawley being pushed back into Fameis passing lanes but now that we have someone capable of deterring that we still complain. Ion get it yo. Bucs fans. G’wilakers. That sound better Dushe??? G’wilakers.

  22. Pickgrin Says:

    Marpet’s move to center will work out well and he will be a pulling on a regular basis. Especially if we are lucky enough to land Cook who loves to bounce it to the outside.

  23. Dooshlarue Says:

    There goes old NosBos again……
    A couple of days ago talking about getting something out of my a$$……and today he talks about gaping holes.

    I’m noticing another pattern here, not just the sporadic Ebonics!

  24. DPewter Says:

    Watching Marpet struggle against McCoy and others in his rookie preseason to seeing how he has developed I have no doubt he will excel at moving.

  25. Rod Munch Says:

    No big deal, I put guards at center in Madden all the time and it works out great, seems to have almost no impact in their play.

  26. Gencoimports Says:

    Wether Marpet moves to Center or stays at guard, the Bucs need to draft an interior lineman.

  27. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Glad yo geriatric @$$ recognized when I’m talking you..

  28. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    My bad awwh shucks,buddy ol pal..

  29. USFBUC Says:

    I think we are set at center and guard positions. We may draft another project but we most likely will draft a tackle to replace Dotson. The Bucs are building an OLine that will be solid for years to come.

  30. Joeypoppems Says:

    What if they draft a Guard and move Pamphile to RT?

  31. LargoBuc Says:

    Keep Marpet at guard. He’s good there and can be great. Draft a center like Pat Elfein in the second or third round.

  32. USFBUC Says:

    They could do either I suppose Joey, I just have Pamphile locked in at guard in my head even though he played both positions.

  33. USFBUC Says:

    I don’t understand why some don’t want Marpet our best interior offensive lineman to move to a more important position. We have former offensive linemen saying it’s more important and it’s a good move, a current defensive tackle saying it’s a good move, and it is easy even for a fan to see that center is more important.

  34. Craig Dr T Says:

    Beckles is right – center play is more important than guard. Marpet is supposed to be smart. That makes him the “quarterback” of the offensive line.

  35. tmaxcon Says:


    marpet is going to open some nice holes for Cook at center. it’s the future. I am digging the move to center for him. I like America’s Quarterback to have a consistent reliable center.

    cook in first goodwin in second

  36. Gencoimports Says:

    USFBUC, you really want to risk our Quarterback behind an untested Sweezy who hasn’t played in over a year with that back injury and didnt start practicing with the team until this week? Seriously?

    We need to draft an interior lineman in the first 4 rounds if Sweezy’s back goes out again. And even if Sweezy works out, we would have the horses in the interior so Pamphile could move over to Right Tackle if Dotson continues to degrade or gets injured like last year.

  37. NFLNut Says:


    The latest mock I read … I think CBS Sports or something had Dalvin Cook going #51 to the Giants … that means they think the Bucs will pass on Cook in both the 1st and 2nd rounds … you’ve got to be kidding me????

    They had the Bucs taking Marlon Mack in like the 4th round I think.

    If we knew Cook would be available with our 2nd round pick I’d be all for trading #19 to the Chiefs and picking up an extra 3rd and 4th for sure:

    Chiefs 1st: Corey Davis, WR
    Our 2nd: Dalvin Cook, RB
    Our 3rd: DeMarcus Walker, DE
    Chiefs 3rd: Jourdan Lewis, CB
    Our 4th: George Kittle, TE
    Chiefs 4th: Best Strong Safety Available
    Our 5th: Best OL available
    Our 6th: That Islander DT kid
    Our 7th: Ben Bouleware, LB

    If we had THAT draft I’d be partying for weeks I think!!!!!
    UDRFA: Freddie Stephenson, FB

  38. LovieBall Says:

    Centers are paid less than guards. Don’t know why he would move.

  39. biff barker Says:

    No way the Bucs would ask him to take a pay cut to play center. He’s up for a new contract next season anyway.

    I’m all in for what Cullen and Koetter think is best for the team. If Marpett works out at Center fine. If not we still have a great Guard who’s had some reps at Center.

    And yes, if a great prospect at C is on the board, then grab him regardless.

  40. USFBUC Says:

    @gencoimports – Sweezy was injured, he had time off, got cleared by doctors, he could be fine the rest of his career. We also have other OL players the Bucs like already on the roster and good depth at center and guard already.

    Smith, Sweezy, Benenoch, Pamphile all play guard already, center was a weak point on the line so we put our best there and now it’s a strength. Honestly just checked the roster and tackle is a position of dire need that will absolutely be addressed in the draft since we only have three tackles on the roster.

  41. Pickgrin Says:

    “cook in first goodwin in second”

    That would be sweet tmax – and thanks for not spewing on 93 in this thread….

    Jameis is right though and I have been saying it all along. Dalvin Cook is NOT lasting till #19. No F’ing way. he goes in the top 15 picks and as likely as not – top 10. Just saw an article about Carolina themselves saying either Fournette or CMac would be a great fit for them. That means they are either going defense or for Cook. If Carolina doesn’t take Cook at #8 – then Bengals, Saints. Eagles, Colts or Redskins – one of those teams will for damn sure draft Dalvin Cook before we get our chance to pick.

    Licht is too smart to trade up in the 1st for a RB (I hope) – even for a talent as special as Dalvin Cook (and trust me – Cook is gonna be a top 10 or better back in this league very quickly).

    Those who have high hopes that the Bucs will land Dalvin Cook are setting yourselves up for disappointment because he’s too good to last 18 picks. I don’t give a crap what these latest mocks and projections say that have Cook dropping. Tape does NOT lie – especially when its as consistent, well rounded and DYNAMIC as Dalvin Cook’s play week in and week out at FSU was. GMs – along with the detailed reports of their scouts – base 80% of their decision making about how to rate a player on tape study. Do the math

    If Cook drops to 19 and the Bucs draft him (which they will) – it will be cause for celebration because we will have gotten one of the best RB talents to come out in a decade at a position of need with excellent value at 19 vs where he will be on the Bucs big board.

    I hope I’m wrong and Cook is sitting there for us at 19. I just don’t see it happening.

  42. NFLNut Says:

    WHO is going to play RT???????????

    Is it Dotson again? Is there a young buc that could push him for that starting position?

    If not, I wouldn’t even be mad if the team drafted Robinson/Bolles/Ramczyk …

  43. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    We could definitely use an upgrade at right tackle….

  44. LakeLandBuc Says:

    1st Round. T Ryan Ramczyk..2nd Round. TE Adam Shaheen..3rd Round..WR. ArDarius Stewart. 4th Round. OLB. Jordan Evans..5th Round. RB Jeremy McNichols.. 6th Round..S. Tedric Thompson. 7th Round C. Kyle Fuller.

  45. NFLNut Says:

    LLB … you going hog heaven, eh? Interesting …

  46. BigMacAttack Says:

    I like the move and the timing, before the draft. They can probably tell after this week if it will work or not. If not, then Licht knows what has to be done in the draft. Marpet can easily go back to guard. I do believe we need to draft a right tackle because Dot isn’t great and it’s about time for an upgrade.

  47. Pickgrin Says:

    Nut – the Bucs have made it pretty clear that they like what they have in house at Oline and thus will probably not be investing many if any resources on Oline players this year. It might be a smokescreen – but I doubt it.

    Like you I have major concerns about the RT position. Dotson was the weakest link up front last year and when he went down it got ugly.

    There are 3 in house candidates that could beat out Dotson at RT and if any of them do – we are in pretty good shape moving forward – for this year at least. Dotson is a fine back-up swing tackle but we really don’t want him starting.

    Benenoch is the #1 candidate IMO to vie for starting RT and how well he progresses this year might just be the key to improved line play (along with better play from the center position). The other viable challenger for the starting RT spot is current starting LG Kevin Pamphile. The 3rd possible contender at RT is Leonard Wester. The Bucs like his potential but he is still young, very green and came from Div 2 last year as a UDFA – so Wester is likely a longer term project ideally.

    We are pretty well set inside if the Marpet at Center experiment works which I believe it will and if Sweezy is healthy and can play as advertised. We’ll see on that one…

    Lotta ifs and buts in there but Licht seems willing to roll the dice in not upgrading the Oline much if at all this year and apparently feels we have enough talent in place to be effective up front. Its a big risk and the results will not be pretty if the Oline plays no better than it did last year…

    There was not much help available in Free Agency at Oline – and this draft is one of the weakest at Oline in a long time – so decent players coming out this year will be over valued and teams in need will tend to over rate and reach. Its not a great year to be adding Oline talent so I understand the thinking – “Let’s get through this year and see what we really have in these young guys and adjust from there when there will be more good options available to potentially upgrade from”

  48. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Jameis took 109 hits last season….and we suppose to be set at O-Line?. Ryan Ramczyt has the footwork that of a legitimate LT.. Footwork that Donovan Smith can only dream of. Move Donovan to RT or RG.

  49. Capt.Tim Says:

    This isnt Madden.
    Donavan would tell them to stick that idea up their wazoo.
    Left Tackle is one of the highest paid positions in Foitball. Way more than Right tackle.
    Donavan would demand a trade. Knowing that we are forced, we would get sqat.
    And we would lose a tremendous young Left Tackle. Already getting nods as the strongest Left tackle in the league. The guy is a monster.

    All that- because of your opinion.
    How do you judge a left tackle? Can you tell if the Dline is running a stunt? A twist?
    Yeah- I doubt it
    You are just tegurgitating something you read somewhere.

    Donovan Smith is not the best Tackle in the league. Donald Penn, along with Joe (Cleveland) probably are.

    You remember Donald Penn, Dont you?
    Idiots here rejoiced when the best Tackle in Buc History left.
    Shows you how F*^KING STUPID most posters here prove to be.

    Donovan Smith isnt the best LT in the league. But by the end of year 2- he was in the top half. He should make a big jump this year- by years end.
    Then he will be in top 10.
    Licht knows this, and has said this. Donovan has gotten a lot of positive feedback
    Can he be improved on? Sure- but youd pay a fortune, for a guy who , in several years, might be a slight bit better
    Jameis is a scambling QB. Scrablers get hit
    I shouldnt have to explain that

    Licht and Warhop know alot about football.
    You, and the rest of the people crying about Smith,
    Have no idea what you are talking about. None. Clueless
    Listen to your very intelligent GM, and shut up

  50. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    Whichever decision we dexide to make, Im sure the Magic Marpet will take us there!

    Sharpen those pencils!

  51. MadMax Says:

    Could always draft C Elflein, projected in the 3rd to 4th.

    But I think Marpet will thrive there more. As a mauler, he’ll be harder to figure out by the NT, is he going left or right. As far as pay, I think he’ll be taken care of. I dont know why Centers are usually paid less than Guards, but Im sure we’ll pay him well since he can dominate at G too.

  52. Kevin Says:

    Sure seems like the bucs are banking a lot on Sneezy playing a full season and producing.

  53. tnew Says:

    People that are against this missed the fact that Marpet and Pamphille where having to cover for Hawley and Smith last year. Those of you “just draft one” types.. really. So you take the most important position on the interior offensive line and lets give that to a 4th round pick that probably didn’t have to sustain an interior block for a second because he was in a spread offense.

    Yeh.. Total sense. I have way more faith in that. Even if you draft a Center in the 3rd or 4th they wouldn’t be as good as Marpet. Marpet was in the draft today, anyone think he would make it out of the first round?

    It would be close IMO, but he would not make it out of the second. So with that logic. Draft a guy that is inferior to Marpet and put him at center… OH YEAH

  54. Cobraboy Says:

    Center was the weak link in last season with Hawley getting pushed back consistently. The running game was problematic because of that.

  55. MadMax Says:

    tnew, who replaces Sweezy at G if he goes down? And I wasnt referring to a Frederick 1st round type since we have more important needs to be met with earlier. So you disagree, thanks for your time.