Physically Less Demanding

May 16th, 2017

Talks controversial move

A lot of Bucs fans wring their hands in angst because third-year offensive lineman Ali Marpet is expected to start at center.

Marpet was a fine guard so why fret? Well, Bucs fans know all too well Marpet has never played center — not at the NCAA powerhouse known as Hobart College, not in high school and certain not in the NFL.

In a sitdown on “Super Sports Sunday,” shown just before the stroke of midnight on WFLA-TV Channel 8, Marpet told Paul Ryan about when he found out he would play center and take on the challenges of moving from right guard.

“Conversation happened right after the season that [the Bucs] might experiment with it,” Marpet said. “Coach Warhop, our offensive line coach, told me I should start snapping a week or two before [winning] Coach [Dirk] Koetter [told] the media.

“[With the move, the Bucs] get a little bit of a bigger center. …I think that it is different in the sense that I have to communicate with all five offensive linemen as opposed to just those next to me.

“Physically, I think it is less demanding than guard.”

Of course, this Marpet-at-center experiment hinges on whether J.R. Sweezy stays healthy. Remember, just after he signed with the Bucs last year, Sweezy blew out his back, needed surgery, and was literally captain of the floppy hat patrol the entire season, including every practice. He didn’t snap on a chin strap once.

Yes, the Bucs are very confident Sweezy will answer the bell. But If you can think of an offensive lineman who missed a full season of games and practice with back surgery, and in his first season back started 16 games, please let Joe know. Joe can’t think of any.

As for Marpet at center, Joe always remembers Licht saying on the weekend Marpet was drafted that he projected as a center down the road.

The Bucs bandwagon, driven by Kay Adams with Adam Schein riding shotgun, appears to have reached that intersection.

41 Responses to “Physically Less Demanding”

  1. RayJameisStadium Says:

    Marpet and company will make Martin a pro-bowler again. Sorry Joe, Martin is forgiven.

    Go Bucs!!!!

  2. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Marpet will be a dominant center. Short area quickness, right size, strength, plus the smarts.

  3. Jason Says:

    Martin is never going to be forgiven again. He was forgiven when he received that new contract. Then immediately gave everyone the middle finger last season, so no thanks RayJameisStadium.

  4. Fred E. Bucs Says:

    Other than for his size and quickness (which may be plenty), I don’t know how or why they want Marpet at C. He did well at RG, and it would seem best to leave well enough alone. But I won’t pretend to have the accumen that Licht and Koetter, et al, have. Maybe this will be what makes the OL click better. Or maybe it’s the start of the most fumbled snaps and illegal procedure calls in the NFL. I’ll take the former.

  5. Fred E. Bucs Says:

    I was pretty steamed Martin, especially holding four season tix. I felt at first after getting paid, he gave us all the finger. Some things a guy can’t be accetpted back for, like domestic violence that curdles your blood (Ray Rice, Greg Hardy), beating your kid because you somehow know no better, etc. I am betting Martin’s problem was fetish/additiction that is natural to have for things (not an intentional “finger” to all); and let it get to where he did hurt his team. He has apprarently confronted the problem, gotten help and wants to redeem himself. Looking at guys’ attitudes like Johnny Mansmell and ASJ, they were not interested in confronting anyone other than those confronting them. I think the Bucs see that, and if he’s healthy all year and doesn’t personally get 1000 yards from scrimmage in a committee running game, with 800 of that from running, then I might believe he was still not up to snuff.

  6. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    The OL is such a tremendous liability this year and the fact that Licht has neglected it for the past 2 years is troubling for the offense to progress and go to a different level. Both guard spots and the center are all huge QUESTION marks this year and not that guard has to be the strength of the OL, but this is troubling going into the season

  7. BucEmUp Says:

    The weapons this team now has is enough reason alone to believe the oline will perform better statistically. That is not including moving pieces around and improved playcalling to come.this season. Run game is going to be fierce this season.

  8. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    We are TRYING to get both Sweezy and Marpet on the field at the same time.

  9. Buc50 Says:

    Reminds me of when we couldn’t get Galloway and Bryant on the field at the same time because the play the same position. This coaching staff is flexible…LOVE IT!!!

  10. The Buc Realist Says:

    The plan is to get the most out of the interior of the O-line with the best players!!!! Once settled this year, they will judge what to do about the tackle at the end of the year!!!!! They might draft LT in the draft and move DS76 to right tackle????? And before Joe says that DS76 himself that he would “struggle”, well they moved him cause he struggled at LT!!!!!! But lets hope he steps up this year, and the TE and RB stay healthy and are able to help with pass-protection!!!!!!

    Go BUCS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Cobraboy Says:

    There is not mention of names, but Northwestern University did a study that claimed that 33 of 36 NFL starting OL/DL came back to start after back surgery.

    And note the study goes back to the 80’s when surgical intervention & rehab technically was no where near the state-of-the-art of 2016.

    To see how well elite NFL players fare, the researchers gathered information about linemen on team rosters between 1982 and 2009 from various sources including press reports, team injury reports, newspaper archives, team records and individual players’ profiles. Only those NFL linemen diagnosed with a herniated disk in at least two independent sources and one official league injury report were included.

    Of the 66 players included in the study, 14 were treated non-surgically and 52 treated with surgery. Of those treated surgically, 42 (81 percent) returned to play in at least one game, although most played an average of 33 games over 3 years.

    The success of surgical treatment in NFL linemen was “significantly better than we expected,” the authors write.

    “What’s remarkable is that many of these players not only returned to play, they returned to starter positions,” Weistroffer said.

    Of the players treated with surgery, 36 had been starters before their herniated disk diagnosis and 33 of them returned to that status after surgery.

  12. The Buc Realist Says:


    Galloway had a broken bone in his foot and even admitted on his show at the end of the year, that they were just hoping that a team would fall for trying to prepare for him!!!!!!

    Don’t believe a talk show host that had an ax to grind against Our Super Bowl Winning Head Coach!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. The Other Side of the Coin Says:

    Joe: “If you can think of an offensive lineman who missed a full season of games and practice with back surgery, and in his first season back started 16 games, please let Joe know. Joe can’t think of any.”

    Sweezy did. PLayed every game and dominated at his position.

    (dated 1/30/2018)

  14. Tampa Tony Says:

    Licht seems hellbent on getting Sweezy on the field to validate the signing

  15. RayJameisStadium Says:

    Galloway had a broken bone in his foot and even admitted on his show at the end of the year, that they were just hoping that a team would fall for trying to prepare for him!!!!!!

    Don’t believe a talk show host that had an ax to grind against Our Super Bowl Winning Head Coach!!!!!!!!!!!


    Yep! I remember all of it. True!

    I still like Steve overall. I wish him and his family the best.

    But we are in new grounds Buccaneer fans. Join us now or join us later. There are plenty of wagons available!!!

    The Glazers got it RIGHT AGAIN!!!! Gruden and Kiffin then Koetter and Smitty!

    Fire Them Cannons!!!

    Go Bucs!!!

  16. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    I hope it works Joe. You have told us numerous times that D Smith cant play right guard because he couldn’t make the jump to the other side. Good to know you have no fear that Marpet can make a complete position change that requires entirely new responsibilities from anything he has ever done before. Although I must say the fact you believe one can make the switch and the other cannot does make me scratch my head.

  17. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Right tackle not guard

  18. Eric Says:

    Jason, do you seriously think that the front office is not going to forgive and move forward with Doug? Who else are we going to get? Sims is not a between the tackles back, Quiz won’t last all season, Barber and McNichols are question marks. We are rolling with Doug, period. Joe, take notes.

    I played football for several years. I was dominant at LT for a while and moved to C when I was 10! It came naturally, like I’m sure it will for Marpet. Sweezy is a beast at his natural position. I’m not worried about the OL.

    Fact is if Sweezy picks up where he left off, our run game will dramatically improve and with the weapons on offense and consistency on defense (fingers crossed), anything is possible in 2017.

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    @Marpet … “Physically, I think it is less demanding than guard.” Ali might be right, but gut feel is that he’ll think differently once the season starts and he faces someone like Suh in that 1st game. One would think that the split second you lose snapping the ball puts a center at a slight disadvantage versus playing guard. But maybe not … time will tell.

  20. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Why I do not root for Doug Martin’s return…it’s not personal…I can forgive the Molly…struggle getting past the 60% abysmal failure stat…but the main reason I hope Doug Martin does not make this team…

    I’m tired of seeing our RB in the clear headed for the house when he gets pulled down from behind. Doug is quick and runs hard but he simply does not have the next gear to get to the end zone. He’s not particularly gifted from the 5yard line trying to power it either. Doug Martin? I hope we’ve drafted better.

  21. Tampa Tony Says:

    St Pete

    Who are you gonna draft that you guarantee will break away from defenders and not get caught from behind? Cook who fumbled a lot and took a pounding in college? Foreman who wasn’t fast in college? Mixon who wasn’t even his teams leading rusher?

    Doug has had more Pro Bowl years in 5 seasons than a lot of other Bucs have had to start their careers. I think he can be productive maybe not a #2 rusher in the league but he can be good. And I’m gonna laugh at the Joes when Doug is still on this team.

  22. Eric Says:

    Do you guys realize that Doug is #3 in the league for broken tackles for a RB since 2015? That’s with him MISSING 7 GAMES in 2016. Him being dragged down before the end zone sucks, but most RBs wouldn’t have the ability to break the tackles to get there in the first place. He also is top 5 for yards after contact.

    Oh ya and there are 2 players since he was drafted to have over 235 yards rushing in a single game. He was one vs Oakland in 2012. The other player….

    Doug Martin in 2015 vs Philly. I’m sick of people asking why fans endorse him so much. The fact is he’s already done things that very few RBs in the league have done. Yes his floor is low, mainly because of injuries, if not solely because of them. But is ceiling is the roof. lol IMO he is worth the risk considering we have other options now.

    I for one cannot wait to watch deuce deuce beast some defenses this year and break some ankles.

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I’m 95% confident that Marpet will do fine at center. My concern is Sweezy. I am not sold on him at all.

    He did not blow his back out after signing with the Bucs…he did it before and waited until he got signed to get the surgery because he knew it would affect his contract.

    Licht claimed the Bucs knew when they signed him, though I believe Sweezy probably made it seem like less of a big deal than it was.

    All of that aside though, if Sweezy does not do well, or if he is injured, the offense will be up the creek without a paddle unless they keep Hawley as a backup.

  24. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Eric, Doug had a good year when he was playing for a contract. He had to prove himself.

    He’s in that position again because he can be cut any year without a cap hit…so maybe he will play well again.

    But even you have to admit consistency is not his thing.

    Personally, I believe if we add a good short yardage fullback, it will help all the other RBs do well.

  25. Eric Says:

    Ya I agree. He needs to step in up, consistently. But it’s also arguable that his down years were because of injuries. I think it’s a coincidence he didn’t get injured in his contract year and rookie year.

  26. Herb Says:

    Let’s face it. Sweezy is more important to the Bucs this year than Jackson and Howard combined. If he can’t go the Bucs are back to square one on the offensive line. The whole season could be lost.

  27. uckinator Says:

    Cobraboy – Good job with your research. I believe the Bucs will concentrate on both lines and RBs in next years draft. Supposed to be a deep draft at RB again.

  28. Pickgrin Says:

    Bonzai says:
    “if Sweezy does not do well, or if he is injured, the offense will be up the creek without a paddle unless they keep Hawley as a backup.”

    That’s a bit of a dramatic statement.

    We did re-sign Hawley and its likely they will keep him as his contract is not that expensive ($2.875M) + he’s got about half that already guaranteed.

    Did you forget about Evan Smith? He’s in the final and most expensive year of his contract – but will almost certainly be kept as well because he can come in and play LG, RG or Center at a moments notice with little drop off in ability + he has lots of experience already to draw on…

    Benenoch will have another year and off season worthy of experience under his belt and could probably fill in aptly at any position but center – if he doesn’t outright win the starting RT job that is….

    Josh Allen could probably come in and play Center adequately in an emergency multiple injury situation…

    Pamphile is being cross trained on snapping the ball….

    The Buccaneers OL may not be full of pro bowl starters like Dallas – but its one group we DO have pretty decent depth at.

    No need to go all “Chicken Little” regarding the Oline Bonzai. As others have pointed out – the addition of legit weapons on offense – particularly OJ Howard with his excellent blocking ability – will help shore up the OLine’s talent shortcomings and our depth is fine should injury strike 1 or more OL starters. We actually have more players capable of starting at Center on the roster than any other position on the field.

  29. RayJameisStadium Says:

    @BB I wanted Perine for short yardage and finishing games in the 4th qtr.
    Oh well.

    I’m hoping our offense runs up the score so our backup QB gets experienced on the 4th qtr.

  30. Big Marlon B Says:


  31. Bucsfanman Says:

    I like Marpet going to Center with Pamphile (sp) remaining at LG and Sweezy at RG. If healthy, that’s a mean interior OL.

    We keep harping on Martin. I’ll pose two very simple questions: 1) Is he better than all the RBs currently on the roster? 2) Would Martin still be the starter if not caught for “banned substances”?
    Think about it.

  32. Eric Says:

    Our offense will not be in trouble if sweezy doesn’t work out. That’s ridiculous.

    Think of it this way. Last year when we had two weapons in Evans and Brate, 3-4 defenses could rush more linebackers cuz there wasn’t too many threats in their backfield, thus leading to pressure on the d line and Jameis. With the presence of Djax, Evans, Brate, Oj, and even sims at one time, they will be forced to alleviate pressure. The OL will benefit from it.

    Also, we had a more vanilla offense due to the fact doug wasn’t in or any real, great threat at rb. Play action is our bread and butter and with consistency at the RB position, we can go back to that scheme. On running the plays, they cannot crowd the box like they used to which will help Doug and the OL because of the aforementioned weapons to the receiving game. On passing plays, they cannot simply cover everyone. Throw in OJ with his dual threat at blocking/receiving and sims with his dual threat at rushing/receiving and they will never know what we are going to do.

    Basically, we can do a lot more without the defense having a good clue as to what we’re going to run which they did in 2016 because of Doug’s absence, and no receiving threats. The OL will be fine.

    Oh and guess what, we were undefeated last year when Doug started the entire game….

  33. Dirks Great Granpappy Says:

    Am I the only one that got a chuckle thinking about Eric as a dominant LT for a while….when he was 8

  34. Ben Says:

    Pamphile played well at guard last season but wouldnt you rather marpet and sweezy at guard with hawley in the middle, pamphile and smith on the bookends. To me that seems like a better line.

  35. Eric Says:

    LOL na I laughed out loud as well after I wrote it.

    I did dominate pop warner though… lol

  36. SOEbuc Says:

    @Eric Loving the nice stats for all the Doug haters. Really liked the broken tackles. They don’t call him Muscle Hamster for nothing. And like Jason says, dude was second in rushing yards two years ago so all you people saying Doug is a horrible RB really need to take it down a notch cus you just sound like jackasses.

  37. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    There were guys to be had that do NOT get hauled down from behind. You mentioned a couple…certainly Dalvin does not get caught from behind with any regularity….I watched enough of him…haven’t seen Mixon…Foreman is a power runner so he certainly is not a speed ball…Kamara? Haven’t seen enough.

    But Dalvin…McCaffery…Samuels are all guys that do not get hauled down from behind. Doesn’t happen that often to Sims…and McNichols seemed to score plenty of TD’s while at Boise.

    If you compare McNichols to Doug at similar points in their careers McNichols wins hands down and he scored ONE more TD rushing in three years than Doug did in 4. Their rushing averages where identical over their careers at 5.6 ypc
    McNichols totally blows away Doug in the passing game…his stats are Boise as a pass catcher simply dwarf Doug’s and McNichols actually has three times the number of pass reception TD’s at 11 as Doug and again Doug played one more season.

    Bottom line….McNichols has OUTPERFORMED Doug Martin at the same points in their careers. Can McNichols continue this? Nobody knows for sure how either Martin or McNichols will play this year.

    I would make a simple point. It would be far, far better for the Bucs if it’s McNichols who wins out not Martin. If you are a Bucs fan just now that the Bucs benefit far more from a breakout performance from McNichols than from Martin. IE…If they both played very well it’s much better for the Bucs to have McNichols than Martin. It’s not personal it’s just business…a young 5th round RB is going to be far less expensive than Martin and he’s a positive not a negative in our passing game.

  38. Eric Says:

    You know how they would benefit even more… if both were retained.

    Doug Sims Quiz Barber McNichols

    Every team needs RB depth.

  39. Pick6 Says:

    bucs seem to be following the NFC South trend of valuing quality from the middle out, rather than the NFL conventional wisdom of prioritizing talent on the edge. hard to argue with the offensive numbers the Bucs’ NFC South rivals have put up in recent years despite none of these dynamic offenses having elite tackle play

  40. Pickgrin Says:

    SPBF – it also bears pointing out that 97% of those “stats” you cited for McNichols came in the last 2 years. He didn’t play much his Freshman year. (32 snaps total the whole year in 2014)

    In the last 25 games McNichols ran for over 3000 yards with 43 rushing TDs and caught 88 passes for 900+ yards with 10 receiving TDs.

    Thats big time production at Boise State. How he lasted until the 5th round is beyond me. I guess teams were a bit scared about the shoulder surgery but it was a fairly minor procedure really and should not effect his readiness for 2017 one bit.

  41. Cobraboy Says:

    @ Bonzai: Please link:

    1) Where Sweezy hurt his back before signing with the Bucs


    2) That Licht knew and signed him anyway.

    I thought I kept up with the Bucs factually as much, if not more, than anybody and I have never seen either.

    where did you get a quote that Licht knew