Coach Addresses Donovan Smith Haters

June 14th, 2017

Again defends his left tackle.

It was a fair and reasoned point.

It seems whenever the offense struggles, Bucs fans try to find a way to blame Donovan Smith.

Smith has become a virtual piñata to some. And man, when it comes to the PFF tribe, Smith is to them what a crucifix is to a vampire. That crowd completely losses it for Smith, and not in a good way.

Winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter, believe it or not, has internet access and he reads what Smith haters type. And Koetter doesn’t understand all the vile reactions.

“We cut other players slack growing into their roles, but some people have the tendency to not cut Donovan as much slack,” Koetter said. “It’s a process. They don’t come right out of college and turn into Pro Bowl players the [first] day.”

When Joe has defended Smith, Joe points to the studs Smith faced as a rookie. Go ahead and look at the defensive ends he faced in 2015, then count how many of those guys got sacks on him (including J.J. Watt, who the Texans at times lined up as a right defensive end). Smith faced a gauntlet and held his own. As a rookie.

That same season playing the most important position on the line, Smith blocked for a back that ran for over 1,400 yards.

“Donovan’s played so much and he’s going against an elite guy,” Koetter added. “I think the number one thing Donovan just has to cut down is he’s got to cut his penalties down and he’s got to play a little more consistent. When Donovan’s consistent, he can be physically dominating at times and we’re a lot happier with Donovan than some other people are.”

If Smith was Anthony Collins-like (he’s not) or impersonated swinging saloon doors Gosder Cherilus (he doesn’t), then Joe could understand the rampant angst.

For a guy who has never missed a snap, it is borderline ridiculous to throw Smith overboard. Hell, just the fact the PFF tribe can’t stand Smith, that’s reason alone to keep him.

12 Responses to “Coach Addresses Donovan Smith Haters”

  1. Bird Says:

    Just glad to see him take it serious! SoundS like he worked hard in offseason to shed bad weight. 325lbs for left tackle is solid! Line won’t have to be as dominant since defenses cant bring the house every snap like last year

  2. K2 Says:

    I’m with you Joe. Also, PFF tried to put a stake through Kwon’s heart by talking about all the tackles he missed. They don’t point out that most LB’s would not even been in the same time zone (most LB’s don’t miss as many tackles because they are moving so slow that they never over-run a play). I’ll take Smith and Alexander on my team any day!

  3. Tampa Tony Says:

    Also a quote

    “I think the number one thing Donovan just has to cut down is he’s got to cut his penalties down and he’s got to play a little more consistent,” Koetter said. “When Donovan’s consistent, he can be physically dominating at times and we’re a lot happier with Donovan than some other people are.”

  4. Tampa Tony Says:

    My biggest gripe with Smith is the penalties cut those in half and he will be fine

  5. Pickgrin Says:

    Nobody is throwing Smith overboard. We just need to see more consistently good play. That’s all any critic of Smith is saying. Koetter is saying the same thing. He’s just being gentler with his wording.

    Donovan’s play in 2016 was simply not good enough. He had the most penalties in the league at his position and only 1 player in the NFL had more penalties overall. He was not at all “consistent”. Yes he had some good plays, good blocks. But too many times he didn’t get the job done and bad plays resulted. It is what it is.

    We all know that quality LTs do not just grow on trees. Its a very hard and oftentimes expensive position to try and fill. We have no choice at this point but to give Donovan another year to develop and then see where that position stands.

    Smith has been durable thus far and that’s obviously a plus. Hopefully he makes a big jump in this – his 3rd year – and makes us all forget that we ever doubted Smith as our long term answer at Left Tackle. Fingers Crossed. This is an important year for Donovan Smith. Our franchise QB needs his blind side protected well. Jameis deserves a top 10 talent at LT. We have yet to see that level of play from Smith on anything close to a consistent basis.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    PFF graded the Bucs’ OLine as the 23rd best in the NFL last year. Looking at our offensive performance last year, that’s probably not unfair actually. Here’s their writeup …

    “The left side of the Buccaneers’ line was a real problem area, with the play of LT Donovan Smith proving to be a real issue. Smith surrendered 57 total QB pressures and 14 penalties over his season, with Kevin Pamphile inside of him chipping in with 32 pressures of his own. Second-year player Ali Marpet continued his development with solid play, especially in the run game, while Joe Hawley and Demar Dotson were capable starters at center and right tackle, respectively.”

    Donovan was going against some real beasts all year, but 57 pressures & 14 penalties is a lot (ironically Dotson had almost as many penalties). Kevin Pamphile was just starting for the first time, and I wouldn’t expect that LG would give up nearly as many pressures as LT, nor have as many penalties ( appears to confirm that BTW). Joe Hawley had a few issues of his own to contend with, but he was the ‘voice of experience’ in there. Fact is that ours is a very young, relatively inexperienced OLine, and it’s going to make mistakes. At this point, I don’t see them being as capable as Tennessee, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Oakland, or Green Bay (the Top 5) but we’ll get better with experience. Donovan Smith is poised for a breakout year.

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

    Thanks coach maybe some will respect you saying it. Its a maturation process, there’s this term called “learning curve”. I guess when you win a national champioship and a Heismen trophy you’re not afforded one. Rather expected to play like a first ballot HOFr the minute you step into the league.

  8. buc it Says:

    I bet the Lions wish they had somebody with that durability.

  9. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    He seems to struggle with speed ends. Not quitting on him at all. Worst case scenario is he moves to RT down the road.

  10. ZZBucs!!! Says:

    Agree with Tamp Tony……..reduce penalties, and he will be fine

  11. JimmyJack Says:

    Donavon played a huge role in some of our wins last year. He was a beast in KC and the Seattle games come to mind. He helped us win them games. I have no problem with 2nd year players who help us win. Not as common as you think.

  12. DislocatedBucsFan Says:


    your flipping your statements a bit. Last season you said that since Dougie sucked it had nothing to do with the O line. (Really not flipping any statements. Lot of layers here.–Joe) Which for the most part I would agree with you; however, it does play a huge role in it. Doug flat out sucked. But now your giving credit to the line for Doug’s 1400 yard season. Your on both sides of the fence man. I don’t care if its Mike, Vernon, Ali, Kwon or any player for that matter. I have a sincere problem with players loafing on plays and I have an even bigger problem with look out blocks. Smith had his fair share of those plays in the last two seasons. He’s made some plays here and there and has gone up against studs. But he draws way too many penalties and for the love of god he’s afraid of moths. I wish him all the success because ultimately he’ll help the Bucs, but he deserves a lot of the criticism he gets.