Dirk Koetter Reveals The Buccaneers’ Highest Graded Offensive Player

November 11th, 2017

Shining choice

Here’s a nod to one of the biggest 2017 offseason decisions of the Jason Licht/Dirk Koetter regime.

No, stop the Chris “Swaggy” Baker jokes right now.

Joe’s talking about the decision to relocate a budding Pro Bowl right guard, Ali Marpet, and move him to center, and then slot in guard J.R. Sweezy to replace him. Sweezy hadn’t played or practiced in a full year after back surgery, and Marpet had never attempted to play center.

The move defined the word “ballsy.” It was Licht sticking to his scouting, trusting the Bucs medical staff and ignoring the skeptics. Koetter was right along with him.

Last night on the Buccaneers Radio Network, Koetter revealed that Marpet, per the grades given to players after each game, is the top rated Buccaneer on his side of the football.

“Call me crazy, but I think Ali is going to be a Pro Bowl center at some point. And I think he would have been a Pro Bowl guard, as well,” Koetter said.

Koetter reiterated that the move to center was all about getting the best five offensive linemen on the field and capitalizing on Marpet’s raw talents and strength.

“Ali has not disappointed. I mean, I think if you really looked at the coaches tape and studied it, you know, we have plenty of issues. But after eight games, if you average the grades for all eight games, Ali Marpet is actually the highest-graded player on our offense right now.”

Interesting. So Marpet is the top performer on the Bucs offense. Good for him. He’s obviously made as good a transition as could have reasonably been expected.

The jury is out on Sweezy, who hasn’t delivered the impact the Bucs brass expected, though he’s been ok and might have needed time to get his football senses back after a year off.

The improvement at center really makes you wonder further why Doug Martin, and other backs, have struggled to run up the gut this season. Koetter noted Martin is getting “too much” blame, but he also added that Peyton Barber should be in line for more work tomorrow against the Jets.

28 Responses to “Dirk Koetter Reveals The Buccaneers’ Highest Graded Offensive Player”

  1. Lamarcus Says:

    Sweezy is on butt too many times

  2. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    They should’ve got rid of Dougie Fresh…..and drafted a back in rd 3

    Sweezy….jury still out

    Ali. ….is still a stud

    Baker….get his fat azz outta here…….terrible free agent pick up

  3. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Any decision has three outcomes. Things get better, things get worse, or things stay the same. Someone who knows absolutely nothing can make a decision for the better 33.3% of the time. I don’t think the outcome is clear on Ali’s move yet. But at least it appears to leave one or two less holes to fill on the O line. I don’t see a great blocking/protection squad at all though. We can all go back and say with hindsight what was a good decision or bad decision, so I agree, it was a ballsy move and leave it at that. But what I want to see is some logic moves to help drive the offseason. For example, fix VHIII (or not), get Ryan Smith and Joe Dirt more playing time to decide to keep them or pitch them–Joe Dirt may be our next Ernest Graham type. Start Barber at RB–that would be big and helpful. And my biggest suggestion: Start Ryan Griffen at QB for at least the final five games and see what kind of QB…and leader….he is. Would be nice to know if Griff can be the #2 or not…as Forrest Gump said, “One less thang.”

  4. The Buc Realist Says:

    The AM74 move to center will pay dividends later on!!!! These final 8 games will help him iron out calls!!! He already has improved the shotgun snaps that were aproblem earlier!!!! By all reports he is by far the smartest on the starting O-line which will help this O-line for years!!!!!! A bye week would have also help to see more improvement for the back half of the year!!!!! It is important for fans to stop the ” see AM74 back at guard” talk, as it would only pro-long the transition to a pro-bowl center!!!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Lakeland Says:

    Demar Dotson is the Bucs highest graded player at 86.4 (2nd among Tackles). This is PFF grade, I will take their grade over Dirk Koetter grade, any day of the week.

  6. DB55 Says:


  7. JimmyJack Says:

    Yeah they moved Marpet to C and he muffed at least a snap a game for the first several weeks.

    Hardly an accomplishment to have an unprepared player on the field. Dirk in his interviews acted like it was normal but it’s not. Good teams don’t fumble snaps that often……Thats just a cold hard fact Dirk…….Your unprepared team is nauseating, I’m not surprised they quit on you four games in.

  8. Kobe Faker Says:

    Marpet gets the highest grade but we cant run behind him?

    Klueless Koetter

  9. TonyC Says:

    I give Koetter and Licht a combined D on player evaluation. Ok so they’re high on Marpet at center (although he’s a better guard. This line is below average at run blocking and deficient in pass protection as well. I’m thinking that the offensive line was a bit better in 2016 and certainly 2015 so what gives?

  10. Pickgrin Says:

    60% of our line is not playing well.

    Ali and Dot are getting the job done.

    Smith is inconsistent – and when he slips – it usually looks really bad.

    But Pamphile and Sweezy are the biggest disappointments. Neither is playing well – especially in run blocking which is supposed to be Sweezy’s strength…

    Evan Smith is outplaying Pamphile. Not good in a contract year for Kevin. He better pick up his play quickly or lose millions in not doing so.

  11. Destinjohnny Says:

    Well that’s one player we don’t have to replace out of 5 to be great

  12. Not there yet Says:

    I think he’s lying big time. There’s no difference at center this year than last year and I took marpet 4 games to stop with the bad snaps….8 games before you get fired, I’d say players can say you but they’re to soft. You and licht placed your faith in the wrong crew

  13. Mike Johnson Says:

    Seahawks are smart. They dumped Sweezy because they knew. Once them back problems become chronic…. Marpet should have stayed at guard. And they should draft a quality center. Swaggy..needs to swag elsewhere. Actually Dotson and Ali have been the steady ones. But Dirk won’t have to bother with future decisions. Nor will his sidekick Smitty.

  14. RickinFtMyers Says:

    I think this is an issue not just for the Bucs but across all of the NFL. How many times do we hear about this DE, that RB, or that WR has been traded to this or that team or picked up in free agency and oh my God this is going to turn the gaining team into a monster. Then, the player disappoints and the stones get thrown.

    We often hear how this quarterback is a “system” QB in college that won’t translate to the NFL or that QB is just plain a gamer and will explode in the NFL. Every player is a system player whether they’re a QB, DE, LB, or OG. Why because every player plays in a system of one kind or another and if that player fits into that system he’s considered a great player and everyone applauds. On the other hand, if the player struggles because he doesn’t fit into the particular system he’s put into he’s a bum.

    Before labelling a player a hero or a zero figure out whether he belongs in the system he’s playing or if he’s out of position. For example, a strong, aggressive, get after them O-lineman might not fit well into a zone blocking scheme and a guy with more finesse, quickness, and skill might not fit into a power blocking scheme.

  15. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    Waiting for the 5th round for a back was not smart… Liked the godwin pick before, but a wr pick could have waited for next year. Having a kareem hunt or Alvin kamara would be way more of an impact.

    Spit, having a running game setting up JW, taking time off rhe clock… This team might be 5-2 instead of 2-5.. Godwin will be a solid wr, but there are solid wrs we could get in the 2018 draft.

  16. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    Waiting for the 5th round for a back was not smart… Liked the godwin pick before, but a wr pick could have waited for next year. Having a kareem hunt or Alvin kamara would be way more of an impact.

    Spit, having a running game setting up JW, taking time off rhe clock… This team might be 5-2 instead of 2-5.. Godwin will be a solid wr, but there are solid wrs we could get in the 2018 draft.

  17. Destinjohnny Says:

    Jolly buc u are 100%%%%

  18. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Man…for everybody who just can’t get over playing the what if’s in the draft who still beotch about no RB….Reportedly Licht tried to move up to get Dalvin…what if he had succeeded? Still NO RB!!!! Sheeet happens and playing the what if’s in a league as unstable as the NFL with all the injuries is pretty silly.

  19. JJ Says:

    StPete, you know better than that, his injury happened on the turf and you have no idea that he would have gotten injured playing for us, although running behind this line, there was a good chance. I would be okay with the OJ pick myself if Koetter freaking used him more. Guy should get minimum 5-6 targets a game.

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “The improvement at center really makes you wonder further why Doug Martin, and other backs, have struggled to run up the gut this season.” Nothing to wonder about Joe … BOTH of our Guards suck at run-blocking, and that’s crippling our run game. Sweezy has been incredibly bad at run-blocking, but Pamphile is giving him a run for his money there. I’d much rather see Ali Marpet back over at Right Guard with either Joe Hawley or Evan Smith snapping the ball. Dots is grading out very well this year, and putting Marpet next to him would at least allow us to run right. Our OLine right now is performing abysmally & Koetter needs to shake it up.

  21. Not there yet Says:

    @Jolly Bucs Fan

    Yes it was not smart at all. It’s a major red flag and another reason licht should not be resigned. That 5th round pick was timid and also wasn’t smart enough to learn the playbook

  22. Season Is Over Says:

    This is the team doing the rankings. No bias there. Anyone who watches football knows this isn’t true. The team is way worse than in years past at running the ball. There is no running game. RBs don’t forget how to run the ball. The can’t run between the tackles because the OL is getting manhandled. You can’t pull the wool over the eyes of fans of “The Lost Decade”. We have seen all the tricks and excuses.

  23. Grt2 Says:

    Marpet seriously? That dude gets manhandled I seen it to many times or he doesn’t get any push . He’s the best offensive player on a 2-7 team Whoopi. Licht lack of not addressing the o-line and D-line should cost him his job. I know Koetter has been frustrated with the roster because I would consistently hear “your guys are your guys” to me that’s a direct Indictment on Licht.Fire Licht keep Koetter!!!!!!!!!

  24. Rojas Says:

    I think this year, Demar Dotson is our best offensive line player. I’ll give Marpet one more year at center. If not move him back to RG where he would of made the pro bowl this year. Our left side of the line.. needs work at LT, and LG.. wouldn’t mind Smith at LG, and drafting a LT.

  25. Destinjohnny Says:

    Can we al all agree that we don’t have a lot of talEnt on both lines?

  26. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    I think Ali has been doing fine at the physical aspect of playing center more often than he hasn’t.

    However, I can’t help but wonder if he is not doing such a good job at the more cerebral parts of playing the Center position. Such as line calls, identifying Defensive fronts, calling out the mike, and getting the line into the right protection

    There have been far too many snaps on offense where defenders are getting through unaccounted for, or moments where we don’t have a hat on a hat, and we have guys blocking air looking foolish.

    As well as a couple muffed QB/Center exchanges… I like Ali a lot and like I said his blocking has been fine, but I would say with certainty that he was better at Right Guard. Sweezy has been a major let down. That’s why I wanted us to sign Ron Leary or Kevin Zeitler if we were going to have Ali play Center. Oh well I guess.

  27. WyomingBucsFan Says:

    Every sunday this season gets more depressing.

  28. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @ Blake
    This is nothing new(unblocked rushers), Last year for example New Orleans
    in last meeting had rushers swarming both the runner and passer.
    Now I would totally agree that Marpet lacked the experience to move to center
    and the bad snaps highlight this. Don’t fix what aint broke is the old saying,
    and I wish Jason would stop tinkering with the player positions.