Marpet Experiment Ends; Did It Work?

November 29th, 2017

Ali Marpet

So Ali Marpet was placed on injured reserve today. His third season is toast with five games to play.

But what about his 11 games at a new position, center?

Bucs officials will tell you Marpet transitioned well. In fact, among the grades coaches give players after each game, Dirk Koetter said Marpet was the highest-graded offensive player through the first half of this season.

However, was Marpet a better center than he was a right guard, where he was emerging as a potential Pro Bowler?

Former Bucs tight end Anthony Becht was asked that question recently on WDAE-AM 620, and Becht, who also works for the Buccaneers website, didn’t give a direct answer. There may not be a direct answer, but that was part of the problem in moving Marpet to begin with. Why mess with what wasn’t broken?

Right guard J.R. Sweezy certainly hasn’t been better this year than what Marpet was last season.

Now, with Marpet gone, either Evan Smith or a bigger and healthier Joe Hawley will step in at center for the rest of the season.

The Bucs will have a big decision to make on Marpet for next season, when Joe expects Sweezy to have a new team. Sweezy will be 29 in April and is set to earn $5.25 million.

29 Responses to “Marpet Experiment Ends; Did It Work?”

  1. ChanEpic Says:

    The simple answer is: “No”. The simple evidence is, last year 9-7, this year 5-11 so that experiment and all others on this team failed.

  2. DBS Says:

    No. Put him back at right guard.

  3. Rodney Says:

    I believe where starts off next year will give us the answer. I preferred him at guard and draft a center in the late rounds.

  4. Mike Johnson Says:

    Come on guys, Our Bucs are not satified with next yrs 10th pick, we are hellbound for no 7 or 8!!

  5. 813bucboi Says:

    I think he did good…the problem was sweezy and the left guard…GO BUCS

  6. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    I’ll tell you this. I think that J.R. Sweezy was more detrimental to this line at Right Guard than Ali was beneficial to the line at Center.

    Based on limited action last week, I thought that Joe Hawley looked fine. Couldn’t help but wonder if we would have been better off just leaving Ali at Right Guard, Hawley at Center, and letting the best man get the Left Guard job.

  7. mike n Says:

    Dumb move. Still no clue why management trusted Sweezy especially after being out a year.

  8. SB Says:

    ChanEpic Says:
    November 29th, 2017 at 9:59 am
    The simple answer is: “No”. The simple evidence is, last year 9-7, this year 5-11 so that experiment and all others on this team failed.
    Where are these other two wins coming from?

  9. meh Says:

    He should have stayed at guard. He played great at guard. He played ok at center. Not great, but ok.

  10. Maze Says:

    Being the six ranked best center in pro football by PFF might qualify as good

  11. DB55 Says:

    Sweezy will be 29 in April and is set to earn $5.25 million.
    But we didn’t have the money to sign Campbell. These people are a bunch of morons.

  12. Pickgrin Says:

    “Why mess with what wasn’t broken?”

    The center position basically WAS “broken” in 2016. Marpet brings more size, athleticism and power to the center of the line.

    The Sweezy experiment may not have worked out all that well this year – but Marpet did just fine at Center. In a year or 2 Ali will be a top 5 NFL center.

    We need a couple new faces up front next year (and possibly a new Oline coach) as this year’s starting group just could not get the job done. Run blocking on the whole has been pitiful in 2017.

  13. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Absolutely NO, another blunder by Licht, the entire OL was and is a LIcht blunder, again draft Laremy Tunsil instead of hargreaves, there is an LT for the next 10 years instead of a CB that will not be a buc in 2 years…..Marpet and the OL has suffered this year because he is not a center and have no clue why to change a productive guy there…of course the bucs passed on Mack who was signed by the Falcons and has been successful….blunder after blunder gets the bucs to 6-10 and losing season after losing season…get rid of licht and koetter the franchise is at rock bottom and start fresh maybe get lucky and turn it around quick like the eagles…but licht has built this team with ZERO identity

  14. Bob in Valrico Says:

    How do you grade a lineman when only one of them has to snap the ball. As
    Marpet did have some bad snaps. Two things on Hawley one: Rodgers seemed to getting 5 yards a carry up the middle which is good. Two: I watched Hawley on a pass play ,He had a kind of a push,at least it looked like more of a push than punch. But anyway he fell back at least a yard after it so I could see where he can
    sometimes be overpowered with that move.

  15. tnew Says:

    Playing Marpet at center made tons of sense, based on our roster. There are several arguments here.

    Was there a better option at center this off season?

    Hawley, last season, pretty much showed he isn’t physically able to last an entire season.
    Cameron Erving went to the Chiefs for a 5th round pick, but he can’t crack the starting job and is now a second string RT.
    There were many resignings with current teams but two stand out for me. One is Jeremy Zuttah. Two year deal, I would have liked bringing him back myself. Nick Mangold was a name floated but he is still a Free agent. The other “premier signings” at the position were John Sullivan to the Rams and JC Tretter to the Browns. I haven’t watched any film to say these would’ve solved things.

    Was Sweezy limited due to missing an entire season?
    Is flexibility an issue for his back that is preventing him from being successful? I’m going to defer to experts on this and say yes to both.

    What is the cause of the Pamphile regression? Was this due to Marpet? (most indicators are no as Marpet is the highest graded lineman)

    Was Marpet used to his full potential in the running game? (he didn’t have one pulling opportunity vs Carolina until midway into the 3rd quarter)

    As a knee jerk its easy to say it was awful experiment, but I agree with the decision based on the roster. My big worry was not Marpet at center. My worry was Guard talent (I was worried about Sweezy, not Pamphile) and Tackle depth.

    Watching film isolating on the O-line, Marpet wasn’t perfect but he did a really good job at the center position especially for a first year player. The injury has nothing to do with the position switch, could’ve easily happened at any position.

    I for one, will state, this was not a mistake, but both guards are question marks going into next season. The Bucs can address this in free agency and draft. They also, have the flexibility that if a great center is there, they can take him. But if a great guard is available, same thing. Marpet gives them that flexibility.

  16. Bucsfanman Says:

    Watching Sweezy get blown up game after game leads me to answer ‘NO’ because Marpet was so much better at RG than he is. However, I don’t have any real criticisms of the move to C, except that as a unit, the o-line struggled.

  17. Pickgrin Says:

    “They have the flexibility that if a great center is there, they can take him. But if a great guard is available, same thing. Marpet gives them that flexibility.”

    Good point tnew.

    This was a lost season anyway – so the worst that happened with the “Ali Marpet at Center experiment” was that he developed his skills at making linecalls and snapping the ball. Marpet’s newfound “flexibility” is an asset to the Bucs moving forward. He will likely stay at Center – but could move to Guard in a second if need be and would excel.

  18. DB55 Says:

    I would have overpaid Alex Mack when I had the chance rather than overpaying a broke back guard

  19. pick6 Says:

    it certainly looked terrible early on when he was killing drives every week with bad snaps, and while he fixed that i’m not sure he was worlds better overall as the year went on. Hawley at C for that little bit of time seemed to give the offense some juice in the run game. i know it seems counterintuitive since he’s a smaller dude with less strength but just saying what i saw.

    sweezy is a carl nicks level bust for this team. jason licht is absolutely toxic in free agency. alongside 1 excellent year of grimes, he’s got a legion of embarassing busts and a handful of pretty good seasons from the likes of ayers, mcdonald, conte, and jacquizz rodgers

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    Folks are asking & answering the wrong question. It’s not ‘was the Marpet to Center experiment a success?’ It’s more ‘Has the OLine shuffling been a success?’ Clearly the answer is NO !

  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I think he was improving at center.

    But I’ve always said that Hawley, when healthy, would be really good. So if they want to get rid of Sweezy and move Marpet back, I wouldn’t mind.

    However, surprisingly, I think Sweezy has done a decent job too.

  22. RustyRhinos Says:

    Right there with you Pickgrin “a new Oline coach” what a concept, we get the former Browns Oline coach and expect him to bring his Browns Oline game with him,
    He did, they were not very good and neither is our Oline with his leadership. Not very good as in the only thing that matters W’s
    Go Bucs!

  23. Hodad Says:

    I think we’ll have a better idea next year when Koetter, Warhop,and the rest are gone.

  24. D-Rome Says:

    Sweezy’s play was a couple of notches below Marpet’s play from a year ago.

    Another Jason Licht failure.

  25. Destinjohnny Says:

    Put him back at guard and draft a center

  26. jerseybuc Says:

    This is all about Sweezy, who missed one whole season last year and then was underwhelming this year so far. There were a few good Center prospects this past year, like Pat Elflein from Ohio St, that was what I was hoping for because Smith and Hawley are both older journeymen type centers. One bad move leads to another one is kinda a buc thing. I never saw the upside in this move.

  27. Mike Says:

    DB55 is right on

  28. Mike Says:

    About The morons

  29. drunkinybor Says:

    no comparisn..jeremy Trueblood just jumped into my mind. havent thought about that guy in years