“He’s On Track”

May 2nd, 2018

Good news from GM Jason Licht

General manager Jason Licht issued a gloomy and cloudy report about guard J.R. Sweezy this morning (see the home page) but his voice notably and quickly shifted to an upbeat tone when talking about another wounded Buccaneer.

Licht had uplifting reviews for right tackle Demar Dotson, who had knee surgery a few weeks ago to repair a torn meniscus, per NFL Network.

The procedure was a big surprise considering Dotson told the Ira Kaufman Podcast in February that his in-season knee injury was cleared for all football activities.

“Demar’s doing great. He’s on track at this point and we expect him to be back for training camp,” Licht said this morning on WDAE-AM 620.

Great news.

While the Bucs should expect Dotson to miss time this season (he’s missed 18 games with injuries over the past three years), they certainly don’t need the headache of the gate. That’ll at least give Caleb Benenoch, Evan Smith and rookie Alex Cappa plenty of reps to compete for the starting right guard gig.

26 Responses to ““He’s On Track””

  1. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    That’ll at least give Caleb Benenoch, Evan Smith and rookie Alex Cappa plenty of reps to compete for the starting right guard gig.

    Evan Smith is at his best as a guard…his best being so-so. He sucks as a center, and he has very little experience at tackle…if any at all.

    Alex Cappa will probably end up with Dotson’s spot. I know a lot of people are talking about moving him to guard, including some Bucs staffers, but that’s probably because they can afford to tick off Sweezy, but not Dotson.

    Caleb Benenoch is nowhere near good enough to start.

  2. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Evan Smith can take Sweezy’s spot and do a good enough job in a pinch. He;s done it before.

  3. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    Much more worried about Dotson than Sweezy. Sweezy never impressed last year even when healthy while last year Dotson was having one of his best years.

    Benenoch and Evans can fill in serviceably at G until Cappa is ready to take over.

    Say goodbye to sweeze

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    That Sweezy money may come in handy for a FA T/G, S, CB or even a RB….

  5. Joel Says:

    Cappa is projected as a guard.

  6. Pickgrin Says:

    Dot’s “procedure” was not that big of a deal. There was never much if any doubt that he would be back to full go withing 10-12 weeks.

    Cappa will be competing mainly at RG – but will cross-train at RT.

    Benenoch will likely be taking reps at both Guard and RT throughout TC and pre-season.

    Wester will get reps at both Tackle spots.

    Bucs have to find out sooner than later if their RT of the future is already on the roster or not.

  7. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Cappa is projected as a guard…because people don’t think he can handle being a tackle. Even though he did very well at right tackle in college and knocked opponents on their rears more often than not.

    He’s like Marpet. Give him a job and he’s determined enough to succeed at it. He just has to show this to the people around him.

    He sure as heck would be better at it than Dotson.

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Pickgrin Says
    “Bucs have to find out sooner than later if their RT of the future is already on the roster or not.”

    I agree.

    Right Tackle has been a major weakness for the offense, more so than any other spot. The main reason is because Dotson cannot stay healthy and is up there in years. No one has been able to fill in for him well enough so far.

    It’s a shame, because if he was younger and healthier, he’d be one of the best alongside the rest of this line.

    But the best ability is availability.

  9. 813bucboi Says:

    im hoping cappa takes over for sweezy and l.webster takes over for Dotson if he cant return healthy…..

    benenoch still aint ready…..I still have nightmares of him looking inside when the ball was hiked while j.peppers raced in and damn near killed Winston…..remember Winston barking at him like dude wtf are you doing…..lol….it was so embarrassing….benenoch didn’t even move when the ball was hiked…..


  10. Bird Says:

    I know Cappa has more of tackle body but hope he wins guard spot for this year. And next year , we will see . He can still put on 10 lbs of muscle when the trainers get to him (from his college days )

    Heard he is working out with legit line coach this offseason.

  11. Pickgrin Says:

    If Dotson can play like he did last year -as long as he’s in there – we’re good at RT. Dot was actually one of the best RTs in the league last year.

    But as you noted Bonzai – he’s missed a lot of games the last 3 years.

    Benenoch looked OK to me at Guard when he got in games last year – but Caleb did not quite look ready for prime time yet on the outside to my eye. Maybe one more entire offseason, TC and pre-season will get him up to where he needs to be and Benenoch can come in and look effective if/when Dot misses more games this year.

    I’m excited about the potential of Cappa – but realistically – its a BIG jump going from ragdolling D2 linemen to starting in the NFL your rookie year. Marpet did it – but that does not mean we should expect the same ultra-fast progression from Cappa. If it takes a year or two for Cappa to earn a starting spot – that’s OK – as long as he gets there which Licht obviously believes he will – moving up into the 3rd like he did to make sure he got this player.

  12. JimmyJack Says:

    Make or break year for Benechot. Don’t mind waiting for a youngster to develope but he has had enough time. Either needs to learn to pass protect or git. If he can’t perform hopefully somebody like Cappa can.

  13. idiaznet Says:

    Cappa is working out with the same Line Coach that Marpet works out with in the off-season. Coach Chip Smith and his company. He has coached plenty of Hall of Famers and All Pros.

  14. JimmyJack Says:

    All in all it is very good news to hear that Dotson should be ready to go. Surgery is always scary business especially for older injury prone players.

    Dotson plays well but we need a friggen RT who is reliable. We also need D.Smith to keep giving us a full workload. Losing your tackles is one of the easiest ways to derail a season.

    Go get us some decent campmeat Licht. We need to hit on an Olineman.

  15. teacherman777 Says:

    Evan Smith sucks.

    I really don’t know what they see in him. Sorry.

    He seems to get his ass kicked or burned every other play.

    Maybe I need to watch more snaps.

    But I think he is a risky player to keep.

    I wish we had drafted another guard/center hybrid badass like Marpet and Jensen in the 2nd.

    I want 3 guys who can play guard and center.

    Thats the ideal starting G/C/G trio.

    I’m smart? Aren’t I? Well, sometimes.

    I was wrong about Vita Vea. I am happy we got him and 2 2nd’s!

  16. Trench War Says:

    The good thing is If Benenoch or Cappa workout well at RT that will help prolong Dotson’s career.

  17. ComeOnJoe Says:

    Never been impressed with Benenoch. Hope I’m wrong. LaCharles Bentley is Cappa’s coach I believe.

    For all of the fans worried about the salary cap, IT’S A MYTH. The Bucs are not up against the cap. We don’t need to cut anyone to sign Reid or Boston. When was the last time the bucs reworked a contract? We could free up 10 million this year by reworking McCoy’s alone. Gohlston and David are candidates for restructuring as well. If the bucs don’t sign a player, it has nothing to do with the cap.

  18. Joe Says:

    Never been impressed with Benenoch. Hope I’m wrong.

    Benenoch isn’t a bad run blocker. As a tackle, he really needs to work on his pass blocking.

  19. Pickgrin Says:

    ComeOnJoe Says:
    “The Bucs are not up against the cap… We could free up 10 million this year by reworking McCoy’s alone. Gohlston and David are candidates for restructuring as well”

    OK – sure, that is one way around being up against your cap # for the year. But it comes at a steep price down the road and almost always locks you into significant guaranteed $ where there is none in place currently for McCoy or David. Thus leading to big dead cap hits if you wind up having to release either for not playing up to their high price tag and also significantly decreasing their trade value if you had that in mind as a possibility at any point.

    That would not be at all wise because its important to be able to keep your options open regarding aging players. Father time, wear and tear – whatever you want to call it, catches up to ALL NFL players sooner or later. 30 is usually the benchmark age for when you start becoming aware of a player’s “mortality”. GMC is already there and LD will be there at the end of next season.

    Bucs are basically done in free agency except for perhaps an additional inexpensive pick up or 2. GM Licht spent to the cap this year already and releasing Sweezy and perhaps a mid-season DJax trade are about the only realistic moves I can foresee on the horizon that would provide any significant cap relief for this current year.

    We had a chance to cut Gholston and his $6.5M cap hit with no penalty prior to March 18th – but passed on (blew IMO) that opportunity for whatever reason that I have yet to hear an explanation for. Now we are stuck with Gholston at that # for this year so Will better mother flucking figure out a way to breath on a QB a few times this year to justify his high price.

    Licht will concentrate on trying to get Marpet and Kwon contract extensions done this year without effecting this year’s cap # very much and possibly look to do the same with Donovan Smith if at all possible.

  20. SOEbuc Says:

    Cappa is a true OT. 6’6″ 305 and is so fast getting off the snap and crushing the pass rush. Have him work at both G and OT and when Dotson returns, move Cappa inside.

  21. ComeOnJoe Says:

    Pickgrin, I wasn’t saying that we should restructure contracts. I’m only saying that we can. We are not up against the cap at the moment but no player is out of our price range due the cap. The Glaziers may have their own spending cap. Most of the good teams are not afraid to restructure players. Seattle, Pittsburgh, Dallas, New England, New Orleans always find a way to get under the cap. Jacksonville some how finds money to sign every top free agent.

  22. BigMacAttack Says:

    Dotson is a horrible right tackle. So many penalties and injuries. Fast defensive ends go right around him unless he holds. It’s way past time for an upgrade at right tackle.

  23. BigMacAttack Says:

    Is there a ranking by one of the tribes that shows right tackles? Dotson has to be at the bottom of the list.

  24. firethecannons Says:

    Cappa is a great addition, dude simply has the right attitude with plenty of college reps to back it up. He needs to spend more time in weight room, the nutritionist and the Bucs barber and hopefully keep up the work in Arizona.

  25. Realbucfan941 Says:

    Big Mac

    You won’t like this but pff or one of the others had him ranked as of if the best right tackles last year

  26. Realbucfan941 Says:

    One of