Fast-tracking Benenoch?

June 1st, 2018

Yesterday watching underwear football, Joe saw a familiar sight: right guard J.R. Sweezy watching practices wearing headgear not suitable for football.

When players are not healthy to practice, the Bucs have them watch, or as coaches like to say, take mental reps.

Now Joe isn’t trying to dog Sweezy. He’s always been good to Joe and Joe knows of no player with the possible exception of former Bucs cornerback Myron Lewis who wants to be hurt. But as Bill Parcells famously said, your best ability is your availability. Sweezy has missed 18 of 32 games with the Bucs. His season ended with a broken leg last year and he has yet to be cleared for football activities.

When pressed, Bucs types will speak in hushed tones that the team is hopeful Sweezy will be ready for training camp. The Bucs are much more rosy in their prognosis for right tackle Demar Dotson, who underwent knee surgery earlier this spring.

Dotson and Sweezy have combined to miss 36 games the past three seasons. That’s not good.

Listening to the Bucs, it seems more likely than not Dotson should be ready to rock and roll come August.

And who the hell knows what’s going on with Sweezy?

So the Bucs are hopeful for Sweezy to return for training camp? Just like the team was hopeful both Vincent Jackson and Louis Murphy could return from knee surgeries two years ago (they didn’t). Such hope likely cost the Bucs a playoff berth in 2016. Just like the team was hopeful the past two years that Doug Martin would run like he did as a rookie (he didn’t).

Long-time readers of Joe know what Joe thinks of the word “hope.”

So with the right side of the line anything but locked in due to health, the Bucs have ordered reserve offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch to exclusively practice at right guard. This is a big break from Bucs coach Dirk Koetter’s rule that reserve offensive linemen must be flexible and perform in at least two different positions on the line.

Given this uncertainty, Joe caught up with Benenoch after underwear football practice yesterday to talk about the line. He confirmed he’s been directed to only practice at right guard but thought it was unfair to speculate what that meant both for his near-future and for the future of Sweezy.

“I don’t know what it is for,” Benenoch told Joe about his directive from Koetter. “I got in here [for offseason conditioning] and coach told me I’m playing right guard. So that’s what I am doing.

“Any time you get to focus and specialize your craft on one thing, it always makes it better. I have made a bunch of strides just in the two weeks I have been out here at right guard.”

Benenoch didn’t believe he was being put on a fast track to start, only because reserve players always have to prepare as if they may start.

“The way coaches are, you have to get ready to start every day out here,” Benenoch said. “Nothing has changed [in preparation].”

But Joe is free to speculate. Koetter is a big believer in reserve linemen multi-tasking. The fact Koetter ordered Benenoch to only work at right guard, which just so happens to be the very same position where the incumbent starter struggles to stay healthy and is currently on floppy hat patrol, it sure seems to Joe like the Bucs are far more scared of Sweezy’s physical status than they are letting on publicly.

Based on what Licht said last night on SiriusXM NFL Radio about the right guard position, Sweezy’s status is anything but a given.

34 Responses to “Fast-tracking Benenoch?”

  1. SB Says:

    Is anyone else still having to type their name and address before each comment.

  2. Buc believer Says:

    Oh that Licht is sharp as a tack.

  3. Pickgrin Says:

    Sweezy’s “availability” is no less of a question mark than his “ability” after what he put on tape last year…

    Its year 3 for Benenoch – time for him to step up and earn that starting RG spot in order for this OLine to be a force this year. Either that or we need to hope for a rapid ascension up the depth chart from Cappa.

    The alternatives of either Sweezy or Evan Smith being given the starting job because neither of the young guys could get where they needed to be – would not bode well for success up front this year IMO.

  4. AlteredEgo Says:

    “Is anyone else still having to type their name and address before each comment.”

    my posts show up as I think them….

  5. stpetebucsfan Says:


    I’m more excited about Benenoch than most here because he anchored an Oline at UCLA that set records for least amount of sacks permitted. In addition he didn’t even play our “football” until later in high school. Coming from Africa…Lagos Nigeria he played soccer growing up. Imagine the athleticism for a guy that big to play what our football coaches deride as cross country with a ball.

    Remember Christian Okoye…the Nigerian Nightmare…the great KC running back…let’s hope Benenoch can bring some of that to the Bucs.

    I wonder if they’re now looking at Cappa at RT? I like Dot but he’s long in tooth and his availability has been questionable for three straight years.

  6. Joe Says:

    Joe replied last week he too is frustrated his WordPress software is just acting up hence the need for re-entering the data everytime.

    This isn’t happening for Joe, but he’s using Chrome which has a feature to remember log-ins.

  7. alabamabucsfan Says:

    @ pickgrin – enable your cookies in your browser.

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I’m using FireFox and it is still happening. I can’t switch to Chrome…not enough features. I hate that browser. The only thing I have no tried is uninstalling and reinstalling Firefox, but somehow I thing it is WordPress related. My own website is WordPress and I don’t have the issue there though.


    I’m hoping Alex Cappa will work out and eventually replace Dotson. He has at least a year to prepare (I hope), unless Dotson gets injured.

    This draft is going to pose some real problems…of the 8 picks, we need at least 5 to make the final roster, and more would be preferred.

    That means some big cuts this year…guys we would not expect.

    I bet Sweezy will eventually be one, provided Ben does well.

  9. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    You nailed it Pickgrin.

    The hardships of JBF fans…lol.

  10. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I hope Benecoch wins the RG job and rolls with it. He seems to be one of our better pure run blocking OGs.

    At worst I think he’ll be a serviceable starter. He held his own as a rookie and this is his 3rd year with the team. In an ideal world he is the RG of the future and Cappa is the RT of the future; and Smith/Marpet step up big to lock down the left side.

  11. m0j0 Says:

    It’s definitely Benenoch time at RG. Let’s hope he makes the best of it.

  12. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Sb: I have to type it in every single time and it’s annoying. Not like I comment much but this makes it not worth even trying 🙁

  13. BucTrooper Says:

    Everything with the Bucs is “hopeful” and “if this happens” or “if that happens”…. the strategy for a decade has been basically pray for success. There’s always a need for 4 people to overachieve and 4 people to have miraculous recoveries from catastrophic surgery. There’s no execution of a game plan. It’s just clench your hands and ask the Lord for breaks.

  14. Owlykat Says:

    I am a fan of Benenoch and wonder why when Pamphile and Smith were both inadequate at LG last year that Warhop wasn’t smart enough to start Benenoch there. Benenoch has shown he was a much better Guard than Tackle when he has subbed both places, so I am glad he is just practicing RG only and I feel he he will be fine as a starter at RG.

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    FYI….I have to type them in every time……Firefox, IE & AOL….also Safari on my Iphone….I don’t want to use Chrome as it sucks….

    As for Benenoch….wish him well & think he can do the job…..

    As for Sweezy, his re-worked contract is complicated with a salary based on playing time & the Bucs are somewhat protected against further injury problems……but I can’t determine what is or isn’t guaranteed and the cap hits are not clear…if there is anyone that (with certainty) can clear up his 2018 cap situation, I would appreciate it.

    As….I think we should cut him or enter into an injury settlement.

  16. SOEbuc Says:


  17. SOEbuc Says:

    Benenoch for RG

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Joe I have Chrome also. what is this secret system for remembering my user name?

  19. Joe Says:


    No secret. There is a feature on your Chrome extension that allows autofills of your information.

  20. admin Says:

    No issue for Joe using Safari oniPhone either.

  21. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    This started happening about a week ago and obviously I’m not the only one affected…
    I do have auto-fil with my Firefox so that helps some.

    Hopefully, you will find the solution because it has worked perfectly fine for years.

    Could this possibly be with posters who have been in the cooler at one point? Do any of the posters who have this problem have anything in common?

  22. Joe Says:

    No issue for Joe using Safari on iPhone either. Seems this is a user-based/IP issue.

  23. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’m not a tech guru…and correct me if I’m wrong but don’t my Iphone and my Laptop have different IPs….especially when I disconnect wireless on my phone and use roaming?

    Nevertheless, thanks Joe, I know you’re working on it and it’s driving you nuts….somehow I think you and I share the perfectionist gene….

  24. SB Says:

    Never thought about it so I tried my phone. Name and Email are all filled out for me on android. Must be IP address in some function that wordpress kicked out or something. I have the autofill on so it is just four extra clicks in order to post a comment.

  25. GhostofSchiano Says:

    Anyone know the cap hit / dead money for cutting Sweezy? That’s a roster spot for a linemen cut from another team, could get lucky and land a good player. Or at least one that stays off IR

  26. Joe Says:


    Will have IT guy look into it. It is clearly isolated meaning not everyone is experiencing an issue. That leads Joe to believe it is likely a device setting, an IP issue or a user software setting/issue.

    Again, Joe has tried multiple devices with different browsers and hasn’t experienced an issue at all.

  27. orlbucfan Says:

    Hey Joes 🙂

    I’m on Chrome with a desktop MacMini and I have no problems posting. I haven’t been on here in ages, but August will be here soon. So, not sure where everyone’s cyber headaches are coming from???

    I’m just going to see what happens in the preseason. Bucs are long pass due in terms of the O finally coming into its own. A lot of new blood has been brought into the D, so time will tell.

  28. Joe Says:

    Thank you Orl.

  29. Capt.Tim Says:

    Probably not the popular thought here, but I still havent given up on Sweezy.
    He didnt have injury issues in Seattle, and was a great Guard.
    And those seem to be getting hard to find.
    Injuries happen to offensive linemen. Seems like only a lucky few get thru the year without Season ending injuries.

    Im hoping that Sweezy has just been unlucky the last two years- and can get back to work in the trenches

    Then let Dotson, Benenoch ,and Cappa fight it out at RT

    By next year, our line could be Cappa, Sweezy,Jensen, Marpet, and Donovan Smith.
    That would be one big, strong, Patriot style line.

  30. unbelievable Says:

    no problem Joe, just wanted to give you a heads up from my experience.

    Like SB said- it’s not a deal breaker, just a little inconvenience, especially when using a phone.

  31. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    I’m with ATT…, I don’t think that’s it.

    But, I agree…there are too many of us and it happened at the same time for this to be some sort of coincidence on our end only…..Joe will find it….and I’m like you….it’s a minor inconvenience compared to the benefit.

  32. John Meeks Says:

    It’s all for J R Sweezy, this bum needs to go!he got his ass kicked every time he was in the game last year!just cut the sorry SOB Jason and move on!

  33. Trench War Says:

    Even somewhat healthy I don’t think Sweezy is worth the time and the roster spot. He’s proven more a liability than an asset. Let him go and let’s move on Licht. You made a mistake so quit trying to justifying it any further.

  34. kelley rose Says:

    i have been reading posts for a couple years but have never posted. we have a capable offence. what we need is swagger on defence. iv been a buc fan since 76 and num 99 brought that swag to this team. his attitude of to beat this team you have to go through me was like a virus that spread through out the d. who will be that 99 for this new era also just wanted to see if this problem the site is having happens to new posters so you have more info to work with.