Bucs Playing Six-Man Line Again

September 11th, 2018

For 10 seasons, it’s been hard to figure out what exactly the Bucs are doing along their offensive line.

The ol’ rockstar general manager Mark Dominik didn’t believe in drafting O-linemen. He selected just one in five years, a fifth-round pick who never played a down in the NFL.

Jason Licht? He replaced Dominik and quickly dumped good offensive linemen, Jeremy Zuttah and Donald Penn, guys who went on to Pro Bowls with their new teams, in favor of free agents Anthony Collins and Evan Smith.

Licht also went on to be very strong in the draft at offensive line, but he also no longer wanted solid young players like Patrick Omameh (Giants starter) and versatile Kevin Pamphile, who played admirably filling in at left tackle for the Titans yesterday. Licht also signed off on the musical-positions game the team has played with Ali Marpet the past two years.

Football execs, coaches and players often talk about the importance of O-line continuity. But the Bucs have either shunned it or are constantly seeking it in unique ways. Joe’s really not sure.

The Bucs had an in-game rotation of Smith and Pamphile at left guard for most of last season. Now, it seems they’re back at it with Caleb Benenoch and Smith on the right side. The two shared snaps yesterday (about two-thirds Benenoch) and it didn’t seem like an injury prompted the swapping.

Joe’s not sure what’s going on, but it is a little odd to see this two years in a row.

Joe’s starting to think Dirk Koetter likes the idea of Smith staying fresh in case he has to come in off the bench at center or guard. After all, Koetter did label Smith an ideal “sixth man.”

16 Responses to “Bucs Playing Six-Man Line Again”

  1. unbelievable Says:

    It’s like they want one of these younger guys to take the position, but Evan Smith keeps being more reliable in game time.

    I would be curious to know if smith was playing more in the 2nd half versus the first? Our running ability declined sharply during the 2nd half of the game.

  2. LargoBuc Says:

    It is frusterating. Its like Dirk loves Evan Smith the same way Lovie lived Mike Jenkins. Always trying to fit him into the lineup some how.

  3. Realbucfan941 Says:


    I’m thinking that was more of a product of the saints knowing we were trying to kill clock and they were running into loaded boxes.

  4. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Uh Oh.

    Isaac is heading west across the tropics. Normally, not a big deal…a 50-50 shot of affecting us. But there is a depression near Cuba that could puch Isaac northward, right to us.

    The storms don’t bother me so much, but the possibility of having our game shifted to the bye week does!

  5. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    (not that the possibility has been raised yet)

  6. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I think the Evan Smith is just being rotated in to give Caleb a little rest here and there. They’ve said they want to keep the linemen as fresh as possible.

  7. Pickgrin Says:

    Benenoch has little NFL game experience and is still learning the Guard position.

    Smith is likely a more reliable pass blocker at this point – while Benenoch is probably already more effective than Smith at run blocking.

    So for now they are rotating.

  8. XpfcWintergreen2 Says:

    Thanks, Pickgrin.

    Sometime we overthink things and it is not all that much of a mystery after all.

    Go Bucs!!!

  9. Godeep66 Says:

    They did a heck of a job protecting North America’s QB

  10. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I’m old and losing my memory but didn’t Benenoch battle nagging injuries through most of camp?

    Perhaps he’s just not in game shape yet?

    Then again I like Joe’s theory about maximizing Smith’s contributions.

  11. JimBuc2 Says:

    Joe, when is Sage’s podcast going to post. Waiting.

  12. GhostofSchiano Says:

    They did a good job of protecting FTIZMAGIC.


  13. AlabamaBucFan Says:

    What ever worked for the Oline last week, I am for it again this week.

  14. 813bucboi Says:

    the oline played well……warhop knows what he’s doing after all…..


  15. Trench War Says:

    Keeping Evan Smith involved keeps the rust off. Like you said Joe, we never know when he will have to come in permanently to replace a seriously injured lineman. Smith reminds me a lot of Buc’s past o-lineman Ted Larsen. Same measurables and same kind of game.

  16. feelthepewterpower Says:

    A six man rotation actually sounds like a brilliant idea…the Eagles kept their dline fresh last season with a rotation. Why not spot one of the guys on occasion?