Koetter Defends Donovan Smith

November 16th, 2018

Koetter has his back.

As usual, when a team is losing and losing and losing, fans begin beating up on the offensive line whether it is the main culprit or not.

Aside from right guard Caleb Benenoch, who more and more does not look like an NFL starting guard, the favorite pin cushion of Bucs fans is none other than left tackle Donovan Smith.

In the past, Smith’s greatest accomplishment was his durability. Aside from the second half of the Saints game last year in New Orleans, Smith has never missed a snap or a start, which is extraordinary for a left tackle.

Yesterday in his daily presser, Bucs Bit-O-Honey-snacking, Ozark-watching coach Dirk Koetter was asked about Smith, currently in a contract year. Koetter believes the Penn State product has improved in his fourth year in the NFL.

“I think he’s been more consistent this year,” Koetter said. “Maybe in years past Donovan’s bad plays were glaring and I think he’s had quite a bit fewer of those than he has, so [he’s] more consistent.

“Donovan is so athletically gifted for a man his size that sometimes he can look bad, but when you think about this guy is 6’5 335 pounds doing some of the things he does athletically, it has to kind of bring him back down to earth. He’s not a 220 athlete. He’s not JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) playing left tackle. I mean, he’s a 335-pound guy.”

Smith seems to raise his game against the better pass rushers in the league, but man, he has a bad habit of not playing to the whistle. Joe can understand why this rankles so many fans. It’s really inexcusable.

The best thing for Smith, aside from his durability, is that there is an offensive line crisis in the NFL. So even with his faults, Joe’s confident Smith will have plenty of suitors for his services after this season.

32 Responses to “Koetter Defends Donovan Smith”

  1. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    LOL, He is so athletically gifted, he gets beat way too often, like twice last game!
    He was responsible for Fitz getting nailed at least twice last game.

  2. A’train4047 Says:

    Let him walk. He will get lazy when he gets paid

  3. mdsbuc Says:

    He’s a swinging gate.

  4. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Wash pickedup 3 unemployed fat guys off the street and they played better than our fat guys Gump drafted”

    Kobe Faker

  5. LargoBuc Says:

    I can not forgive not playing to the whistle. Especially when you play in the trenches, where games are won or lost.
    Daryl Williams, Ramon Foster and Mike Iupati are all free agents this spring. Lets get some road graders on that right side and beat the F out of opposing front sevens.

  6. Darin Says:

    Not a big fan. I agree paying him will make him regress. No thanks. Salary cap is gona be an issue before long, especially overpaying him. Draft a 1st rounder and plug him in. Now if they are picking top 5 youve gota make the call if the salary is worth the position. Usually so at LT. This line is soft af. Donovan is a big reason. Let these softies go

  7. Loyaltotheend Says:

    Koetter’s assessments mean zero

    He’s too loyal to see faults

    Mike Smith and Jacquiz Rodgers are prime examples of that

  8. Bucsfanman Says:

    Largo- Agreed. It was glaring in that Washington game. It’s not like we’re asking anything extra either.

  9. Listen Man Says:

    Does it really even matter what Koetter says at this point?

  10. Not there yet Says:

    Can’t wait until this coach is run out of town. I saw Fitz running for his life last week and I saw two guys sometimes three blocking until the whistle and then you have the two guys mentioned here

    These guys block until they think their own man is out of the play then stand there instead of going to hit someone else. I’ll lose my mind if these same guys are starting next to Marpet and jensen next year.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    He is fully capable of stopping our DEs…….as are all LTs in the league…..

  12. bradinator Says:

    Move him to Guard, where he should have been originally, give him a “prove it” deal. By no means pay him what he is likely to ask for as a starting LT in the NFL. Nearly every OL in free agency last year got overpaid. Don’t do it. Last week’s game was microcosm of his career.

  13. SB Says:

    Ive watched him closely. He doesn’t play to the echo of the whistle.

  14. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    I have previously been in favor of resigning Donovan Smith long term.

    Until the play where he got Fitz sacked, down near the goal line, when the fumble happened.

    Donovan Smith looked like a fricking tub of lard…. who could not possibly give a crap less.

    That was enough for me. Get him out of here.

  15. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    It was shocking how easily he was beat, in the Washington Game. And beat TWICE to boot.
    We may want to re think things, before we make him rich ?
    I read somewhere that Tampa has the least amount of salary cap money to spend next year.
    Smith will eat up a whole bunch of our money, Money we basically do not have.
    I think we can do better.

  16. Owlykat Says:

    Koetter just repeats anything Warhop says about their OLinemen. He and Warhop don’t have a clue. Fire both of them now. Yes D. Smith can stop some big slower DEs but he is a complete Turnstyle to any speed rusher who can just dart around him in a flash and sack and or strip our QB. He also does not play to the whistle. If moved to Guard he would only face big DTs and he can stonewall them. Move him now to LG so Marpet can play RG and keep Benenoch on the bench, and let Liedtke play LT, which he did with no sack in two games in Preseason with the first string. Suddenly we would be blocking a lot better for Barber and Fitz wouldn’t be running for his life so he could throw accurate passes every time and we would win tomorrow and be a threat the rest of this season.

  17. Sydney Says:

    I watched J.R. Sweezy the whole game last night. He was on point!

  18. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    He should be the RT and jason gump should have picked laremy tunsil as the LT instead of the whiff of a db in vh3 that licht grabbed in R1 of the bad 2016 draft and match that with crappy gumps 2018 draft and this licht guy is the worst gm in pro football

  19. TheDailyAutopsy Says:

    He was beaten like a drum against the Redskins giving up sacks And looking awful. The Bucs need to draft or trade for a true starting left tackle and move Donovan Smith to right tackle

  20. SteveK Says:


    Hell yeah, Dude! When the 2016 draft started and the Tunsil gas mask video was released. I was so giddy that he would fall to us. But, we took an inferior talent. It sucks to suck.

    I also believe that when Jon Robinson left, and he traded up to right in front of the Bucs and toon OT Jack Conklin that he took our guy.

    We could’ve stayed pat in 2016, took Leonard Floyd and not had the ammo to trade back up for Agustin.

  21. Lord Cornelius Says:

    That was a terrible draft class for OT. He is the best one I think lol

  22. Maze Says:


  23. TOM Says:

    D Smith sucks. thats all there is to it. He’s at best average or below. He came out of college as the classic underachiever, but the Bucs draft him anyway. And knowing the stupid Glazer’s they will give him a big contract just like they did McCoy. they’ll never learn. Go ahead Glazer’s give Winston his big contract too, you losers.

  24. Clw JB Says:

    He is such a joke at LT, needs to play guard so he wont get exposed for his lazy footwork –

    Ali should be the RG to help Dot and Smith should be the LG, our run game would improve IMMEDIATELY!

  25. 813bucboi Says:

    he’s playing out od position….move him to LG and marpet to RG and watch this oline take off…..


  26. unbelievable Says:

    LOL, thanks for the laugh Koetter but you’re the last guy I want to hear talking about consistency.

    Your players are not consistent, your team is not consistent. So saying the D Smith has been consistent is just a joke.

  27. Tony LA Says:

    Donovan Smith is a subpar left tackle.
    No one can intelligently and accurately argue otherwise.
    If the Bucs sign him to an extension they will regret it 100% and it will severely hamper their line and their ability to end this decade+ long string of futility.

    Let him walk and I GUARANTEE they will find a hungry and equal (or better) replacement easily.

  28. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Steve K right on….i was all in my head this is just like when sapp fell to the bucs back in 90s and i figured at the time licht had a clue but NOPE he passes on the gas mask and now the bucs are cleveland south all alone because the raiders will be in vegas and WILL be better before the bucs….really cool scenraio on the ira podcast today is eli to the bucs for a year or whatever and then draft grier and then let him sit build the team up in 2 years let grier let it rip like mahomes and get a HC/OC like in KC/ChiTown and roll

  29. BigMacAttack Says:

    Deny everything, admit nothing, make counter accusations.

  30. denjoe Says:

    He sounds more like his mother than a football coach.

  31. BigMacAttack Says:

    I think the problem is the O line Coach. The Redskins took guys off the street and they did a better job. I think Donovan can be a good, not great left tackle with the right coaching.

  32. BigMacAttack Says:

    Let’s get to the root of the problem