“My Hand’s Always Been In The Dirt”

May 11th, 2019

Undrafted free agent guard Zack Bailey

JoeBucsFan.com intern

Many fans were left distressed when the Bucs ignored the offensive line in the draft two weeks ago.

While the Bucs brought back Donovan Smith and Demar Dotson, many were wanting a shiny new right guard to replace Caleb Benenoch.

They didn’t get one.

Which brings us to the beginning of rookie minicamp yesterday, where a bunch of young, plucky players got the chance to showcase their talent in front of the new coaching staff.

Here’s what Arians had to say regarding some of the offensive lineman out there:

“Couple of offensive lineman, first time they’ve ever put their hand on the ground, and they struggled, you know, mightily trying to pass block that way.”


Now that didn’t apply to all the linemen. In fact, one not only is experienced with his hand in the dirt, he likes it.

Undrafted free agent Zack Bailey out of South Carolina stands at 6-5 and 299 pounds. He’s a blue-collar type of guard who isn’t afraid of getting dirty.

“I mean, my hand’s always been in the dirt,” Bailey said. “It’s kind of, you know, the style of offense that we ran at South Carolina, so I was always in the dirt.”

Past the broken leg that ended his 2018 season, Bailey’s ground-and-pound style would be a welcome addition to this offensive line. But he is far from a guarantee to make the roster, let alone compete for a starting position.

Just don’t tell him that he won’t be relevant come training camp.

“It’s all about knowledge and what I can learn between now and then,” Bailey said. “So, I mean, I’m just working as hard as I can to get better and hopefully, you know, continue to play at a high level.”

Lucky for him, right guard should be an open competition. Benenoch was moved to tackle and now Alex Cappa, who couldn’t even beat out Benenoch last year, stands alone atop the depth chart.

If Bailey wants to be this team’s starting right guard, he’ll get every opportunity.

If he succeeds, he’ll have his dirty hands to thank for it.

In the spirit of Kramerica Industries, JoeBucsFan.com has a college intern for a few months. It’s a true rarity. In addition to soaking up wisdom from The Sage of Tampa Bay sports, Zachary Seifter has a pile of Bucs knowledge himself and you’ll see some of his work here occasionally. 

22 Responses to ““My Hand’s Always Been In The Dirt””

  1. Kalind Says:

    Is Earl Watford that bad Joe??

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Got to root for guys like this

  3. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    He’s have to survive rookie camp cuts first.

  4. Colin Says:


    He looks pretty good. #78 LG.

    Great pick up

  5. Jean Lafitte Says:

    ..and what about Liedtke? He had a great preseason last year filling at RT but who is really suited to play RG (shorter and squattier and played guard in college). Cappa is built more like a RT (tall, lankier build, long arms and played tackle in college)

    Why are we always trying to ram a square peg into a round hole?

  6. rrsrq Says:

    Every person has somebody they root for out of the UDFA, this is my guy here, why because we need him to be better than average. He needs to be that diamond in the rough, that pearl in the ocean, that uncared animal, even though I know nada about him

  7. Shane247 Says:

    I was a little down on our draft, because of what I thought we needed, but the more I look at the drafted and undrafted guys, the more excited I get. We may not have “Won the Draft” per se, but how many years have we been given A’s for the offseason and draft, only to suck outloud.

    We did not draft in a conventional manner. This was not a BPA draft, but it was a BSPA (Best System Player Available) draft. I would not be surprised if 5 or 6 of the UDFA make the team.

  8. Buc believer Says:

    I will be rooting for Zack Bailey and also for Zack Seffert! Good piece young man! Keep up the good work!

  9. Magadude Says:

    Well dang it, good luck to you Zack. YOU have a decent chance of making this team because JL and BA had NO INTEREST in bringing top name players to the Bucs in FA or he draft. They couldn’t afford it. It’s all part of the “we’ll get it next year” strategy to buy each another few million when they bamboozle the Glazers again. So when you cash in too, good on you. It’s just south of $500K but it’s better than what you’d make bagging groceries or selling water softeners. Welcome to medicre football world.

  10. Hodad Says:

    He played at S.C. in the SEC, that already makes him better then Cappa.

  11. Buccaneerscotty Says:

    Pray he makes it! Go Bucs, I’m excited about a few of these undrafted rookies.

  12. WhatTheBuc Says:

    I read that he would have been drafted if he was not coming off an injury so maybe he has a chance

  13. Stonedbuc Says:

    He will be a starting guard. I read it in the smoke

  14. NOSBOS Says:

    D$&@ right Shane.

  15. NOSBOS Says:

    Collin he does look pretty good. He more than held his own against arguably the best Dline in the country. H3ll on more than a few of those snaps he was man handling s@:&.

  16. Colin Says:


    Theres a few youtube vids of his games but i posted the Clemson game because that shows him playing against three first rounders. He looks GOOD in that game and to me that shows a lot. If his broken leg is good to go and he is in shape he will make this team for sure.

  17. NOSBOS Says:

    Agreed bro..

  18. D1 Says:


    If only our GM was aware of the conference which produces the most pros . Then perhaps we would see the end to drafting, not signing UDFA, but drafting players from schools no one has ever heard of. What’s wrong with the SEC Mr. Licht? Too successful. ..

  19. Kord Says:

    With watford, liedtke and a few others like this who will step up we will be fine on the o line

  20. Kord Says:

    Hope Arians keeps them in check with the penalties…

  21. CalBucsFan Says:

    NIce piece Zach, thanks, you’ve chosen a great place to intern.

  22. William Walls Says:

    Zachary, from one writer to another, you’ve got some strong writing chops. I’ve learned something from every article you’ve written and enjoyed the read. The way you brought the conclusion back to the beginning was particularly enjoyable. Well done.