Bucs O-Line Coach Talks Pro-Game Challenge

June 29th, 2019

The Bucs didn’t draft an offensive lineman this year and definite starters Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet, Ryan Jensen and Demar Dotson have a combined 24 years of experience.

Without question it’s a veteran line. And in the case of Smith and Marpet, former Bucs offensive line coach George Warhop was their only professional O-line coach in a system that didn’t change through four seasons.

Joe brings this up on the heels of late-night study of new Bucs offensive line coach Joe Gilbert, a guy whose six-year NFL resume includes success during the early years of Andrew Luck in Indianapolis. But things got very ugly in a hurry on the Colts’ offensive line.

Luck literally was beaten up and missed the entire 2017 season because of it. Gilbert was demoted and then let go, before a one-year return to the college ranks last season.

Joe found an interview of Gilbert at the University of Arizona last year in which he talked about the difference in college and pro coaching.

Gilbert explained that he learned over time that a professional O-line coach can’t come in and say, ‘We’re going to do it this way.’

Why? Because players have varied experience and, per Gilbert, he learned veterans who have “played under different coaches and [were] taught different things” don’t respond well to a this-is-how-we-do-it mentality.

“You gotta kind of adjust with that. And that’s a learning phase,” Gilbert said of his pro coaching philosophy.

Frankly, this scares the heck out of Joe.

What Gilbert is saying is understandable, but it also seems a little odd for a coach to admit that he’s not comfortable — or successful — in laying down new approaches from Day 1.

Joe hopes and believes the biggest thing needed for the Bucs’ O-line, outside of a new right guard, is a mentality change. And hopefully, that’s not something that was approached lightly or slowly by Gilbert.

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17 Responses to “Bucs O-Line Coach Talks Pro-Game Challenge”

  1. jim Says:


    think you might be being a bit unfair here.

    found the article and read it. i do believe you have misinterpreted what he meant.

    my impression was he was talking about how it is a different coaching approach – relatively inexperienced (college level, rookies and young players) vs vets (with strong habit strength). not that the system, goals, design and techniques and standards aren’t clear … but that you coach the player types differently.

    afterall that was the question asked in the interview.

    he talks about adjusting the coaching style to each in order to maximize learning… not changing what is taught.

  2. Cobraboy Says:

    Didn’t Gilbert also say the Bucs OL were not “finishing” blocks, and that was a problem in the run game?

    That aspect is, in fact, something an OL coach can get his charges to step up.

    “Want to” can be coached…or cut.

  3. JimmyJack Says:

    If coaching cannot make a noticeable difference with the OL then it should, maybe will cost Licht is his job.

    We keep paying all this high contracts and getting no results. Mainly in the running game. If you’re wasting money on guys with no potential it destroys our chances of winning.

    For now I’m going to expect a huge difference in our runblocking & to see these players reach the potential they are paid for.

    When the debate comes up for coaching vs talent I believe the biggest answer will be in our runblocking…………I’ll put my money on Bruce. Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe he has done well in finding a running game in most of his coaching gigs…..And not just with a stud like David Johnson. Quite a few success stories with lesser talented backs……..Bring some of that to Tampa baby!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  4. macabee Says:

    No, the Bucs did not sign an O-Line player in the draft, but they did sign OG Zach Bailey 6-5, 308 out of South Carolina. Joe wrote about Bailey a couple of times, including here https://www.joebucsfan.com/2019/05/hand-in-the-dirt-buccaneers-guard-zack-bailey/. –Joe
    Zach was second team All-SEC, named to 2018 East- West Shrine Game, and invited to the Combine. He should have been drafted in the 3rd or 4th round, but broke his fibula in a meaningless game with Akron.

    Bailey got cleared for the Combine and put up good numbers, but didn’t run the 40. Concerns about the broken leg made him available to the Bucs as a UDFA. He is now fully recovered and has been impressive in OTAs. Pads go on Sunday July 28. That will tell us if we have a draft diamond. He was signed as a priority (highly sought after) UDFA. The Bucs gave Bailey a $22,000 signing bonus plus a $22,000 salary. Hope he pans out. Go Bucs!

  5. Pickgrin Says:

    Gilbert is not the only one coaching the Oline.

    Harold Goodwin who has been coaching since ’95 and in the NFL since ’04 – is the other man responsible for “fixing” this under-achieving Buccaneers Oline.

    In fact – as the “run game coordinator” – I’d say that coach Goodwin’s designated role is of paramount importance to the Buccaneers potential for success.

    Fix the Bucs run game – and this team will be hard to beat – defensive improvements or Not (and we already know or should know there will be substantial defensive improvements this year).

  6. Magadude Says:

    A good interview, and it’s nice Gilbert is being candid. At the same time, I remember several instances where Lovie commented on the time he had in his basement to reflect on things and figure out a way ahead…time will tell. Talk and hope is all we have right now.

  7. Cobraboy Says:

    @Pickgrin: agreed. Goodwin is the main man.

    Keep in mind the Bucs intend to run two simultaneous practices, so a guy like Gilbert has value.

  8. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Good thing I’m not coach. Considering they have a combined 24 years of experience, and watching last seasons sick attempt at run blocking, I’d have their @sses pushing sleds all over the field every practice. That was a pitiful display of veteran leadership and experience.

  9. JGhoti86 Says:

    And what Harold Goodwin? I don’t get that vibe from him at all. He speaks his mind it seems, at least that’s what I gathered from the limited number of press conferences we’ve heard from the guy so far…

  10. Usedtocould Says:

    Can’t wait for the draft

  11. Oneilbucs Says:

    Man as much as I love the bucs we are going to have another losing season. And it’s going to all Jamies fault. And we will draft another quarterback and still not address the real problem with this team. I just rather have a good defense and a good running game. Jamies is good enough to win with if we can build a defense and a running game then and only then we will win. Until then it will not matter who the quarterback is. I just wish this fan base and this franchise would realize it but they don’t know nothing about football and that’s the hold problem with the Tampa bay Buccaneers. The teams that win is the ones that focus on the hold team. And the teams that lose is the ones that focus only on the quarterback position. That’s why the Packers are losing now cause now the focus is only on Rogers and not the team. Rogers 35 TDs and 5 picks and they still didn’t make the playoffs.

  12. Jean Lafitte Says:

    agree macabee

    In fact I might add besides Bailey and Anderson there are a few gems that can be mined from that cast of UDFA’s. Keep an eye on Trewyn, Lodge, and Daniels as well.

  13. BA FAN Says:

    They are not asking them to learn a new way of zone blocking which they had to do for Clueless Warhop. Instead he is teaching them BA’s Power Blocking Scheme and they better be all ears and anxious to please before BA chews them out and cuts them or trades them. He means business and they know it! In D. Smith’s case he has incentives in his contract that can give him more money if he makes the new system produce to reach certain stated goals.

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    So Joe Gilbert had success in his early years with Indy (11-5 for 2012, 2013 & 2014 seasons), broke even for 2 years (8-8 in 2015 & 2016) then got hammered in 2017 (4-12) as “Luck literally was beaten up and missed the entire 2017 season because of it. Gilbert was demoted and then let go”. Didn’t anyone in the media bother to look a little deeper into what the Colts were putting on the field in those years?

    For his 6 years with the Colts, Gilbert had the same LT all 6 years … Castanzo. But the rest of the positions were revolving doors … 4 different LGs, 3 different Centers, 3 different RGs and 4 different RTs from 2012-2017. The Colts still managed to make the playoffs in those first 3 years (despite musical OLinemen) and broke even for the next 2 years (with more OLine turbulence). Their 2017 OLine was marginal at best (2 rookies started in 2018 & 2 other OLinemen were replaced). But ya, Joe Gilbert is probably as good a scapegoat as anyone. Certainly not their GM in those years for what he gave Gilbert to work with, or the OC in 2017 for how he planned & called the plays, or the HC for his complicit role in overseeing the whole offense & defense. And certainly not the primary QB Jacoby Brissett who replaced Luck for 15 games in 2017.

    And BTW, the Colts got a new GM (Ballard) in 2017, a new HC (Reich) in 2018, and a new OC in 2018 (Sirianni) to go along with their new OLine coach (so Gilbert wasn’t the only one replaced by any means). Their OLine was pretty much completely overhauled in 2018, with the Colts drafting Nelson (G) in Rnd 1 and Smith (T) in Rnd 2. But surely 2017 was all Gilbert’s fault so we’ll go with that.

  15. Drew Says:

    @joe… Please do not become a member of the fake news media.

  16. Jordan L Says:

    Oh no we suck again!

  17. BucHead588 Says:

    Bucs have there starting RG on the roster already Earl Watford chill out guys he will be our missing piece watch our line gel