Top-10 For Bucs’ Guard

June 22nd, 2019

Gets props.

Many followers of the Bucs rail nearly on a daily basis how the front-five of the Bucs couldn’t stop a butterfly from getting past them.

Doug Farrar humbly disagrees.

The noted film junkie is now tapping on a keyboard for USA Today and while monitoring all NFL guards, he listed Bucs left guard, ukelele-strumming Ali Marpet among his best.

I first encountered Marpet at the 2015 scouting combine, where I was entertained by his tales of his 9,000-calorie diet, and intrigued by the chip on his shoulder he carried as a small-college star. Marpet had no issue transitioning from Hobart College to the demands of the NFL—he allowed just two sacks, three quarterback hurries, and 17 quarterback hurries in his rookie campaign, and last season, he gave up three sacks and just 31 total pressures.

Marpet’s primary calling card is his run-blocking, where he takes technique and a serious nasty streak to every defender he faces. And if he gets his base set by the time you engage him in pass protection, you’re not going to win any power battles. He’ll occasionally lose contain to quicker linemen from side to side, but not consistently. As a power-based blocker, Marpet is hard to top.

It is interesting that Farrar believes Marpet is a good run blocker yet the Bucs running game has been a joke the last three seasons, last year especially.

Could it possibly be that the Bucs have horrible running backs, just a hunch? Or was Dirk Koetter’s offense, since he took over as head coach, just not built for running?

Joe has long stated the offensive line is not the reason the Bucs couldn’t run the ball. Here is an element from a respected NFL analyst which seems to back up Joe somewhat.

43 Responses to “Top-10 For Bucs’ Guard”

  1. Wesley Says:

    Yeah and the rest of the line pretty much sucks.

  2. SOEbuc Says:

    Great run blocker. Why he needs to be put back at his best position at RG.

  3. SOEbuc Says:

    Make a big trade for a good LG or RG and that OL could go from 0 to 10 very fast.

  4. AwShbucs Says:

    Always with the hyperbole. Most competent Bucs fans know Marpet is good, and for the most part Smith and Jensen are decent/ pretty good players with inconsistencies. They also recognize that as a unit the Oline was solid in the pass blocking department.

    But competent Bucs fans also recognize that this unit struggled to generate any kind of push in the run game. And that unless Cappa miraculously becomes a starting caliber guard after not being able to beat out Caleb Icantblock, RG is a massive liability. Oh and our RT is 34 years old with a history of missing games and generating costly penalties, and our HC is on record saying he cant run block.

    Not exactly sunshine and Rose’s. Congrats to Ali for getting some national recognition that he deserves tho.

  5. Chuckstutz Says:

    Scheme and coaching. Simple as that. Watch the difference this year.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Wow Joe, talk about jumping to conclusions. Sounds kinda like you said ‘Marpet is a good run blocker so the Bucs’ RBs must suck’. And I always thought that OLinemen had to pretty much work together to create holes & lanes for the RBs to run through. Silly me. Had Licht known that all we need is ONE good Guard we could’ve saved a boatload of money.

  7. webster Says:

    So one top 10 lineman according to ONE analyst means the bucs should have a top running game? Joe you do know there are 4 more lineman that determines the effectiveness of the run game? So what marpet beats his assignment. It means nothing if the other 4 lose theirs. Thats why on many plays there 3 defenders in the backfield when the ball was handed off to the running back. Joe you are hillarious but then again you too are part of the tampa bay fans that you know……

  8. adam from ny Says:

    he’s lost some of that mean streak since a rookie…

    a little too comfy…a little too nice…a little too much banjo-ing…

    get nasty again ali…straight nasty!


  9. Jason Says:

    Do any of the stat nerd sites have a breakdown of yards per carry behind individual linemen, or even left, right, and up the middle? I’m curious if our running backs have more success running behind certain linemen.

  10. Bird Says:


    Yah one good run blocker out of 5 doesn’t make a good run blocking line

  11. Brandon Says:

    There’s potential 1000 yard rushers that aren’t even on NFL rosters. A running game take five linemen working together, commitment to running, and consistency to do so effectively. One good lineman foes not a running game make, nor is a good RB. An offensive line is only as good as its weakest link.

  12. Cobraboy Says:

    Could it be the running scheme sucked?

    Just spitballin’…

  13. BigMacAttack Says:

    No one bashes Marpet on the line. He does his job. It’s the other 4 on either side of him. Don’t put words in our mouth, Joe. 🤐🤐😂

  14. BigMacAttack Says:

    Dirk Koetter was s major problem. BA recognized that before he got here.

  15. Bucnjim Says:

    I believe scheme had the most to do with our lack of running game. Opposing defenses knew what was coming before the ball was even snapped. Whether it was formation or personnel other teams not only knew it was a run they knew where it was going.

  16. Bucnjim Says:

    Just watch a couple replays from last year you will see opposing D’s shoot the gap exactly where the plays were intended to go. This wasn’t blind luck!

  17. BucFan727 Says:

    For starters there technique was bad last year most of the time. Offensive play design was awful. On top of mental errors like lunging at your man just bad play. Dot is getting old and we still need a rigjt guard that can block someone. We need another blocking TE, RG RT and a RB like Duke Johnson. Or just go get Duke. On defence they atleast need a proven DE to rush the passer. Make it happen Licht!

  18. BigHog Says:

    We have two practice fields …our o/line should be cross training to find out who is best at what position..because I tell ya D Smith needs to be on the right side as a R Tackle, that would mean we need a veteran left tackle which we could find at camp cut down! Or move D Smith to left guard if he can handle it! I just think cross trains and keeping an I on the guys who will be let go as camp comes to an end is the best thing to do!! Go Bucs Go Shuy!!

  19. westernbuc Says:

    There’s five starting offensive linemen, who must work as a unit, to block. Our right guard (who should be a good run blocker) has been a mess. Demar is solid but limited, and Smith takes plays off, and he’s better at pass blocking than run blocking.

    As for Koetter, he had no problem running when Logan Mankins was on the team.

  20. Hodad Says:

    Marpet is a good solid guard, that’s it. He needs to step up his game like Smith, and Jensen do. All three are being paid like pro bowlers, time to start playing like it.

  21. Ndog Says:

    Bucnjim Says:
    June 22nd, 2019 at 5:16 pm
    I believe scheme had the most to do with our lack of running game. Opposing defenses knew what was coming before the ball was even snapped. Whether it was formation or personnel other teams not only knew it was a run they knew where it was going.

    NAILED IT!!!!!

  22. Destinjohnny Says:

    We have to be talented we are at the cap right……

  23. unbelievable Says:

    Or could it be that only 1 out of 5 is not enough to make a good run-blocking o-line ?

    Hmmmmmm 😉

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    @BigHog … “D Smith needs to be on the right side as a R Tackle, that would mean we need a veteran left tackle which we could find at camp cut down!” Any suggestions BigHog on what team is going to cut their starting Left Tackle?

    Licht re-signing Donovan Smith to a 3-year $41 mil contract is actually a fairly decent deal for a starting LT. $13.7 per year isn’t cheap, but look at what some of the other LTs are making & it’s not really that bad either. I was more afraid that Donovan would be looking for a 5-7 year deal, so having it be for only 3 years made me feel better (personally I don’t like long deals).

    Bucs NEED to put some priority emphasis on our OLine starting in 2020. Draft 1 OLineman in Top-3 rnds for the next 3 years, and another as a ‘development project’ in the latter rnds. Building a OLine really isn’t rocket science … all it should take is drafting a steady supply of top-tier talent, then methodically developing it. Building a DLine should be done in exactly the same way IMO. Licht has to stop thinking that we can consistently find quality OLine & DLine starters in the late rnds of the draft. We MIGHT, but that’s not a viable strategy for TEAM-BUILDING IMO.

  25. Elita Vita Says:

    Fair is fair….chalk up a point for Licht on this one!

  26. Cobraboy Says:

    IMO, Koetter put so much emphasis on the pass and pass blocking, he only gave the run game lip service.

    Whether it was Doug Martin or Charles Simms a couple of years ago, or the backs last season, it was an exception if the back got to the LoS before being hit by a different color jersey.

    The scheme and emphasis were so bad, I don’t see how a knowledgeable fan can judge either the backs or OL play…

  27. Jean Lafitte Says:

    I give up, nobody complained about Marpet, but as a whole unit, they sucked at run blocking, …period.

  28. Oregonbucsfan Says:

    I don’t recall an effective screen pass formation in last 20 years of watching the Bucs. I can’t remember if I have EVER seen a good screen executed by them. Draws all day long but no screens??? When I watched the 49ers in the 60-70’s that’s all they ran. And, they were effective.

    For screens you need 1. A good runner 2. A good line 3. A good fake and dump pass by the QB. I guess that’s why the Bucs never run screens.

    BTW, 49ers by 7+ for the opener.

  29. JimmyJack Says:

    Jason that’s a good question. If I knew how to look it up easily I would.

    I could be wrong but it seems like Dirk tryed to run to the right. If true that would explain some of our struggles.

    Come on stat nerds look it up and share!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!

  30. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    1 out of 5 lineman is pretty good and the Joe who wrote thinks the o line is not the problem in the run game?

    The Clueless Joe strikes again. This line as a whole has serious issues providing any push upfront

    The film doesn’t lie

  31. JimmyJack Says:

    There is something to be said for preperation. As a whole our team looked and was unprepared often.

    Then you hear stories with Gruden saying he never saw so many balls on the ground in a professional practice before……..That is evidence that the way we practice the details were not cared for enough……..It stands to reason if we were lazy with ball control(balls on ground) we were also lazy with the details in our blocking technique.

    That’s why many of us are staying patient through the process and looking forward to seeing the finished product when Bruce demands better work habits and more accountability.

    The same players we had will do better if they are better prepared. Football is just like anything in life and hard work makes a difference.

    My bold prediction stands firm that D.Smith will win the pewtee for comeback player of the year!!!!!!

    First let the Bucs get good then we can be great.

  32. Jim Says:

    Stop a butterfly? Pretty tough,..just try it some time.

  33. BigHog Says:

    Defense Rules: I don’t think any team would cut a starting left/tackle ….but maybe could get an upgrade to DDotson! It’s shameful that we don’t have a replacement for DDotson on the roster already!! Or can BA pull a rabbit out of his Kango🎩! Your plan…I like but it should have been implemented the draft after we gave DDotson his last contract! Go Bucs Go Shuy!!!

  34. BucHead588 Says:

    I think Earl Watford will be Bucs Starting RG an Benneoch an Dotson will battle for RT remember Caleb was a Tackle in collage do t understand why coaches had players playing out of position last cpl years play to there strengths not weaknesses GoBucs

  35. PRBucFan Says:

    The problem is when your run calling was as predictable as Dirks was your already starting with a huge handicap.

  36. JimmyJack Says:

    PR…….I hear a lot of fans say that all the time. But I don’t think it’s a problem……….I think it’s common for all teams. You watch other teams play and they are predictable too. This aren’t like a baseball pitcher tipping his pitches………..Down and distance dictates a lot of playcalling & so does game situation.

    All teams are predictable with running the ball…….At least some of the time. And when you watch other teams the good ones can be successful even when they are predictable. You have to b able to run the ball even if your predictable in the NFL ……..if not your running game just stinks.

    How about the Patriots needing a half yard for a first down? Think Brady is too old and not doing this anymore but there was a good 5 year span where every time they had that down and distance it would be a QB sneak. Everybody on the field, everybody on the sideline & everybody watching at home knew it would be a QB sneak. It may have truely been the most predictable play in all of football history. Yet it was a successful play at nearly a flawless rate.

  37. D1 Says:

    Jason and JimmyJack,

    The info is available and it’s a surprise. Running behind the right guard was the most productive. Avg gain per play was 5 yds.
    Now to add another factor in the equation, it was also had the least number of attempts.

    If one or both of you is interested in where to find it, just say so and I will get you a link.

  38. TexBuc Says:

    Koetter basically ran a very light contact practices which results in a dull OL with no metal sharpened under practices. Dirk’s offense was predicated on play action and with Winston being right handed meant the fake hand off was to the right side of OL allowing QB to play action and throw. In other words Dirk ran his playbook with no adjustments to players strengths and weakness.

  39. JimmyJack Says:

    D1 that is a major suprize to me. I though we went to the right and was wronger then wrong.

    If you could help find the website to find the info I would defieny appreciate the link if you can. I would be very curious to see how that trend played out in different years if I could find it.

  40. #1bucsfan Says:

    Jason did a good job of trading up to get this guy an he’s bin a beast. This just shows tmaxipad doesn’t know anything. He talk bad about this guy all the time. #endthedrought

  41. D1 Says:


    Absolutely, I don’t remember exactly where it was, just the info, so please be patient.

  42. D1 Says:


    NFL Savant.
    If you haven’t been on this site I believe you’ll be impressed by the amount of targeted data available. It’s probably one if not the best sites.

    There’s one other and Im pretty sure it’s where I read the stat.

    Sharp football stats.

    They have the runs attempts, yards, avg broken down by offensive line positions.

  43. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    As I said at the end of last season, we have the right guys on this team to fix the OL. We just need to cut bait on Dotson and run with Leidtke at RT. Cappa at RG.