“Consistency” Challenge For Donovan Smith

January 2nd, 2020

This season’s knock on Bucs left tackle Donovan Smith seems to be the same as in years past, if you listen to the words of Buccaneers offensive line coach Joe Gilbert.

Some say Smith takes plays off and has since his college days. That’s probably how he slipped into Round 2 of the draft and Joe has written in past years that it’s obvious Smith is streaky when it comes to effort. He’s simply a guy appears to be going less than 100 for a small handful of plays per game.

Joe thought Smith was significantly more consistent this season than in years past.

Asked how Smith’s game can grow, Gilbert gave an example that Smith might be off his usual game for five plays every Sunday.

“I think consistency. You know, he does, at times on tape, he does some things that you sit there and say, ‘Man, that’s what we’re looking for. That’s what the left tackle should do.'”Gilbert told Buccaneers Radio. “And then there’s other plays where he does it once but not the second time. And that’s what you try to continue to instill in every player. But you know he can do it because he’s put it on tape. Now it’s just a matter of being, you know, ‘Hey, if it’s 65 plays, be consistent for 65, not 60.’ I think that would be the No. 1 thing.”

Again, nothing new here, and Joe thought Smith was better this season and under Gilbert and co-offensive line coach Harold Goodwin.

Gilbert loves Smith’s raw ability on display. “His athleticism. I would say for a big man, I mean, 320-330 pounds, his athleticism, ability to move and change direction, without question that’s a huge asset because you just don’t see a guy with that type of athletic skills that’s that big and that athletic.”

Smith will return for the 2020 season on a guaranteed contract.

23 Responses to ““Consistency” Challenge For Donovan Smith”

  1. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    DS +’s the lowest common denominator for a starting LT…and it is his mental attitude and approach to the game…he has the Buc’s over a barrel…

  2. chocolatecvb Says:

    I miss Donald Penn [sigh]

  3. Bobby M. Says:

    IF….we could draft a top tier LT AND move Smith to RT, that would be a pretty good set up from a cap perspective. Smith would then be the back up LT if needed, Cappa could go to RT if needed, have one swing linemen….it opens up more money/space on the roster.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We need to focus on RT & depth on the lines……and, a RB……I like the big guy from Alabama, Harris in the 3rd round.

  5. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    I miss when Donald Penn would change direction, the centrifical force of his huge belly swinging would practically knock him off his own feet.

  6. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I’m not certain why people keep talking about moving Smith to RT.

    At least two things bother me with that analysis.

    FIRST…as Joe has frequently reported on these very pages Smith himself is DEAD SET AGAINST going to right tackle. Either Joe did the interview or reported about it where Smith was asked about a move and he was adamant about being a LEFT tackle.

    Yeah you could force him to make the move…the Bucs pay his salary…but think about it. A guy whose biggest weakness is taking a few plays off each game….now unmotivated by a move he vehemently protests…how many plays would get taken off at RT.

    The fundamental problem for me is that while I get that LT is considered more important than RT…especially with a right handed QB…but HOW much more important. Why hack off arguably our most talented OL. If Smith takes plays off at LT what would be different at RT.

    Smith has the TALENT and physical skills to play a very valuable role at LT. The coaching staff has apparently identified this and consider the greatest challenge to getting in Donavan’s head.

    I’m growing more confident with BA’s staff with every passing day.

    Having said that…we do need a shrink on staff. Donavan might take a few plays off but it’s JW’s head case that is harming this franchise. Who can get into HIS head?

  7. Joe Says:

    FIRST…as Joe has frequently reported on these very pages Smith himself is DEAD SET AGAINST going to right tackle. Either Joe did the interview or reported about it where Smith was asked about a move and he was adamant about being a LEFT tackle.

    Joe spoke with him about this couple of years ago. Smith didn’t “refuse” to go to right tackle, but said he would be a disaster. He was pretty cool about it in that he wasn’t angry with the suggestion and was really nice in going into detail with the footwork and the handwork and said he would be a total failure at right tackle. Compared it to someone who is left-handed trying to play guitar right-handed.

  8. Tackleblockwin Says:

    I guess I feel there are too many other worries on this team than LT. I like Donovan Smith. I’ve seen every one of our lineman get beat here and there, but when our LT and RT get beat it is just more noticeable. Not making excuses for him, but we do have bigger fish to fry this offseason.

  9. Buccernutter Says:

    Can’t pay a rt left tackle money on this squad.

    Also, Smith was solid this season. You guys can divulge on what you think you know but he wasn’t bad.

  10. Danny Says:

    D. Smith isn’t the reason we lose games.

  11. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Thanks for that update on what DS actually told you.

    Actually makes DS sound better…just stating a fact instead of his desire to play LT.

  12. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    Inconsistent QB, LT as well as other positions not playing to their pay is an indictment on the GM and scouts

  13. Architek79 Says:

    Much ado about the same since college 😃

  14. Pewter power Says:

    Fans already told you he’s lazy and look uninterested in blocking at times. I’m hoping BA throws a bunch of curb balls at this roster. He’s had a full year so now he doesnt have to guess who can do what he has seen it so. Inconsistencies have to go even if it’s not immediately but there are a lot of starters who earned competition this offseason even if they wont replace the starter until 2021.

  15. unbelievable Says:

    Same thing that has always been his biggest negative- consistency.

    He’s serviceable for the time being. RT is a much bigger issue this offseason.

  16. jim Says:

    when evaluating DS at LT … if his main weakness is a below average ability to move WIDE left on DE
    who are just ok at bending … you may want to explore the LT during the draft.
    if you think yuo can find better, it makes sense to upgrade.

    cap wise for the entire oline, doesn’t matter @ what position the money is at.
    there will be two first contracts – 3 $10M unless renegotiation

    giving credence to the left vs right arguement
    and with marpets flexibility

    there are many possibilities
    finding a good college oline prospect you get to evaluate several positions
    LT LG RG or RT and take the best available

    also could look for center and move jensen to a guard, he’s only been a center
    for 3 yrs.

    is donovan a better lt than he is a rt or better than draft or cappa at rt?
    is donovan a better lt than he is a lg or draft? (coming out of college forcast as guard)
    is donovan a better rt than cappa ?

    is cappa a better rg or a rt ?

    if you select LT then
    smith to rt or
    smith to LG – Marpet to RG – Cappa – RT

    if you select LG then
    smith stays at LT
    marpet to RG – Cappa – RT

    if you select RG then
    Cappa – RT

    or just select RT

    Lots of moving parts depending on how you grade
    smith @ LT,LG,RT vs available draft
    cappa @ RG,RT vs available draft

    dotson is gone (or backup); marpet is a guard;
    is smith better as a LG or RT ?
    is smith better rt than cappa ?
    is cappa beter as a RG or RT ?

    hope coaches can determine the value (best use) of our existing
    resources first and along w available collegiate talent.

  17. TOM Says:

    He wasn’t bad? Do you people even watched him play. The fat lazy jerk takes a lot of plays off, whcih what he did in college. But now its different he’s making big bucks so why should he care?

  18. TOM Says:

    Underachiever = D. Smith

  19. Jean Lafitte Says:

    draft a LT move Smith to RT

  20. Jean Lafitte Says:

    I don’t care if it hurts his feelings. He’s already where he wants to be but still takes too many plays off.

  21. Jean Lafitte Says:

    ..and Smith sucks at run blocking ..it’s almost as if he tries to avoid contact.

  22. geno711 Says:

    So many reasons to leave DS at left tackle. Want to draft/sign a tackle this year – get a right tackle. The players rush the passer from both sides so you need a tackle on the right side of the line as well that can stop the pass rush.

    Do people watch other offensive lines. People act like this was the worst offensive line in the league. Not even close. I want up upgrade at right tackle and another depth guy. But we can do that this year because it is a good draft for O lineman.

    Tennessee is in the playoffs with less than average offensive line play. Tennessee’s offensive line actually allowed 56 sacks in 448 pass attempts to Tampa’s 47 sacks in 630 attempts. Dallas and Oakland with their superior offensive lines did not make the playoffs.

  23. Buczilla Says:

    Smith is only above average and is being paid as if he were elite. Hopefully we draft his eventual replacement in 2020 or 2021.