“Tough Dude”

June 6th, 2020

J.R. Sweezy and Ryan Jensen were “nasty” offensive linemen signed by the Bucs in free agency in recent years, not only to play but to rub off some of their grit on the linemen alongside them.

Whether that worked or not is debatable.

The Bucs signed another free agent offensive lineman this season, Joe Haeg, the 2019 sixth man on the Colts’ line.

Joe has no idea whether Haeg is participating in the Bucs’ voluntary online work. Joe asked Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet for their impressions of Haeg, who logged 35 starts at tackle with Indianapolis over the last four years. Neither had much to say but Marpet acknowledged he’s seen Haeg in the weight room.

“I’ve worked out with Joe. I met Joe before. I know he’s a tough dude,” Marpet said. “He’s a good football player; I’ve seen him on tape for a while now. So I think that he’s an excellent addition for us.”

“Tough dude” sounds good to Joe.

Haeg is poised to be the Bucs’ swing tackle, and he can play guard. One would think rookie Tristan Wirfs is a slam dunk to start at right tackle. But if Haeg is the “tough dude” Marpet says he is, then Wirfs might feel healthy pressure from Haeg through training camp, which should only make Wirfs better.

30 Responses to ““Tough Dude””

  1. SOEbuc Says:

    I was really pleased when we picked him up cus we need good oline depth and that’s what he is.

  2. Joehelldeloxley Says:

    Bringing a tough vet to challenge a talented rookie seems a very good idea to me.
    Seems a win win situation.

  3. gp Says:

    If our ‘talented rookie’ is not quite up to speed for the NFL talent he will face, then Haeg may well start the first few games. The protection of TB12 is of paramount importance to the entire franchise season.

  4. Cobraboy Says:

    Haeg takes some pressure off Wirfs and the OC to protect Brady and crank up a running game with a rook.

  5. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    I like the progress of Alex Cappa at right tackle, but I would like to see him compete with Joe Haeg after Wirfs wins the RT position.

  6. Darin Says:

    Gp. Exactly. I don’t think Wirfs is a slam dunk to start the season. The best right tackle will start game one.

  7. Chuckstutz Says:

    NFL lineman is tough. Wow. I sure as heck would hope so! Think that’s the least I would expect from a hog.

  8. Joe Says:

    Gp. Exactly. I don’t think Wirfs is a slam dunk to start the season. The best right tackle will start game one.

    If Wirfs doesn’t start Week 1, that means the Bucs made a ghastly error.

    If someone other than a healthy Wirfs is starting at right tackle, then Wirfs would/should be moved to start at right guard. (Though Joe could see Wirfs starting at left tackle if Donovan Smith were hurt but chances are someone else would start at left tackle.)

    The Bucs easily could have traded that first-round pick for a starting right tackle. They drafted Wirfs with the full intention of starting at right tackle.

  9. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Joe, you’re 100% correct. You don’t draft a right tackle that high in the 1st round unless you expect him to line up there as the starter for the first snap to the GOAT on opening day.

  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Wirfs will have to start unless he is injured or gets suspended for some reason.

    If he struggles, they will add some TE blockers to assist him while he acclimates.

  11. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    gp Says
    “If our ‘talented rookie’ is not quite up to speed for the NFL talent he will face, then Haeg may well start the first few games.”

    Fastest way to acclimate is experience. They’d add additional blockers to help him first.

  12. bucsince79 aka bumaneer Says:

    Wirfs is a beast!!! Protect TB12!! D Smith had a decent year last year & I think He will be a better LT this year… We all know that Marpet will be a pro bowler.. Cappa is also doing well…

  13. adam from ny Says:

    its a shame sweezy turned out as he did as a buc…he was so dam tuff…

    and went on to become a pro-bowler when he left tampa, again…

    son of a gun sat on his azz collecting checks and chillin’…

    imagine if he was still here and wanted to be here, with the line we have now…we’d be pretty much set…

    we are one sweezy away from a great line

  14. gp Says:

    *If Wirfs doesn’t start Week 1, that means the Bucs made a ghastly error.*

    I agree that he was drafted to start day one but with a ‘sickness’ shortened camp all bets are off.
    Again, TB12 must remain on his feet.
    Preseason games take on a whole new perspective this year.

  15. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    I’m with Joe. If he doesn’t start at tackle, he’ll be replacing Cappa at guard game one, either moving Cappa or Haeg to RT. If healthy, he’ll be starting somewhere.

  16. teacherman777 Says:

    If Cappa struggles, Wirfs will move to RG and Joe will play RT.

    Cappa should not be handed a starting job.

  17. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:


    You left a link last week about 5G, then I lost the page before I could watch it, when my browser crashed. Do you still have the link handy? If not, I’ll find it the old fashioned way.

  18. I Bleed Pewter Says:

    Joe says,
    If Wirfs doesn’t start Week 1, that means the Bucs made a ghastly error.
    What a load of manure
    I don’t care how Joe feels or what he says if Wirfs isn’t ready, and Haeg is, then we start the season with Haeg. If that happens it’s unfair and basically BS that Joe would call Wirf a bust.

  19. Hodad Says:

    RT’s drafted that high, don’t forget Licht also gave up a 4th rounder to get him need to start day one. If a journeymen O linemen beats him out he would be a bust. I don’t think that will happen. The guy who needs to worry about his job is Cappa.

  20. Bucsfanman Says:

    The “Fanman” family crest reads:

    You can NEVER have enough competent offensive lineman.

  21. ©MadMax Says:

    I seriously believe Wirfs will be an all pro Guard….and thats awesome. Still worth the first round trade up investment. We’ll try him at RT and he’s going to have a heck of a time against our own pass rushers, so it will be figured out. I hope he flourishes at RT and maybe can flourish at LT in a few years. And thankfully we signed Haeg. If needed, he’s our RT, Wirfs our RG and Cappa (whose also tough as nails) a great backup at either of those positions.

    I hope Wirfs gets a lot of practice at LT though. Sure would be awesome if we just drafted our future LT to take over for Donavan when his contract is up. We need those funds!!

  22. David Smith Says:

    If Wirfs doesn’t start he’s abust??? You must have forgotten about the COVID pandemic that kept him from learning from the vets and coaches and Brady and even Gronk. Zoom meetings only so much and Haeg does have more NFL starting experience.

  23. Cobraboy Says:

    @MadMax: you must watch a different Cappa than I do.

    For a kid coming out of a Div. III school, the guy is balling at RG. All Pro? No. But he has made serious strides from his first day at OBP, and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t take another leap in his 3rd year.

    And the guy is tougher than woodpecker lips.

    I fail to see why Wirfs cannot be top-tier at RT. He has size, strength, incredible athleticism, a nasty streak and was one of the best ever coming from a top college-to-pro OL factory.

    Exactly what is the guy missing that makes some think his future is at G?

    IMO, bringing in Haig is a huge +. It means that a rook doesn’t have to start Day 1, lets a rook get his feet under him first, and gives the OL significant depth lacking in prior years.

  24. Owlykat Says:

    If D. Smith once more cannot handle speed rushers and keeps getting penalties we can use Gronk by him to chip block the speed rushers and next year move Wirfs to be our starting LT for the next 10 years and trade off D. Smith for a draft pick and save his salary to sign Godwin to a long term contract; then start Haeg at RT and train Cappa to back him up if Haeg goes down and draft a high Guard next year to step in at LG if Cappa has to move over to RT. Our OL is going to keep getting better and we should have a decent running game to help Brady! This is going to be a Great Year!

  25. Owlykat Says:

    Oops RG not LG! Above.

  26. ©MadMax Says:

    @Cobra, that was a misread I think by you, or maybe I wasnt clear enough. Im not EVEN taking anything away from Cappa….thought I made that point, sorry. If Wirfs shorter arm length and his thick hips and thighs slow him down at the nfl level against speed rushers, then we’ll have to think about him at G. Who knows though, we’ll have to wait and see. I want him to work out perfect and RT and hopefully at LT in the future. But Ive seen the few knocks on him and know what I see myself. But his explosiveness may just compensate for anything he may be lacking. And trust me, I KNOW Cappa is a beast and want him as our starter at RG. Didnt mean to take anything away from him. Its nice to have this problem with some very talented O linemen for a change.

  27. Cassidysid Says:

    I wouldn’t mind having Haeg being our back-up or starting RT. With this virus thing going on you might want a veteran on the line for the first few games till Wirfs get his feet wet.

    You can’t call a 1st round pick a bust it’s first season no matter what.

  28. Bucamania Says:

    Haeg is a perfect swing tackle to back up D Smith and Wirfs. Can’t wait to see Wirfs at RT. Dude is gonna change the running game completely. Dotson got zero push. Wirfs is a beast and with Gronk lined up next to him, Ali pulling… look out!

  29. teacherman777 Says:

    @baracks crack pipe

    C Span Video: Doctors Discuss Dangers of 5G


  30. pick6 Says:

    bucs OL is financially so top heavy, they need guys like Haeg and some late round developmental picks who can help them keep a good group together while paying Marpet and eventually Wirfs long term