“He Had Probably The Easiest Guy To Block”

September 14th, 2020

“Poor job”

It seemed just about every Bucs fan was nervous for how rookie right tackle Tristan Wirfs, with a limited offseason, was going to play against Pro Bowl defensive end Cam Jordan on Sunday.

Joe sure was nervous.

Instead, the tackle with blocking issues wasn’t Wirfs, but left tackle Donovan Smith.

Since the day he was drafted, Smith has been a piñata for Bucs fans. Often unfairly. Yesterday, Smith made sure that piñata was full of goodies for the haters to gobble up.

Rest assured, Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians wasn’t happy either.

“I was very disappointed in his play,” Arians said today in a Zoom conference call. “Every now and then he reverts to some techniques that are not very good. And he got beat. He had probably the easiest guy to block up there. He did a poor job. That was one of his poorer games.”

Smith wasn’t even facing a starter for much of the game. New Orleans right defensive end Marcus Davenport was inactive and in his place was former third-round pick Trey Hendrickson.

This is essentially a contract year for Smith. It’s the last season his contract is guaranteed so the Bucs could release him in the offseason without penalty.

The way Wirfs played in his very first NFL game, you almost wonder, with the 2021 salary cap expected to plunge, if the shot-callers at One Buc Palace have in the back of their minds to move Wirfs to left tackle next year to save Team Glazer shekels ($14 million to be exact).

The way Smith always answers the bell, it would be awfully hard for football people to release a guy they can count on each Sunday. That is, unless Smith suddenly becomes so atrocious that the team has no choice.

64 Responses to ““He Had Probably The Easiest Guy To Block””

  1. WyldKat Says:

    It seems like every two or three drives, he has a play that makes you go “wut”. Otherwise, he’s been reliable, for both better and worse.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Next year we really gotta get these lines right. Apparently qb is gonna be a concern too

  3. Bucamania Says:

    I’ve had this guys back for the most part, but yesterday was ridiculous. Playing the Saints with Tom Brady and you cr@p the bed against a backup. Just terrible.

  4. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Well he’s definitely giving them no choice!

  5. Sarasota Garey Says:

    They were putting the backup backup player against him.

  6. CharlieB Says:

    If he plays like this again next week, they should move Wirfs to LT and Smith to RT. I’d rather the move happen now and let him learn because while Smith is excellent most plays, his screw ups are drive killers and that invalidates the rest of his work.

  7. ClodHopper Says:

    We can count on him each Sunday.

    Yay. He’s a warm body to fill a position. That’s the same qualifications for a dishwasher at a restaurant

  8. Ed Says:

    This coach blame everyone but himself and his coaching staff. How about blaming senior citizen Brady. We had the same situation last year two interception and a fumble. Can someone tell me what is the difference.

  9. Bucamania Says:

    Just saw this posted. Cam Jordan throwing a cheap shot punch

    [He claimed he was trying to punch the ball loose. — Joe]

  10. Miketb19 Says:

    He was a real let down yesterday he also had play against Cam Jordan where got blown up and Fournette got hit for a 4 yard loss so he struggled in pass protection and the run game

    He is lucky that Car. blew up there whole defensive line otherwise he would be having an issue next week to so if he struggles next week as well then his A** is on the chopping block as far as I’m considered

    And a shout out to Tristan Wirfs man he really held his own against an all pro player like Cam Jordan and most of the time he was on his own no TE help he played as well as you could of hoped i think by the time we get to week 4 or 5 that dude is just going be dominant out there

  11. Bellingham Bucs Fan Says:

    This clown didn’t even want the season to happen. No heart to be a LT. He showed that in the Spring and now our QB is in danger because of him. Get him out of town.

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

    Jason Lite is smarter than all the GM’s that came before him,in the NFL, he can find OL & DL in the later rounds….he’ll build the skill positions first…I and other have been calling past 2 drafts to build the trenches…he has gambled over and over and is a failure…the record is what it is…

  13. Anonymous Says:

    Saw a few times where Wirfs stoned cam Jordan

  14. Steven007 Says:

    Donovan Smith is basically jameis Winston at left tackle. 5 years in, same old crap. Even a regression perhaps. If he doesn’t improve drastically this is clearly his last year here and he may not even last the season as a starter. Number one problem on offense at this point.

  15. DB55 Says:


    Coach better get it together. Yesterday Arizona beat the 49ers.

  16. Marine Buc Says:

    Is it too late for D. Smith to opt out of the season due to Covid?

  17. Bucamania Says:

    Trying to punch the ball loose? Yeah right. Hope the league takes a look at that.

  18. D-Rome Says:

    I agree with you Bucamania. I typically have defended Smith’s career (not individual plays) against those that say he’s the worst LT in football (he isn’t) but if he has another performance like that it will be his Waterloo. It’ll seal the deal on his career in Tampa and I’ll be convinced it’s time to move on.

  19. ItzOK Says:

    And to think this guy most fans were hoping opted in because as bad as he played it could be worse.

    Sad part is he is going to have Brady seeing ghosts and taking sacks. How many hits can a 43 year old QB take.

  20. Stat guy Says:

    smith may have done a better job keeping lineman back if he had COVID

  21. Allbuccedup Says:

    Definitely need to address left tackle in the first three rounds of the 2021 nfl draft. 2021 is the last of Smiths overpaid contract, also none of the 14.25 mil owed is guaranteed. That 14 mil could be used for a more deserving player.

  22. Marine Buc Says:

    You have to wonder at this point- Are we better off moving T. Wirfs to LT and starting Joe Haeg at RT?

  23. Mike Johnson Says:

    Typical Buc fan scapegoating. Although Smitty did get beat like a drum. Our
    savior threw 2 costly interceptions which were converted into Saint points. And thats a biggie. And where was his sidekick Gronk? Special teams was terrible and penalities were being accumulated like farmers pickin oranges. D line should have blitz just a tad more. Say what you want, Then saints looked good and they were..fired up. On the bright side, I got us beatin the livin daylights out of carolina come Sunday. Go Bucs.

  24. Sarasota Garey Says:

    Maybe we can trade him to the eagles for a 1st rounder

  25. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If someone has a better way to save $14 mil next year….I’m all ears…..draft a RT & move Wirfs to left tackle….
    And if Gronk doesn’t improve…..he should be 1 & done….
    We need money for Godwin & LVD…..

    &….Scotty Miller looked like a player last night….

  26. Joe Says:

    smith may have done a better job keeping lineman back if he had COVID

    Well done sir!

  27. Marine Buc Says:

    @ tbbf

    I agree on Gronk… I expected him to lose a step but it appears he has lost more than just a step… He caught a pass and started running – Inthought it was a tackle eligible pass. Lol

  28. Marine Buc Says:

    *I thought.

  29. MarkV Says:

    I like your website Joe, but there are times it seems like you struggle with the concept of a salary cap. The money to put this team together has to come from somewhere. If not from an underperforming Player that’s paid near the top of the league for his position…then I’d like to hear your ideas of where. David and Godwin are far less expendable than a player who’s only redeeming quality seems to be that he shows up every week. I think you should rephrase that to say Donaovan dresses every week. He darn sure didn’t show up yesterday…

  30. Frankinthe813 Says:

    We won a super bowl with Kenyatta Walker on the line… Smith is better

  31. Youngbucs Says:

    Some of y’all need to shut up he did blame Brady for the ints pay attention dummies.

  32. Jerry Says:

    Donovan Smith obviously still has COVID on his mind and scared. It is very obvious that he doesn’t want to be out there. He didn’t think the NFL should even be playing.

  33. Youngbucs Says:

    All y’all doom n gloom make sure y’all keep the energy when we win don’t disappear ok!!!

  34. ClodHopper Says:

    He’s been in a team that got its butt whooped week in and week out for how many years? 5? Then we get the goat and he can’t muster up some motivation on week freaking one? I take that as this guy is the same culture cancer problem as GMC and Swaggy Baker.

    He’s already mailing in the season.

  35. Dubcity6 Says:

    After 5 years… yall give D Smith a pass the same way he lets DEs pass right by him

  36. ElioT Says:

    Two types of problems:

    • Knowing Problem
    • Doing Problem

    Smith knows how to play the position, yet he sometimes seemingly lacks the effort to do his job.

    What the hell was going on when he totally whiffed on that sack to Hendrickson?

    One on one match-up, totally beat like a drum while wearing cement shoes.

    Was he expecting an inside move?

    Yeah it’s one play in one game, but that type of error will get a QB injured.

    Reminded me of that BS he pulled in the Dallas game a couple years ago that nearly got Jameis killed.

    Smith just seems like he’s only in it for the pay check.

    I wouldn’t want him angry at me, but I’d love to see him play angry on Sundays.

  37. Rod Munch Says:

    Said during the draft not to waste a draft pick on a RB and to get another offensive tackle. Unless Smith is a surefire pro-bowler the team isn’t going to be able to afford him, so have a backup plan in place. Draft another OT in a deep draft and have them for a year at LT without needing to play.

    But no, you dopes yelled and screamed about drafting a RB, we must get a RB, RB is the most important position on the team, blah blah blah. You guys were, as always, wrong. The team should have got another tackle and planned for the future. Josh Jones, OT, was available still in the 3rd, he was talked about as a 1st rounder. Instead we got a RB, Vaughn, who wasn’t even active I don’t believe.

    That’s why you don’t listen to a mob.

  38. Noles Says:

    That is exactly what will happen, he is gone…. Wirfs to LT unless there is a better LT available than RT when we draft, which I doubt….

    Effort is the ONE thing you can’t coach, I am sorry but we have seen enough..

  39. Bucnjim Says:

    The. Writing was on the wall months ago when Smith was trying to opt out before there even was such a thing as opting out. Kind of like the employee who comes in late and leaves early every day. They REALLY do not want to be there.

  40. gp Says:

    Bucamania Says:
    September 14th, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    Trying to punch the ball loose? Yeah right. Hope the league takes a look at that.

    Just saw that myself. First thing that popped up when I typed his name with the word ‘punch’.
    That should draw a fine at minimum and deserves a suspension.
    BTW, could you read the lips of Jenson as he stood him up?
    “Do that again and I’ll rip your freakin head off”!
    Or, something like that….

  41. ocala Says:


    Well said. This guy does not give full effort all the time. I would be shocked if he’s back next year.

  42. Bucsfanman Says:

    Rod- What good would a back-up LT have done in this situation? Hindsight is 20/20.
    Not to mention that there’s no guarantee that one will develop.
    We need to upgrade the position if this is the kind of play and effort he’s going to bring every week.

  43. Etzel Says:

    Jaboo’s mobility covered up a lot of Donovan’s shortcomings. Lil Tommy is a sitting duck.

  44. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    I am all for replacing Smith with Joe Haeg at LT if Smith falters in the first half of during the Panther’s game. For too long we trusted Donovan Smith, only to say he is improving.

    He’s just not worth $14 mil per year. We need money to resign key players for the next few years. Smith’s salary might cover resigning Shaq or Lavonte David. If Haeg is not the answer, move Wirf to LT and draft a RT in the second round next year.

  45. Tvan1011 Says:

    Someone’s tweet said it best “Looks like Donovan Smith opted out of the season after all”.

  46. Rod Munch Says:

    Bucsfanman – Saying before the draft we need to double up on OT’s, and then during the draft saying the board is falling in a way that we can double up on OT’s, all while saying getting a RB will be another wasted pick — that is literally the opposite hindsight.

    The point I was making was salary cap, and the fact the team didn’t need a RB. But Smith would need to be a pro-bowl’er for the team to even consider keeping him because of the salary cap situation in 2021. His $15m is the most obvious place to look to free up some money. You draft a year EARLY at positions, not the year you need the players. It’s incredibly dangerous to do what the Bucs did at RT, even if it works out, you want to be ahead of the curve. So that would mean this year, in the 3rd, getting potential LT of the future that wouldn’t be rushed to start, but who, if they’re playing well enough, can be a top depth guy or even a potential starter if needed.

    What the Bucs didn’t need was another middling RB.

  47. Owlykat Says:

    Wirfs didn’t just play RT in college; he also played LT and played it well. He can outplay D. Smith any day. I have pushed for D. Smith to be tried at OG, which is where he should have been moved long ago. But he has been an embarrassment at LT for years. They have to get him out of LT before he gets Brady killed or badly injured. Move Wirfs there now and Haeg can handle RT just fine. Trade D. Smith to the Falcons now for a second round pick. The Saints were rated above the Bucs by Lindy’s and with our best receiver hurt no one should have been surprised by the outcome.

  48. adam from ny Says:

    bottom line:

    donovan let tom gravy down…

    and now bruce is disappointed with disco donavan and his lumber funk beard

  49. The Coroner Says:

    It was Lack of Effort. He was the leaky sieve that put even more pressure on Tom Brady. He is the one who caused Brady to get hit almost exclusively. That needs to get Fixed right away, BUT you can’t force someone else to have that desire. I thought while watching the game that Tristan Wirfs played well enough that he should play left tackle and move Donovan Smith to right tackle where he is likely to cause less damage. Arians needs to take control and not jeopardize Tom Brady and the season by not trying Wirfs at left tackle.
    If they it keep Donovan Smith at left tackle they may have to play Anthony Auclair in the backfield to help Smith (and sneak him out on a pattern now and then).

  50. Nate1111 Says:

    This team looked really bad and you all know it joe watch tape on gronk he has lost a step.. very very slow

  51. stpetebucsfan Says:

    @Charlie and others who have mentioned switching D Smith and Wirfs.

    Probably not going to happen. Wayne Dyer made a genius observation…”Never argue with anybody who is arguing for their limitations. If they argue for them they HAVE THEM.”

    D Smith is on the record more than once with VOCIFEROUSLY claiming he can’t play RT. If he says that I believe him.

    However Joe Haeg started two games for the Colts at RT before injuring his ankle. He is hungry!!!

    If DS keeps playing like yesterday he may become a very high priced sub.

  52. stpetebucsfan Says:

    BTW How many watched Gronk blocking? If he can block on this OL he can play. We have plenty of people to get downfield and OJ is now probably better at doing that from TE than anybody else.

    Meanwhile Scotty balled out and he can clearly stretch the field.

    If Gronk can still block there’s a place for him.

  53. CPN Says:

    Smith probably should have opted out of the season.

  54. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Once again St Pete

    Let us know when he can play left tackle…

  55. Jmarkbuc Says:

    I’m a little confused St. Pete, are you saying we’re paying Gronk $10 million a year to block?

  56. Bucnjim Says:

    ESPN shows how Smith graded out at 73% which is 54 out of 58 offensive tackles. He is literally TRYING to play himself off the team to get paid. There is no way a professional with pride would get embarrassed by a backup unless it was on purpose.

  57. Joe Says:

    He is literally TRYING to play himself off the team to get paid. There is no way a professional with pride would get embarrassed by a backup unless it was on purpose.

    If Smith gets cut in offseason he’s flushing away $14 million. Not sure any sane person tries to lose a fortune.

  58. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Some excel, while others ultimately fail at their 1st 9 to 5 job.
    For a variety of reasons. The most common being when your performance falls below the “required” standard for the position.

  59. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    It’s time to for another set of eyes take a look at this offensive line

    Potential Senior Offensive Line Consultants
    -Hudson Houck
    -Dante Scarnecchia
    -Alex Gibbs
    -Russ Grimm

  60. Buczilla Says:

    Let Joe Haeg start the next game at left tackle and see if he is any better than Smith. I’d leave Wirfs where he is since he is just a rookie and did well for his first game. Plus, I don’t like the idea of moving offensive lineman around like we did with Marpet. Regardless, Smith isn’t worth what we are paying him (elite tackle $ for an above average on his best day tackle).

  61. «Delusional Intelligence» Says:

    “The way Smith always answers the bell, it would be awfully hard for football people to release a guy they can count on each Sunday.”

    Let’s try that with Micheal “Ghost” Johnson

    “The way Micheal Johnson always answers the bell, it would be awfully hard for football people to release a guy they can count on each Sunday.”

    Nope sorry doesn’t work for me. Just because an employee has perfect attendance, doesn’t mean you reward them for sub-par performance. That was not AVERAGE LT play yesterday. He might get a pass if he would be better than average at run blocking. I’m sure Ian Beckles will bring a shotgun to the piñata party.

  62. unbelievable Says:

    Yup, just like I called it yesterday:

    “He got embarrassed again but he’s made every start so he should be paid like a top-5 left tackle “


    New Orleans had their way with him. Cappa too.

    Wirfs looks legit though!

  63. Bill_T Says:

    Let’s give Haeg a chance and see how he does. Smith doesn’t have the speed to reaction to speed rushers.

  64. CrackerBall Says:

    I’ll be very happy when 2020 is over – and we can lose that $14 million pile of hot garbage we have at LT