November 18th, 2020

Strong game at Carolina.

Joe knew this would happen.

Joe understands why Bucs fans love to hate left tackle Donovan Smith. One week he will look completely and totally mismatched and then he will go on a string of games where you don’t notice him at all — which is always the goal of an offensive lineman.

And that’s Smith. Oh, his bad games are truly bad. And that’s a problem in more ways than one. People tend not to forget when you get lit up, and if that happens more than once or twice, folks think that’s the norm.

Smith’s worst trait is inconsistency. Second-worst is his Jay Cutler-like body language. It’s awful and gives the impression he’s just going through the motions and only wants to cash checks with lots of zeros from Team Glazer.

So sometimes it takes All-22 video to demonstrate what Smith does well. And on Sunday, Smith played very well.

Bucs fan Steven Cheah, who works for Barstool Sports, likes to pump out All-22 tape on Twitter. He has a cut-up of Smith, strong in pass blocking and just toying with Carolina corners and safeties in the run game. It’s fun to watch.

Joe understands there is a crusade among Bucs fans to try to get Smith benched or run out of town at all costs. Joe sees it daily in comments on this here website from folks begging for Joe Haeg or Ryan Jensen or Tristan Wirfs to start over the Penn State product.

Smith, at least through February, will be your Bucs starting left tackle.

Once his contract is no longer guaranteed after this season, then all bets are off. The video below documents why Bucs coaches are not in a hurry to dump Smith into a landfill and drive away, especially in the middle of a playoff chase.

48 Responses to “Bounceback”

  1. Swampbuc Says:

    When Donovan plays well, the Bucs win. When he plays like dung, the Bucs lose. It’s pretty simply correlated to that.

    The Saints have his number, they always seem to kill him and it must be in his head. If I recall he had a good game against the Rams last year, hopefully that happens on Monday, which correlates to a likely Buccaneers victory.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We will have serious cap issues next year…….it would be hard to find $14.2 non-guaranteed money from multiple players.

    It will be very tempting to draft a RT & move Wirfs to LT….saving most of that money.

    At the very least……attempt to re-negotiate Smith bringing him down to $10 mil….if he refuses…..let him test the market.

    Almost assuredly, Gronk will not return or would have to return for much less…

    Doubt we keep Suh….

    Fournette & Brown will likely not be on the roster.

    Does all this hurt….sure….but we have to find money for Godwin & LVD…and Succop……

  3. ClodHopper Says:

    Nice of him to lay eggs on big games and prime time games then have good games on a noon game against a bad team. Swell fella. Maybe Whirfs and Shipley can teach him mental toughness.

  4. D-Rome Says:

    We already went through this song and dance with Jay-Miss. The same old song about inconsistency. This team needs to move on from Donovan Smith next season even if the team wins the Super Bowl. I’m not a Donovan Smith hater at all but I think it’s about time to move on.

  5. Mitch Says:

    This video missed his best block on the 98 yard TD run by ROJO. Donovan was the reason Jensen got to spring ROJO. Originally, it was supposed to be a double team on the DL, but Smith ragdolled the linemen which allowed Jensen to go right to the second level.

    Regarding his play is the most up and down for a lineman in recent memory. Outside of being a warm body available every weekend (big deal). I am not sure we can rely on him moving forward.

  6. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    The criticisms of Donovan Smith by a small but persistent group is overblown.

    Just because he is not consistently an all pro player does not mean he does not do a good job overall. His role at left tackle is pivotal which means that he has to consistently play at a very high level just to be considered “average” in the Nfl. If the coaches had little faith in him he would have been replaced by now. Unlike other positions on the OL where you are judged as doing well if no one mentions your name the spotlight is always on the left tackle.

    Other positions have been the higher priority for the Buccaneers brain trust for the past six years.

  7. Evolvingbucsfan Says:

    “Smith’s worst trait is inconsistency.”

    Jameis was inconsistent, so was Hargraves, so was a bunch of people who aren’t here any more. D Smith is Kinda like the Jameis of the Oline minus the off the field stuff, lol.

    Some game you are yelling at him and some games you are like wow, it’s tiring and aggravating just like Jameis was.

    I don’t hate the guy, nor did i hate Jameis but when you are the reason the team isn’t doing well it’s time to re-evaluate you. “We will tolerate you till we can replace you”…..just saying.

  8. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Tristan Wirfs is the Bucs Left Tackle of the future, IMHO. Not this year, maybe 2021. I don’t dislike D Smith, but the Bucs just need better, more consistent play on the blind side.

  9. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    You guys know Wirfs hasn’t played left tackle in over 2 years right.

    Yes I know left tackle is more important but Wirfs is playing right tackle so well it isn’t something you want to mess with. It’s not the same as switching between left or right guard.

  10. Architek Says:

    Can’t wait for Wirfs to takeover. This experiment is not a failure but definitely not a success (mediocre!).

  11. Wint Says:

    i say keep him until brady retires. no need to have another unknown for Brady’s last year (next year) after that, the team will probably get blown up anyways unless Josh Rosen somehow resurrects his career and takes over.

  12. Jmarkbuc Says:

    3 straight plays…3 straight sacks in the Saints game, to the nobody who ate his lunch in the first Saints game…..

    Keep Tom Alive.

  13. Bucs Fan From Philly Says:

    If this is the trend, then I hope we lose week 17 so we can bounce back and win a playoff game

  14. Steven007 Says:

    Tyron Smith started at right tackle for the cowboys and then moved to left tackle. It was pretty seamless. Not saying that it will be for Words but worth an evaluation.

  15. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Tampabuscsbro: I haven’t seen anything that leads me to believe Wirfs can’t play Left Tackle. If you’ve got a guy on your team with Walter Jones/Joe Thomas-type talent, you put him at the most important position on the line, IMHO. Next year, anyway.

  16. Joe Says:

    Tyron Smith started at right tackle for the cowboys and then moved to left tackle. It was pretty seamless.

    Yeah, and Demar Dotson was given all of December 2014 to prove his worth at left tackle and he was horrible so the Bucs went out and drafted Donovan Smith.

    As we have seen (at least Joe has) plenty of times over recent years, offensive line is not plug-and-play. It’s not PlayStation. Some guys can play up and down the line. Some guys cannot.

    This is why Joe doesn’t even want to think of moving Tristan Wirfs. He may be the best right tackle in the game for the next decade. Why fool with something that is working better than anyone dreamed and in the process, maybe screw the kid up for good?

    Don’t fix something that is not broken. Let Wirfs be.

    If the team absolutely, positively, cannot live another day with Donovan Smith at left tackle come this offseason, there will be plenty of bargains to be had.

    Let Wirfs be dominant where he’s at. The way he’s going, the Bucs won’t have to worry about that position anytime before 2030.

  17. BuucccNASTY Says:

    come on Joe, any intelligent fan knows he’s the best available to us at this time.. He’s not BAD, but he’s not good and is a liablity which is something we shouldn’t have let Tom Brady deal with… I am just pissed we didn’t try to fit in Trent Williams trade to the stellar offseason, I mean he only went for a 2021 3rd and 2020 5th.. It woulda been an even swap salary cap wise with Donny Smith and this year we are all in, fit the agenda..

  18. Joe Says:

    come on Joe, any intelligent fan knows he’s the best available to us at this time.. He’s not BAD,

    You apparently do not read the comments on this site. Or even this thread!

  19. lowercaseg Says:

    Against scrubs. He will fold against real talent.

  20. zzbuc Says:

    JOe, to be honest with you, I don’t love nor hate D Smith….I just think he is an average player….But there is no better than him in the roster, so Is the best option we have,….Even more I don’t hate any player, with the exception of your boy Winston……Since his W eating after last game against NO, he showed no respect for Bucs fans…….The funny part of it, is that he didn’t have anything to do in that victory…… No class, no respect, and even more, no idea of what kind of player he is……Disgusting joker….

  21. Architek Says:

    I don’t think anyone is calling him “bad” but he’s clearly inconsistent and imo he’s a head case when he face certain player (like Saints DL’men). No way he flashes brilliance once or twice a season and then the rest of the season he’s a rollercoaster.

    I keep saying this, I don’t see us winning deep in the postseason because we will inevitably have a dud from him.

  22. tbbucs3 Says:

    This team will go as far as our Oline lets them. Brady (and any immobile QB) simply cannot play without time in the pocket.

    We already know Donavan Smith is okay against mediocre pass rushers. But hes the main reason we stink against teams like the Saints and the Bears.

  23. tbbucs3 Says:

    “Since his W eating after last game against NO, he showed no respect for Bucs fans”

    Why would Jameis want to show any respect for Bucs fans? Yall spent 5 years bashing the man.

  24. Joe Says:

    Why would Jameis want to show any respect for Bucs fans? Yall spent 5 years bashing the man.

    You ain’t wrong. 🤷‍♂️

  25. Greg Says:

    No one doubts his ability. At least I don’t. He had the same problem GMC had… no edge, and at times no heart.

  26. Joe in Michigan Says:

    The comparison of Demar Dotson bombing at Left Tackle…Dotson was an average to below average Right Tackle. Wirfs is phenomenal.

  27. 813bucboi Says:

    i hope the “bounceback” continues monday night….

    GO BUCS!!!!

  28. Steven007 Says:

    Joe in Michigan, I had merely noted that it was worth an evaluation and then Joe went on to give a dissertation using Dotson as a comparison. I agree with you, the two players couldn’t be more different.

  29. Beeej Says:

    Donovan is prolly in the top 40% of left tackles on the league, be nice if we could get the same quality for far less money

  30. gotbbucs Says:

    At $14 million a year, the tape should be flawless. He’s got so many bad habits that if he hasn’t corrected them yet, he never will. I’ll admit that I’m always looking for perfection at these offensive line positions, but so much of what I see wrong has nothing to do with talent as far as Smith goes, the heart and the will/want to just beat the man across from you isn’t there. Watch the play where he pulls to the right and leads up the hole. He had the opportunity to bury that defender and he was just happy to catch the man and then immediately let him go when the play went by.

    Across the board really, from Smith all the way down to Cappa, there is so much reaching and waiste bending. They’re not getting coached up. Wirfs has by far the best overall technique, but he was also coached up at Iowa.

    Keep drafting offensive linemen.

  31. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Why would Jameis want to show any respect for Bucs fans? Yall spent 5 years bashing the man.

    You ain’t wrong. 🤷‍♂️

    Yeah I feel totally respected by JW. After the Bucs take the PR hassle…spend a gazillion on research…go out and take the biggest gamble on a guy with MULTIPLE off field issues and lack of respect for authority…Jimbo’s as well.

    And so after that chance Jameis RESPECTS the fan base by going out and getting blind drunk in his FIRST OFF SEASON. Lots and lots of respect. He not only got blackout drunk (his description) he was hanging with a soon to be convicted rapist!!! And what almost destroyed JW’s career…wait for it…an accusation of rape. So why not get drunk with a convicted rapist.

    And of course that’s before his drunkeness resulted in the infamous Uber grope.

    And AGAIN…the Bucs and many fans stuck by this loser. RESPECT IS A TWO WAY STREET!!!

    If Jameis can go 12-4 the next two years he’ll finally move to a .500 career QB.

    Teddy Bridgewater went 5-1 with the Saints last year. The Saints are now healthy except at QB. JW should EASILY go 5-1 like Teddy with the talent on this team.

    IMO the Saints are the most talented team in the NFC. The Bucs are getting close but they haven’t done anything on the field to DESERVE mention with the Saints. The Saints are clearly the better team….I am a fan and so my vision is not always clear. I think the Bucs are within a whisker of the Saints and another six games of growth may have us ready for them in the playoffs.

    But right now we are forced to give it up to the better franchise.

  32. zzbuc Says:

    “Why would Jameis want to show any respect for Bucs fans? Yall spent 5 years bashing the man.

    You ain’t wrong. 🤷‍♂️”

    Wrong, way wrong, when yo say YALL, What do you exactly mean?
    He was loved by a lot of people, and I mean a lot, despite his outside behaviour, despite his interceptions and despite the stupid things he said in his last conference, despite trying to get Lovie Smith and Koetter with his exuberant ego outside the team….

  33. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Steven007: I remember when the Carolina Panthers were one of the better run franchises in the NFL, they drafted Jordan Gross in the 1st Round, got him acclimated to the NFL by playing him at Right Tackle his rookie year, then put him at LT his 2nd year. If Wirfs can handle LT, I’m for it.

  34. Jonny Says:

    There’s a reason why Cameron Jordan and Saints d-line celebrated on twitter when Donovan smith got an extension with us 2 years back. He sucks and the saints know how to exploit his weaknesses. None of our coaches or Smith himself has figured out how to play differently. We always get outcoached against the saints, it’s ridiculous.

  35. Mike Says:

    Man, that was some impressive film. He has the ability for sure. Let’s hope he gets more consistent as the season progresses. We need Brady upright.

  36. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Jonny: It pissed ME off that Cam Jordan running his mouth didn’t piss Donovan Smith off. I was hoping that would inspire D Smith, but no.

  37. SOEbuc Says:

    Smith will bounce back to sh!t like every other week. Ali and Jensen last week is the only chance Tom has on the left side.

  38. Sesteprenelicus Says:

    It’s also impossible to know if a player is playing hurt but not telling coaches, or the coaches not telling the public and the opposition.

  39. Buc1987 Says:

    I hate prime time games.

  40. Bucnjim Says:

    The more money the team spends on average the less money there is for superior talent and effort.

  41. Dapostman Says:

    He’s just not good enough to match up with top tier DE’s. Sure he’s going to have a bounce back game against players who are equal or below. He can’t raise his game when the player across from him is better. Pretty simple really.

  42. Buc4evr Says:

    Smiths problem is that he has slow feet against speed rushers with great technique. Against average defensive ends he is adequate and even good on running plays. I just think he needs lots of help against good speed rushers.

  43. JustMyMobileOpinion Says:

    Bucs need to infuse youth (via the draft) into the DL. Expect DL in at least 2 of the first three picks. Maybe more.

    As such, They’ll keep Smith one more season before drafting his replacement in the 2022 draft.

  44. BigMacAttack Says:

    I’m the Original BigBucFan and I love to see Donovan have a great game and make big plays. Outstanding!!!

  45. FirstTimePoster Says:

    Smith is not worth his next payday. Period.

  46. unbelievable Says:

    Jonny Says:
    November 18th, 2020 at 2:15 pm
    There’s a reason why Cameron Jordan and Saints d-line celebrated on twitter when Donovan smith got an extension with us 2 years back. He sucks and the saints know how to exploit his weaknesses.


    Ding. Ding. Ding.

    He doesn’t suck, but he’s mostly average and highly inconsistent. Shows flashes of dominance followed by regressions. Sound familiar?

  47. Chesapeake Bucco Says:

    There are very few really good LTs in the NFL, due to the demands of the position:
    big and strong, with quick feet, smart, agile, flexible, high football IQ, superior balance, not easily fooled or frustrated. I bet there are maybe a half dozen NFL teams that are really happy/satisfied with their LT play.

  48. Jasper Says:

    It was Carolina though it’s not like it was Pittsburgh, come on now yeah he is good against defensive fronts that are not that good awesome