“Pretty Darn Crisp Football Game”

November 21st, 2020

A former Bucs player was pretty darn happy with what he saw from the team in Charlotte last Sunday.

Whether the Bucs build from that impressive win or collapse, former Bucs guard Ian Beckles isn’t sure. As always, he took to his podcast “In the Trenches” to offer his thoughts.

Beckles was very glad the Bucs didn’t lose and then blame the loss on the plane fiasco getting them to North Carolina.

“They got to the hotel around midnight, didn’t get much sleep, blah, blah, blah, blah,” Beckles said. “Tony Dungy taught me nobody cares, OK, about what you are going through. You have to deal with a little bit of adversity.

“It was a pretty darn crisp football game.”

Despite the win and running back Ronald Jones setting a franchise record with a 98-yard touchdown, Beckles said he’s still not overly impressed with RoJo.

“I don’t know what to think of RoJo,” Beckles said. “You can’t put the ball on the ground. Not on a consistent basis. I do not think he is a special running back. He had a special game.

“I am OK with RoJo being our running back. I just don’t think he is special. I think he is as special as the line is in front of him. What does he do well? I don’t know what the answer is.”

Other observations Beckles had watching the win over Carolina:

* Beckles is beginning to grow concerned over the welfare of left guard Ali Marpet, who has been in concussion protocol for two weeks and after appearing to have a setback last night, may miss a third-straight game.

“I am starting to worry about Ali Marpet a little bit. I know Ali a little bit. I got to meet him the last couple of offseasons. Nice kid. Great football player. But when you start talking about linemen missing games for their noggin, you have to start getting a little bit worried. You don’t see that too often. You see receivers and you see running backs but you don’t see linemen too much. I’m hoping Ali Marpet feels better.”

* On Ryan Jensen’s first game at guard for the Bucs.

“Jensen did a pretty good job filling in at left guard. And he had a pretty key block on that 98-yard run. We did OK despite not having Ali Marpet in there. I would like to see Ali in there going forward. I think he is our best lineman.”

* Beckles absolutely loves rookie right tackle Tristan Wirfs.

“Tristan Wirfs, I don’t know if he’s not playing Pro Bowl football. I’m not sure. I don’t watch a whole lot of everybody else’s games. Tristan Wirfs is almost invisible and that is the best thing you can say about a lineman. I don’t hear his name at all. I mean once in a while with a good block — and that’s a good thing. Tristan Wirfs is fantastic right now. Great, great, great, great pick. Good for you Jason Licht.”

* On how Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht should not cave to the cries and foot-stomping of loud Bucs fans and keep left tackle Donovan Smith for next year and perhaps beyond.

“I find myself defending Donovan Smith a lot, OK. Am I going to sit here and say I think Donovan Smith is a great football player? I don’t, though I think Donovan Smith is an NFL left tackle. I do. The second we get rid of him someone is going to scoop him up, OK? Donovan Smith has probably four clunkers a year. And the other 12, he plays OK. He’s been OK this year. And he has been around so long that when he does have one or two bad plays, from a left tackle and a left tackle is going against the best rusher usually every single week because that’s a QB’s blindside, we all know that. But listen, Donovan Smith is an NFL left tackle. And there is not a lot of them out there. A lot of fans and media want to get rid of this guy — ‘Get rid of Donovan Smith!’ Alright. Watch what you ask for. Watch what you ask for. You get rid of Donovan Smith, all of a sudden you don’t know what’s out there. Other than grooming somebody and you know who doesn’t want to groom somebody? Tom Brady. Tom Brady has been pretty frickin’ clean now.”

* On spreading the ball around to all receivers:

“Mike Evans had the most targets. Antonio Brown had the most catches. Chris Godwin had the most yards. Here we go. It’s not always going to work that way. But if it does work that way more often than not, we are going to be OK.”

* On defense:

“I thought we played fantastic in the second half. Got after [Teddy] Bridgewater a little bit. … When [an opponent] attempts 24 passes and you [give up] 136 passing yards, that’s efficient defense.”

* On Jamel Dean:

“You’ve got Jamel Dean running around almost sometimes like a chicken with his head cut off and doesn’t quite understand the coverage or, I don’t know. At times, he seems to be three steps behind. … It will get us in trouble again because that is on film.”

* On the run game:

“Don’t stop. Don’t stop! Don’t stop running the football. You see what happens when you run the football more? You score more points. If you don’t run the football at all, you score three points. It’s not rocket science. Everybody is happier. Everybody eats. … Even receivers want to run the ball because it makes their job easier.”

* Beckles thought this could be a springboard game but there are no more easy wins on the schedule from here on out.

“That’s a game to build on, offensively and defensively. … There isn’t a game the rest of the schedule where you go, ‘Welp, you can’t pencil in a win.'”

As always, Beckles welcomes feedback and encourages listeners to submit Bucs questions by e-mailing him at [email protected].

21 Responses to ““Pretty Darn Crisp Football Game””

  1. Hodad Says:

    Rojo nothing special. Neither were you Beckles, and nothing still.

  2. webster Says:

    I dont get it. Why does jones have to be special in order to be a good effective running back? What am i missing? EVERY player on a team cant/wont be special. What are we to do? Replace them all? He is third in the league in rushing yards and averaging 5 ypc. And thats with BA pulling him early for mistakes a few games and a game where the bucs only rushed the ball 5 times. I dont know if that spells special but whatever it spells, i’ll take it.

  3. webster Says:

    Btw…i respect beckles and his football analysis so i am not one of those who tries to discredit beckles because he was not a pro bowler or something which is the dumbest thing an armchair qb/gm can do. But its not only beckles, its many of our local sports writers and even fans who bring up this special crap and he is 3rd in the league in rushing. Smh

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If Rojo is nothing special….what does that make Fournette?

  5. Swampbuc Says:

    Great takes by Beckles. He’s right, Rojo needs to stop dropping passed and hold onto the ball when he does.

  6. Bobby M. Says:

    Agree on Rojo….he runs hard but doesn’t do anything spectacular. His hands are awful, he seems like a head case that has to be coddled, he’s getting the job done but how much of that is due to Brady & Co.?

    Dean I’ve been harping on all season, he’s on film consistently biting on double moves…..everyone sees this…..everyone attacks it every game. How he hasn’t improved going against Evans, Godwin, and now Brown…is perplexing.

  7. Casual Observer Says:

    Agree with Hodad. Big revelation by Beckles; “stop dropping the ball.” Such sage advice. No wonder Joe features him so much.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    I’d like to hear Beckles take on the upcoming Bucs-Rams game Joe if Marpet is a no-go. Not sure how best to attack their defense. They’re pretty solid in both run defense & pass defense. And our defense has shown itself to be susceptible to the quick, short pass … Rams are quite good at that.

  9. Clean House Says:

    Rojo is special-
    He’s got some great moves and has put on weight. I think he can be even better. The talent is there

  10. Clean House Says:

    Is he elite? maybe not, but he’s a good back

  11. webster Says:

    I love how i was the fisrt to comment on this article and over an hour has passed and my comments have not come through. I guess what i said was “offensive”.

  12. Biden2020 Says:

    Ian beckles is nothing special? Hodad I believe he played in the league and you have not … so I think I’d take his assessment over yours any day

  13. Joe Says:

    I’d like to hear Beckles take on the upcoming Bucs-Rams game

    Then Beckles has to do more than one podcast a week. 🤷‍♂️

  14. Rob in Land O Lakes Says:

    Jen Epstein is totally hot.

    Agreed that Rojo is as good as his line.

  15. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I don’t always agree with Ian but always respect him. This week I also happen to agree with all of his takes.


    It just hit me how many different sources I attend for my news and world affairs coverage. I seek balance and information. But I realize when it comes to the Bucs I just come to this site and nowhere else. I get everything I need here and your addition of threads like this with Ian and Baldy and Simms are great.

    Hey it’s Thanksgiving week and I’m thankful that JBF gives me one stop Buc’s coverage.

  16. Leighroy Says:

    Defense rules and Joe: tune in to WDAE on Monday at 3pm. What, you guys don’t have a radio?

  17. Joe Says:

    Thanks StPete. Without fans like you, this site would not exist.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    Leighroy … They still make radios? Do they work with AirPods?

  19. The Red Mirage Says:

    I like Ian’s insight into the game. Haters are going to hate.

  20. Joe Says:

    What, you guys don’t have a radio?

    Yes, of course Joe has a radio. SiriusXM Radio. If Joe’s going to pay for it, Joe’s going to listen to it.

  21. unbelievable Says:

    All the people calling RoJo nothing special are probably the same geniuses who claimed Fournette would be all-world, despite the fact that RoJo is clearly the better runner. So much so that’s he’s 3rd in the entire league!

    When is the last time we had top-5 RB?

    Now as for his pass catching, he’s definitely regressed. He was a better catcher last year, which is just weird. But he’s a good running back.

    Hell he would have been a 1000 year rusher last year if he was just given 14 carries a game (he did have 1000 yards from scrimmage last year btw)