Donovan Smith: Once I Got Comfortable, You See What Happens

March 25th, 2021

The secret to Donovan Smith’s success is no secret, he explained today on radio.

Devoted readers of know all about how Smith went through a stance change last offseason, essentially a technical overhaul of his pass blocking. Offensive line coach Joe Gilbert, who handles tackles specifically, goes over that via the link above. But today Smith credited his beastly second half of the 2020 season on the switch

“For me it was just me working through, you know, changing my stances,” Smith told WDAE radio of his improved play. “If people really watch, the way I played in [2019] was completely different to the way that I played [last season]. It was a big adjustment and really just finding that comfort [level] going out there. You know, once I got comfortable, you see what happens. So, yeah, that’s really what it was, just figuring out my stance and how I play in pass protection and stuff like that, and adjusting those things and going out and playing and balling.”

Bucs fans, welcome to great coaching and dedication!

Joe’s real happy for Smith. Few things are as much fun as an athlete shutting up his detractors.

26 Responses to “Donovan Smith: Once I Got Comfortable, You See What Happens”

  1. Mitch Says:

    Interesting. Good for Donovan.

  2. WyldKat Says:

    Second half of this year, I stopped noticing plays where it was like “what was he doing?”

    Went all dependable, it was NICE.

  3. tbbucs3 Says:

    I think Donovan Smith in his early years fell victim to the teams losing culture and mentality.

    But once Brady arrived he had no choice but to flip the switch and he’s played great since. It seemed like Brady barley got touched ever since that Bears game.

  4. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    @ tbbucs3 – well said. With the extension that DS signed a few days ago and the way his play improved over the second have of the season it feels like we just got a brand new, Pro bowl left tackle.

  5. Buczilla Says:

    Awesome story and I’m glad that he has improved.

  6. geno711 Says:

    Glad he got another year too.

  7. Cainishere Says:

    Well to me his stance looks the same as it always has but hey, whatever it takes right? Good for you D.Smith. Now aren’t you glad you didn’t opt out last season like you wanted to?

  8. SKBucsFan Says:

    I’m sure TB12’s presence helped motivate him to improve. Would you want to be the guy responsible for the GOATS career ending injury if you let someone get to him? I know inwouldnt want that on my resume.

  9. Godlovesbucs Says:

    He was always good. He just had moments of “what the heck” that would prevent him from being in the great category. The 2nd half of this season he eliminated those moments. He is a top 10 tackle who is extremely dependable. Very hard to ask for much more from him.

  10. Aaron E May Says:

    Yeah, I don’t think I said WTF with respect to D. Smith’s play after the Bears game.

  11. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    It is the Tom Brady effect we are witnessing. Brady is not only a winner, he is a winner who makes all around him better!
    I am still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that New England actually allowed him to get away!

  12. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    @ChrisApple – Coach Bilichick’s ego let Brady walk. It was pretty awesome watching the Pat’s flounder with Pouty Cam Newton at the helm.

  13. PSL Bob Says:

    Damn, who knew coaching was so important? (Sarcasm here!)

  14. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Translation: I got tired of Tom Brady chewing my a$$ and talk radio/tv shredding me unmercifully and got my sh!t together.

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Well, there’s two Olinemen that admit to having “FOB”…..Fear of Brady……
    D. Smith and Wirfs…

    I’d be willing to bet that they all have it…..along with the RBs, WRs, TEs, Dline, LBs, CBs, Ss, Kickers, Long Snappers, ST players, Coaches, Ball Boys, Trainers, GM, Owners….
    And, now…..most of the JBF trolls.

  16. Tom in MadTown Says:

    I could not agree more. I am happy for Donavan. His play from the first half of the season to the second half was night and day. It’s good to see him be a professional and accept the coaching that was provided. And it’s great to see that the coaching from this staff is vastly improved from prior staffs.

    To Mr. Smith, congratulations on your new child. Congratulations on your fine season. And congratulations on your new contract. Well deserved.

  17. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Exactly Dewey.

    I’d add that having everyone watch him protect Tommy was a huge motivator.
    I mean, 14 million a year should be enough motivation on its own….. but hey, Durable Donnie is one of a kind kinda special.

  18. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Dooosh: I’m glad you’re taking the extension we’ll. I thought we’d have to get you a safe space where you could go when the Bucs were on offense, so Durable Donnie wouldn’t be able to hurt you ever again.

  19. Joe in Michigan Says:


  20. Anonymous Says:

    Show us on the doll where he touched you Doosh.

  21. Darin Says:

    He fell victim to jameis indecision and bad eye sight?!?! The secret to smiths success is Brady’s release time. And other Brady being Brady things. Boy the teams sooo talented now all the sudden. Not sure why any of these free agents would wana leave. Can do no wrong with Brady around

  22. Greg Says:

    Well done Donovan! Coaching and his effort and maybe a little performance competition from the right tackle and his level of play helped push to the level he is capable of. Just a thought! Internal competition though at a different position can be priceless.

  23. David Says:

    Other than some issues with real good speed pass rushers, he’s always been a pretty damn good left tackle and gets way more slack from buccaneer fans than deserved. That said, there was definitely improvement

  24. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Once more we can see what a difference the coaching staff can make. Donovan Smith has born the criticism of fans and local pundits alike for many years. Changing habits formed over many years is not easy for a player in mid career somewhere. Having the patience to work with the player is no easy task either.

    It wasn’t just a “magic wand” by Tom Brady that brought the overall improvement to this team. Changes had already been accomplished by the time Tom got here. TB did put the team over the top and allowed for the “magical” season we just had!

    Say it again, “The Tampa bay Buccaneers are the Super Bowl Champions!”.

  25. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Smith has deserved much of his criticism. All that was wanted of him was to stop being a revolving door on so many plays. He has done so and I am very happy about that. Now Brady can be confident his blind side is protected.

  26. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Anybody remember when Winston was suspended and Fitzpatrick started a few games to begin that season. O-line played fantastic for those games. When Winston came back we went back to the same O’l Bucs. These guys just didn’t want to play for Winston. Why play hard and risk injury for Winston when you know he is just going to find a way to lose.

    Brady came in and there were some ugly games at the beginning of the season. Brady kept plugging away and made these guys believe they could win. Everyone on the team played better once they began to believe. Especially the O-line and Smith.