Smiling On The Outside

March 4th, 2021

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If anyone had just cause to curse the Bucs during their audacious Super Bowl journey, it was Demar Dotson.

Put yourself in his place for a moment. The guy spent 10 years toiling at One Buc Place with very little to show — except a nice paycheck. He started 106 games for Tampa Bay and walked off the field as a winner only 36 times.

Bucs OT Demar Dotson (2009 -2019)

Then the Bucs decided to move on at right tackle and Dotson ended up in Denver. The Broncos finished 5-11, a record Dotson had grown all too accustomed to in Tampa. He started half the season for the Broncos and as the year wound down, Dotson watched his former team go off.

“I wasn’t bitter about the way it ended in Tampa,” Dotson said from his home in Tampa, where his wife is expecting. “I’ve been very blessed to have the career I’ve had. But I have to admit the Super Bowl was bittersweet for me. I never got to experience that kind of success with the Bucs, but I I knew Tampa was going to win it all. I told everybody all year.”

At the age of 35, Dotson still wants to play. A team in need of a veteran right tackle could do a lot worse than sign a 6-foot-9 former basketball player at Southern Miss who went undrafted. He enjoyed his one year with the Broncos until the final month, when he sat out the final four games — depriving him of a potential bonus.

“I had a good time in Denver,” he said. “I got to start eight games and didn’t give up a sack. I never played in the snow before, so it was different. Our offensive line coach was Mike Munchak, a Hall of Famer. He kept things simple. He didn’t try to overcoach.”

In Tampa, Dotson blocked for Josh Freeman, Mike Glennon, Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston.

The common denominators?

1) ill-timed interceptions

2) losing

“Tom Brady’s amazing,” Dotson said. “There’s nobody like him. He lifted everyone’s play. That’s what he did for all those years in New England and that’s what he just did for the Bucs. With the Patriots, he didn’t have all the weapons he had in Tampa. Give the Bucs credit … they played great football when it counted.”

When you bust your butt for a lost decade, only to see your former team climb to the NFL pinnacle as soon as you’re gone, it’s easy to harbor some resentment. But any frustration for Dotson soon gave way to joy for the guys he went to football war with.

“I reached out to Donovan (Smith) and Ali (Marpet) after the Super Bowl,” Dotson said.

“I was very happy for guys like that who went through the tough times with me in Tampa.”

Upgrade Acknowledged

By the end of the 2019 season, Dotson knew he was halfway out the locker room door at One Buc Place. His contract was up and the Bucs sought an upgrade at the position.

Rookie right tackle phenom Tristan Wirfs.

They got it.

Tristan Wirfs comes off a stellar rookie season, earning 10 All-Pro votes as the league’s premier right tackle. Tampa Bay’s ground game improved significantly and Wirfs proved to be a rock in pass protection.

“He’s really good,” said Dotson. “I watched Wirfs play that first game of the season against Cameron Jordan and he ate him up. He was the best rookie offensive lineman in the league. I’m just glad the guy who ended up replacing me turned out to be such a good player. He’s gonna be good for a long time.”

With free agency approaching, Dotson is waiting to hear from his agent. Whatever happens, he’s appreciative of a long NFL career.

“I don’t think I’m done,” he said. “If it ends here, I can’t complain.”

Ira!  … Ira’s good friend Sean Sullivan, the Bill Currie Ford general manager, is ready to help you personally. Just call, email or stop in, one mile north of Raymond James Stadium.

26 Responses to “Smiling On The Outside”

  1. DoooshLaRue Says:

    That’s how a man handles it.
    Good on you Dot.

  2. Rob Says:

    “He started 106 games for Tampa Bay and walked off the field as a winner only 36 times.”

    That’s an unbelievable stat and make me realize why I’m still in shock with our Super Bowl victory. So many years of losing, then, like magic, the pain disappears…

  3. zzbuc Says:

    A class act kinf of human being……Old school, somethiong very much needed on US sports today…..True gentleman…..
    Thx Dot…..

  4. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    Very astute article Sage. I have always bee a fan of Dotson and his story; rising to success like he did. But I have to admit, I haven’t really thought about him since Wirf’s was drafted and began to dominate the NFL’s best DE’s.

    Much props Mr. Dotson. You did it the right way sir.

  5. Sport Says:

    Agreed with eachbif these comments.

    Dot will go down as a solid player and great person.

    Wirfs might go down as a HoFr.

    No shame in how it all played out.

    In BA I Trust!

  6. mark2001 Says:

    Wish him the best. “He keeps things simple…doesn’t overcoach”…. Second time today I’ve heard, one way or another. Sounds like the old system under Koetter was too complex, to the point where it did more to confuse us than the opponent. A warrior who gave it all he had. God bless Dot.

  7. Bird Says:

    Dotson was a class act! Life of a buc player can be rough at times. 😂
    All the losing would get to yah

  8. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    If it works out, bring him back as a veteran backup.

  9. Coburn Says:

    Man can’t be much more of a class act than that

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Liked Dotson…….really good guy….wish him all the best.

  11. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Would be cool if the Bucs decided to give former players like Dot a ring.

  12. No Risk It No Biscuit Says:

    Good man. I wish him the best.

  13. SlyPirate Says:

    It’s already been said but I’ll layer on …

    Classy. Humble. Grateful. Good-natured.

    I’m so impressed.

  14. HeyItsAdam Says:

    Nice guy.

    Too many damn penalties.

  15. Youngbucs Says:

    People begging for jameis to get a ring on Twitter. If that’s the case big dot deserve it even more. Work hard for a decade role model never embarrassed the Bucs like you know who.

  16. Cainishere Says:

    I agree with you Jack. Bring him back and let him finish his career as a Buccaneer backing up the O-line. He deserves his shot and was a good player over all. Makes sound sense to me. JASON? MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!

  17. ejm201 Says:

    I followed Dot this yr as he is one of my favorite Bucs ever and he was candid as always on a Broncos radio interview on YouTube. Hosts asked him why he chose Denver and he flat out said that was the only team to offer him a contract LOL.

  18. BuccoDav Says:

    Gotta love Dot. Played for years and never complained. He is a class act. If it works, bring him back for backup.

  19. Chesapeake Bay Bucco Says:

    nice paycheck…nuff said from us peons

  20. BucsBeBack (Artist formally known as: BringBucsBack) Says:

    Yes, he sounds like a good dude with a great ’tude!

    Maybe Gruber is the only other Buc lineman who deserved a ‘ship more.

  21. Greg Says:

    Class act with his statements and through his career here. Proverbial first guy off the bus to intimidate the opposition. Damn would love to see him get a ring next year as a back up… I know wishful thinking but deserved

  22. MadMax Says:

    Great guy…would be great on the practice squad for his final year as long as he still has some left in the tank and was cheap. SB roster spots are very expensive.

  23. Lunchbox Says:

    As happy as I was to see this season progress as it did, I always thought it was a shame Dot wasn’t here to be part of it, even if he ended up as a backup to Wirfs, which he definitely would’ve been.

  24. Buczilla Says:

    Classy dude.

  25. Brandon Says:

    I always liked Dot a lot. He took a lot of unnecessary blame for QBs holding the ball too long… Smith and Donald Penn included. Poor play design coupled with poor QB play makes the line look bad.

    I wouldn’t mind re-signing the man but it will never happen. Backup OL HAVE TO BE VERSATILE. Dot is NOT. He is a RT only. He’s way too tall to play inside and he doesn’t have the feet to play LT…. Guys that can only play RT either start at RT for a team or don’t have a team. I wish him the best but I don’t see how they could possibly bring him back.

  26. NDOGSDAD Says:

    So much class from dot and ira thxs