Forged By Fire

June 10th, 2021

Right tackle Tristan Wirfs

When you win a Super Bowl, so many things have to go right.

Take Tristan Wirfs. The Bucs right tackle had as good of a rookie season for an offensive lineman as you will ever see. He damn near got voted All-Pro, that’s how good he was. The only time he gave up a sack was to a guy who might be in the Hall of Fame someday, Khalil Mack. No shame in that.

So here is a “What if… ” for you: Would Wirfs have been a dominant right tackle without two of the best pass rushers in the game going after him full-bore daily in training camp like Bucs sack king Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul did?

Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians seems to think not.

After underwear football practice yesterday, Arians was asked about Wirfs’ development.

“It’s hard to put into words — with no OTAs, no preseason games,” Arians said. “He got baptized by two pretty good guys as this thing started going last summer.

“To go against the guys he went against in early September, I think it gave him a ton of confidence. You could never ask for any more out of a rookie – that’s for daggone sure.

“I think the sky is the limit for how good he can be.”

You can tell by Arians’ body language he loves Wirfs. Nearing the end of the last regular season, Arians was asked about Wirfs and broke out into a cat-ate-the-canary smirk. He said when the Bucs run right, “There’s a lot of movement.”

That’s a polite way of saying Wirfs was regularly putting guys on their arses.

Mike Evans likely is the best-ever draft pick by Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht. The way Wirfs played last year, he may challenge Evans for that status.

17 Responses to “Forged By Fire”

  1. Bird Says:

    The sky is the limit for this kid!

    His next goal after a super bowl ring is getting an all-pro (jersey) recognition to hang in Iowa’s weightlifting room.

  2. RustyRhinos Says:

    Glad Coach Arians didn’t hold tight to that thought he was a preaching. I don’t draft Olineman in the first round, I don’t like training them up for the next coaching staff.
    Glad he changed his view on this.
    Wirfs is a great first round Oliver pick.

  3. Says:

    Evans was a lottery pick. A blind dog could have made it. We got lucky with Wirfs too that he fell – he was really our only option, although props for moving up to get him. Winfield and Godwin looking like “best” “picks.” Evans and Wirfs more fell in our laps.

  4. SteveK Says:

    Vita, wirfs, Godwin, marpet, Devin white, Evans?

    Give me the two trench players for now. Super happy we have Vita and Wirfs on our lines.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I must admit, Licht has done great with Oline picks…….D. Smith, Marpet, Cappa & Wirfs……and hopefully Hainsey….
    It might be possible that our entire Oline next year are Licht picks.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    As for his best pick……considering round & player performance…..Chris Godwin.

  7. Georger Says:

    Disagree with Evans, there were other options, but we made the right choice. Wirfs was the last of the tackles.

  8. Medicated Pete Says:

    Aaron Donald should’ve been Licht’s best pick had he not drafted Evans

  9. August 1976 Buc Says:

    1 HOFamer for another, Evans and Donald. GO BUCS!!!!

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Hindsight is 50/50 for u Pete

  11. PSL Bob Says:

    Yeah Kahlil Mack got the sack against Wirfs, so he won that battle. But, if you consider total number of times Kahlil and Wirfs were lined up against one another, I’d say Wirfs won the war.

  12. webster Says:

    You have to be a casual to think evans just fell in the bucs lap or licht gets no credit for drafting him. EVERY year there are too 10 picks that flop. EVERY YEAR. There was no gaurantee evans was going to be good. Some of you claiming today that the bucs were lucky or he fell into their laps are probably the same ones who said johnny football made evans and said he could not run routes or ky hands etc but now acting as if it was a no brainer. Sammy watkins was picked BEFORE evans. Odell and cooks after evans along with kelvin bengamin. Licht did his homework and deserves all the credit. The very next year a team picked a WR, kevin white at 7 just like evans was picked that flopped. The WR BEFORE kevin white was amari cooper. Not as simple as evans being a “lottery pick” which is in basketball not football btw.

    And to the other casual crying for donald when donald is still looking for a ring please stfu. Both evans and donald will be HOF. Who cares?. Thats like crying because someone brought rachel mcadams to the dance and you were stuck with scarlett joe. Gtfooh

  13. SlyPirate Says:

    I wonder if the Bucs win the Super Bowl with any other Tackle drafted in the first round?

  14. Frankinthe 512 Says:

    I’m so happy that Cameron Jordan finally met his daddy

  15. m0j0 Says:

    I pounded the table that draft season for Donald. It was blatantly obvious he was going to be the next Warren Sapp and he should have been drafted by the Bucs…. but, Evans was my next favorite player and we got him, so that’s awesome! He’s been everything we hoped he would be and then some. Ludicrous catch radius. Wins 50/50 balls (more like 80/20 balls when thrown his way). He’s too big and too fast for most any DB to cover 1 on 1 and forces teams to commit several players to him. Red Zone stud, etc

  16. Anonymous Says:

    T REX WIRFS …can he be dominant on the left side, I believe he can so let do some cross training this season because Donavon will not be here after this season (he will be chasing a check)!! Allowing Wirfs to do some work on the left side will go a long way in keeping this line solid for the next 5 seasons!! Keep drafting studs, that’s what we do!!

  17. Joe Says:

    I believe he can so let do some cross training this season because Donavon will not be here after this season (he will be chasing a check)!!

    You may be wrong on your first point and you are wrong on your second.

    Anyone at One Buc Palace who is foolish enough to speak openly of cross-training Wirfs should either be thrown in a cold tub or terminated. Don’t. Fix. What. Is. Not. Broken. Not sure why people are so determined to screw up something that is already gold. Which leads Joe to…

    Donovan Smith reworked his contract and is with the Bucs through the 2023 season. And trust Joe on this, folks at One Buc Palace have zero desire or motivation to run off Smith. It really annoys them that fans think Donovan Smith is a stiff.