“I Trust My Left Tackle”

January 20th, 2022

Von Miller is back. Von Miller is hot. Blah, blah, blah.

The eight-time Pro Bowl edge rusher has six sacks in his last five games with the Rams, which traded for him in October.

At 32 years old, the future Hall of Famer and former Shaq Barrett mentor (in Denver) has plenty of juice and has reclaimed a lot of headlines.

Bucco Bruce Arians showed Miller plenty of respect last night during a visit to SiriusXM NFL Radio, but Arians made it clear that Miller won’t be consuming the mind of Bucs offensive coaches.

“I trust my left tackle,” Arians said firmly.

That man is Donovan Smith, the ironman of the Tampa Bay offensive line. It really will be a trust game for Smith, as the Bucs are likely going to need steady running back and tight end help for whoever plays right tackle Sunday against the Rams. Even if it’s All-Pro Tristan Wirfs, his bad ankle won’t be 100 percent.

Smith has been a rock and Joe is very confident Smith will rise to the challenge Miller presents. Just look how Smith was on lockdown during the 2020 postseason, and he’s been better this season.

Joe wonders whether Shaq will sit down with Smith to watch Miller film and give his take on Miller’s tendencies and the subtlety of his many moves.

24 Responses to ““I Trust My Left Tackle””

  1. adam from ny Says:

    they left him hanging when it came to pro bowl selections

  2. Capt.Tim Says:

    I also have great faith in Donovan Smith.
    And If they move Alex Cappa to RT, I have alot of Faith in him.
    Smith and Cappa also should have been ProBowl players, but they werent gonna select our entire line.
    We’ll be ok.

  3. Hodad Says:

    I have faith in Gronk. Whoever lines up at RT will be getting a lot of help from Gronk.

  4. Bucsfanman Says:

    Faith or not, coaches need to gameplan quick plays, screens and traps to mitigate this DL.
    Smith has had problems with speed rushers in the past. I wouldn’t take anything for granted.

  5. mg Says:

    TB-12 will use his quick release to infuriate the saftey’s and suck them in, then its Gronk time down the seam.

  6. FairMinded Says:

    D Smith and Marley were great picks. Smith had a rough start and has made a lot of mental errors at key points over the years but seems like good coaching has sunk in. Knock wood

  7. DG060 Says:

    The offensive line woes reminds me of the Chiefs last year. I hope it plays out differently with our guys but realistically those 2 injuries (Wirfs/Jensen) may be too much to overcome this time. Regardless it’s been an incredibly great year again.

  8. bucschamp Says:

    I want to see gronk stiff arm somebody, lay him on the grass till he meet Dr. wenk! time for revenge!

  9. Bobby M. Says:

    I suspect this game will come down to TDs vs FGs. I think both teams will play a bit of zone, keeping everything in front of them and attacking at the line. Good QBs will move the chains until the field compresses, then it will come down to execution in the red zone.

  10. Jordan Says:

    Donovan Smith has literally 90 pounds on Von Miller

    If that matchup happens, you audible to a run

    Don’t overthink this – you just do what the 49ers did in our own way

  11. Buclova Says:

    He does practice against some really good edge rushers

  12. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I remember when we drafted Donovan from Penn State.
    Unlike some here, I was tickled pink when we used a high draft pick to draft a decent tackle, for a change.
    I agree with Jordan who posted above me.
    Just duplicate what the 49ers did against the Rams.
    BTW, if we beat the Rams, and the 49ers beat the Packers, we become the number one seed, so that game between us and the 49ers will be played here in Tampa!!!

  13. Capt.Tim Says:

    The Chiefs were down one Oline starter in the Superbowl.
    They moved another starting lineman to RT, to cover for the injured guy.
    They still played 4 starters
    We were missing Alex Cappa, and played Aaron Stennie in his place.

    All their BS about OLine problems were just excuses.
    Both SuperBowl teams were missing one Offensive lineman

  14. Rob Says:

    They should move Cappa to right tackle and Aaron Stinie to right guard. If Wells is able to go, he can be the 6th lineman on situational snaps to help Cappa with edge rushers. Every snap should have either a tight end or back chip whomever is going against Cappa.

  15. Wild Bill Says:

    I am very worried about the game against the Rams. They beat us early in the season when we were still pretty much at full strength. They have a huge weapon in Cooper one of the games best receivers. Yes we have our dbs back at near full strength but we couldn’t stop Cooper back when our whole defense was at or near full strength. But now with the new injuries to starters and many nicked up starters, the Rams are going to be a big hill to climb. The one glimmer of hope is that the Rams have been an up and down team, sometimes loosing games they were expected to win. BUT, they come into this game at near full strength and we are the walking wounded. Last year we were the lucky playoff team with few injuries and hitting our peak at just the right time. Not so this season, more like the opposite. Got my fingers crossed for the Bucs to somehow overcome the injury bug, but these injuries to key players, especially on offense last game, are going to take a toll.

  16. Cobraboy Says:

    @Wild Bill: I’m pretty sure the Bucs were somewhat depleted last meeting.

  17. ArmchairGM Says:

    Didn’t we draft and cross train Hainsey for exactly this scenario? He was playing center during mop up duty in a few of the blow outs this year. What are the opinions of him and his readiness to step up in a playoff game if Jensen and Wirfs can’t go?

  18. SlyPirate Says:

    I have faith in bacon. Bacon always delivers. It makes its teammates better and can be star all by itself.

    Donovan Smith is not bacon.

    Against Philly, the pocket collapsed on 3rd and long. You saw both edges and the middle come in on TB12. The Bucs need to come up with a better gameplan for 3rd and long.

  19. Eckwood Says:

    The Bucs have 4 good experienced T Ends and they need to use them ,,, they all they all have height and length, two are over 6’ 6” and three are excellent blockers …….. the pieces are there to help at RT and yet really really exploit the Rams weakness on D …… The Safeties ……. The T Ends could easily catch 12 balls in this game if used ….. half those catches can go to Fells and Howard …… Fells and Howard could really really help !!

  20. Mike Johnson Says:

    Laugh all you like. But Von Miller will be a very tough cover come Sunday. As will be the Beast, no 99. Our O line is gonna have to crank it up another notch. That Rams D is tough and they will be comin hard Our D is gonna have to play lights out and give them a double taste of their own medicine.

  21. jvato24 Says:

    Pretty sure Von Miller plays on the right tackle side most of the time and they will put him there all day if Wirfs is out

  22. mg Says:

    I trust in – next man up with this team.

  23. joe castillo Says:

    utilize same plan Patriots employed to neutralize Suh and Donald in superbowl 53

  24. adam from ny Says:

    can someone please pancake donald…

    and serve him up hot and toasty with hashbrowns and extra syrup…

    at dennys…

    ok fine…………at frog pond