Big Philosophy Change Coming To Bucs?

August 7th, 2022

Real football numbers defend.

Whether Bucs fans like it or not, this year’s offensive line is going to be mostly different.

As you may have heard, the Bucs will start the season with three new starters — two guards and a center. When your quarterback is your meal ticket and equally important, largely an immobile old man of 45, this new Bucs offensive line is likely to play a lot different than last year’s.

Over at BSPN, Seth Walder, who never met a stat he didn’t swallow whole like Gospel, believes Bucs left tackle Donovan Smith is lousy and drags down the whole pass blocking scheme — based on some hare-brained, hocus-pocus junk science formula designed to sell spreadsheet software. Joe will tackle that subject more in a bit.

Bryan Knowles, typing in the Football Outsiders 2022 Football Almanac, detailed how damn good the Bucs’ offensive line was last year. Remember, the Bucs allowed the fewest sacks, just 23. And again, that’s with an immobile then-44-year-old quarterback.

Tampa Bay went max protect on a league-low 3.4% of pass plays, defined as seven or more blockers with at least two more blockers than pass-rushers.

Back to Smith and this Walder. It seems Walder, who has perpetual statistical diarrhea, is like the other stat geeks, the PFF tribe. They hate Smith. The tribe has been on Smith’s arse since he was coming out of Penn State.

But you are going to have to explain in great detail how the Bucs could lead the NFL in the fewest sacks allowed while hardly ever using max-pro sets, with an immobile old man barking signals, and have such a sh!tty left tackle. That’s damn near impossible.

Anyway, Joe has a hunch that by losing two Pro Bowlers on the line (Ali Marpet to retirement and Ryan Jensen to injury) the Bucs will be using max protect a whole lot more than just 3.4 percent of the dropbacks this fall.

Why is it that stat geeks are so triggered by Smith? Did he send them ransomware that tied up their MS Office?

29 Responses to “Big Philosophy Change Coming To Bucs?”

  1. Beeej Says:

    Donnie better than most. He’s not Trent Williams, but he’s not Demar Dotson either

  2. Stu Says:

    TB12 elevates the play of those around him; so a below avg OL, will play avg, an avg OL will play above avg, and above avg OL will play very good, and a very good OL will play excellent…
    slot Smith wherever you like, but he is what he is…

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It is difficult to use max protect when we have such a spectacular WR corps…..we need at least 3 WRs on the field….

  4. DoooshLaRue Says:

    It’s easy Joe.
    What’s TB’s average release time?

    DD only has to back up and play patty cakes for about 2 seconds before Brady gets rid of the ball.

  5. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Brady makes any offensive line better, because he is so good at reading defenses.
    He finds the open Man fast, and gets rid of the ball quickly.

  6. Maniac Buc Says:


    “Slot Smith where ever you like, but he is what he is”

    Every player in the NFL is what they is 😂😂

  7. Allbuccedup Says:

    The o- line will definitely take a step back this year, just hope its baby steps

  8. Maniac Buc Says:

    Donnie is a damned good LT. He’s definitely top 10 LT and probably higher. I’ve never understood the negativity towards the guy, especially considering how great of a guy and teammate he is.

  9. tampabayallday Says:

    We should be using max protect as much as we can

  10. mark2001 Says:

    Trust Brady to read and react. And the new guys on the line to step up to the challenge.

  11. Infomeplease Says:

    By the time the playoffs arrive, this line will be taking no prisoners! Until then, max protect when necessary!!!

  12. Eddie Marz Says:

    The problem with stat heads is that they don’t know football just stats. Stats can’t measure heart or decision making. Stats also don’t take into account game situations. Ei. I remember a lot of guys on the PGA tour making great birdies and eagles, but Tiger Woods would make those same shots with the tournament on the line. GOBUCS!

  13. Lakeland Steve Says:

    To me it’s a no brainer. The biggest difference in the o-line is Brady. 1. He knows at the line if there is going to be a blitz and will make sure the Bucs have the right blocking scheme to thwart the blitz. 2. He knows before the snap of the ball where he wants to throw it. 3. Probably the most important thing, he gets the ball out of his hands so quickly, much quicker than Jameis. Joe, maybe you could dig up some stats on Jameis release time and Brady’s in this same offense. It may not be a huge difference like I think but it sure seemed like Jameis held onto the ball way too long on several plays a game.

  14. Goatfarmer Says:

    Love your takes, Joes. Unfortunately there are a number of cretins who believe crazy stuff prowling your site, including the narrative that Donnie sucks and Wirfs is going to be repurposed to LT. How stupid.

  15. Buczilla Says:

    The only ones more nonsensical than the majority of these stat nerds are the dummies that pay them good money in exchange for their snake oil. Smith is a good player and the second best left tackle in our team’s history.

  16. Joe Says:

    DD only has to back up and play patty cakes for about 2 seconds before Brady gets rid of the ball.

    Bingo, someone gets it. The job of an offensive lineman isn’t to manhandle a defender or pancake him. The job (in pass blocking) is to just get in a guy’s way and make sure he doesn’t touch the quarterback. Misson accomplished.

    Doing your job is reaching your objective. Who cares how it’s done so long as it’s done.

  17. Joe Says:

    Wirfs is going to be repurposed to LT. How stupid.

    That could happen if Bucs let Smith walk after his contract expires and it would happen because of economics/salary cap. Joe’s not advocating it happen but it is not far-fetched.

  18. Beeej Says:

    I figure Wirfs would move to left in 5 years or so when Donnie retires. If they smart they extend Wirfs at the right tackle rate, THEN move him

  19. Goatfarmer Says:

    If Donnie retires or leaves because of the cap then yeah .

    The stupid idea is to demote Donnie or cut him and move Wirfs . These idiots exist.

  20. Beeej Says:

    1147 snaps, 8 penalties, ONE sack, PFF of 83. Those are the stats you look for in a guy you TRADE for

  21. Joe Says:

    The stupid idea is to demote Donnie or cut him and move Wirfs

    Joe can tell you that there is a shot-caller with the Bucs who would never do this unless Smith had a leg mangled and couldn’t recover.

  22. Red-sparrow Says:

    What’s Joe’s problem with PFF man 😂? They spend time dissecting every play and generally have good ratings on most players. Now do they get some ratings on certain players laughably wrong? Abso-freaking-lutely. But guess what, so do all other stat metrics. I find passer rating to be an outdated stat that harshly grades the quarterback for picks that aren’t even his fault for example. Basically every pick is the same according to passer rating. Which I find moronic. So every stat metric is flawed. Metrics are created by humans with subjective views on how to grade play. Even the so called experts in front offices swing and miss on players every damn year in drafts and misread guys in the scouting process. Stop bashing PFF because they underrate a player/players YOU think the think the world of Joes. Get those panties out of that bunch.

  23. Irishmist Says:

    Max protect helps against the outside rush , but our weakness is now up the middle. Maybe we should run more 2 back sets using Ko Kleft as a fullback, and then play action out of that with Kleft waiting to blow up anyone who gets by the center or guard. He could also be a last minute safety valve for Brady to dump off to, or maybe run some middle screens with him as a counter to some of the A gap blitzes we a sure to see more of with Jenson and Marpet gone.

  24. Buc king Says:

    Release time of brady would make me look like a all pro linemen

  25. steele Says:

    Stats can be interpreted any way a person wants. Rabbit holes. All that matters are the visible and tangible results. Brady makes everyone better, but he can’t singlehandedly make rookies and questionables into pro bowlers. Witness Bryan Stork, 2015. A 45 yr old Brady should not have this uncertainty in front of him.

  26. JimmyJack Says:

    Your only as good as your worst game. And if you can look at that Rams game and say good job to Smith you need rehab.

    Smith was an absolute trainwreck. He looked like a rookie out there.

    The excuses are it was only one game and Von Miller makes a lot of tackles look bad……..Last time I checked one bad game gets you eliminated in the NFL and if you wanna win a SB you better damn well be prepared to slow down great passrushers.

    Say Smith is a good tackle, fair…….I can buy it. Just dont try to convince anybody he is a guy you can trust against the Cam Jordans or Von Miiler in the league.

  27. westernbuc Says:

    Donovan’s game elevated to new heights with Brady. I think he matured greatly as a result. A few years back, I would’ve preferred he retired over Ali, but now it’s completely flipped. No disrespect to Ali, but Smith is a legit left tackle and probably top 7 in the league, and you can’t easily replace that kind of talent. I love having Wirfs at right tackle because it’s an underrated position that requires great run blocking.

  28. JDStill Says:

    If , as advertised , We have a greatly improved running game , that should help negate the pass rush through more play action , it could end up being a wash which would be good for us .

  29. TampabayDJ82 Says:

    @Jimmy Jack – As I recall the Rams game, we were missing our ALL PRO Right Tackle that game. The Bucs put an extra lineman and a TE on the right side, hence leaving D.Smith to get the overload when the Rams rushed the pass. Can’t put an extra lineman on both sides on every play or we would have 1 WR , 1 TE , and a RB ! Know what you’re talking about before you say it . Anyone who knows football could see that. Smith held up great considering the circumstances of not having any help and having to block 2 or 3 guys, and yes one of those guys name is Von Miller and that Safety they signed the week before the game that hadn’t played ALL year but was a beast. Last time I checked Brady is extremely comfortable with Smith protecting his blind side or Smith wouldn’t be in the team right now. Go Bucs