“It’s A Concern”

December 7th, 2022

After 127 NFL starts, Bucs ironman left tackle Donovan Smith is a high-mileage veteran at 29 years old.

Smith is no a Pro Bowler, but Joe believes that Smith certainly is not the problem with the Tampa Bay offense. However, when an eight-year veteran’s performance slips, it’s always a red flag.

Smith’s penalties and inconsistency have caught the eye of Bucs head coach Todd Bowles, who went public with that sentiment today.

“It’s a concern,” Bowles said when asked about Smith’s penalties and recent sacks allowed.

“I mean, he knows he didn’t play his best game [Monday]; we know he didn’t play his best game. He’ll bounce back from it. He understands that. And we expect more from him and he expects more from himself.

A follow-up question asked Bowles if the hyperextended elbow Smith dealt suffered on opening day (he missed Weeks 2 and 3) is still affecting him. Bowles said it likely is but that’s not relevant.

“He’s not going to make that excuse, and if he’s out there, we’re not going to make that excuse, either,” Bowles said of the elbow.

Joe’s concern about Smith’s play is that it’s been subpar for two games following what was supposed to be a rejuvenating bye week.

37 Responses to ““It’s A Concern””

  1. uhmmm Says:

    Whirfs and Wells sounds like a pretty good Lineup for tackles… NGL

  2. OrlandoBucFan Says:

    Smith’s play is definitely slipping. He holds for a reason. We need to prioritize drafting a tackle to replace Smith.

  3. unbelievable Says:

    Pat McAfee said that Donovan Smith has the most holding calls of any lineman since he entered the league in 2015… anyone know if that’s true?

    For his career, I see he has 31 holding penalties and 25 false starts…

  4. CGB Spender Says:

    He’s trash

  5. D-Rok Says:

    So, when is that chiral Wirfs clone coming out of the incubator? Smith has been serviceable, good at times, not so good lately.

    We need 2 Wirfs and we’re good. 🙂

  6. BrianBucs Says:

    Smith is the NFL’s most penalized offensive lineman.
    He holds because he’s being beaten.
    He should be replaced as he has shown that he can’t handle the league’s top pass rushers

  7. unbelievable Says:

    Donovan Smith has had 69 penalties accepted against him in his career.

    I could not find another lineman who has played the same amount of time that has anywhere close to that many. Most of them are under 40 penalties in the same amount of years playing.

    In fact, the only guys I could find who had more career penalties than D Smith, were all players who have at least 4 more seasons under their belts than Donnie.

    * Please note that my research was not 100% exhaustive, but I did look up about 30 different o-linemen to compare.

  8. FlBoy84 Says:

    anyone know if that’s true?


    Joe Buck mentioned the same stat during the telecast, so I’m guessing it is. It’s not only the number, but also the fact they’re occurring on big plays at critical times during the games. Thankfully the cap savings is a bit more than the hit we’d take if he’s traded or released this offseason, but I’m not banking on the FO having the stones to make the switch. Hoping next year’s salary cap issues force their hand.

  9. unbelievable Says:

    FlBoy – yeah I totally believe it, I just had a hard time comparing holding calls between players over multiple seasons… but see my last post. D Smith has way more accepted penalties than any other linemen during his career.

    At least we don’t have Demar Dotson on the other side anymore. He was right near the top of the league in penalties for many of those years as well.


  10. FlBoy84 Says:


    The most frustrating thing about him is he CAN and does handle those guys when he’s focused and motivated. Unfortunately, that’s not frequent and it ebbs and flows during games, with the laziness and lack of effort kicking in at the most inopportune times. It’s been his issue since college and never really showed improvement until the first 2 years of TB. The effect has worn off evidently.

  11. Redeemer Says:

    I don’t think it’s the elbow, it’s his technique and footwork. Smith can be very sluggish getting into his pass blocking sets. Hence, the penalties. They can do things to help him. More shotgun, less drop backs and chip his guy now and again.

  12. tbbucs3 Says:

    Same ones that wanted to run off Devin White after 1 bad game now want Smith gone too smh…..76 will pick it up soon, he’s been reliable for many years.

  13. gotbbucs Says:

    I think I saw that PFF has him ranked 70 out of 77 offensive tackles this year. Top 10 money giving bottom 10 production.

    I mean, if my math is correct, that means he’s ranked worse than all other starters on either side of the line…plus six backups.

    His technique is awful and always has been, but he legit looks like he’s on rollers skates out there now. He doesn’t have a kick step, he just turns and opens which makes it really hard for him to adjust to an inside rush move, which is basically where he gets all of his holding penalties because his only option is to reach out and clothes line the guy. It’s either that or the QB gets killed.

    I have no doubt that the elbow is an issue, but just having any kind of decent footwork could neutralize that issue a little bit. He’s a turnstile right now and the refs are obviously watching closely now. It was almost impressive how fast he held on the called back TD to Godwin. Davenport didn’t even sell the outside rush and Smith’s immediate reaction was to lunge and hug. That’s a special kind of lazy.

  14. SB~LV Says:

    He is fine!
    The OL is not playing well missing Marpet – Jensen-Cappa

  15. Duane Says:

    He racks up all those calls because he is durable, and noone has out played him for the starting position. LTs are hard to find, and you live with the devil you know versus the one you dont. I dont give him a pass, but with his injury and not playing with Marpet at his side, I can see where he would struggle. Linemen do not heal up from injury during the season while playing. They are all walking wounded during this time of year.

  16. Duane Says:

    Extra side note- Whats the over/under of Wells playing every game that Wirfs is out?

  17. Jonny Says:

    The only thing Smith has going for him is his durability and being average at his position. But average does not have to mean adequate. We won a Superbowl with him, so it is not like he is a major reason we are losing now. But when usually good players like Brady and Evans are struggling, Smith’s F ups start feeling like major crimes.

  18. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Left Tackles do not grow on trees, and good ones are hard to find.
    Really good left tackles go high in the draft.
    Smith will have to do, until we can replace him.
    He really seems to struggle with speed rushers, who seem able to run right by him.
    A lot of holding penalties are an indication he is being beaten quite often.
    He has been durable, but is far from the dominate left tackle every team wants.

  19. unbelievable Says:

    Tolerate him until you can replace him. But I posted the stats above… the most penalized o-lineman in the league since 2015.

    Hell, I can think of 4 scoring drives he killed just in the last couple of weeks!

  20. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Just think if the goat had 2.8 seconds to throw instead of 2.0 seconds to throw?
    That’s the question and is a big reason why play action is becoming an offensive mainstay.

  21. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Smith does move like an oversized lawnchair at the beach. Perhaps they should sub him for one. Just think, no holding calls, someone may trip and fall; and at a much reduced rate too!

  22. MadMax Says:

    They wont listen to me….BUT slide him to LG, Wirfs at LT and Wells is our RT….then draft another LT or RT in the 2nd rd.

    QB 1st
    Oline 2nd
    pass rush 3rd
    WR 4th

  23. SB Says:

    Third in the Entire league in Penalties.
    I would say it is a concern.
    I know you like the guy for his ability to stay healthy Joe but you can’t stay employed in any job if you almost lead the entire world in mistakes.

  24. Tony Says:

    I’ve been saying for awhile they should’ve let him go by now. Betty White would’ve been able to pick up a sack on him. Even Stevie Wonder would’ve been able to pick up on a sack on him. I would’ve let him go a couple of years ago.

  25. Dewey Selmon Says:

    You have to realize Smith is going against the opponents best play time after time. He will get it together.

  26. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Ha ha ha…….

    He’s NEVER been consistently good.
    Poor technique, lazy and overpaid.
    I’ve been calling him out for years now but get torched because “we should just be happy to have him”…… “Good LTs don’t grow on trees”

    …..plays like Leftwich speaks.

  27. IE Buc Says:

    Goedeke was a tackle in college. He’s been having a rough year transitioning to LG. He could be an answer at LT if he’s developed there instead.

  28. Tony Says:

    Sign Fred the Sled to replace Donovan.

  29. CrackerBall Says:

    OK everyone… all together let’s say “Peter Skoronski”

  30. Beeej Says:

    He has a cap hit of $17 million next year, he’s not going anywhere

  31. Tony Says:


    Yeah I agree but I’ve just got a feeling he won’t be there.

  32. Tony Says:


    He’s been reliable in what way? Picking out QBs up off the ground after he let them get sacked.

  33. Tony Says:

    They need to send Donovan back to Penn St but Penn St was probably happy to get rid of him, too!

  34. Browsing from DC Says:

    Another day, another player to trash. It think he had 2 holding penalties Monday night, the second costing a TD to Godwin, but luckily we got one from the Goat to White 2 plays later.

    Holding penalties are usually drive killers. They can also be drive savers. A LT has the QB’s blind side protection. He also has a clock in his head on pass plays. If he’s getting beaten in the first second he has a choice to make. Don’t hold and let your 45 y.o. QB take a hard sack, risk injury, risk a fumble, lose 8 to 10 yards if he doesn’t fumble but loss of down plus the yards lost and the clock keeps running. OR

    Hold the guy (maybe even get away with it 5% of the time) but only lose 10 yards, no loss of down and your QB stays healthy to continue the drive albeit now a more difficult drive. Oh, and it stops the clock also.

    Let’s play ‘What if…?” What if Donovan DIDN’T hold on that TD pass to Godwin and his man got to TB12 for a sack? That was a 2nd down play so it would have been 3rd and goal and backed up almost 10 yards. Oh and the clock would still be running!!!! If they could gather themselves and spike the ball before time expired (a big if) they would have probably only had one shot at the end zone. As it played out after the holding penalty, it took 2 plays and all but 3 seconds left in the game to get the score to White. A sack could have ended the game with time only to try a final desperation pass. A strip-sack and ballgame over.

    Sure, Smith could have better, quicker footwork. Hell, I wish all of our players were 1st team All-Pro. And I truly believe that Licht screwed up by not going after o-lineman when Jensen went down. But we have what we have. LT is a thankless job that you usually only notice when they do badly. I’m glad he held on that play to Godwin. Sucks for him and you could tell he felt bad about it, but the alternative “what if’ would have sucked worse.

  35. Statguy Says:

    Never should of been a tackle in the first place. Every other scout had him projected as a guard because he wasn’t athletic enough for elite edge rushers

  36. DislocatedBucsFan Says:

    He’s average, been average and getting worse. Should have been a guard since day 1. He doesn’t have the speed, hands or footwork to be a good tackle. This is why he gets beat consistently against speed edge rushers

  37. TampabayDJ82 Says:

    Browsing from DC – Agree 💯 ! Not to mention that he’s playing on the left side that used to be occupied by a pro bowl LG , now it’s been Smith having to try and control the entire left side because of the poor LG play . I’d rather Smith hold then Brady get crushed and hurt.. Go Bucs