“He’ll Be A Left Tackle”

April 19th, 2023

“Hey Ryan, I’m flexible.”

One of Peyton Manning’s Super Bowl left tackles has had his eye on the Buccaneers’ left tackle situation.

Joe is referring to Ryan Harris, who was co-hosting on Late Hits last night with Alex Marvez on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Harris logged 10 years in the NFL and was last seen on the field with the Steelers in 2016, a year after winning the Super Bowl with Manning and the Broncos when he started every game at left tackle. Harris also played plenty of right tackle in his career.

He outlined the challenge of Tristan Wirfs switching from right to left tackle this season, which is being considered strongly at One Buc Palace.

“Just go ahead and write your name with your opposite hand,” Harris said.

However, Harris thinks Wirfs not only will transition well, he will thrive and the Bucs want him to move.

“Not everybody can do it; Tristan Wirfs can do it. Everybody who knows offensive line has been waiting for him to be the left tackle there since he got there. He’s going to be just fine,” Harris said.

“The No. 1 reason why you want to do it if you’re the Buccaneers, you want your least experienced lineman to be on the right side because the quarterback can see the problem. You don’t want somebody who’s on that left side where the quarterback can’t see the problem, if there’s a right-handed quarterback. So Tristan Wirfs can do it. He’ll be a left tackle.”

On the technical side of things, Harris emphasized that a key for a successful tackle relocation is a strong outside hand. If that new hand isn’t up to speed, he said, then a tackle is “turning a short corner [and then] your quarterback has issues.”

Joe has heard other former offensive linemen say Wirfs will be just fine moving to left tackle as long as he gets a full offseason to transition.

There’s a divide at JoeBucsFan.com world headquarters. One Joe says don’t move Wirfs because he’s phenomenal where he is. Don’t mess with greatness. The Joe typing here has no problem with the Bucs trying it. If Wirfs is just an average left tackle, then he can always move back to the right side.

29 Responses to ““He’ll Be A Left Tackle””

  1. LOL Says:

    Can the Bucs pay Whirfs now so that he doesnt break the bank when it comes time to re-up?

  2. Just Leave Trask Alone Says:

    Joe I don’t know why you are fighting against this move. It’s a no-brainer for all parties involved.

    Best lineman, best tackle plays left tackle. They signed a veteran and they’ll draft a guy I’m guessing in the 2nd round. The Bucs are collecting players for the O-line and there is a real possibility for an upgrade over last year’s production if Canales is worth his salt.

  3. Goatfarmer Says:

    I’ll trust Ryan Harris’ take on this. He’s a true expert.

  4. MadMax Says:

    Wirfs needs to get arm wrestler Devon Larratt’s routine…(actually, all of them should)….there will be no lack of hand or arm strength with that routine.

    They said he was already practicing at LT….so yep, I knew it, he wants it, we want it….its all good. He’ll do great there.

  5. Rick Says:

    Joe what’s the worst that can happen? he has a tough time and moves back to right. I can’t think he would be any more of a risk this year than a rookie? Unless we can get Orlando Pace.

  6. Bojim Says:

    The idea is making more and more sense.

  7. SlyPirate Says:

    The Good
    Right Tackle: If Wirfs stays at RT, he goes down as the greatest RT in history.
    Left Tackle: If Wirfs moves to LT and becomes all-pro, he’s the greatest OL in history.

    The Bad
    If the experiment fails, the Bucs will have lost a year in their reload. They’ll have to draft a LT next year instead of QB or other position.

  8. FlBoy84 Says:

    They’ve had an average/below average LT for the last 8 years, highly likely he’s a substantial upgrade.

  9. Bobby M. Says:

    Wirfs is a rare athlete, definitely think he can make the transition and be great. He’ll get PAID better as an elite LT vs an elite RT.

  10. Steven007 Says:

    Max, That’s funny. I’m a Larrat fan as well and also a former occasionally competitive arm wrestler. That is until I tore my right distal bicep tendon about 7 months ago. Hand strength is underrated. Interestingly, my right hand grip strength is now better than it was before surgery. Bought a new set of grippers for rehab and afterwards. Anyways, slightly off topic. I’m all in on our best offensive lineman, who actually has played left tackle a bit, moving there this year.

  11. MadMax Says:

    @Steven, awesome. I only did it in school and during breaks at work when i was in my prime (early to mid 20’s) Never competitive though. I wouldve been taken out by a dude half my size lol.

    I think the plan was for Wirfs the whole time. That why Smith was one of the first let go. Now what we do with RT has me a little worried but I think we’ll draft a guy who can play there and G, but with arms longer than 33″. Thats why I like Avilla, he’s played C too. We trade down, D. Washington, Avilla, Achane….and thats if we dont trade D. White. If we trade him, we’ve gotta go Simpson first.

    So many ways this draft can go…but Im on it…its my hobby.

  12. KC Buc Says:

    I trust Ryan Harris’ take on this and his logic makes sense about having a veteran on the left. Let a rookie battle Goedeke and whoever else for the right spot. Wirfs will be great anywhere on the line we put him, let’s put him at the money spot.

  13. Bucs Guy Says:

    Draft the LT from OKU and leave Wirfs at RT. It will save the Bucs $ in cap space. Plus he’s a LT already so no learning curve on switching sides. He also has experience in zone blocking under the type of offensive the new O Coordinator wants to run.

  14. Joe Swanson Says:

    The more reason to draft Darnell Wright if available he played right tackle his senior year and left tackle his junior year his nickname is the brick wall.

  15. Posey99 Says:

    The other Joe’s theory isn’t a good one. Players are drafted and/ or are moved to new positions all the time. Silly to think you wouldn’t want a guy as talented as Wirfs to get his shot at a the most valuable position on the offensive line. He’s great at RT, but let him take his shot at a payday.

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    LOL Says:
    April 19th, 2023 at 10:42 am
    Can the Bucs pay Whirfs now so that he doesnt break the bank when it comes time to re-up?

    We don’t have the money to pay him now….that’s what happened to Godwin & Davis….and is happening to White……no money left to give raises in 4th year to receive a better long term contract.

    Since he will command a very high salary, we may as well switch him to the higest paid tackle spot.

  17. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Natural progression for a hall of fame caliber lineman…

    I can see Joe’s point about leaving well enough alone at Right Tackle…but Wirfs is elite. If a 3rd down back or a slot corner can make the move to every down back and shutdown/#1 corner…then you “promote” them.

  18. Steven007 Says:

    Wirfs also increases his annual payday by at least 10% with the move to the left side. I don’t think that’s a huge incentive for him but it is the case. Regarding the draft, clearly we will take alignment at some point. But the GM has done a good job of getting some veterans to fill the spots of greatest need. We picked up Gaines for the D-Line. And recently grabbed Feiler for the offensive side. Both guys have extensive starting experience. This opens up the draft for us. And to be honest, at this point I have no idea which direction we go with the first pick. Best player available at a position of need seems to be the safest route.

  19. Voice of Truth Says:

    I think it will depend on the draft – if it unfolds where we can’t get one of the tackles we want, we move Wirfs to LT and the dude we just signed or Goedke plays RT

    It would be nice to get a LT at 19 that we want and have the option of juggling what would be a pretty darn good OLine

    Our biggest need overall is pass rusher IMO – we shored up the SS spot and the new OL guy played LG and RT at starter level as a hedge bet also

    All signs to me point to OLB/DE even a DT that wrecks havoc in pass rush

  20. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    draft a left handed quarterback, problem solved!

  21. Redeemer Says:

    I’m trying to think of comps. The Patriots switched Trent brown around multiple times. I think wirfs would be a middle of the road LT. However he’s an elite RT. I’m not a fan of messing with greatness. If they thought he could excell at left tackle, why didn’t they do it last year? They certainly had plenty of problems over there. Smith could’ve switched.

  22. Seattle Buc is back in TB Says:

    If Tristan switches now to left and balls out he could very well be playing for another team his next contract. How could we afford the best left tackle in the league?

  23. SOEbuc Says:

    Him and Weinfield are two of the top in their position that are going to get serious bank. These guys have class not crying about a trade on social media. We need to try to trade or cut Jensen. Can’t say what he has left in the tank, but he is an older vet that only resigned at the last second because Brady asked. Don’t know what his contract is like. Rebuild is necessary.

  24. A Says:

    How many times do NFL teams drop back from under center? Most passes are done via shotgun. Defenses attack your weakness anyway – I think the Bucs are going to make him the highest paid lineman no matter what side he plays on so if he can make the change and it’s easier to find a RT in the draft…why not…I don’t know that it really solves anything, but maybe it allows you to draft a RT later to compete with Luke Goedeke and use your early picks for other positions.

    Go Bucs!

  25. Pewter Power Says:

    I’d be much more worried about a rookie tackle than moving our best from right to left. I’m sure every team that picked before wirfs said oops we wife’ whiffed. Switching him over allows the team to address one more piston which is important since D white decided I’m gonna flex my muscle at the worst possible time

  26. ShakeandBaker Says:

    There are 10s of millions reasons why Wirfs would prefer to excel on the left side rather than the right.

  27. westernbuc Says:

    Man I hope he’s right

  28. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    Ain’t broken. Don’t fix it.

  29. garro Says:

    We tried this crap with Ali Marpet. Anyone remember how that worked?