A Truth Comes Out

January 2nd, 2024

Former Bucs guard/center Ali Marpet.

Joe always enjoys when a former NFL player, coach or executive decides enough time has past that a truth about his or her former team can be revealed safely.

Unlike other NFL media types, Joe has a very high bar when it comes to believing what anyone employed by by an NFL team says. It’s not that teams employ a bunch of liars, but team employees’ job is to protect the team, and that includes publicly sharing a bunch of half-truths, quarter-truths and straight-up BS. It’s sort of like politics.

Enter former Bucs guard Ali Marpet (2015-2021). He chats nowadays on the Buccaneers Radio Network, and this week he got in truth-telling mode about his move to center in 2017.

At the time, Bucs coaches, players and suits crowed about how Marpet was a natural fit at center and he was envisioned to play there for years. Everyone, Joe recalls, said the transition was going well. Heck, Joe remembers Bucs Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy talking about how Marpet would become a dominant, Pro Bowl center.

After the ’17 season, the Bucs moved Marpet to left guard and signed Ryan Jensen, who was made the highest paid center in the NFL at the time.

“Dude, I sucked at center. I was bad,” Marpet said. “I did my best but (laughs) my snaps were terrible. (laughs) I worked on it, too. It just like didn’t click as it should.

“I remember looking at film at one point — and Jameis [Winston] was super nice to me, trying to [accommodate] me. At one point I remember he was like two yards off to the right of me, like not directly back taking on a shotgun snap, because he knew it was going to go two yards to the right of me. I was like, ‘Jameis, why wouldn’t you just say something?'”

Marpet went on to say he realized more how off he was at center when Tom Brady arrived and had all kinds of precision details for his center, including delivering a dry ball.

Marpet said he is a naturally “heavy, heavy sweater” and Jameis was delivered a wet ball “all the time” — and no coach stepped in to make a change. Jameis, per Marpet, told him not to worry about it because he was a no-excuses kind of quarterback.

29 Responses to “A Truth Comes Out”

  1. Fishhawkbuc Says:

    Must be a slow week.

  2. Hodad Says:

    Marpet’s career was wasted to an extent trying to find a spot for him to play. By the time he became a pro bolwer at LG he was ready to retire. Don’t make the same mistake with Mauch. Draft a kid at center who’s done it at a high level for three years at a good program. Anyone watch the center from Goergia demolish anyone wearing a FSU jeresey the other night? Draft that kid. Don’t dick around drafting a tackle from a small school, and think he’d be a pro center.

  3. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Gosh, that JayMiss sure is a swell guy…….

  4. Usfbuc Says:

    I took this interview as more of a propaganda piece by the Bucs trying to get people to warm up to the idea of Hainsey playing center for a while.

  5. garro Says:

    I do not think Marpet has gone the BS route at all. Doesn’t strke me as having that kinda thing in him. But coaches not catching the wet ball and Jaymiss 2 yards off center? He did struggle mightily at canter though.

    Go Bucs!

  6. NE Fan Says:

    Wet balls mean ints. Maybe more attention to detail is what the no excuse QB needed.

  7. Frank Pillow Says:

    You know they’re aiming to move Mauch to C. Feeding everybody the same bologna about how he’s going to be a Pro Bowl level talent there…there’s a level of insanity that I’ll never understand. Stop all of the tinkering. Just draft or sign a legit C!

  8. Ultra ClodHopper Says:

    Another example of Jameis’ leadership skills being quite over rated.

    GMC was/is such a great company man.

  9. Mark hardt Says:

    Stop deferring. If we win the coin flip take the ball. That long drive by the saints to start deflated the Bucs and they never recovered. Baker was coming off a great game. Give him the ball first. Same with next week. Baker ended with a TD. Let it carry over and give him the ball first if you can.

  10. Angry Since Kickoff Says:

    Mark, we didn’t want a 3 and out before people had taken their seats with their first beer.

  11. Bucsorgtfo Says:

    @ Fishhawkbuc speak for yourself. I thought it was interesting.

  12. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Some people are scared to death of change. I’m not one of them.

  13. orlbucfan Says:

    Get off the GMC hate. He was a good player on a bunch of lousy teams. He’s also a class act off field, plus he’s retired. Marpet is a smart guy. He carefully planned his career, knew how to manage his money, got a SB ring, and retired before he was beaten to death.

  14. Bucs13 Says:

    Tom was a psycho about perfect snaps. He’s worried about every single detail. He had his centers pour baby powder down their pants so the ball stays dry. Those guys had diapers on.

  15. realistic-optimistic Says:

    At the time, I was behind his move to C because he was so good his rookie year, and we needed a C. But I didn’t really understand the second move to LG. He was great at RG, why not just move him back to RG if the C experiment was done? I didn’t understand the need to make him learn 3 positions in his first 3 seasons. Fortunately, he was just as good at LG. But I’ve always been curious about that decision. Maybe Marpet had a voice in it.

  16. Jmarkbuc Says:

    I’m still waiting for Joe’s big revelation on Jaboo that he’s promised “when the time is right” for years now..
    Joe said it had to do with Jameis, but at the core it’s about another players actions in relation to Jameis. –Joe

  17. Eckwood Says:

    You know when you peel the layers back isn’t this really , once again , about how poor and undialed NFL coaching staffs and GM s truly are at times !! …….. and by the way was Marpet really a better Right Guard ? ………. So Tom Brady plays with dry leather all game ( because he’s learned to take control) and the Bucs qb played with a light drizzle the whole dam game , the whole season , under the watchful eye of 10 mil plus in staff to oversee the proper development of the qb ………… And Yet the player has been NFL brain washed to say No Excuses !! Well Thanks Ali you just shed some light on the Inexcusable!!
    ……….. So please play Edmonds more and keep Godwin in the slot the Whole Game !!

  18. Not Says:

    That’s a huge issue, I’m sure lots of this cr@p leads to a sh1tty team. If the boss doesn’t focus on the details, Brady made Marpet fix everything, versus Jameis making do with sub par play !
    This is what Sean Payton is trying to do with Russ Wilson. The QB has to be able to make all his reads !
    Accommodating too many errors leads to a .500 toilet bowl team.

  19. Mike C Says:

    Ne fan smh, don’t you have a draft and a new head coach to worry about?

  20. Crickett Baker Says:

    Ali is a super addition to Total Access. He asks very interesting questions and is a perfect sidekick to Casey. I love it when he is on. He gets a lot of personal feelings from the interviewee.

  21. Pewter power Says:

    I was like, ‘Jameis, why wouldn’t you just say something?’”

    Any leader would have found to at least try and find solution. It’s not a problem unless you tell someone. Your bosses can’t read your mind

  22. adam from ny Says:

    stories based on:

    #SwampAzz

  23. I remember 21 Says:

    I too am sick of our (Licht’s) MO of just drafting a “gritty road grader” type lineman (also usually from a D3 no name school) and plugging him wherever we see fit. Now Licht has had some success with OLine decisions, both drafting and free agency, but he’s also had some failures. And we can’t focus on one and ignore the other. And to my eye, a lot of the failures have come when he tries to switch these guys around. Let’s look at the track record:

    Marpet – success, but only after his second position change, first was obviously a failure. And it sucks he played so little of his short career at his best position.
    Wirfs – success, but he did play some LT at the college level so this isn’t quite the same as the other moves. Also, I credit it to a hush hush ankle injury rather than it being a bad move, but after the first third of the season he hasn’t played to quite the level I expect from him or the best in the league level he was at RT. Either way he’s still a damn good LT.
    Geodonkey – total, complete failure. He was one of the worst rated LGs (and I believe OL in general) in the entire league, single handedly responsible for so many breakdowns. Of course genius bowles kept him in half the season while we had a better player riding pine (not a rare occurrence).
    Hainsey – not a total failure, but in no way a success. He started for two seasons, so there’s that. But he has never been anything more than barely serviceable and to many people, he is one of the main reasons we’ve had a bottom of the league rushing attack both years he started. To be fair to him, we’ve never gotten to see him at G, but point being they never had any intention of playing him at his college position of RT.
    Mauch – too early to tell on this one. Hasn’t been terrible, hasn’t been great. And how much of his performance (good or bad) do you attribute to the position change vs. being a rookie from a small school? It’s gonna take some time. And by time I mean at least 2 more years since I’m pretty sure they want to move him to center (here we go again) after this season.

    So all in all, I’d at least like to see what it looks like to draft a few guys that we’re gonna play at the position they’ve been playing for their college careers (especially center). I know we’re not the only team that switches guys’ positions, but I think we’ve allowed it to become the rule rather than the exception and I just don’t think you get that lucky of having smart dedicated guys like Marpet & Wirfs more often than not. Certain guys you understand the move – nobody was drafting Hainsey or Mauch to play OT in the NFL. But with Geodonkey, I wonder if they had the whole “dump slow footed Smith and move Wirfs over” thing planned longer than we knew and liked him enough to stash until that played out. Because other than his short arms, I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t stay at OT at the NFL level.

  24. It's Corn Says:

    Can we stop saying that something is a half-truth or BS, and just call it what it is: a lie. Just because people believe a spin, doesn’t make it anything different, it’s a lie.

    Sure protect the team, but Bowles and guys like Lovie Smith were caught in lies many times now.

    Dungy protected the team too, but he would never lie. You don’t have to.

    Sometimes it appears Bowles would prefer to lie even when it’s easier to tell the truth. It’s a sad habit he and many others seem to be okay with.

  25. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I remember: You answered your own Goedeke question with the “Because other than his short arms, I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t stay at OT at the NFL level.” comment. He’s been okay at Right Tackle, but Right Guard (Mauch to Center, with Jensen being his Coach) would probably be a better position for him, IMHO. There could be some good Right Tackles available in the 2nd or 3rd Round of this year’s draft, if that’s what the Bucs decide to do.

  26. Duane in Sanford Says:

    The draft is a crap shoot, and players get selected to play other positions all the time. Center is an underrated position, and this franchise had many problems during the decade of depression before Jensen got here. Marpet still likely a better center now than Hainsey will ever be unfortunately. The nicest, happy go lucky guy on the team cant be our center.

  27. Rod Munch Says:

    I didn’t think he sucked at center, he was fine – but at guard he’s literally an all-pro.

    This, btw, was the reason not to fret moving Wirfs to LT. If it didn’t work out, you just move him back.

  28. Rod Munch Says:

    Hilarious all the triggered idiots getting mad because he said something nice about Winston. What a bunch of morons.

  29. orlbucfan Says:

    21 has a major hair up his butt and brain.