Donovan Smith: Joe Gilbert Is A Good One Who Got Away

February 6th, 2024

Gives old Bucs coach props.

So a guy who was a big part of the Bucs’ Super Bowl-winning squad back in 2020, left tackle Donovan Smith, has a chance to get his second Super Bowl ring after talking to Joe last night.

Smith is now the starting left tackle of the Chiefs and you may have heard they have a fairly important game on Sunday.

(Column Intermission: Joe was at Super Bowl Opening Night in Las Vegas last night at the Raiders’ roomba. And yes, by sheer luck, Joe had none other than Gracie Hunt stand next to him for a while. It’s not every day Joe gets to [almost] rub elbows with a billionairess beauty queen who also happens to be an heiress to an NFL franchise, so yeah, you could say Joe had a moment.)

(Column Intermission II: Drew Lock is clearly mentally impaired.)

So Joe had a chance to chat up Smith. Joe was curious; after all the solid play from Bucs tackles in recent years, whether it was Smith or Tristan Wirfs or Luke Goedeke, how much did former Bucs offensive line coach Joe Gilbert mean to those players?

So Joe asked Smith what Gilbert meant to him.

Gilbert, whose focus was working with tackles, left the Bucs last week and joined Dave Canales’ staff in Carolina.

“Oh, Smokin’ Joe!” Smith smiled. “He meant a lot. He was more than a coach to me. He would talk to me man-to-man, family issues, stuff like that, life’s lessons. Those things go a long way.

“Huge shout out to him! I know he just got a job down in Carolina. That’s a huge testament to him for sure. Working with me and Tristan through the years, we came up with good and great gameplans.

“He made me the player that I am today.”

Yeah, Joe thinks the Bucs lost a good one in Gilbert. Hopefully, whomever is chosen as the new offensive line coach(es) by Liam Coen and Todd Bowles can get the same results or better out of Wirfs and Goedeke as Gilbert did.

And yeah, out of Smith too.

26 Responses to “Donovan Smith: Joe Gilbert Is A Good One Who Got Away”

  1. Dave Pear Says:

    How many penalties did the Dungster ring up this year? He’ll be embarrassed in the SB.

  2. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Durable Donnie.

    The offensive version of Ol Softie 93.

  3. Hodad Says:

    Joe’s in Vegas? Didn’t know the Bucs were in the S.B.. Thought this site covered the Bucs? Our new O.C. will be having his presser in Tampa, and Joe is talking to Smith in Vegas?

  4. T. Says:

    nice !

  5. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Bucs current left tackle is much better.

  6. Popcorn Mike Says:

    About the OL coach. I’ve heard something about the OL coach at Kentucky. Hear he’s pretty good and has pump out some great OL men to the NFL. Rumor was, he may come along with Coen to Tampa.

  7. Beeej Says:

    749 snaps (he miss a few games?) 9 penalties, 2 sacks. Serviceable, though mebbe not $9 million worth

  8. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Gilbert is a good coach. Wish he would have stayed. Goodwin too. He helped make an udfa from James madison and a weak bodied Center serviceable-ish starters in the NFL. Imagine if he still had good players to coach like Marpet or Jensen what the IOL would have done this past year.

    Btw I still think Marpets early retirement set the whole line back a few years. The Jensen knee injury was insult to injury. Hope Ali’s doing well now though and enjoying grad school.

  9. Since76 Says:

    The online has been the excuse for every bad game Mayfield had this past season. So if the excuses are valid this could be a good move for bucs.

  10. Allbuccedup Says:

    Hopefully Licht will have some input I would not have much faith to two formally fired coaches.

  11. Joseph C Simmons Says:

    “…left tackle Donovan Smith, has a chance to get his second Super Bowl ring after talking to Joe last night.”

    The way this is written, it sounds like you’re implying a cause-effect relationship. Like Smith now has a chance, because he talked to Joe.

  12. Boss Says:

    Always liked DT even if the penalties were a pain…..and he blew a coverage now and then, but so did wires this year.
    Agree with another poster though that the OL play this year has been weak at best and it might be good that the guy moved on. Sometimes a change in scenery is necessary……and the current OL might relate better to another coach.

  13. geno711 Says:

    If you think coaching matters in the NFL.

    The Bucs O line coaches were great at teaching/coaching pass protection.

    The same group of O line coaches were horrible at teaching run blocking.

    To me the proof is self-evident. They got here and the pass protection improved, and the run blocking got worse.

    Near last in the league in rushing yards and rushing average.
    Top in the league or near top in the league in allowing the least percentage of pressures on drop backs while they were here.

    Occam’s razor.

  14. Larrd Says:

    Boy if I were a Chiefs fan I’d be sweating Donovan’s matchups on Sunday. Nick Bosa or pending free agent Chase Young?

  15. stpetebucfan Says:


    Nice observation but it does make sense if you consider it. BA was “no biscuit no risk it” stretch the field bombs away. He had two QB’s to execute that offense.
    Fameis and then the GOAT.

    When Brady arrived I think understandably it became all about protect the old statue at all costs…he was the ticket to the SB.

    I certainly take your point though. Brady and BA are gone. Bowles has a totally different philosophy and the OL coaches didn’t seem to catch up with the program. I agree Pass pro was adequate to decent at times…run blocking not so much.

    I’m not sure of why there is so much hate for Donavan. Yep he made his boneheaded share of penalties and mistakes but somewhere along the way he must have done some things right. He’s in his 2nd SB playing LT for two right handed legends. The GOAT and now the only guy left who might challenger for GOAT status. Donavan has to be more than chump change. Just sayin’

  16. Not Says:

    Lazy Donny is hoping for Chase Young , they’re birds of a feather, both half azzzing effort . They would love to match up against each other and just embrace through the play. Neither would win or lose a matchup.

  17. BillyBucco Says:

    The last rankings of O Lines had Tampa at 11. The quote said something to the effect that they thrived keeping Mayfield clean but were still bad at running the football. I agree that a change there was needed. We need fresh philosophy when running the ball and a center like Powers Johnson. It kinda feels like BAs staff rested on their laurels at being good in pass pro for so many years. O Lineman actually LIKE to run the ball so do whatever it takes to get good there.
    Todd Bowles is slowly righting the SHIP, even if he can’t use TOs effectively.

  18. Dave Pear Says:

    The Dungster – matador for the ages. But at least he takes plays off to extend his durability.

  19. Stanglassman Says:

    Donnie is good enough to protect Mahomes blind side, win superbowls but not good enough for jbf message board experts. Very good LT and a great dude. I wish him the best.

  20. DoooshLaRue Says:

    This just in:

    Durable Donnie is still garbage.

  21. Lokog Says:

    I wanna see jonh lynch win the superbowl

  22. Joe Says:

    Joe’s in Vegas? Didn’t know the Bucs were in the S.B.. Thought this site covered the Bucs? Our new O.C. will be having his presser in Tampa, and Joe is talking to Smith in Vegas?

    Unlike the Bucs, the NFL requires roughly two-month notice. Airlines have a similar mindset.

    The Bucs, fully knowing what’s going on in Vegas, decided to provide like 28-hours notice about Coen.

    Do you see any lacking coverage of Liam Coen on this site? Did you see any Chiefs or 49ers stories on this site.

    Thanks to going to Vegas, Joe learned some insight on Coen he will share in the very near future. That would not happen if Joe stayed glued to his cell phone in Tampa letting the Bucs dictate how to run this successful site.

    D. Orlando Ledbetter was here in Vegas when Rah had his press conference this week. Did the Atlanta Journal-Constitution lack in coverage of Rah?

  23. chris l Says:

    Joe – to be honest you knocked the gilbert hire because of andrew luck and colts o line issues. that quickly got put to bed when he joined the bucs but you should take that back!

  24. Joe Says:

    Joe – to be honest you knocked the gilbert hire because of andrew luck and colts o line issues.

    Nothing to take back. Joe absolutely had issues with Gilbert’s resume. He made Joe a believer.

    Joe fully admits his initial suspicions of Gilbert proved unfounded. Joe is happy he was wrong.

  25. BucsBeBack (Artist formally known as: BringBucsBack) Says:

    Wouldn’t Gilbert have been involved with the determination of Donnie’s career with the Bucs? I think Donovan’s consistent effort is what got away.

  26. garro Says:

    “Yeah, Joe thinks the Bucs lost a good one in Gilbert”

    100% agree Joe. We are gonna miss Gilbert more than Smith for sure.

    Go Bucs!