A Blessing For Sua Opeta To Start At Left Guard

April 24th, 2024

When last seen on an NFL football field, Sua Opeta was starting at right guard for the Eagles against the Buccaneers in the playoffs.

Now he’s on the Tampa Bay roster with an inexpensive one-year contract and a blessing to start from a longtime Eagles analyst and a former NFL offensive lineman.

Joe is referring to Ross Tucker, the undrafted Ivy League mauler who played for five NFL teams (2001-2007) including the Belicheats. Unless something has changed, Tucker works for the CBS, Westwood One and the Eagles, among other gigs that include his family of NFL-themed podcasts.

Tucker isn’t a sugarcoating homer kind of guy. For example, he was a Penn State football analyst for years and hammered Donovan Smith coming out of college in 2015.

“I thought he took a big step back this year. I thought he clearly was overweight. He played lazily. He really did,” Tucker said of Smith in 2015.

“Even in the Pinstripe Bowl, getting beat inside on an inside move and like clapping his hands. He wasn’t even close to redirecting his weight back inside. I mean, if he thought at any time [turning pro] that this was a possibility. I’m like amazed he didn’t put forth a better performance to help his draft stock.”’

As Joe wrote, Tucker doesn’t hold back.

So Joe was very pleased to hear Tucker on WDAE radio this week talking about how Opeta could step in and start for the Bucs at left guard and he would not be concerned.

Tucker also noted feeling the same way about Ben Bredeson, the free agent guard/center the Bucs signed in March from the Giants. He’s earning more cash than Opeta and may also compete with Bucs starting center Robert Hainsey.

So will the Bucs draft a guard or center at No. 26 overall tomorrow night? That’s the dream of many Tampa Bay fans.

Joe wouldn’t bet for or against it. It’s certainly possible. But as Joe has noted multiple times, to the dismay of Sage JoeBucsFan.com columnist Ira Kaufman, the Bucs may feel pretty about their current offensive line that includes a beefed up Cody Mauch.

68 Responses to “A Blessing For Sua Opeta To Start At Left Guard”

  1. Rod Munch Says:

    So that is the stupid 2015 scouting report that all the low-IQ morons repeated forever, claiming Smith was ‘lazy’, even though he went years without missing a snap. Purely idiocy.

  2. D-Rok Says:

    So, it’s possible that the Bucs think having Opeta and Bredeson, their line is “fixed?” And they won’t draft a plug-n-play elite O-lineman?

    Hmmm – hadn’t thought of that possibility until just now. Eeeeks.

    I’m sure JL has a plan, but wouldn’t we all be shocked if the Bucs chose not to draft a quality OL in the first 3 rounds?

  3. DoooshLaRue Says:

    I never saw a scouting report on Durable Donnie, I just watch him play and realized that he was a POS.
    Lazy is too kind.


  4. SB~LV Says:

    I don’t care what round the OL improvement comes in, I don’t care what any of the draft pick names are. I just want a stronger, younger roster with the new names making improvements sooner rather than later.

  5. Gipper Says:

    Need backup O linemen in modern day NFL which is what the free agents signings accomplished. Draft a center at 26 and a LG with first couple of picks if Latu not available. Really important to accomplish this. All Baker needs is a mediocre running game to run play action. With all the money invested in ME and Baker, Tampa needs to get this right in the draft.

  6. gotbbucs Says:

    Can Opeta snap a football? He should have been able to learn a few things in his time with the Eagles from one of the best to ever do it.

  7. Marine Buc Says:

    The Saints’ starting Left Guard just announced his retirement.

    I wonder how this will affect their draft plans.

    They will now need to draft an IOL who can be their starter next season…

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucs have too many other priority NEEDS to be spending a Top 3 Rounds pick on a Guard. Needs like Center, Edge, MLB, RB, and yes TE, CB & WR. Wouldn’t hurt to also draft a BIG DT to replace Vea when the time comes.

    Bucs have 4 players with starting Guard experience on our current roster: Mauch, Hainsey, Opeta & Bredeson. Surely more will be available before the season starts.

  9. Jerseybuc Says:

    I said this when they got opeta. Eagles O line always solid. Stoutland the o line coach is good as it gets

  10. Cho Says:

    I mean… Solid depth, sure. But look what happened last year, when we mistook solid depth for a starter (Matt Feiler).

    We need A+ starters on the O-Line. That’s what will take you to the top. I’m hoping the Bucs get Jackson Powers-Johnson or Graham Barton tomorrow. If not, trade back and grab Zach Frazier.

    If none of that happens, I hope we go EDGE or DL. Not feeling good about drafting a CB or WR.

    You can hide bad coverage. You can scheme a WR open. But you can’t hide a lack of pressure or pressure mounting on your QB every time he steps back.

    Licht has been able to build through the trenches. I hope he keeps it going. His philosophy has worked so far.

  11. Cho Says:

    Also, Joes:

    I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but there’s a video where Tristan Wirfs explains what Brady said to him when he was a rookie.

    He said: “Don’t get beat fast and don’t get beat inside”.

    That’s basically the GOAT telling you how paramount protection in the middle of the LOS is.

  12. Boss Says:

    so one guy starts eating KFC and Taco bell and we got two other cast offs..


    I feel better lol

    The OL was HORRIBLE. not bad, horrible. Detroit owned them all day…like a high school team or something.

    but yeah, we good!

  13. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Sewell’s deal got done today! Only a matter of time before Wirfs bests it!

    Opeta could have been buried down the depth chart on a great line. Similar to Shaq in Denver.

    Bredson is a below average starter!

    Hainsey is a liability. Need at least one plug and play big ugly this week.

  14. SlyPirate Says:

    D Smith was sold in 2020. He got it done when we needed him. He mentally retired after the SB.

  15. Usfbuc Says:

    Jason Licht has set the team up so we have players who have started at their respective positions for every position. This way it really doesn’t matter how the draft plays out. This way the team can draft whoever they want or see as a possible upgrade over our existing starters.

  16. BucsFan55 Says:

    seems liek they will draft OG/C in rounds 3 and 4 then. Rounds 1, 2 and 3 will be WR, DE,DT, CB

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If the right player is there at 26, we may go with the C/G…..I would think that Graham Barton would be that guy……maybe JPJ.

    If we can get the best at 26…..pull the trigger.

  18. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Reminds me of once upon a time when Joe thought Demar Dotson was just fine at RT… until the Bucs drafted Tristan Wirfs

  19. JimBobBuc Says:

    We picked up Feiler last year in FA and he didn’t do well.

    I guess the new OL coaches Carberry and Picucci evaluated and signed off on Opeta and Bredeson. I haven’t looked at the film for Opeta or Bradeson, but here are some PFF grades.

    PFF Grade
    Stinnie 56.6
    Hainsey 52.8

    Bredeson 42.1
    Opeta 53.2

  20. Buccos Says:

    Durable Donnie got himself another Super Bowl ring. I guess he isn’t as bad as we thought. Either that or he is just one lucky SOB who keeps getting to play with the 2 best QB’s of all time. Who knows

  21. Duane in Sanford Says:

    The linemen brought in during the offseason were cost effective insurance policies for the new guys they bring in this season. We are down Marpet, Kappa, and Jensen since our championship appearance. Evans isnt getting younger. You cant be a physical team with the horses we currently have.

  22. HC Grover Says:

    Draft soon. The Bucs win SB hype starts….cant wait

  23. kaimaru Says:

    @Rod Munch

    Actual Donovan Smith scouting report from 9 years agao:

    “Intangibles: Has been labeled as lazy by some scouts.”

  24. kaimaru Says:


    Lucky SOB is exactly who he is

  25. Proudbucsfan Says:

    We only picked up Bredeson because of our new line coach who I think isn’t any good. NYG had a horrible line last year and that included Bredeson. I’m going to do a lot of praying that this coach doesn’t screw up our Oline 🙏

  26. stpetebucfan Says:

    There’s been a lot of discussion of the value of the draft. Obviously it’s important along with FA’s and trades.

    I’m wondering if anybody here knows of a stat geek perhaps like Warren Sharp with more time on their hands then they need who has assembled roster comparisons based on TEAM grades of all 33 starters…Offense, Defense, ST’s.

    No team can have Pro Bowlers at every position. Sometimes the guys viewed as JAGs become critical as well. So is a team better suited if they had high numbers in the skill positions as opposed to the others? How about the trenches…are higher numbers there more important than skill positions?

    Where is the balance drawn? Clearly QB is the single MOST IMPORTANT spot and nobody argues that. Next we know edge rushers are hard to find and they too make significant contributions but nothing like QB.

    I’m freaking OLD. I’m in the George Allen win NOW mode. Plus getting an entire NFL roster together and making them a team is such a rapidly changing environment I don’t think that far into the NFL future. I’m looking right now at the 2024 season.

    For ’24 the Bucs do not need a QB or WR! Perhaps in ’25…that’s NEXT FREAKING YEAR. How about we spend just a little time in the moment.

  27. Tony Marks Says:

    “So will the Bucs draft a guard or center at No. 26 overall tomorrow night? That’s the dream of many Tampa Bay fans.”

    Nope. we just want a good draft where we take the best available position at a position of need. If we start out with Chop just because he is an edge the draft will be off to a mediocre start.

    Meanwhile not buying the Bucs think they are set at oline because they took on a one year rental.

  28. Defense Rules Says:

    Just noticed that Donnie Smith wasn’t re-signed by Kansas City. He made a tad over $15 mil per year with us in 2021 & 2022, then a tad less than $3 mil last year with the Chiefs. His Market Value is now listed as $5 mil.

    So apparently starting at Left Tackle on 2 Super Bowl champions in 4 years protecting Brady & Mahomes can be costly.

  29. WiseCrack Says:

    @Buccos Donnie did it for 3 record setting QBs. Luck is part of it no doubt.

  30. BUCman Says:

    Lets hope these guys are just good reliable backups. I don’t see them as much of an upgrade from Stinnie or Hainsey. Their contracts don’t scream starter. We must draft at least one starter high in the draft.

  31. All_da_way Says:

    Bucs are going to draft a new center and I think Hainsey wins the LG job outright.

  32. Marine Buc Says:

    @ DR

    Donnie is a bit banged up. I believe he missed 5 or so games last season.

    However – if a Left Tackle goes down next season he will probably be the first one called…

  33. Scott Says:

    Hainsey is a backup idk what is making people think all of a sudden he’s going to be a good LG.

  34. BigMacAttack Says:

    I’m glad it’s tomorrow. I hope we make a pick in round 1. I like the idea of drafting one of these top flight receivers. But I’m really clueless and believe Jason Licht has beat this thing to death and has a great plan, ready to execute.
    Go Bucs!!!

  35. Dom Says:

    Trey Hendrickson requested a trade from the Bengals. Bucs should be all over that. Do what you got to do cap wise to get it done

  36. Capt.Tim Says:

    Tucker is a complete idiot.
    Donovan Smith had a long a productive career with the Bucs. One of the keys to us winning a SuperBowl.
    The idiot Tucker is the reason the simpleminded haters here constantly were down on Donovan. They read that incorrect assessment- and regurgitated it for years and years.
    Even when Donovan as destroying DEs- the clueless were still saying fat and lazy.
    While all those years or starting every game caught up to him his last year here- the man should be in the Ring of honor when he retires.

    So yeah. The fact that Tucker thinks two career backups, whos teams let them walk for nothing should suddenly start for the Bucs is no surprise.
    Opeta is really strong, but really slo. Has stiff movements. Thats hy he as a (good) backup in Philly. Needs to be a good backup here. Not fluid enough to be a starter

    Ben Bredeson caught a bad genetic break. Hes fast, strong and works really hard. You can see that in his technique.
    The has the 3rd shortest arms, for a linemen, IN NFL HISTORY.
    Sadly, hes a T-Rex.
    Defensive linemen can get into his body easily. Bredeson cant stir thim with his arms. He cant land that all important PUNCh that takes away a D linemens momentum.
    A backup.

    The Bucs arent the NFLs trash dump. We dont start other teams castoffs. Guys that were backups on other teams. They are upgrades to our backups. Thats it.

    Weve played Backups at Center and Guard too long. Jensen and Marpet aint coming back.
    Time to draft permanent replacements.
    Centers drafted in the first round are a 92% hit rate. That means 92 percent become starters, and sign a second contract. Far better than than any other position.
    Guard was 2nd on that list.

    FIX THE LINE. it will fix the run game, and make the passing game even better.
    Its a no brainer.
    And fix the Damn Dline(pass rushers) too!

  37. adam from ny Says:

    maybe it’s more important to draft the interchangeable piece over the one position dude…

    so maybe if going OL in first round, you go barton over jpj…that’s if either are even there when we pick…

    i want edge in the first, and any OL pieces added after that in the 2nd or 3rd

  38. DoooshLaRue Says:


    As one of DD’s biggest haters I call BS on that tired line that you and Rod spew about his haters regurgitating negative scouting reports etc. as the reason for the negativity.
    I knew very little about him when he was drafted and was happy we got a 6-6 OT from a good school.
    But guess what happened?
    I watched the games.
    After awhile I specifically started watching him.
    He is lazy.
    He plays patty cakes with his guy and almost never looks to see who else he can block.
    He just stands around while the rest of the team is still moving, as if to say “hey man, I handled my guy, I’m done.”
    He’s a joke of a player and got extremely lucky to be on 2 SB teams.
    He wasn’t what made those teams great.
    We especially had to play harder to overcome his constant, costly mistakes.

  39. Scott Says:

    I’d be really pumped if we landed a center and a guard as well. They will definitely bring in some new faces here In the next few days.

  40. Shane Callahan Says:

    If you rewatch the final game against the Lions, Bucs O-line and D-Line got dominated and the Bucs hung in there because of Mayfield and the other skill positions. These MUST be the focus. Period.

  41. OR Buc Says:

    @Joe I’m excited to read an article about how the Bucs should make a play for Trey Hendrickson. Ca t wait : D

  42. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Could the Bucs land Trey Hendrickson? He’s better than any edge rusher available at 26 or is he too old at 29 to invest a premium pick and boatload of money? Do the Bucs have the resources for it?

  43. Rod Munch Says:

    DoooshLaRue Says:
    As one of DD’s biggest haters I call BS on that tired line that you and Rod spew about his haters regurgitating negative scouting reports etc. as the reason for the negativity.


    You’re not a lazy player blocking for Brady and Mahomes.

    Your take on Smith is as bad as your take that Chris Meyers is a HOF announcer.

  44. OR Buc Says:

    A Bucs Fan – I’m with you posted about that 15 minutes ago and seemed to have been moderated out. Let’s get him!

  45. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    First down Tampa Bay!

    Holding – offense #76. Ten yard penalty, repeat 3rd down.

  46. Beeej Says:

    Read an interesting tidbit—Since 2014 JL has drafted 10 offensive linemen, 9 of whom played tackle in college

  47. J Says:

    I like it. We have to sure up this Oline if we want Baker to be successful. Lichts got plans within plans it seems and this move I feel creates a few more interesting options to think about at 26.

  48. SB Says:

    And The Latest News JOE that you will Love

    “In an interview with NFL Total Access, Latu divulged his entry to the league aspirations, candidly expressing where he wants to wind up. “I would love to be drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,” he revealed during the segment.

  49. Olboy Says:

    Two years on and we are still pointing out the absence of marpet, Jensen, and cappa. Hey it’s an absolutely true statement. We still miss them because we still know we haven’t found their replacement that we as fans don’t look past anymore. I’m ready for our new big uglies. Tomorrow. It’s coming

  50. Drunkinybor Says:

    Donavan was a bit lazy. Like Shaq on the magic and lakers. Smith was just blessed to be one of those guys whos born a freak. However he played and started so many games for us. He was not a bad player. He was a couple notches below pro bowl level and he helped us win a championship on Bradys blind side. I will forever be grateful to Big D

  51. Drunkinybor Says:

    SB that’s a cool nugget you found 😎

  52. Defense Rules Says:

    So IF we draft a Center & a Guard and both start, all 5 OLinemen would be on their 1st contract. Who provides the field leadership in a situation like that?

    Back in 2015 when we drafted Marpet & D Smith, we had veterans Logan Mankins (G), Joe Hawley (C) & Gosder Cherilus (T) to teach them both the ropes. So who will teach our new Center & new Guard the ropes this year? Second year Guard Cody Mauch? Our new OLine coach Kevin Carberry? Our new assistant OLine coach Brian Picucci? Well, maybe we can talk Logan Mankins into coming out of retirement just for 1 last fling. Hey he’s only 42 right now; that’s still several years younger than Tom Brady and he’s talking about making a comeback.

  53. Defense Rules Says:

    SB … Brianna Dix of Bucs dot com has us drafting Latu in the 1st Round. Have no idea who she is, but I wouldn’t mind seeing him in a Bucs uniform.

  54. toad bowels Says:

    “Capt.Tim Says:
    April 24th, 2024 at 5:51 pm

    Ben Bredeson caught a bad genetic break. Hes fast, strong and works really hard. You can see that in his technique.
    The has the 3rd shortest arms, for a linemen, IN NFL HISTORY.
    Sadly, hes a T-Rex.”

    Thanks Capt Tim, another T-Rex on the O-Line…..I can’t unsee this… Hahaha

  55. Olboy Says:

    DR, it’s an important question. Ships sink without leadership and in my opinion, it’s Wirfs time to be that person. He hasl the qualities, he has the ring, he has the upcoming biggest pay day for an OL ever (or close to it) and most importantlyz he recently became a father. I still remember the quick mental change I went through when I held baby girl for the first time. He’ll be there. You watch

  56. Esteban85 Says:

    Oh I love the fill in the blank articles!

  57. Olboy Says:

    Besides I’d be surprised if JL went with two IOL. That’s just a personal dream of mine. Jpj and Haynes… Hey if Joe can dream about Mayfield making mvp, I can dream of the big ugly show tomorrow night! Wooooo!!

  58. MelvinJunior Says:

    NFL Draft 1st Round ‘Hit-Rate’ % By Position

    (screenshot this earlier from the “Cowturd Show,” earlier today… Wish I could post it. A nice list. It was by some NFL Guru he had on the show today, & he really had it broken down so well… (ex.) C – 12-total picked, with ‘11-HITS’ & only ‘1-Miss’ – WR – 77-total picks – only 21-Hits with 56-MISSES.)

    C – 92%
    OT – 59%
    G – 50%
    LB – 48%
    QB – 46%
    DE – 44%
    DT – 40%
    CB – 38%
    RB – 38%
    S – 34%
    TE – 33%
    WR – 27%
    Total – 43%

  59. MelvinJunior Says:

    The only one that kind of surprised me was with the WR’s… I didn’t think it’d be THAT LOW!!!! On ALL of the others, I would’ve been dead on 💯.

  60. MelvinJunior Says:

    What it says, is to invest heavily, on the OL in the “First Round.” It’s amazing, since it used to really ‘P’ me-off when my team(s) would draft OL with their first pick. I NEVER thought I would be ‘good’ with this, at all… Not in a million years. Not until, just about in the past 4-years, had I really taken notice of this. Now, I am a ‘buyer’ and have completely changed my draft mentality. I first started moving towards this ‘new’ direction not very long after the Cowboys selected Frederick… But, it has been on steroids’ ever since Wirfs LoL. So, I started paying a lot more attention to it. And, would now agree with this 💯, about 90% of the time. My only exception would be at the very top of the draft (basically the ‘Top-5’), & I needed a QB or if there was a Justin Jefferson/Ja’Marr Chase/Marvin Harrison JR. or a STUD “Can’t Miss” EDGE Rusher.

  61. adam from ny Says:

    Trey Hendrickson is becoming available for a trade…should we go get him…he and the bengals are parting ways


  62. Beeej Says:

    Trey Hendrickson is nearly 30. A 4, mebbe a 3?

  63. MelvinJunior Says:

    Whale, Hail Farr… Hendrickson played H.S. at Apopka! I had no idea.

  64. Chris Says:

    Bredeson and Opeta are both garbage. We need to o draft offensive line

  65. IE Buc Says:

    Opeta is nothing but depth. Draft center Frazier with out first pick. Hainsey can then play RG. Mauch can be moved to be our starting LG.

  66. Bucfan1988 Says:

    HECK NOOOOOOO to Hainsey starting anywhere on the O-Line…

    He is a backup, pure & simple….

    Wanna see Opeta compete for starting LG…
    He has insane strength and can flat out move people…

    Draft a new center…
    JPJ, Frazier, or Van Pran….
    One of those 3….

    If we have a chance to snag Hendricksen from Bengals for a 3rd, JUMP ON IT LICHT!!!!!

  67. Ed Says:

    Licht has 2 3rd round picks, he seems to do his best work in those rounds. Earlier rounds he has too frequently reached with the likes of Hargreaves, Hall, Tyron-Shoinka, Vea, White and Howard.

    Just draft the best player on the board that has football smarts, great attitude and is skilled. Stay with the major conferences in the early rounds. Most importantly draft playmakers in the early rounds, not needs. If there are some stud WR’s or edge rushers there, certainly pick them over centers and guards.

    Thats where those round 3 and 4 guys come. Use the premium picks for game-changers. We need more playmakers on offense and defense. I’d even consider a high achieving tight end in that 3rd round slot. Otton is improving but he in traffic he doesn’t always squeeze the ball with his hands. If they draft DBs I’d like them to find some that made interceptions in college.

    Bowles needs a defense that gets more turnovers. That is the knock on Carlton Davis, too many balls that were there to be picked off went through his hands.

  68. Bucs Since 76 Says:

    Joe is right. Don’t spend first round on Center. Here’s my latest simulated mock. I traded down in the second to get another 4th.

    1 26 CB Nate Wiggins
    2 60 WR Ricky Pearsall
    3 89 OC Sedrick Ban Pran-Granger
    3 92 TE Cade Stover
    4 125 Edge Jalyx Hunt
    4 133 RB MarShawn Lloyd
    6 220 S Dominique Hampton
    7 246 Edge Gabriel Murphy