Liam Coen Said Graham Barton’s Starting Position To Be Determined

May 6th, 2024

Bucs OC Liam Coen.

When the Bucs announced they drafted offensive lineman Graham Barton out of Duke at No. 26 in the first round of the draft, he was labeled a center.

Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht later that night was adamant Barton is a center.

The next day, assistant general manager John Spytek said he could start at guard. Since, several NFL analysts, including former offensive wizard Mike Martz, have said emphatically that Barton is a guard.

So what’s going on?

Bucs new offensive coordinator Liam Cohen offered some clarity this morning at One Buc Palace. Barton will get a test drive at center. If the Bucs aren’t happy, off to guard he goes.

“For us, we’ll give him competition at multiple spots and see what happens,” Coen said, noting how versatility to play multiple spots on the line is key in his eyes.

“We’ll definitely start him off at center and see how he handles everything. … We feel confident he can be able to do those things [needed at center.] If not, hey, we just slide him over to guard and give him a shot there.”

As far as intangibles and how an offensive lineman should look, Coen said that’s Barton.

“He’s got a mean streak,” Coen said. “He plays the game the way it is supposed to be played. … I’m kind of excited to see where he fits in to this whole thing.”

So training camp ought to be fun.

44 Responses to “Liam Coen Said Graham Barton’s Starting Position To Be Determined”

  1. BillyBucco Says:

    Makes sense to me. If he isn’t better than Hainsey why play him at Center.

  2. Buc1987 Says:

    Keep telling ya’s Barton’s gonna play center and damn well too.

    Go Bucs!!!

  3. JimBobBuc Says:

    Put the best three guys in the IOL. Whether Barton plays at C or G doesn’t matter as much as having the best guys in there. That said, my guess at the moment is: Wirfs, Opeta, Barton, Mauch, and Goedeke. Unfortunately these guys won’t be hitting for a long time until camp, and the joint practices with the ‘Fins and Jags will be the best tests.

  4. JimBobBuc Says:

    Wirfs, Opeta, Hainsey, Barton, Goedeke? Mauch led the OL in sacks last year, is he the odd man out? I’m not sure, it’ll be fun hear from Joe about practices.

  5. BucsFan Says:

    NFL Combine analysis says ” Though he played at a high level at left tackle, center will likely be his NFL home. Barton is an explosive drive blocker with the body control and leg drive to keep opponents centered and finish the job. His hands are sudden, accurate and strong in both phases”. Hainsey will move to guard and perform better there with Brederson and Opeta providing much needed depth. Running game will not rank last again this year.

  6. StickinUp4Centers Says:

    It may not even be Hainsey vs Barton, it will probably be the combo of best 3 IOL. For example, if Barton is a 90 grade C and Hainsey a 70 grade C but Barton is an 85 grade LG and the next best option is a 60 grade LG, Hainsey will stay at C and Barton will move to G to get the best three on.

    I wonder if Mauch goes to C, Barton to G, and Klein or one of the free agents is the other G.

  7. Lowest Common Denominator Says:

    Not sure what’s so hard to understand here. It will come down to whatever combination puts the 5 best guys on the field.

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “He’s got a mean streak,” Coen said. “He plays the game the way it is supposed to be played. … I’m kind of excited to see where he fits in to this whole thing.”

    This alone tells me he will be better than Hainsey. Bigger. Stronger. Meaner.

    Exactly what we need.

  9. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Barton will be the center. No doubts at all.

  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    All he’s saying is that if he turns out to be a bust at center (he won’t be), they can move him to use him.

  11. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Both Barton and Mauch are mean…if Mauch adds muscle…this will be fun to watch!

  12. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Best OL in NFL by midseason. We’re just going to have to be patient at first.

  13. BucsFan Says:

    Center has to also be the smartest guy on the Oline as he makes all the calls for positioning of the other Olinemen based upon what he sees. Barton is a genius or he would not be a Duke grad with a GPA over 3.5. Bucs Center will be Graham Barton-Period.

  14. Rod Munch Says:

    He hasn’t played center in a few years, right?

    So move him around and see if he’s ready for that gig, and if not, you got a decent starter already at center, even if the morons in the comments think Hainsey sucks, he doesn’t, and he wasn’t the issue in the run game last year, it was the two guards around him.

    Cody did get a lot better as the year went along, and I expect him to show up at camp a lot stronger, which was his big issue last season. So even if Barton is at guard, I still think the blocking will be quite a bit better. Put him at LG if you go that route, and then run behind him and Wirfs on pretty much every run play.

  15. BucsFan Says:

    When the GM says he was drafted to play Center-he will play Center.

  16. Kevin Says:

    Please spell Liam’s name correctly. It is Liam Coen. No H in his last na

  17. Kevin Says:

    No h in Coen! Please spell the correct way

  18. Durango 95 Says:

    Barton played 5 games at center in his freshman year at Duke. Not exactly 4 years of snapping the ball in the SEC. Can’t see much of a carryover from that. Give him a look at. center (I guess) then put him at guard and let him get his feet wet in his first year. At guard, where he has less thinking to do and they can get an immediate return on this year’s first round pick. They can always revisit the center position in the off-season of next year.

    Meanwhile Licht spent a 2nd round pick on Cody Mauch who’s first season was barely mediocre. Keep fingers crossed Mauch can put it together in his 2nd year. That is a s(p)it ton of draft capital on the IOL. How much of an OL genius can one be when they’ve spent first and second round picks in subsequent years on IOL.

  19. Hodad Says:

    We’ll start him at center, and go from there. Barton will not fail at center so if they’re starting him out there that’s where he’ll be for at least the next 5 years. Barton center, Mauch LG, Wirfs LT, Klein RG, Goedeke RT.

  20. chark Says:

    Ideally I wish barton was our right guard and mauch at left guard. I wanted a center that has “center” ingrained in his dna,reflexes,brain. I would have traded future pick for sed van pran in the 5th but i guess bucs must have not highly of him. I get a little worried about a player transition back to center. Any offensive line knowledgeable posters on here? Dont you think it is not a piece of cake to just change to center without years of mental and physical reps ingrained in your body, mind? And is it hard for some players to move from the right to the left side and vice versa? I think I would have a hard time playing left side as i am right dominant. I wanted barton at 26 and hope he can be a poor man john hannah or a damn good center. But i worry if he becomes a good center versus a decade all pro guard.

  21. chark Says:

    I also still feel cody mauch will be a damn good player at guard position.

  22. HC Grover Says:

    Whoop Whoop

  23. LANshark Says:

    @chark former o-lineman and current o-line coach. Moving left to right or vice versa is harder than moving guard to center, in my opinion. And not that difficult anyway. R/L you have to get some reps, to get your timing down, but not that big a transition. We have HS lineman who play wide/short side of field, so they swap on every play.

    As for center, if you get the proper motion down, it’s not a difficult skill. There are good videos on Youtube that can teach you how to snap in 20 minutes. Then its just practicing. A good O-lineman should be able to play any of the spots in a pinch, but moving IOL to tackle is probably the hardest transition.

  24. chark Says:

    Thanks Lan!!! I would think guard is a good bit easier than center. Dont you lose some time at center exploding out of stance compared to guards who dont have to worry about snap motion(one arm takes longer to adjust) and making calls and listening to qb and looking at defense alignment/defense presnap movement. Sounds like a lot to deal with…lol. Seems a guard job is much easier

  25. ^^mtn^^ Says:

    “Kevin Says: May 6th, 2024 at 3:04 pm Please spell Liam’s name correctly. It is Liam Coen. No H in his last na E No h in Coen! Please spell the correct way”

    OK Kehvin.

    You got it bro, won’t let it happen again

  26. ^^mtn^^ Says:


    LG is a more valued position.

    Might make sense to to have Barton start at LG as a rook & move him to C next year when Hainsy’s contract decision comes due.

    There was talk of Mauch as the next C.

    If Klien is ready to start, he’s your RG, not Barton. Then Hainsey can be backup.

    Someone mentioned (in another article/ post) having your C be the strongest player and your weaker guys at G.

    And that’s true if you only have 1 good iOL who can play C.

    If you feel you have 2, keep Hainsey at C and have strong Gs on either side of him where they can chip/ arm direct/ double team/ help Hainsey:

    Wirfs Barton Hainsey Mauch Geodeke

    Wirfs Barton Mauch Klein Geodeke

    (Assuming Bredeson & Opeta are your iOL depth)

    No doubt though, lots of options at iOL this year; more than I’ve ever seen and I’ve followed the Bucs from their first draft in ’76

  27. Oneilbuc Says:

    So we still don’t know who’s going to play center or LG and they drafted a offensive lineman in the first round to at least have one of those spots on the interior line celifided? This is what I be talking about all Licht had to do is draft Powers Johnson from Oregon and we would know that we have our center without a doubt!!

  28. Capt.Tim Says:

    The Bucs gave up 54 sacks last year.
    32 of those were given up by the Interior linemen.
    Thats an unacceptable number. Pass rushers have an advantage on the edge. They shouldnt be able to penetrate thru 3 linemen with that frequency.

    Of those 32, Hainsey gave up 11. Huge number for a 3rd year player, 2nd year starter.
    Stennie and Mauch gave up 21 sacks. Stennie was fired for his performance.
    Mauch, like Barton, gets a Rookie pass.

    Imo, Barton will replace Stennie at left Guard. Line him up next to Wirfs, rule the world for years on the left.
    Both Goedeke and Mauch need to get stronger. Id bet good money that they are both doing that right now.
    Right side SHOULD be really Good. Mauch has real potential.

    Again, in my opinion- we have not replaed our enter. And when he gives up 11 sacks along with worst running blocking by a Center- hes gotta go back to the Bench. Hopefully starts backing up guards.
    Ben Bredeson is a talented played with physical limitations. 3rd shortest arms for an Oline prospect in NFL history. It matters.
    Opeta is very strong, very talented, but heavy legged. Couldnt start in Philly.
    They let him walk for nothing.
    Hes not the answer as a starter.

    When Jason licht gets finished reworking Wirfs and Winfields contrat, he still has some work to do.
    Center. Think Connor Williams. He was playing at a pro bowl level when he got hurt.

    Oh, we replaced Shaq with Braswell. Still need a DE to replace JPP.
    JTS isnt the answer there.

  29. chark Says:

    Thanks mnt says, I have also thought of that scenario wirfs-barton-hainsey-mauch-goedeke. The thought of an all world left side possibly and a mean and nasty right side makes my mouth water. I have faith in mauch and if barton is a complete stud at lft guard..they can help aid hainsey and keep the ship upright. I think hainsey is okay and gets a bad rap from some people here. I think hainsey has the ability, mindset and motivation to keep improving and can do the job with these bookend guards.

  30. drdneast Says:

    You just have to love the whimsical attitude of the Bucs when they start moving players around the offensive line haphazardly like checkers on a checker board. This is the reason the Bucs O Line has struggled so much in the last two years. The reasoning almost sounds like Oddballs reaction when he is told he has to take on three Tiger tanks with his little Sherman.

  31. Oddball Says:

    To a New Yorker like you, a hero is some type of weird sandwich, not some nut who takes on three Tigers

  32. Brandon Says:

    Capt Tim… the Bucs gave up 40 sacks last season, not 54. STFU with the rest of your fake stats and unreliable and intelligent analysis. Your numbers are off so anything you say doesn’t matter.

  33. Esteban85 Says:

    If Barton can’t beat Bob out of the center job then I would say we reached in round one this year. Guard is not a first round position but I’d say center is. If this guy can’t play center then is he a bust?

  34. Noclu4u Says:

    Kevin how did you know he was talking about Coen if he spelled it wrong ? Common sense ? Well if you already knew what player hes referring to is it really that important in this article ? It’s not .
    BTW I also left out an apostrophe in he’s in purpose .

  35. Noclu4u Says:

    Kevin how did you know he was talking about Coen if he spelled it wrong ? Common sense ? Well if you already knew what player hes referring to is it really that important in this article ? It’s not .
    BTW I also left out an apostrophe in he’s on purpose . Lol

  36. ^^mtn^^ Says:


    Hainsey with studs on either side of him gives Bucs the luxury of bringing Barton along slowly. Next season, Hainsey can re-sign as a backup C or sign elsewhere as a potential starter & Bucs could get a comp pick out of it.

    You never know, Klein may work out at C too. Can’t help but feel much hinges on Mauch.

    As far as continuity, they’ll get it figured out in time with plenty of depth to boot.

    For those who say you don’t draft a G in the 1st round, Quenton Nelson was a 6th overall pick.

    Granted, he was an elite, once in 10 year G prospect. Barton went #26, not too high for what he offers.

    Traditionally, some teams in the past consistently found starting Gs in the 4th round.

    That’s not the case much these days, but this year, there were some potential starters at G in the 3rd round

  37. Durango 95 Says:

    ”For those who say you don’t draft a G in the 1st round, Quenton Nelson was a 6th overall pick.

    Granted, he was an elite, once in 10 year G prospect. ‘

    Yeah, no kidding. That would be me and if you had been reading these threads at all since draft day you would know that.

    Just as I’ve been saying since draft day that the team would be best served w/ Barton at guard and the likelihood would be is that last seasons OL would remain the same except for Barton at LG. Finally glad to see a few are staring to figure this out. I will also restate that the team needed a center going into to the drat but came away without one. Reading your posts and those of a few others I feel like I just stepped back in time.

  38. Capt.Tim Says:

    54 is the Number Bucs Coach Todd Bowles stated i a 4/4/24 article by Jenna Lane for BSPN. “Which Rookies have a chance to start for the Bucs.”
    I suggest you read ir. The number of Sacks surrendered, and by whom, were all provided th Ms. Laine during her interview with the Coach.
    He includes Preseason and playoffs, apparently.
    Id post you a photocopy of the article, but we cant do attachments.
    If my numbers are wrong; Brandon, they came from the head Coach.
    You can take it up with him. I figured he might be knowledgeable.

  39. Capt.Tim Says:

    And Brandon, why dont you and your whiny attitude STFU.
    IF asked to provide my source for any stats I post, I have always done so. Just like I did with you. Who else can say that? The Coach counts sacks on his Qb by an opponent, and who was responsible.
    You only counted the regular season.
    I bet Baker still felt the hits he took in the playoffs, when one of our underachiving backups let him get slammed.
    And it seems that those games, and mistakes, mattered to the Coach.

  40. ^^mtn^^ Says:

    Hey Durango,

    Had similar thoughts through the whole process myself if you go back & read my comments (how on this site?)

    Normally, generally speaking, would not draft a G or RB in the 1st; been posting that for decades. However, there are exceptions, times when it makes sense to do so.

    For example, you’re 1 RB away from a Super Bowl roster and the right RB is there when you’re on the clock in round 1.

    Another example would be Devon White at #5 instead of Josh Allen, or if you remember Mark Barron instead of Luke Kuechly. BIG mistakes and I remember posting that ‘live’, during both drafts, on other forums.

    Point is, you don’t take a S or ILB that high either unless it’s someone like Kuechly.

    Have felt all along, if they liked & drafted JPJ, they were either set or should draft a G on day 2.

    And if they drafted Barton, they draft a C on day 2 & stick Barton at G
    stick Barton at C and draft a G day 2

  41. Proudbucsfan Says:

    IMHO, I believe Cody Mauch and Gram Barton should compete for the center job. The player that losses the job should slide over to left guard and Robert Hainsey playing right tackle most logical because all of Hainsey starts in collage were on the right side and all of Mauch’s and Barton’s starts we’re on the left side.

  42. Proudbucsfan Says:

    I meant to say Hainsey playing right guard not right tackle

  43. ^^mtn^^ Says:

    not a bad idea at all PBF but let Hainsey & Klein battle it out for RG

  44. garro Says:

    StickinUp4Centers Says:
    May 6th, 2024 at 1:25 pm

    “It may not even be Hainsey vs Barton, it will probably be the combo of best 3 IOL.”

    “I wonder if Mauch goes to C, Barton to G, and Klein or one of the free agents is the other G.”

    Since Spyteck said this already I think they would be foolish not to at least give these guys a look at any reasonable combination.

    Since our resident O line expert Jason licht teased Mauch as a center at preseason halftime last year.

    “We thought Cody could play guard and center. He has a bright future at center as well. You don’t want to overload a rookie. But [playing center] may be something in his future. Right now Robert Hainsey is holding that position down really well.”

    I truly think he will get a look there and slide our rookies to the guard spots…Klein to the RG. That gives us the massive and talented left side of Wirfs and Barton. Can you say Hogs? I am almost certain this will happen at least for a look see in camp.

    Go Bucs!