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September 19, 2012 @ 3:35 pm
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Dotson Proves Himself Worthy Of A Starting Spot

Written by Dory
Dory LeBlanc


Beat Writer E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Demar Dotson began playing football in 2008 and was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2009. After years of hard work, Dotson now finds himself as the starting right tackle for the Buccaneers. 
Four years ago, after his basketball eligibility ran out, Demar Dotson decided to give football a shot at Southern Mississippi. Before 2008, Dotson had never played a down of football in his life. Yesterday he was named the starting right tackle for the Buccaneers.

Up until then Dotson was a 6-9, 268 pound forward-center for the Golden Eagles who began playing basketball his sophomore year of high school in his hometown of Alexandria, Louisiana and had aspirations of playing in the NBA. When Dotson began realizing his dream of playing professional basketball would more than likely send him overseas, his focus shifted to the football field.

Dotson’s height and athleticism were warmly welcomed on the Southern Miss squad where he not only had to learn how to play on the defensive line, but he had to learn how to play the game of football. Along with an unrelenting work ethic, his natural ability and size made NFL scouts take notice.

With very little film to show his quick feet and agility couple with his limited time in the sport, Dotson went unselected in the 2009 Draft, and was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Bucs a few short weeks later. Once he arrived in Tampa, Dotson was moved to the opposite side of the ball.

Due to Donald Penn injuring his calf preparing for training camp, Dotson’s number was called to play as the starting left tackle throughout preseason. When Penn returned, Dotson started to share time at right tackle with long-time starter Jeremy Trueblood. At the time, head coach Greg Schiano said it would not be fair to Dotson to go from starting left tackle to second team.

Dotson took the opportunity and ran with it. Named the starting right tackle against the Giants due to an ankle injury suffered by Trueblood, Dotson did not allow a sack to Freeman from the right side - against one of the most ferocious pass rushes in the NFL. Dotson’s only blemish on the game came on a false start penalty.

He has come so far in such a short amount of time, but Dotson very rarely, if ever, gives himself any credit.

“We had a game plan,” Dotson said, “and we had a game plan for the backs to help us out, for Josh (Freeman) getting the ball off, it’s all the game plan. I can always give it to my team mates and God first and foremost because without him I can’t be here, so I come out here every day and work.”

Dotson worked extremely hard throughout the offseason and impressed his new coach, who relishes in players who give their all. Schiano was careful to say that the change in the depth chart was not permanent, but feels it is the right move for now.

“He has an athleticism to protect in the pass game.” Schiano said. “He needs to improve in many ways, but we all do.  I just think he gives us the best chance to win this week. It doesn’t have anything to do with down the road or anything like that, just this week; this is what gives us the best chance.”

Dotson maintains a humble attitude despite his above-average natural ability. One of Dotson’s biggest attributes is his ability to soak everything in.

“I listen to these guys, I learn from these guys.” Dotson said. “I learn from everybody – not just coaches, not just veterans, I learn from everybody, rookies. You look at rookies, they’ve been playing this game longer than I have, so I learn from everybody. I keep my ears open and my eyes open. And I’m just learning.”
If Dotson has the same success against DeMarcus Ware he had against Justin Tuck, the two-year extension the Bucs signed Dotson to in March won’t be considered such of a gamble. Perhaps the most promising aspect of Dotson’s game is he’s just getting started and he’s already come so far.
Last modified on Wednesday, 19 September 2012 16:20

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  • avatar

    Let's just let him play a few games before we declare him a LT or RT permanent starter.
  • avatar

    What took you guys so long to report this? It's been in the fish wraps for two days.
  • avatar

    Doesn't it seem that Dotson is better suited for LT and Penn better suited for RT? Dy-nasty D: I too have thought Demar should have been targeted in the endzone. Not sure why he was never used in that capacity unless Rah figured Winslow would pout.
  • avatar

    I knew from Demar Dotson's success at TE last year when he filled in there several times that he could eventually replace Trueblood and do a much better job of protecting against elite pass rushers, which has been a big problem with Trueblood, who is good in the running game but a liability against elite pass rushers. I also like the suggestion of using Demar as a TE in the red zone. You could bring Trueblood in and put Demar next to him. As a tandem the two could block a back into the end zone or Demar could run into the end zone and catch passes. It would be tremendous at playoff time--wouldn't it be great to whip the Giants there after Coughlin was such a pain. Hey, I also watched Nicks on TV tonight say that he predicts Demar will be in the Pro Bowl one day. Wouldn't that be great! I have been pulling for Dotson to replace Trueblood for a long time.
  • avatar

    I'd like to see Dotson used as a RT/TE. He could be an extra RT in a power formation, but he could also catch a few passes. If he played PF in college, he would have a huge advantage at 6'9" near the goal line.
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