With the retirement of Logan Mankins and contract extension of Doug Martin this past week, it was only fitting that the Buccaneers find the former’s replacement to block for the franchise’s cornerstone running back. In doing so, Tampa Bay signed former Seahawk J.R. Sweezy to a four-year, $32.5 million deal just moments after announcing the agreement with Martin.
Sweezy’s job, first and foremost, will be to help clear the lane for Martin, which is exactly what he intends on doing.
“I love run blocking,” Sweezy, who’s earned a reputation as a run-blocking finisher, said at his introductory press conference on Thursday. “That’s what I live for. I take a lot of pride in it and I want to run the football. That’s what I’m about.
“The high-effort thing, that’s just me playing ball and doing everything I can to block an extra second, to make a hole a little bigger, to make an opportunity for someone to gain an extra yard. I’m going to go hit a pile when they’re standing up, just to gain those extra yards.”
In four seasons in Seattle, Sweezy, 26, played 59 games with 49 starts. His career to this point includes four trips to the playoffs, two Super Bowl appearances and one championship in 2013. The Bucs hope he can bring that success with him to Tampa, and while he’s not vocal player, Sweezy believes he can help lead by example and that the team – and the O-Line in particular – is in position to build something special.
“It’s about being the best that you can every day, competing every day and us bettering ourselves to prepare for Sundays so that when they do arrive, it’s almost easy, because we’ve gone at each other so hard that (the game) is not even comparable,” Sweezy said. “That’s what I want to do here and I feel like we’re fully capable of that here.
“I love to be part of a group that maybe we can stick together and grow as a unit,” he continued on the O-Line. “The better cohesion you have as an offensive line, really, honestly, the better you are. In my opinion, the longer they can keep us together, the better. I’m just excited to get with the guys, get in the trenches and do what we do.”