About the author

Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR’s Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons’ Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

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21 Comments

  1. 1

    Pinnaql3

    Licht just hurt a lot some armchair GMs’ feeling talking about Donovan Smith there.

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    1. 1.1

      matador

      PR and a number of posters still seem to be confusing the definition of ‘Starters’ which in Bucs parlence in many areas of chronic need such as OL means ‘the best we have available ‘ with true ‘Starting Caliber’ players which to the rest of the league means those who are talented enough to actually start on playoff caliber teams.

      But don’t take it from me, what do I know – here’s the opinion of folks who review every snap – Pro Football Focus:

      18. Houston Texans…”We have reached the point in the list where every remaining O-line is, at best, severely flawed….”

      23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers…The left side of the Buccaneers’ line was a real problem area, with the play of LT Donovan Smith proving to be a real issue. Smith surrendered 57 total QB pressures and 14 penalties over his season, with Kevin Pamphile inside of him chipping in with 32 pressures of his own….

      https://www.profootballfocus.com/pro-ranking-all-32-nfl-offensive-lines-this-season/?utm_source=email11217&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nflnl2016

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  2. 2

    RootsCrew

    Well, good. We paid him too much money to not suit up for us. He’s a run blocking beast at RG. While I’d still like to upgrade the OL in the next year or two, he’s a part of that upgrade. The OL has depth and versatility. I’d like to bring back Hawley as a backup. Cut E. Smith and Cherilus loose. With a more solid anchor at C, the OL improves, Dirks long developing routes will have a chance to get open and Jameis has time to survey the field/find open receiver.

    LT – Smith
    LG – Pamp/Caleb battle it out
    C – Marpet
    RG – Sweezy
    RT – Dot/Pamp/Caleb battle it out

    Wester, Hawley, Gottschalk, Allen as primary backups.

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  3. 3

    macabee

    I have no training or expertise to make the following suggestions other than my penchant for taking wild a$$ guesses on many various and sundry subjects. lol.

    First, this is good news and the football gods willing, Sweezy is in physical shape to compete for a starting OG position. I like the idea of moving Marpet to Center. He’s smart, strong, and simply looks the part. Given that Sweezy has not played in a year, I would leave him at RG – a position we know that he has played well. I would leave Kevin Pamphile at LG and let Caleb Benenoch push him for the starting role.

    I would re-sign Hawley and let Evan Smith walk. Like Horse, I believe Gottschalk is great depth while he puts on another 10 pounds of muscle. I really like the way the Bucs are positioned with youth on the O-Line that can grow together.

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  4. 4

    macabee

    If the Bucs do not want to move Marpet to Center, here’s a thought as I continue to support fair employment for old men. Lol.

    The Ravens are projected to have barely $15mil in cap room and have the greatest number of players over 30 in the NFL. They have expressed an interest in getting younger and relieving cap space.

    Former Buc center Jeremy Zuttah (30) has been identified as a potential cap casualty. Coincidentally Zuttah was just named to the Pro Bowl to replace Pittsburgh’s Maurkice Pouncey. If Zuttah hits the street, he could be one of those quality 2nd tier FAs that Licht is fond of. Zuttah has 1 year left on a 4 year contract that averages 4.1mil a year.

    If Hawley leaves in FA or the Bucs decide to not re-sign him, Zuttah could be a short-term stop gap while we develop our younger men and he would be a definite improvement. Not suggesting they do this, just something to keep an eye on.

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    1. 4.1

      Naplesfan

      That’s an interesting suggestion, Macabee … experienced depth at a fair price seems to be the way that Jason Licht tends to go anyway. Zuttah might be good for two or three more seasons.

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  5. 5

    Horse

    I wouldn’t sign Hawley. I don’t care who we get, just not Hawley or or E. Smith.

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    1. 5.1

      scubog

      And just who do you have in mind to replace our centers? Drum roll please,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Benny Gottschalk!

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      1. 5.1.1

        Horse

        Marpet, Zuttah, any other free agent. The Center spot over and over got crushed/collasped/missed assignments. There’s enough film for me that supports the Center is the weakest position on our OL. Just my opinion though.

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  6. 6

    Naplesfan

    Good news, certainly, on Sweezy. Our offensive line is extremely far from being set, and while the younger guys are learning, there’s no substitute for proven experience on a quality team that Sweezy brings.

    Every season needs to be a season where we’re upgrading the O-line. There’s just too many members of that unit who are getting older, getting injured, or simply underperforming to ever say it’s a finished work.

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  7. 7

    stlbucsfan

    The Bucs should still sign Ron Leary to play one guard spot. Let Pamphile and Sweezy battle it out for the other guard spot and move Ali to center. That would fortify the middle of the line then allow Pamphile to be the swing guard/center if he losses the battle to Sweezy in camp. Not against Zuttah coming back either if that is a real option although I would prefer we took a look at the Wagner their RT who also would be back as an option to upgrade that spot and then force Dotson to battle Benenoch for swing tackle duties. Turn up the heat on the OL in training camp and make these guys earn the right to protect Jameis and create some excellent depth in the process.

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  8. 8

    chetthevette

    Look mom it’s Sweezy !!!!!!
    I only see one cut for a O Lineman this year. That’s Evans, he has really been abysmal for us. Mac had a good point, bring back Zuttah if available. Is that another Dominick screw up? Hard to keep track of all the dumb a$$ moves he made.
    I can’t see putting Marpet in as center though. Could he do it? Yes, but he is becoming a pro bowl caliber guard, and that is where he should stay.
    Looks like we can scratch off OL man in the first round of the draft.
    Now we can get DL man first round.
    Or….. throw McCoy money at either Kwan Short or Donteri Poe in free agency and watch out. McCoy and either of those guys would be an awesome center for the D Line.
    GO BUCS

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  9. 9

    Buc 1976

    I like the idea to bring back Zuttah, I never understood why we let him go in the first place!
    When he was here he NEVER got the chance to play Center all year because of injury’s to other players,he proved to be very versatile playing both guard position s and Center.

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  10. 10

    ryanoster

    Sorry .. I’m not sure I like Hawley’s attitude. Does he think he’s All Pro Center and the Bucs should overpay for him? We picked him up off the scrap heap. No other team rushed to sign him. Let the market settle and then make s reasonable offer if available or refuse to match a high offer from another team.

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  11. 11

    Buc-n-Philly Fan

    WTF is with Hawley’s self righteousness…. “and hopefully I’m going to get what I deserve. I’m hoping this team pays up”?! That is coming from a position that was in my opinion the weakest part of our OL! Who says “I’m hoping this Team pays up”??? “This team”??? How about “our Team or my Team”?
    Very poor. Very disappointing. The Sweezy announcement is positive. Maybe these comments are too and will point to an easy decision to move on from Hawley. Continuity is at a premium as well as the right mindsets and I think Hawley’s comments show his “me” mentality. Move on!

    Go Bucs!!!

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    1. 11.1

      Naplesfan

      Nothing self-righteous about stating the fact that is true for all NFL players – he is an independent contractor who is a proven performer and wants to be paid a market rate.

      This isn’t pickup football in the neighborhood – it’s a business.

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      1. 11.1.1

        Buc-n-Philly Fan

        What makes him feel the sense of entitlement and package that with a comment like “I’m hoping this Team pays up”??? Very poor choice of words and sentiment. Again, I go back to his poor play and the middle of the line exposing your most important piece of this puzzle in Jameis Winston. Proven performer would not be what I call Joe Hawley. But hey we all have our opinions…

        And thanks for the education on this not being football in the neighborhood.

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        1. 11.1.1.1

          Naplesfan

          You’re welcome … apparently you don’t understand the difference.

          In pickup football, you’re not expected to talk up your value. In business you are. Hawley, like all pro football players, is a business man.

          Our head coach says he likes Hawley a lot.

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          1. 11.1.1.1.1

            Buc-n-Philly Fan

            You blatantly missed the whole point in my original AND follow up comment. This guy has not performed at a high enough level to warrant the type of comment that he made. MY OPINION. Your nonsense of “not understanding the difference of pickup football” and patronization does not make YOU correct. These are opinions. Coach Koetter is never going to come out and say anything derogatory towards one of his players.
            My point originally was more about the tone or the way to communicate as opposed to “I’m hoping this team pays up”. Kinda Neanderthal-ish and very unprofessional.

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  12. 12

    scubog

    I get your point Philly. Yes, every employee, or as Naples put it, “independent contractor”, wants to maximize their earnings and hopes the employer or client sees his worth through the same lens. Hawley is no different than any of us. That said, in many of our views, (especially Horse) Hawley’s performance this past season didn’t exactly warrant a demand by him to “pay up”. Licht just might look at his film and reply, “You’re lucky to have a job at all.” Hawley deserves and should expect to be paid as a mediocre, journeyman borderline starting center……whatever $ that is. If he thinks he’s worth more he can find another team who agrees with him. Nothing personal. Just like the real world.

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    1. 12.1

      Horse

      What a way to go out on a vacation, Scubog agrees we need a better Center!

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