Last week head coach Lovie Smith said the decision at right tackle – to stay with Gosder Cherilus or reinsert Demar Dotson – would have nothing to do with keeping continuity along the offensive line, and everything to do with who they feel gives them the best chance to win. On Wednesday morning Smith concluded that that guy is Gosder Cherilus.
Speaking in open locker room, a very honest Dotson admitted his disappointment about not getting back on the field, something he was led to believe would happen after being activated earlier this month.
“I was told last week that I would be back in the lineup and starting,” Dotson said. “But I was told this morning that I wasn’t and that Gosder was going to stay in there.”
Dotson, who was informed of the decision earlier in the day, seemed to feel deceived by Smith but said he understood the reasoning for keeping the same five men across the line.
“It’s tough, especially because I was told that I was (going to start),” Dotson said. “And then to be told next week that you aren’t… It’s hard to accept, but that’s the nature of the business. You kind of want to rely on what somebody tells you, but you have to realize that at the end of the day it’s a business.
“I was told that I guess continuity on the line (is a reason). They don’t want to take guys out right now and you can kind of understand that. But it’s still disappointing.”
Disappointing as it may be, Dotson realizes his commitment to the team and the fact that he, like Cherilus and Joe Hawley, is just one play away from the starting role.
“I just take it one day at a time,” he said. “I don’t know what tomorrow looks like or next week looks like. All I know is what I was told today, and that was that I’m not going to be the starting right tackle. That’s the way I’m approaching it.
“It’s hard right now, but I have to get into the mentality of being one play away. I just have to keep doing what I was doing and not worry about it.”
UPDATE (4:27 p.m.): Head coach Lovie Smith clarified his conversation with Dotson from last week, saying he would never make that kind of decision a week before Sunday.
“Demar Dotson was told last week that he would be active and ready to play this week,” Smith said. “I don’t give out starting positions a week in advance. I don’t know exactly where he got that. He was told he would be active and he practiced today.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
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