Reunited with a familiar offensive coordinator and staying the same division he’s been in for the past five years, new Buccaneers offensive lineman Joe Hawley said Monday he’s healthy and ready to go.

Tampa Bay signed the 26-year-old center today after he was cut by Atlanta last week, the team that selected him in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Hawley, nicknamed Joe Brawley because of a penchant for getting into fights, missed the final 12 games last year suffering tears to the ACL and MCL in his right knee.

The veteran out of UNLV said Monday his rehab has been progressing well and he’s ready to get to work in Tampa Bay. “The knee’s 100 percent. I should be ready to basically as soon as I can get the playbook down, which hopefully should be quick.”

When asked if the change in scenery came as a surprise, Hawley said he didn’t see getting cut coming at all.

“I was very surprised,” he said. “I kind of got blindsided. But if they don’t want me there then I’m ready to move on and I’m excited about a new opportunity here. I’m looking to help this team any way I can.”

His familiarity with the NFC South could be valuable during divisional games and Hawley said he’s especially ready for Nov. 1 and Dec. 6.

“I’m excited I get to play Atlanta twice,” he said. “I know these guys, I’ve been playing against all these teams twice a year for the past five years, so that’s nice and not too far from home.”

From 2012 to 2014 Hawley worked in an offensive system led by current Bucs coordinator Dirk Koetter and said he should be able to fit right into Tampa Bay’s line schematically.

“I talked to Dirk a little bit. He said he’s keeping it mostly the same stuff. Obviously he’s going to adjust it to the personnel he’s got but most of the terminology is the same. The O-line calls and stuff, I’m going to have to get used to that because I’ve never worked with this O-line coach before.”

The Bucs’ offensive line continues to be a cause for concern and Hawley said he thinks his versatility and experience can serve as instant assets.

“I’ve played a lot,” he said. “I’ve played left guard, right guard, center, I’ve played against a lot of different guys, I’ve played for a few years now, so I think the experience is a good thing I can add to the room. I’m just trying to help this team any way I can. I know they have a lot of young guys so hopefully I fit in really well, get to know them and can teach them a few things.”

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About the Author: Eric Horchy

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domwillb
domwillb
5 years ago

So since we brought this guy in. My opinion would be to move this fella to RG and let Marpet move to RT and please god get Cherlius the hell out of there, I’m almost certain Ali played LT in college so why not let him get some work in at RT?

georgehicks
georgehicks
5 years ago

Id think there will be morechanges coming.

devasher
devasher
5 years ago

Can he coach?

drdneast
drdneast
5 years ago

Pretty funny devashar. First time I chuckled since that debacle I witnessed yesterday.
At the moment I think this guy is better than Marpet and he has played guard in the past.
Asking Marpet to start after only playing a little over 1.5 games in the preseason was a little unreasonable.
I actually think the offensive line played okay yesterday considering the situation they were put in.
The defense was simply not prepared for Mariota and that falls on Leslie Frazier and Lovie.

?

Uncle Stan
Uncle Stan
Reply to  drdneast
5 years ago

Frazier is only a clip board holder. Lovie is calling all the defensive plays.

drdneast
drdneast
5 years ago

If this guy has a nasty attitude it’s just what this team needs, especially on the offensive and defensive lines.
We should have signed Incognito who was smeared by the maligner Wells who makes up his mind whose guilty before he even gets the facts.
Ryan was more than happy to get a guy who brought a pit bulls mentality to the line in Buffalo.

surferdudes
surferdudes
5 years ago

Interesting. This guy sounds like he’s going to be a starter, and soon, but where? Evan Smith has been average at best, does he replace him? Moving Marpet to R.T. might be a good idea. If he played L.T. in college, might work. However asking a rookie to move over now might be to much to ask, especially since you drafted him thinking he’d become a pro bowl guard. Guess we’ll have to see.