Being a healthy scratch for two straight weeks doesn’t bode well for left tackle Anthony Collins’ future in Tampa Bay.
While Bucs head coach Lovie Smith didn’t come out and say it specifically during his day-after game press conference on Monday, it appears the former Bengals free agent has done something – or not done something – to sour the relationship between Collins and the Tampa Bay staff.
“There’s a reason why everybody is in the position that they’re in,” Smith said. “The amount of playing time you get – yes, there’s a reason for every decision that we’ve made and I’ll just kind of leave it at that. As I did mention, there was an injury that Anthony had earlier. He’s been showing up to practice. Later on, we’ve wanted to get looks at other guys. So a lot of things have come into play on that decision why he wasn’t active.”
Smith was then asked about this week’s upcoming game against the Saints and if Collins –who signed a five-year, $30 million free gent contract last March – might be reinserted in the starting lineup.
“Haven’t really made it that far yet,” Smith said. “We’ll look at the entire group that we have, so it would be hard for me to say exactly what direction we’re going to go this week. Anthony has been showing up at practice, doing a good job of what we’ve asked him to do.”
Smith was asked during his press conference if he feels the additions to the team’s revamped offensive line – Collins, Logan Mankins, and Evan Dietrich-Smith – were errors in evaluation.
“When you say misjudgments – there were some moves that we made that didn’t work out the way we wanted them to,” Smith said. “I think that’s a fair statement – look where we are. We don’t have any way to combat that statement at all. That’s what you do, you make decisions you think give you the best chance to win, and you make improvements where you feel like you need to make improvements. They don’t always work out, but what we’re going to do – last year has nothing to do with this year. We’re in a different position right now, we know our roster a little bit better tight now and what we truly do need and like always, we’re going to be as aggressive as possible to improve our ball club in any way and through every phase: free agency, draft and etc.”
Smith also hinted that now, with just one game left to go, there could be some others players who will be evaluated in the season finale when New Orleans comes to town, but the potential draft position of the Buccaneers in next May’s draft will have nothing to do with the team’s approach to Sunday.
“I don’t think you weigh that at all,” Smith said. “I think probably most veteran players in general aren’t really excited – some of them aren’t really excited about some of the players about some of the players that would come in with the potential to take their spot – but for the most part guys on your team want the team to be improved and that’s what we’re going to do with the draft picks coming in. As far as the game this week – I’ve kind of answered that question a few times and I think we’re going to end up in good position to get some good players, but to me that can’t even come into the equation.
“Yesterday, even though we didn’t play as well, the guys fought right up until the end – they weren’t thinking about that pick or anything like that. This week we’re going to do the same thing. We’re going to make decisions that will give us the best chance to win by being able to look at players that we haven’t seen, that may come into the equation a little bit, but we’re going to do everything that we possibly can to try and win the game and let everything else take care of itself.”
The Bucs will no doubt focus on once again revamping and overhauling their offensive line this offseason via free agency and the NFL Draft. With Demar Dotson taking over the left tackle position last week and playing well now for two games, Collins and his $6 million salary in 2015 may be jettisoned from Tampa Bay. With approximately $18 million in salary cap room heading into the offseason, the Bucs can afford to take a $3 million cap by cutting Collins and going with Dotson at the left tackle spot next year.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
Coach is keeping quiet because he would like Collins to take a pay cut or they wil release him and good luck getting any where near what he was getting after 2015. If I was him, I would take a pay cut, but be guaranteed some more money in 2016. That’s easier for the Bucs to digest; maybe get a trade after next season My opinion.
If you force the guy to take a pay cut you run the risk of creating a locker room cancer that still can’t block. They’ve had lots of time to evaluate his ability. If this was a swing and a miss, then cut him or trade him. He does not have offset language in his contract, he’s a young guy, he will get another job. May even be the best thing that could happen to him!
Maybe Licht has learned a lesson that taking guys like Collins who never earned a starting gig and others who had limited success with their former teams requires more in depth study and a tighter fist on the $.
If LILO don’t due a better job this coming year THEY will be looking for a new job.
Why pick on just Collins? To many over paid, under producing players on this roster. We haven’t even discussed the purge of offensive coaches. There will be many besides Collins shown the door. L&L will use their mulligan this year, better get it right this time.
This OL has been so atrocious. Dotson was part of this failure, whether RT or LT. I am not sold on Demar Dotson as our starting LT next year.
If the BUCs don’t go and blow it and win this last meaningless (in terms of this year’s record but major in terms of draft order) game, and wind up with the first overall pick, what would you guys think about them hiring the OC from the Oregon Ducks? Might make a smoothe transition for our #1 pick.
Certainly could be looked at, but you have to build a complete offense around the scheme. And honestly there is no proof this offense will work in the NFL. Kelly has had some success no doubt, but what he is able to do is more successful than what the Oregon OC could do most likely. Again though, the other 10 on offense will need to be looked at as far as fits in a read option spread type offense. can’t transform it overnight. Plus I just don’t see that as Lovie’s style. But again, I would guess all things are on the table at this point. Having a familiar face would only help Mariota.
This is the perfect time to raid a practice squad now. There must be a promising OT or OG on some loaded O-Line team like Dallas that is trying to stash one away.
I would send Garrett Gilkey to the gallows now, get a croaker sack and a flashlight, search high and low, and bring one back alive.
We’ve got to starting thinking like Belichick!
Scratch my last post!
Greg Auman just tweeted that with Logan Mankins getting day off at Bucs practice, Garrett Gilkey was working with first-team offensive line at left guard …
I forgot that Lovie has one more game to lose! Silly me!
I think Lovie has gone all in on this loosing thing. There can be no other conceivable way that Gilkey is still on this roster. I am 175 pounds and could play offensive lineman better than that scrub.
Gilkey is something I have no understanding as to why he is still here. Next year is it for me with Coach Smith, but I do be,ieve he can turn this around and we can win 6-8 games. I still would like to win this game as it does do good for the players who stay. No matter what Arroyo deserves a big bonus or a guaranteed job at OBP.
This guy is going to be a good OC in a couple years if given the chance. He can hang his hat on two 1,000 yard WR’s as credentials and no OL & QB to do it with is darn good.
Misjudgments That’s Big……..
Horse I agree that Gilkey has no business still on this roster. I also agree that Arroyo is going to be a good OC at some point but, IMO, not for at least 5 years or more. I also agree he deserves a bonus or another year as QB coach in another position. He has filled two positions this year and while he hasn’t been a very good OC he didn’t actually sign up for that job when he came to the Bucs.
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