FAB 3. All Or Nothing With Arians: Personnel

In Fab 2, I took a look at how new Bucs head coach Bruce Arians leads with regards to barking out orders on the sidelines during game days or at practice and in team meeting rooms. But one of the areas that is often behind closed doors that viewers get to see Arians navigate is personnel decisions.

Cardinals general manager Steve Keim and president Michael Bidwell handle the roster moves, but Arians also has his say when it comes to holding players accountable for their actions – and dismissing those who don’t adhere to the rules. Watching Arians operate in this arena was music to my eyes and ears.

Bruce Arians, Steve Keim and Michael Bidwell
Bruce Arians, Steve Keim and Michael Bidwell – Photo by: Getty Images

There has been very little accountability at One Buccaneer Place for quite some time, and that falls mostly on the head coaches. Sure, general manager Jason Licht has cut some kickers in-season for continuing to miss field goals – most notably Nick Folk in 2017 and Chandler Catanzaro last year. And Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins was released before Week 3 in 2016, and quarterback Jameis Winston was benched last year. But outside of those moves, there was very little accountability for the other 50 players on the roster.

The Big Takeaway
When mistakes were often made in Tampa Bay last year, they were too often tolerated. That won’t happen under Arians. During the Cardinals’ 2015 season, which was featured on All Or Nothing, Arians almost cut starting right guard Ted Larsen for a false start at a critical part of the Cardinals vs. Bengals game.

Arians wasn’t thinking about benching Larsen. He was going to cut him. Keep reading to find out what happened.

Quotes That Matter
“My pet peeve – I came to work and two days in a row some motherf*@$er was in my spot,” Arians said in a team meeting during the 2015 offseason. “Alright? One was a Jeep with Washington plates today and yesterday it was a Jeep with Texas plates in my spot. If there is a sign on a parking place anywhere in this facility – don’t park in the bitch or I will tow your ass. Alright?

“Last thing. All you new guys – when I’m talking to you, a lot of times it’s ugly. But I ain’t talking about you personally now. I’m talking about your football. If your football sucks, I’m going to tell you your football sucks. I like you as a guy. ‘Smoke’ [wide receiver John Brown’s nickname] thought his middle name was ‘motherf *@$er’ last year. Alright? Then he got to be ‘Smoke’ because he started to do his s#*@ right. It’s easy.”

Sure enough, a player didn’t adhere to Arians rules and parked in the wrong spot – and got cut. That player was Lawrence Okoye, a 6-foot-6, 310-pound defensive tackle, who was on Arizona’s practice squad. Okoye was a member of the British track and field team and played rugby before trying his hand at NFL football.

“We’re moving on from Lawrence Okoye,” Arians said during practice. “He parked in the wrong spot. There weren’t any parking places – and he just came running in. Tough s#*@. He has a different sense of entitlement being an Olympian.”

Arians sent a message that details matter, and mistakes come at a cost.

Former Cardinals SS Tyrann Mathieu
Former Cardinals SS Tyrann Mathieu – Photo by: Getty Images

Defensive end Calais Campbell, a team captain, addressed the team about Okoye’s release during a team meeting and stressed the attention to details that were needed from the players moving forward.

Now it’s not to say that Arians doesn’t believe in second chances. He does when the situation warrants it. Every second chance situation is evaluated on a player-by-player basis. NFL Films documented the selection of LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu by Arians and Keim (and former Cardinals VP of personnel Jason Licht) back in 2013 for the All Or Nothing series.

“I’m a true believer in second chances,” Arians said. “We took a lot of criticism at the Cardinals for drafting Tyrann because he was kicked out of LSU for a drug problem. It crushed him to lose the one thing he loved, and that was football.

“Too many times now in the NFL we’re so over-conscience of public opinion that we forget about the person and what they are going through.”

These quotes lead me to believe that Arians and the Bucs will pursue the signing of former Pro Bowl running back Kareem Hunt, the 2017 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, who was kicked off the Chiefs for assaulting a woman and lying to the team about it. Hunt, who is likely facing a 6-10 game suspension, is the perfect type of back for Arians’ offense.

Mathieu, who could be another free agent target by the Bucs this offseason as the team needs a veteran safety, discussed his relationship with Arians for the All Or Nothing cameras.

“I remember the first time I sat down with B.A. after he drafted me and he told me that story,” Mathieu said, recalling how Arians told him about him getting kicked out of his high school when he was a star quarterback at York High School in Pennsylvania. “Now me as a player who just got a second chance, I’m able to come into work every day more comfortable, more relaxed because my coach showed me his scars. He showed me what he’d been through in his life. I think that’s why we relate to each other. Not to mention that we both have crazy swag.”

Arians got a bit emotional when discussing what coaching means to him.

New Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and former Cardinals QB Carson Palmer
New Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and former Cardinals QB Carson Palmer – Photo by: Getty Images

“For me coaching isn’t about winning and losing,” Arians said. “It’s about making a guy as good as he can be.”

But make no mistake – Arians wants to win. And when Larsen almost cost the Cardinals a shot at beating the Bengals, he almost lost his job.

Prior to the footage of the Cardinals and Bengals game, All Or Nothing featured a scene where Arians went over end-of-game situation film in team meetings on a weekly basis to educate his players in situational football. His first example was of a recent Dallas vs. Giants game during the 2015 season.

“Giants up by 3 in Dallas – no timeouts (1:43 left, Giants up 23-20). Alright?” Arians said as he rolled the end-of game footage, which showed the Giants in the Cowboys red zone for his players to watch. “Giants decide to throw this ball, but it’s not there – so go down (Arians was suggesting that Eli Manning take a sack to keep the clock running). Go down and eat the ball. Alright? Quarterback – can it be incomplete? Nope. It cannot be incomplete. A sack, they end up kicking a field goal (Giants up 26-20) with probably 30-40 seconds left on the clock. Now it’s 1:29 instead of it being 40 seconds off that clock. [The Cowboys] get it down here and score and win the game (27-26). The biggest part of this drill was the offense putting the defense in that scenario. Alright? They should have not had more than 40 seconds on that clock.

“Each week these games come down to critical errors. It’s really not as much as who makes the play, as who don’t f*@$ it up. Don’t be the guy that f*@$s it up.”

The Cardinals and Bengals played on Sunday Night and Arizona had a chance to break a 31-31 tie and win the game with a last-second field goal. Before quarterback Carson Palmer spiked the ball to kill the clock with less than 10 seconds left to bring out the field goal kicker, Larsen moved before the snap and flags flew. It looked like a false start, which would have moved the Cardinals back five yards, but also included a costly 10-second run off, which would end regulation and force overtime without Arizona having a chance to win it with a field goal.

Cardinals RG Ted Larsen
Cardinals RG Ted Larsen – Photo by: Getty Images

“Stupid motherf*@$er!” Arians said in a rage on the sideline.

But the Cardinals – and Larsen – caught a break. Bengals defensive tackle Domata Peko barked out the word “hut” to cause Larsen to false start. He was flagged for simulating the snap, which is an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Arizona won with Chandler Catanzaro’s 32-yard field goal.

The Cardinals started that game-winning drive backed up in their own end of the field with one minute remaining and no timeouts. Instead of taking a knee and playing for overtime, Arians trusted his players to go win the game and had Palmer air it out to get the Cari.

No risk it, no biscuit.

“The one thing about us – we’re going to play to win,” Arians told his team in the locker room after the win. “We don’t play for ties because we trust each other. Things didn’t always go our way, but this group is finding ways to win and that’s a beautiful thing.”

The next scene in All Or Nothing was Bidwell, Arians and Keim in a meeting room recapping the game. Arians was still not pleased with Larsen.

“Yeah, we wouldn’t have a guard on our team right now if there was a 10-second run off,” Arians said. “We’d cut him right now.”

Arians then addressed Larsen’s mistake in the team meeting room as he reviewed the game evaluation chart from the Arizona vs. Cincinnati game.

“Alright we were very fortunate to win this ball game the way we played,” Arians said. “It’s nice to learn from almost losing rather than losing. But don’t sit here and pat yourself on the back. We were not the most physical team. We got our ass kicked in short yardage and goal line.

“We had critical penalties, and Ted, you are very, very lucky that you are not right there (pointing to the penalties area on the overhead projector slide). And if you were right there you wouldn’t be sitting where you are right now. There’s no f*@$ing excuse for you to move in that goddamn situation. We’re killing that clock.”

The FABulous Ending
Three of the top Super Bowl winning coaches – New England’s Bill Belichick, New York Giants’ Bill Parcells and Dallas’ Jimmy Johnson – all used fear as a motivator. Arians does that too, to a degree. The fear of getting benched is one thing. The fear of losing your job is something completely different.

Nothing stamps out complacency, laziness and incompetence like the fear of unemployment. Not getting a promotion or getting demoted is one thing. Being out of work altogether and missing a paycheck is another.

Arians doesn’t mess around. He has very few rules, but if you don’t follow them – it’s your ass, as he would say. There will be some Buccaneers who will be purged this year just because of their attitude. If they don’t shape up, Arians will ship them out.

What’s different about Arians’ hardline approach, as opposed to that of former Bucs head coach Greg “Toes On The Line” Schiano, is the two Super Bowl rings on Arians’ fingers – not to mention his nearly three decades of NFL coaching experience.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 24th 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 spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his son's Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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macabee
1 year ago

This is why there is so much consternation over re-signing OT Donovan Smith, even signing him to the franchise tag. Can’t have your QB getting hurt if we are to have a winning season. In this short video, Winston sustained a right shoulder injury and was never the same for the remainder of the season. Smith gave up the tackle to DE Alex Okafor/Saints that led to the injury. Okafor, BTW, is now an UFA paid 2mil in 2018, who was drafted by Bruce Arians/Arizona Cardinals in the 4th round of the 2013 draft. Whatever course of action the Bucs… Read more »

BucWild02
1 year ago
Reply to  macabee

Here’s another sack Smith(supposedly) gave up to Dallas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2G4BMEMCm8

After watching the play, the guy he was blocking sacked Jameis outside the RIGHT side of the Tackle Box. He literally ran a massive circle all the way around the entire offensive line to strip sack Winston. Here’s an idea: Get rid of the damn ball sooner Winston.

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cgmaster27
1 year ago
Reply to  BucWild02

Its called trying to make a play. I’m sure you weren’t complaining the last game of the season when winston did this very thing and made plays like the bomb to make evans. Yes he can get rid of the ball sooner at times, but let’s not pretend smith hasnt gotten jameis and fitz clubbed numerous times.

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BucWild02
1 year ago
Reply to  cgmaster27

You can complain for 5 more years. Smith is getting extended. Bahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahha

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chefboho
1 year ago
Reply to  BucWild02

Really? He’s being extended for 5 more years? Why don’t you try and show us all where you found this out? Like you said to another poster, stop being so dumb

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BucWild02
1 year ago
Reply to  BucWild02

chefboho: Its in the article. Front office likes him and coaches like him. They are trying to get a long term deal done at this moment and if they can’t, they will franchise him.

Thankfully he isn’t going anywhere. Pick a new whipping boy.

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cgmaster27
1 year ago
Reply to  BucWild02

And for the record, on that play Smith was beat like a drum and wouldve had an easy sack had jameis not escaped Initial pressure, which is what he and fitz had to do a ton last year.

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BucWild02
1 year ago
Reply to  cgmaster27

Tackles are taught to run DE’s out of the play by letting them wheel out wide. I can pull up 50 passing touchdowns where smith stopped his guy.

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BucWild02
1 year ago
Reply to  cgmaster27

You are blind. Dot got beat across his face, Benenoch got beat on the crosser, Jameis stepped up to the right where Dot got beat and Randy gregory came from 12 yards behind the line of scrimmage. That is on Dot and Winston. NOT ON SMITH FOOL.

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BucWild02
1 year ago
Reply to  BucWild02

On top of that, it was 3rd and 5. Brate is at the sticks when Winston leaves the pocket. Why not take the easy throw and catch and get the first down? I have watched this play 20 times over the last day. The more I watch it, the more Im convinced that the Randy Gregory made a hell of a play with his hustle. SMith wasn’t lazy. He did precisely what tackles do to speed rushers, they use the speed against them and push them out of the play. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please… Read more »

BucWild02
1 year ago
Reply to  BucWild02

Winstons touchdown passes as a pro…

Watch Big #76. Quit picking one play that Winston was equal to blame.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7uuYgrc8cw

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cgmaster27
1 year ago

Man this is great stuff. I love his fu attitude and demeanor. You know who else loves that kind of coaching? Jameis. He needs to be coached hard. And personally I cant wait to see Bruce make an example of Mr donavan Smith. Could you imagine arians reaction if Smith did what he did last year when he gave up on a free play and jameis got smacked? Smith might be cut! I think Smith raises his game this year and does well. Warhop shouldve never been here as long as he was. He got zero production out of anyone.… Read more »

BucWild02
1 year ago
Reply to  cgmaster27

He aint cutting Smith any more than he’s cutting Jameis. Quit being so dumb.

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BucFan circa76
1 year ago
Reply to  BucWild02

Ummmm, Smith is not under contract yet for 2019, Winston is. Smith cant be “cut” since he’s now a FA. File that comment under Dumb and Dumber.

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BucWild02
1 year ago
Reply to  BucFan circa76

He isn’t a free agent yet. The 2018 league year hasn’t ended. There’s about a month left. This article claims to be reporting the teams stated intentions of signing him to a long term deal and franchising him if they can’t get it done in time. The front office and new coaching staff believe in him. Unless Im missing something, that sounds like an a 5 year deal is in the works. Donovan Smith is not going to make it to free agency. He just isn’t. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Buc76
1 year ago

I tend to agree. Losing breeds more losing. Poor play no confidence. It seems like we finally have a real NFL coaching staff for the 1st time in at least 10-15 years. This coaching staff should be able to get a lot more out of this team. If (and its a big if based on the past few years) we can have a solid draft and pick up some good free agents you could see a Rams type turn around for this team.

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Bern
1 year ago

I think he has enough left in the tank, he will need the same fire he had early in Arizona.

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chefboho
1 year ago

Nothing strikes fear and respect in a team like cutting a player for taking his parking space. I couldn’t love what I’m hearing any more than I do. A real coach not excepting slack efforts or guys “just getting by” he’s a motivator. Hell, I get pumped just reading his quotes. Hopefully he lights the fire under this teams ass that has been sorely lacking.

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stlbucsfan
1 year ago

The one thing I don’t understand is the willingness to let Licht off the hook at every turn. Donovan Smith’s lackluster play is now the fault of George Warhop? Well while Warhop was in Cleveland he coached Joe Thomas at LT and I don’t recall one bad thing being said about his play during that time. The easy route is blaming the skill coach when the reality is the GM is the one responsible. After Warhop requested O’Neil Cousins and Anthony Collins only a fool, or Licht, would continue to listen to his input when assessing incoming players. He let… Read more »

EricNV
1 year ago
Reply to  stlbucsfan

Arians is here, in part, because Licht is still here. Doesn’t matter what your opinion, my opinion, or anybody else’s opinion of Licht is. He’ll be here until the Glazers say otherwise. You can bitch all you want, but that’s the reality of it.

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stlbucsfan
1 year ago
Reply to  stlbucsfan

How you handle the GM being awful for 5 years is your business, but on a Bucs platform I will post what I want about the clown. If I see an article that I feel doesn’t offer the full picture my login credentials afford me the opportunity to offer whatever opinion I want. If the truth is bitching then so be it. Can’t wait until the next head scratcher in the first 3 rounds of the draft to remind us of the real reality with the Bucs.

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BucFan circa76
1 year ago
Reply to  stlbucsfan

Not even Warhop could screw up the All Pro “cant miss” talent of Joe Thomas. Pitiful analogy…..

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Spitfire
1 year ago
Reply to  stlbucsfan

You said it best all by yourself and didn’t even realize it… Warhop coaches Joe Thomas, an automatic Hall of Faner on his own and Warhop got the credit… Meanwhile Smith has all the measurable and talent to be a solid LT and Warhop failed to get it out of him… If you think all of these players can play the game on their own you are dilusional… If they aren’t the few that are born with automatic talent, they need guidance and to be taught how to be great or even good… This new staff will find who can… Read more »

stlbucsfan
1 year ago
Reply to  stlbucsfan

@bucfan-circa76 So I should also assume that when Ali Marpet was selected in the 2nd round from Hobart College that he came out ready to play as a rookie. Of course not, he was developed and put at RG by none other than George Warhop were he played his best football. He moved to C as a result of Jason Licht’s terrible attempts at C and then later to LG because he couldn’t fill that position in almost 5 seasons on the job. Give me a break with the excuses for Licht and the need to blame a competent position… Read more »

stlbucsfan
1 year ago
Reply to  stlbucsfan

Also you see Sweezy playing better in seattle and assume that it’s because the coaching is better. Which is true but why get a guard who comes from a run heavy attack knowing that our offense is built around the pass. He returned to the run heavy Seahawks and I guess they rubbed some magic elixir on him as he’s better. No they run the ball which is his strength we asked him to pass pro most of the game which he does not excel in. But then again it was probably Warhop calling the plays so it’s his fault.… Read more »

BucFan circa76
1 year ago
Reply to  stlbucsfan

Good counterpoints on some, and please dont think I am a flute musician for Licht, who like Donovan Smith has been average and inconsistent at his job. In what accounted as a “make or break season”, Smith was underwhelming and Licht brought us a 2nd round bust at RB. Warhop, though, has them both beat when it comes to players and coaches who underachieved MOST the last season or so – and paid the price. Jury still out on Licht and some of “his” players that still remain, and count on open and heated competition on just about every position.… Read more »

Spitfire
1 year ago

I still say we draft someone like Williams and put him at RT or RG and moving him to LT someday can be an option. Even if not we move Benenoch to rT and with Williams at RG our Oline will be solid with versatility…

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Bucsfan1983
1 year ago
Reply to  Spitfire

I don’t think Jonah plays LT at all in the NFL. G or RT IMO. He’s too small, small arms for LT. Two of the best LT in NFL history, Walter Jones and Joe Thomas, 6’6″ 320 and 6’6″ 315 respectively.

Jonah is 6’4″ 300, I’ve seen some listings of him at 295. We’ll see at the combine. I just think his future is Pro Bowl G or RT.

I’d personally rather move to Smith to RT to replace Dotson. Draft Andre Dillard 6’6″ 315/Juwaan Taylor 6’5″ 335/Greg Little 6’6″ 325, either in round 1.

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BadgerW4
1 year ago

Okay, let’s be clear about this, SR. Your math skills kind of stink (either that or your research was lazy). Yes, those are the grades from PFF, but they place Donovan Smith at 46th out of 80 qualifying tackles in the NFL, and there are all of 7, 7!!! qualifying starting left tackles who were worse than Smith last year. That’s all. 7. Martinas Rankin–Houston Cordy Glenn–Cincinnati Kolton Miller-Oakland Kelvin Beachum-NY Jets Chris Clark–Carolina Ereck Flowers-Jacksonville Desmond Harrison-Cleveland. That’s it. I love that you used PFF focus #s to evaluate Smith, but even by their metrics, he’s not “above average.”… Read more »

BucWild02
1 year ago
Reply to  BadgerW4

Better go get a jersey! HE’S COMING BACK!!

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Ken Grant
1 year ago
Reply to  BadgerW4

Also, PFF’s grades are not analytics. They are good ol’ fashioned scouting grading each player on a play-by-play basis.

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BadgerW4
1 year ago
Reply to  Ken Grant

I’m actually fine with their grading process as they’re never just one person’s opinion, and everyone grading knows more about football than I do, but by their measurement, Smith is NOT above average. He’s considerably below average.

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BadgerW4
1 year ago
Reply to  Scott Reynolds

Oh, I did, but it’s a logic problem, not a name problem. One must be above 50% of the average to be above average. Smith did not qualify in either being one of the top rated of all tackles, or just among starting left tackles. That makes him below the 50%, aka below average. IOW, PFF can CALL it whatever they please (the super supremest supreme tackle! at 50% PFF rating, FI). Calling it something doesn’t make it so, but mathematically, Smith was below the average–below average.

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Horse
1 year ago

What I think I read, Smith is above average, Marpet is an All-Pro type of player, Jersen is above-average, Benenoch is way below average, and Dotson is barely average. Overall our Offensive Line has performed below average. I see no reason to extend any OL contract pass this season.

Scott has stated Arians takes an attitude of all or nothing. Based on that attitude, I would prefer not to guarantee any money past this coming season. Just my opinion.

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BucWild02
1 year ago

Great Fab 5 this week SR. Fab 1: Doing the happy dance. I am glad the team is keeping Donovan Smith. I may be in the minority, but there is no Quentin Nelson, Joe Thomas or Paul Gruber in this years draft. Drafting any tackle in the top ten this year is reaching, which is what bad teams do and what keeps them bad. Glad the Bucs are resigning or tagging the big fella! Fab 2,3,4: Arians is a winner and will demand discipline. The players defected from Schiano quickly when it didn’t translate to wins, but he wasn’t wrong… Read more »

Ken Grant
1 year ago

Citing Smith’s projected contract as evidence of strong play is very disingenuous. His value is based on market and situational leverage. Fact is a bad tackle makes more than a great guard because of the market and general positional availability. Tackle play in the league is atrocious and teams are desperate. Let’s stop pretending this vindicates Smith’s apologists. It doesn’t. He’s still terrible.

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toofamiliar17
1 year ago

“Smith is not a bad player, nor is he a bad person. He’s an above average tackle with room to grow.” This is a pure fabrication. He is not an “above average tackle”. His film doesn’t remotely support that assertion. Sure, he has room to grow in the sense that he’s bad, which means there’s a lot of ways for him to hypothetically improve. But he uses poor technique as a pass blocker. He can’t block the front or back side of zone runs due to his slow feet, his lack of coordination, and his terrible cut blocking ability. His… Read more »

EricNV
1 year ago
Reply to  toofamiliar17

I guess you’re smarter and have more NFL coaching experience than the guys at 1 Buc Place, right?

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BucWild02
1 year ago
Reply to  toofamiliar17

Doug Martin and Charles Simms finished as the 2nd best tandem in rushing in 2015 while Smith was blocking. Yes, Doug Martin and Charles Simms. Different C and a better LG(Mankins).

Passing offense finished 3rd last year with 2 different QB’s, plenty of turmoil, Marpet in his 3rd position on the line, new center, new RG’s rotating, and Dot coming back from injury. Smith was definitely part of the reason for success.

He’s staying and Tampa is smart to keep him.

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toofamiliar17
1 year ago
Reply to  BucWild02

You’re talking about team success and assuming that Smith was a direct cause of it, when the film shows anything but that. If you want to make a case for Smith, then make a case for him based on the merits of his individual play. Sometimes, units and even whole teams succeed in spite of poor play from certain individuals. You’re harkening all the way back to 2015 on the rushing stuff. In that season, Doug Martin led the entire NFL in broken tackles, yards after contact, and yards after contact per rush. He succeeded in running the ball thanks… Read more »

Brandonges
1 year ago

A grade in the 60s from PFF is for a backup level player. Not one set to earn top tier money. Why is PewterReport still carrying water for a player who should be on the bench?

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EricNV
1 year ago
Reply to  Brandonges

“Why is PewterReport still carrying water for a player who should be on the bench?” For the exact reasons Scott Reynolds pointed out in his Fab 5 article, that’s why. Winston is in a contract year, so you’re not going to build his trust by yanking Smith out and replacing him with a rookie or a FA. There are simply too many needs and not enough cap room to spend more money in FA on what will likely be the same or worse caliber player at LT if the Bucs let Smith walk. If Arians can’t light a fire under… Read more »

toofamiliar17
1 year ago
Reply to  Scott Reynolds

I know it’s not often used, Scott, but what about us using the non-exclusive franchise tag? In Smith’s case, it seems like a common sense move to me if we’re determined to try to keep him for this year. If someone else signs him, then we get two first round picks (one of which we could use on Jonah Williams early in the first round, or Yodny Cajuste if that pick is later in the first round) and someone else overpays him. I just don’t get why we’d use an exclusive tag on him. By using a non-exclusive tag, we… Read more »

BucFan circa76
1 year ago
Reply to  toofamiliar17

Someone correct me if the NFL created a “non-exclusive franchise tag” and I was obviously in a “lost weekend” consisting of things I wont mention here…. There is a Franchise Tag and a Transition Tag option with the Franchise being the most utilized because of the two 1st round picks, yadda yadda. The Transition option gives the Bucs the chance/right to match the incoming offer. There are other pros and cons for each of the two, but Smith is likely to receive the Franchise Tag option if the team so decides to keep him around. In regards to your non-exclusive… Read more »

toofamiliar17
1 year ago
Reply to  BucFan circa76

There are two versions of the franchise tag NFL teams can elect to place on a player. They can, obviously, only use one franchise tag or transition tag per offseason. The exclusive franchise tag is the one that’s usually used, the one you’re clearly more familiar with. It gives the tagging team exclusive negotiating ability, meaning no other team can sign that player, no matter what, unless he’s traded by the tagging team. The tag amount is equal to the average of the top 5 salaries at the position for the most recent season. The non-exclusive tag comes in at… Read more »

Brandonges
1 year ago
Reply to  Scott Reynolds

Sorry to disagree, and thank you for all the work you do, but you are carrying water. You’re citing PFF to say he is an above average Tackle, when even the stats you are using rank him as a backup. You’re advocating for Tampa to pay him $14M next year, when that’s about 6x what his play dictates. Pewter Report doesn’t have to play Public Relations and get out in front of every bad move the Bucs are going to make in an attempt to justify it. We can call a spade a spade. And paying Donovan Smith $14M because… Read more »

toofamiliar17
1 year ago
Reply to  Brandonges

This guy gets it.

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Darin
1 year ago

You guys definitely have more contacts than me so ill take your word for it. If they can get him to give effort every play Ill be a fan. Lack of effort by any pro makes me sick. Even if they keep him i expect them to take an OT in the first or 2nd. I think Licht trades back again this year tho. Now of course the coming cuts and free agency could change alot. If Smith isnt re-signed I’m guessing it changes yours too. If the Oline doesnt have at least 2 new starters Ill be shocked. Theres… Read more »

toofamiliar17
1 year ago
Reply to  Darin

If the only problems with Smith were effort-related, I’d be onboard for a year with keeping him on with Arians and a new coaching staff. But he also comes up so short in the talent and skills required from a good NFL offensive tackle. Even if he cleans up his effort (which is a huge problem, I agree), he still has slow, clumsy feet, hit or miss hands, and poor technique on everything other than power runs to his side. There are a few worse starting left tackles, but he’s a liability for any offense in this league. Rate this… Read more »

surferdudes
1 year ago

Ali Marpet is a pro bowl caliber player who hasn’t made the pro bowl in four years! Q. Nelson made the pro bowl, and all pro as a rookie. This has been a big problem with the Bucs, and media like PR that keep blowing smoke up the players asses about how good they are. We’ve been hearing for four years how Marpet is one of the best guards in the NFL, now he’s being paid like one, but reality is he wasn’t even a pro bowl alternate. We’ve been hearing for the last two years from PR about how… Read more »

BucWild02
1 year ago
Reply to  surferdudes

How can Marpet be named to a pro bowl when he changes postions every year? Extend Smith for 5 years. Put Ali next to Dot. Draft a kid in the 3rd round to play LG. Have Benenoch and Cappa compete with Dot at RT and provide depth. Done.

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Bern
1 year ago
Reply to  surferdudes

i feel you 100%

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toofamiliar17
1 year ago
Reply to  surferdudes

I voted this down because of your nonsensical jabs at McCoy and Lavonte, along with your inexplicable reliance on the popularity contest that is the Pro Bowl to tell you who’s good and who isn’t, but you make some good points here. Kwon has all the tools, yet for all those natural, God-given abilities, he’s always near the top of the league in missed tackles and can’t cover a corpse in the passing game. Evans has shown flashes, and it’s still too early to judge him, but he’s definitely nothing special at this point. Marpet is a stud and is… Read more »

BucFan circa76
1 year ago
Reply to  surferdudes

With all due respect, Quenton Nelson of the Colts was the 6th OVERALL player taken in the 2018 draft. The Colts were also a playoff team unlike the Bucs. Had Nelson been available when it was our turn, not even meathead would have passed him up, I was hoping he might fall to us but NO…….Marpet is our most consistent, highest graded O-lineman, which may not be saying much but we all know Pro Bowls are a popularity contest and familiarity contest. Brooks, Sapp, Barber, Lynch, Rice all went to many Pro Bowls as they were great players, AND also… Read more »

BucRy
1 year ago

Anything more than a franchise tag is a mistake with Smith at this point.

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BucWild02
1 year ago

I sincerely hope Donovan Smith gets a multiyear contract. Five years would be perfect. It will be more cap friendly vs a franchise tag that he plays up to and then has more bargaining power. The Bucs can guarantee the first 3 years so it’s a tradeable contract if they decide to go a different way in 1, 2, 3 years. This is a best case scenario to me.

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BucRy
1 year ago
Reply to  BucWild02

We don’t even know if Smith will play with his full potential under Arians yet, should just tag him and see how he does under a new system this year then talk about extending his contract.

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BucWild02
1 year ago
Reply to  BucRy

What if both Smith and Winston play great and the Bucs finish 9-7(or better)? I would think the Bucs are looking at two very large long term deals. Consider that Cousins signed a 3yr/84m deal with Minnesota a year ago. Adjust for inflation and a rising salary cap and the extension for Winston could approach 28-31m/year for Winston. What do they do with Smith? Let him leave since they can’t afford him? Who do they get to protect the 30 million dollar QB’s blind side? A rookie at the end of the 1st round of the 2020 draft? I say… Read more »

BucRy
1 year ago
Reply to  BucWild02

None of us knows how he will perform under a big contract yet and no one knows if he just had a bad season due to coaching or something else but tagging him allows us to evaluate him again for another season. There’s just way more of a risk in signing him to a big contract now..if he does perform great along with Winston, that’s something this team can worry about next year and I’m sure they wouldn’t let them both walk if that’s the case. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

BucWild02
1 year ago
Reply to  BucRy

I get it. Past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. Here’s the thing that’s really important to people who make the decision though, his ability to fight through pain and suit up every Sunday. Think of Ronde Barber. Was he Champ Bailey? No. Was he Revis Island? No. The guy never missed a game though. That made him an integral part of a defense that featured top talent everywhere else, yet it was HIS play in the Eagles game that put Tampa into the SuperBowl. Smith has legit value and for all the reasons SR listed, the team is sticking with… Read more »

toofamiliar17
1 year ago
Reply to  BucRy

BucWild, you’re making it sound like we’d somehow save money by signing Smith long term right now. That couldn’t be further from the truth. He’s about to hit free agency. It’s either tag him, let him walk, or sign him to a deal at market rates, which will not give us ANY discount whatsoever. To guarantee anything beyond one season to a player who has constantly underachieved and played relatively poorly for the entirety of his time here is a miserably bad idea. We should let him walk. But barring that, you tag him as a short term bandaid and… Read more »

BucWild02
1 year ago
Reply to  BucRy

toofamiliar: Let me break down the math. Franchise 2019=14m New 5yr Deal 2020-2024 estimated at 14m x 5yrs=70m. Those figures are from SRs links IN THE ARTICLE. So thats 84m for 6 years 5year deal 2019 for 60m = 12m/year Thats 24m dollars difference. Franchising Smith lets the club walk away next year but that assumes Smith plays awful and the team would want to. Does that really seem more likely than not with the new coaching staff? Signing him now to something like, 5y/60m with 36m guaranteed(3years) lets the Bucs trade the guy any time over the next 5… Read more »

toofamiliar17
1 year ago
Reply to  BucRy

PR is making some assumptions that don’t make any sense to me, and you’re just following them right down that blind path. To assume that he’d cost $12-13M per year (not quite the same as the $12M you say, but whatever) on an extension this offseason (which would be a laughably horrible overpay for what has always been a marginal-at-best and more realistically a well below average starting player) is one thing. There’s some guesswork there already. I can get onboard with it, but it IS still a projection, not gospel truth. Where you and PR really lose me is… Read more »

EastEndBoy
1 year ago

“When Smith is focused and locked in for a whole game he can be a dominant player.” Is that a theoretical assessment? I can’t recall actually seeing him dominate a game before…but maybe I was sick that day. Separately, when did talent evaluation and acquisition become the job of the OLine coach? I was no big Warhop fan, but are we honestly saying that Warhop is to blame for the failings of those linemen you mentioned? Oneil Cousins, Anthony Collins, Kadeem Edwards, Kevin Pamphile, Caleb Benenoch, Garret Gilkey, Patrick Omameh…are we really trying to make the case that those goes… Read more »

EastEndBoy
1 year ago
Reply to  Scott Reynolds

Right – but your insinuation is that Warhop was telling Licht, “I don’t need anything more for the OLine…this group is great”. Is that true? That’s hard to believe but even if it is, Licht still holds the responsibility…he can delegate actions, but he can’t delegate responsibility. The players on the roster are HIS responsibility alone.

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toofamiliar17
1 year ago
Reply to  EastEndBoy

Bingo

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toofamiliar17
1 year ago
Reply to  EastEndBoy

At least, as far as Smith goes. I do think Warhop is garbage. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that both Pamphile and Omameh played what was easily their best football starting immediately after they left Tampa. I also don’t think it’s coincidence that Ryan Jensen was one of the better centers in the NFL two years ago and could barely scratch average last season. Between the sacks of crap Warhop has liked going out of his way to bring in to his total inability to competently work with/develop any talent other than the supremely naturally talented Ali Marpet, I… Read more »

martinii
1 year ago

I am glad they are keeping Donavan Smith for another year, only because I would like to see how he performs in a BA regime. New motivation, coaching change may elevate Smith’s play. I would not want to put a rookie regardless of his skill level protecting Jameis’s blains side. I anticipate with one QB moving into top 5 we will land a good edge rusher, hopefully Josh Allen. This is a strange draft in that it appears D-line is abundant early and O-line is week and scattered throughout the first few rounds. Of course the running game is a… Read more »

liquidmuse3
1 year ago

Anybody really think if there’s a personnel conundrum, Licht’s winning out over Arians? Who has the longer contract?

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Bern
1 year ago

He has to play like he cares about the guys around him. Unfortunately we have to keep him until we come across a pro bowl talented LT. Talent at this position is hard to come by also. Not sure he has the love for the game to maximize his talent.

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SelmonRules1000
SelmonRules1000
1 year ago

You may have to burn the one franchise tag on Smith and draft LT in the 1st. Benenoch was the worst BUC OL man last year. Benenoch was a late 4th or 5th round pick who started most of the year at RG. It was a disaster! So you can not create holes as you are trying to fill them. Cut Benenoch, he is worthless and he is due over 2 million dollars next year. Franchise Smith, he does not deserve a contract. But keep him one more year. Have Smith be the backup swing tackle behind RT Dotson (by… Read more »

BucFan circa76
1 year ago

Dude, you had me at “CUT Benenoch”……the $2million part makes it a no brainer.

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scubog
1 year ago

I was at that Cardinals-Steelers game that Scott referenced. Wife and I went to Pittsburgh during the Bucs Bye Week. Sure was nice to sit in the stands without being surrounded by the opponent’s fans. I wore my sweat shirt from the 1998 Hall of Fame game that had both Bucs and Steelers logos. I did end up buying a Terrible Blankie because I was freezing my ass off. In that game the Cardinals dominated. Steelers fans thought the game was lost until the miracle happened and they “found a way to win” unlike our Bucs who often seem to… Read more »

toofamiliar17
1 year ago
Reply to  scubog

Happy to answer your query – I’d draft Jonah Williams at #5 overall, or trade back and draft him, or maneuver around and take Yodny Cajuste at the end of the first round or the beginning of the second, or go hard after Trenton Brown in free agency, or explore the trade market for a LT trade like what the Seahawks did for Duane Brown last offseason. In short – there are a lot of options available to us outside of giving a massive contract (short or long term) to Smith, and we should choose one of them over going… Read more »

scubog
1 year ago
Reply to  toofamiliar17

So you want to draft two rookies (neither of which is a sure thing or even suited to be a LT) or hope to get a F/A who I would say is no better than Smith…..he just happens to play for the Super Bowl champions? Different isn’t always better. I guess I’m more of a “devil you know” guy. Maybe that’s why I’ve been married to the same woman for nearly 50 years.

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toofamiliar17
1 year ago
Reply to  scubog

You know who we KNOW isn’t suited to be a left tackle? Donovan Smith. We know because he’s been bad at the job for all four years he’s been in the NFL. This is the same guy that scouts almost unanimously pegged as a guard at this level. He’s worse suited for the job than both of the draft prospects I just mentioned. I don’t want to draft two rookies. I said draft one of them. The FA market is ripe with strong guard options. So we sign a guard, draft a tackle, and let someone else drastically overpay Smith.… Read more »

fredster
1 year ago

I think signing Smith to long term deal is huge mistake. He had his worst year in a cantracr year last year! I cannot believe he’s the best option but whatever. Not going to cry and harp on it like many do here about Winston. They made their bed and will have to lie in it. I will be surprised if he improves but will see I guess. If he doesn’t Bucs aren’t going anywhere and won’t be able run ball and pass protection will still be inconsistent crap. So call me a hater whatever I think he is below… Read more »

toofamiliar17
1 year ago
Reply to  fredster

Sadly, I don’t think it WAS his worst season. It actually was probably his best, which is really depressing when you consider what that says about his first three years before that, lol. Either way, the point remains the same, and I agree with you.

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fredster
1 year ago

Last thing I’ll say then I’m moving on. Guy seems lazy to me. He had his worst year in a contract year so you pay him big money and sign a long deal, pay like a top LT in league, 13 million or more a year and he will now improve and play better once he’s been paid this huge contract? That sound logical to anyone? Lol. Utterly ridiculous.

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chefboho
1 year ago
Reply to  fredster

I agree fredster. The only thing we can hope, is that the new coaching and BA can somehow turn the light on for this guy to be more consistent. Could you imagine if Arians was coaching when Smith let the DE blow by because he quite on an offsides and got jameis sacked!? He’d be on the street right now lol

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drdneast
1 year ago

I mean all this tough talk about Larsen is well and good but it is also useless. Larsen didn’t commit a penalty, the other guy did. Make a point with something else, coach.
At the same time Larsen was another very serviceable guard we had here until Love blew him and our right tackle out for the inglorious Patrick Omaneh.
Bonehead.

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BucFan circa76
1 year ago

BucWild, obviously you are passionate about LT Smith, but comparing him & his situation to Ronde Barber is like comparing Kenyatta Walker to Paul Gruber. Barber was selected to Pro Bowl and named All-Pro in his 5th season, will be in the NFL HOF, and one of the best Buccaneers of all-time. We all wanted, hoped, and (as a 2nd round pick) expected Smith to be on the cusp as a leader & force on this O-line after 4 seasons….thus the cynical feelings out here. If you want to compare Smith to another Buc, how about Adam Humphries……who had a… Read more »

BucWild02
1 year ago
Reply to  BucFan circa76

I just think the guy gets an unfair shake from fans. I watched every game too. Losing him creates a much bigger problem than it solves. The Randy Gregory sack/strip/TD has a perfect example. Smith pushed his speed rushing guy wide twice on a 3rd and 5 where there were no deep routes being ran. Jensen was engaged with no one. Marpet ended up on his ass. The pressure that forced Winston from the pocket came from Dot and Caleb’s side. That is what forced Jameis to the right in the empty space. If you stop the tape as soon… Read more »

BucWild02
1 year ago
Reply to  BucFan circa76

Also, Im not sure how the Bucs keep GMC if they keep Smith. It’s no secret that I’m just as critical of GMC as most of the fans on here are of D.Smith. Keeping the young guy signals the end for the old guy in my mind.

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BucWild02
1 year ago
Reply to  BucFan circa76

One last thing(LOL)… My comparison with Ronde was about toughness and availability. Kenyatta only played two complete seasons in six. He missed 21 total games and didn’t start 2 others. Paul Gruber missed 9 games in 12 years. He had 10 seasons as the starter of every game. You mentioned Ronde was named to a probowl and as an all pro in his 5th year. Not in his first 4 years though. Smith is in his 4th year. Who knows if the guy is named to a probowl next year or as an all pro? Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit… Read more »

BucFan circa76
1 year ago
Reply to  BucWild02

And the Glazers may say “what the hell?” and build the Rays that new stadium with funds from the Glazer Family Foundation ….combined with tax cuts from their 2018 returns. I’d say the same odds of reality hold true for Smith to be named Pro Bowl starter and All-Pro LT in his upcoming 5th season (as Barber did).

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BucWild02
1 year ago
Reply to  BucFan circa76

BucFan circa76: Ok Vegas. Its a bet. I say Donovan SMith is here next year AND beyond. I say the coaching will matter, just like the playcalling will, just like Winston getting rid of the ball will. I say Smith gives up 4.0 sacks or less next season. I say the Bucs leading rusher has 1000 yards or more. Winning is how teams get players named All-Pro and to a Pro Bowl. It’s rarely based solely on individual effort. It’s not as IMPOSSIBLE as you think. They just have to win. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet.… Read more »

Spitfire
1 year ago

I see the downsides to both Franchising and Long Term deal… the whole thing is a conundrum… Just like a previous article stated, we are painted into a corner here. Smith is not the worst person we could have at LT. If only we could have moved him to RT in previous seasons we could have paid him RT money and he probably would have been solid over there. We will not do better in FA and the Draft is no guarantee anymore with the way College Ball is nowadays… I would say if there is some way to sign… Read more »

toofamiliar17
1 year ago
Reply to  Spitfire

If only he was actually above average, that would make a ton of sense. But he’s not, and he never has been. So the rest of this thought process kinda falls apart.

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