News around the NFL quieted down for a little bit. Wait, what? Dirk Koetter spoke? Quick, take something he said, only hear part of it, and make it breaking news!
That was the scenario that played out on Wednesday after Koetter spoke to the assembled media at the owner's meetings. Koetter began speaking of the Bucs offensive line, and in particular who starts at right tackle...TO START THE OFF-SEASON.
“We’re going to come in with Demar Dotson as the starter at right tackle and Gosder Cherilus is going to come in as the backup and swing tackle,” Koetter said. “That was our plan last year, was to have Dot at right tackle, but due to injury it didn’t work out that way. So at the end of the season, when Dot was back playing healthy at right tackle, he’s a dominant run blocker. So Dot back at full strength, adding J.R. Sweezy at left guard, another good run blocker, I think we have a good run blocking unit. We still have some things we need to work on, but Gos came in and was well worth what we spent to get him last year, a veteran and excellent in the locker room and he played well when we needed him to play.”
Let's set the record straight, Demar Dotson is not a dominant run blocker. That has never been his reputation, and it still isn't today.
We need to also remember that this is Dirk Koetter's first head coaching job. He is a very blunt coach, but I also believe he is a very smart individual. Just as Jason Licht continues to talk up Mike Glennon and act like they want to sign Glennon to a contract extension to drum up more trade interest in the backup quarterback, Koetter might be using hyperbole when speaking about Demar Dotson to throw some off the trail that the Bucs may be looking offensive tackle early in this upcoming draft.
Dotson is in a contract year, held out part of last off-season, and it doesn't appear as if the Bucs have any interest in paying him any time soon. Of course Dotson was the plan to be the Bucs starting right tackle last year, they were coming off one of the worst years for any offensive line in 2014 that any NFL offensive line has ever had. He was the best player on a horrific offensive line. That does not make him a good player or "dominant run blocker." He was slated to start at right tackle last year because, quite frankly, they had no better options. If they find a better option in this year's draft, Dotson will either be cut or move to the bench...especially if that player is an early round pick.