Remember when some fans and media members were clamoring for the Bucs to select an offensive lineman over Jameis Winston? Oh, it happened, and it made me sick.
The Bucs offensive line was one of the worst units in the NFL. They were a joke of a unit that had not been addressed in years by previous regimes. They were also a unit that GM Jason Licht knew he had to improve in a hurry. Licht went to work, and now the Bucs have one of the deepest offensive lines in the NFL. Their offensive line has such great depth, a player who would likely be starting for most other teams, Kevin Pamphile, is relegated to ultimate versatile backup.
“Kevin Pamphile was disappointed when we signed [left guard] J.R. Sweezy to come in and fill that spot, he was in the tank for a few days," Koetter said. "I said, ‘Look man, you’re very valuable, you’re versatile, we need you,’ and here he is right off the bat filling in at the the starting left guard. And if we had to play today we’d feel fine about that. Kevin can go pretty much across the line and start for us, it’s a blessing."
The Bucs have gone out and signed veterans such as Sweezy, Evan Smith, Joe Hawley, and others, along with drafting players like Pamphile, Donovan Smith, and Ali Marpet to build a now formidable unit to protect the franchise quarterback they wisely selected, instead of listening to the morons aforementioned, and to open up holes in the run game.
Ironically, the Bucs best offensive lineman might be an incumbent from those bad years.
"The guy that’s really playing well right now is [right tackle] Demar Dotson, he’s our best player on the offensive line right now,” Koetter ended with.
This is high praise for a player who has been begging for a new contract over the last several years. Dotson is now in a contract year, but he will turn 31 years old in October, so Licht will have a difficult decision at year's end. Does he over pay Dotson to make up for the dedication Dotson showed while playing for a below-market contract, or does Licht allow him to leave and look for a younger alternative to pair with the young offensive line he is building.