The play of the Buccaneers offensive line came under fire during the preseason when coach Lovie Smith called the unit’s play “unacceptable” after Jameis Winston was sacked four times by the Browns in the third preseason game for each team.
With right tackle Demar Dotson out for at least the first eight weeks and two rookies set for starting roles, those issues could extend into the regular season. Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter isn’t going to wring his hands about the personnel, though. Koetter said Wednesday that it “doesn’t do you any good as a coach to lament over what we do and we don’t have” and that his role is to figure out a way to succeed with the players on hand.
“When you’re looking at it from a coach’s standpoint, we never look at it like that,” Koetter said, via ESPN.com. “Your guys are your guys. They’re like your kids, right? Your kids get in trouble sometimes. They’re still your kids. Your kid isn’t the starting quarterback or he isn’t first chair on the tuba, that’s still your kid. The linemen we’ve got, those are the linemen we’ve got. Shoot, I think they’re all five going to the Pro Bowl.”
Participation medals might be a more realistic goal, whether James Harrison likes it or not, but the Buccaneers aren’t going to ignore the possibility of improving the group.
Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Joe Hawley visited the team a couple of days after he was released by the Falcons. Koetter was in Atlanta from 2012-2014 when Hawley made 11 starts at center. He can also play guard and would give the team some experienced depth on the interior of the line.