Answer the Bell


Donovan Smith has a very important responsibility, after being the 34th player drafted in the second round of the draft 2 years ago from Penn State, he is the franchise’s blindside left tackle. He is supposed to be the protector of our quarterback’s neck and help to allow Jameis time to engineer the game plan.  

Much like the Bucs, so far this 2016 season, Smith has had a rocky season but has signs of potential or success. Smith is a terror on rushing plays, unfortunately, the same cannot be said for passing downs. The biggest issue is that he has allowed 45 quarterback pressures, the most in the league and with the remaining games of the schedule, he faces some of the league’s best defenses.

Donovan Smith can be a key reason our team is successful or  he could be a major factor in our unraveling. It doesn’t take a professional talent scout to see how bad he has struggled this season and how he is having a hard time in maintaining pass protection. Defensive ends and linebackers have exploited him all year, making him arguably one of the league’s worst passing blockers and that has put a major strain on Jameis Winston.

Every offensive collapse and line penalty cannot be placed solely on the shoulders of Donovan Smith because Demar Dotson likes to hold defensive players all of those issues will have to be cleaned up. The penalties the line as a whole has stalled many big plays, and at times they had been on consecutive plays. We need to show defensive coordinators an improved pass protection, one that is not an open expressway to the quarterback and give Jameis time. If Smith is unable to answer the call, then it may be time for the Buccaneers to address this his position though the free agency next year and that could get a little pricey, see J.R. Sweezy. However, it may not be entirely fair to have such a short amount of patience for the sophomore tackle he is still in the development stage. Although it would not be fair to the franchise and fans, if we were forced to watch Jameis sidelined in street clothes with a major injury.