Wednesday morning the Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicked off joint practices with the Tennessee Titans. This was a great opportunity for both teams to test themselves against strong competition. Overall, both teams looked good and each had their wins.
However, there was one area where the Bucs had essentially no wins to speak of. That was when they lined up against Titans star defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons. This went the way you’d expect when an All Pro caliber player goes against a group of career backups.
Simmons himself described his experience as “too f****** easy” as he carved up the Bucs offensive line. And by all accounts, he was right. In fact, ESPN reporter Turron Davenport described Simmons as “bullying” starting left guard Aaron Stinnie.
Perhaps it was this display that led to a change Thursday morning. For the first time this season, rookie Luke Goedeke joined the starting lineup at left guard. This was his best opportunity to date to show that he could be the replacement for Ali Marpet.
Goedeke quickly took advantage of this opportunity and made some noise. The rookie showed no fear in facing off against Simmons. In fact, Simmons was the one who had his feathers ruffled.
Mickey Ryan, part of the Titans pregame show, reported that Simmons was put in the dirt on a drill near the goal line. Davenport separately reported that it was Goedeke on top of him. Both agreed that the two players exchanged heated words before being separated and Simmons being pulled from those drills altogether.
Does this mean that Goedeke is suddenly a world beater who can hang with the best in the NFL? No, of course not. This was one rep in one practice. In reality, Goedeke still has everything to prove.
However, this was a far cry from being “bullied”. This was a young player who wanted to come in and set the tone with physicality. That’s exactly what he was able to do.
All in all, Goedeke had a good day by all reports. The offensive line seemed to play much better today after he moved into the starting lineup. If nothing else, this was a step in the right direction for both Goedeke and the Bucs.
At this point it is still unclear if Goedeke will start in this weekend’s preseason game vs Tennessee. If he does then we can hopefully see these two square off again for a drive or two. Because if Goedeke can hold his own against Simmons then he’s ready to gator kn just about anyone that this league can throw at him.
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