The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded up to the 57th pick to select offensive linemen Luke Goedeke. At the time of this year’s draft the Bucs were in desperate need of a guard. They got a glass eater.
With the Buccaneers losing two guards in the offseason, the team suddenly was looking at a semi-rebuild on their line. From the moment he was drafted, Goedeke was in a position battles. And heading into their second preseason game, the Bucs are giving Goedeke his shot.
“Now’s the time to give him a look,” coach Todd Bowles stated via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “You can’t put him in early, because he hasn’t learned everything. He’s learned enough now to go in and play. Like we’ve said, we’re giving all these guys shots at guard, and his time has come.”
The Buccaneers also have Aaron Stinnie and Nick Leverett competing with Goedeke for that spot. And competition is always a good thing. So what separates Goedeke from the other two? We’ll let Goedeke himself tell you.
“I really see myself as a mean, nasty, relentless guy on the field,” Goedeke said. “Always looking to bury guys and just put fear into their eyes. That’s really my mentality. I’ve been playing with that field demeanor. Really a nasty guy.”
Goedeke’s physicality makes him an excellent run blocker, where he’s struggled is with pass protection.
“He’s gotten better,” Buccaneers’ assistant head coach & run game coordinator Harold Goodwin stated. “He’s doing a better job of throwing his hands in pass pro. … You’ve just got to think about it, this guy played right tackle pretty much his whole college career and he’s now on the left, so he’s trying to get acclimated, and he’s done a nice job the last couple days.
“He’s physical; he’s smart; he’s an all-football type of guy. He’s watching football 24/7. Sometimes you’ve got to tell him, ‘Relax and calm down,’ because he’s so paranoid that he’s screwing something up. But he’s going to be a good player in the long run.”
The Bucs have a history of developing offensive linemen recently. You only have to look back to the drafting of Ali Marpet and Alex Cappa. Both are players from small schools that developed into Pro Bowl quality linemen. The Buccaneers look to take Goedeke down a similar path. That path looks to start Saturday night against the Titans. And while Bowles was non-committal on who would start, Goedeke should see significant playing time.
“I have an idea,” Bowles stated. “But I’ll check with ‘Goody’ and (OL coach) Joe (Gilbert), and we’ll go from there.”
Look for Goedeke to play the majority of the offensive plays against the Titans. He may even start, either way, it’s time for the rookie to eat…glass.
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