Buccaneers: Five backups who are key to 2017 success

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 11: Charles Sims
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 11: Charles Sims /
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GLENDALE, AZ – SEPTEMBER 18: Offensive guard Evan Smith
GLENDALE, AZ – SEPTEMBER 18: Offensive guard Evan Smith /

Evan Smith – Offensive lineman

More than any other position group on the team, the Bucs’ offensive line is a question mark heading into the 2017 season. The unit has plenty of potential thanks to youngsters like Ali Marpet, Donovan Smith, Caleb Benenoch and Kevin Pamphile, but with that potential comes a lot of risk. Marpet is the only one of that group to play consistently at a high level while the rest are still in the process of adapting to the league.

In the event that one of these young linemen don’t pan out, the Bucs are fortunate to have a security blanket in veteran Evan Smith. Smith signed with the Bucs in 2013 from Green Bay and immediately became a starter for the team. A decline in play and a series of injuries over the years relegated Smith to a back up role, but he is no less important to the Bucs this year.

Smith is the type of backup lineman that every team wants; tough, experienced and versatile. In a pinch Smith can play anywhere on the interior of the offensive line, be it guard or center. With the question marks surrounding the Buc line, Smith is an invaluable chess piece. Look for him to see action SOMEWHERE as the season unfolds. Guys like that can’t stay off the field.