Why Joe Haeg could be the most important Buccaneer in 2020

Joe Haeg, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Joe Haeg, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Keeping Tom Brady protected adequately in 2020 will be the name of the game for the Buccaneers, and tackle Joe Haeg could be a big part of that plan.

As a new arrival in Tampa Bay, Joe Haeg is a name that many Bucs fans won’t recognize just yet. While this may be the case now, all of that could change in just a few short months.

Haeg experienced a decent start to his career before he suffered an injury in 2018 that sealed his fate in Indianapolis. The Buccaneers then decided that acquiring another experienced tackle on the roster who could play multiple positions would be a good idea, and it could pay off substantially this year.

The Bucs like the look of their starting line, but it will have to play at an extremely high level during this season if the offense has any hopes of reaching its potential. The line’s interior is solid, but the outside is where it will have to prove itself.

The Bucs traded up to draft Tristan Wirfs, who will most likely start at right tackle, and Donovan Smith will maintain his position at left tackle. The only problem with this is that Smith may not be able to play in 2020.

Smith has voiced his concerns about playing with the risk of COVID-19 and may choose to sit out the 2020 season to protect his family. This decision makes sense, but it could have left the Bucs high and dry if Haeg wasn’t on the roster.

Fortunately, the Bucs do have a more-than-capable backup with multiple years worth of starting experience. If Haeg does have to start, for whatever reason, Tampa Bay won’t see a massive drop-off in their production at left tackle.

Protecting the blind side of the quarterback is the most important job of the offensive line. Haeg is more than qualified to succeed in this task and saves the Buccaneers from a massive potential catastrophe before training camp even begins.

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