Donovan Smith ready to prove doubters wrong for Buccaneers

Donovan Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Donovan Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers left tackle is ready to silence all of his doubters, and that should be music to Buccaneers fans ears.

Throughout his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Donovan Smith has been seen as the weak link on a very strong offense of line, whether that be fair or foul. That is a no way throwing shade to the former Penn State Nittany Lion, because Smith is a good player. The thing is, he’s just been perceived as the “least good” player on the line, and that is ok.

However, the Bucs like Smith, and Smith likes the Bucs, because before the 2021 season, the Buccaneers reward him with a two year, $31.8 million contract extension. Smith provided Tampa Bay with the return on investment they were looking for, and became arguably the most improved player on the entire roster.

Then came the playoffs. There’s no way to sugarcoat this, the Los Angeles Rams, and more specifically Von Miller and Aaron Donald, ate Smith’s lunch during the divisional round of the playoffs, to the point that it (temporarily) ended the GOAT’s career. That doesn’t mean that Smith is now automtically a bad player as a result, because Smith and Donald have taken many lunches in their careers, which is why they are both already getting their busts chiseled in Canton as we speak. It also didn’t help that Tristan Wirfs was out with injury, but that is a no way an excuse.

Luckily, the blindside for Brady in the Bucs is using it as motivation.

When the quarterback you’re protecting is Tom Brady, his mindset will rub off on you. That’s true for all of Brady’s teammates as well, but you can see it with Smith here. How so? Well, Brady is a master of bulletin board material for motivation, and you can believe it’s Smith has this tweet pinned, printed, and hung up on his wall. Whether or now you think Smith should be included on Pro Football Focus’s tweet is irrelevant, because Smith doesn’t care.

Donovan Smith has been on an upward trajectory every year he’s been in Tampa Bay. One bad game, even if it is a playoff game, won’t change that. The Tamp Bay Buccaneers’ left tackle may not hold grudges, but he clearly has a good memory, and he’s ready to take the next step and become the tackle fans and the franchise know he can be, and that is fantastic news.