As much as the fans may call for his benching, the Buccaneers absolutely will not take left tackle Donovan Smith out of the starting lineup.
While the Buccaneers have been struggling due to some of the worst coaching in the NFL, there have also been some major failures on the part of the players to put the team in a situation like this.
Performances from the players have left a lot to be desired, and Donovan Smith is at the top of the list of guys that need to be playing better than they are.
Smith has experienced a bit of a roller coaster during his tenure in Tampa. During the early years, Smith was derided by the fans at times as he was acclimating to the NFL, he then took a sharp turn over that continued over the last three years, and then 2022 was a return to what the fans didn’t like from before Brady arrived.
Smith has struggled heavily in a lot of high-pressure situations. A few untimely holding calls have brought some crucial touchdowns off the board. A few missed blocks have led to some dangerous hits on Tom Brady.
Whatever the reason, Donovan Smith is having a bad season, but that doesn’t mean that the Buccaneers will or should bench him.
Benching a starter like Smith on such a patchwork offensive line would be absolutely ludicrous. With Tristan Wirfs and Ryan Jensen out, bringing another starter off the line and another new face onto it would only lead to more pressure on Tom Brady, even if some fans think that the level of play can’t get worse than it already is.
Smith is struggling, but the same can be said about most of the starters on both sides of the ball. The Bucs are just having a bad year. Smith being off the field isn’t going to change that.
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