Bucs see possible competition between Trueblood, Dotson for right tackle job
It’s much too early to suggest a change is afoot, but it was hard not to notice the Bucs have had backup Demar Dotson take some first-team snaps at right tackle during practice Monday and today.
Veteran Jeremy Trueblood is still considered the starter, but the Bucs aren’t approaching the situation with closed minds, either.
“(Dotson) was playing the entire training camp at the left side with the (starters). So, I don’t think it was right to just move him back to the (second team), period,” coach Greg Schiano said. “There’s competition at every spot. It’s no indication that Trueblood hasn’t done a good job. We just want to make sure that everybody has a fair chance and, then, we lock into our starting five. I don’t have any reason to believe that it won’t be the five we thought it was going to be. I think it’ll be that. But you always have to investigate.”
That statement must be considered in context. The Bucs, prior to the start of training camp, requested Trueblood restructure his contract, ultimately taking back $1 million – not exactly a ringing endorsement.
And Trueblood has always been prone to false starts, many of which have killed drives. He’s a strong run blocker, but pass protection isn’t one of his strengths.
Dotson has his own issues, like his relative inexperience. And he, like Trueblood, is coming off a poor performance in the team’s preseason loss to the Titans last week.
But Dotson got a chance to get a long look from coaches while filling in for injured Donald Penn through training camp and in the first two games of the preseason. Now that Penn has returned from his calf strain, the Bucs have options with Dotson.
Trueblood isn’t sweating it, seemingly believing he’ll continue to be the starter.
“I don’t worry about that kind of stuff,” he said. “I’m still taking 90 percent of the reps, so it is what it is to me.”