Schiano says Dotson "gives us the best chance to win this week"
Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano said the decision to move backup RT Demar Dotson into the starting spot in the depth chart "doesn't have anything to do with down the road," but "he gives us the best chance to win this week."
Dotson, 26, a fourth-year pro, had started last week against the Giants with long-time starter Jeremy Trueblood nursing an ankle injury. But Dotson has shown enough, specifically in pass protection, to put him in the lineup against the Cowboys.
"It's a cumulative body of work, like all decisions are," Schiano said. "But I feel good because I think we have some depth at tackle, which is good."
Dotson is still relatively new to football, having first played the sport as a senior at Southern Miss in 2008 before signing as an undrafted free agent with the Bucs. But Dotson came a long way, filling in for injured LT Donald Penn in the preseason, with the former basketball player holding his own against premier pass-rushers Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck last week in New York.
“He has an athleticism to protect in the pass game," Schiano said. "He needs to improve in many ways, but we all do, but I just think he gives us the best chance to win this week. It doesn’t have anything to do with down the road or anything like that. It’s just this week. This is what gives us the best chance."
Dotson said he found out Tuesday night from his agent that he had moved up the depth chart, and is appreciative of the opportunity, acknowledging he still has a long way to go.
"It was a lot of hard work, but the hard work doesn't stop - it's now starting," Dotson said. "I've got to continue to work at it everyday. I've got to stay humble everyday and never stop working."
Trueblood wasn't available for comment in today's open lockeroom session, but Dotson said there's "no bitterness" and he still leans on the veteran for help and advice.
-- JOE SMITH