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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Donovan Smith: Great to continue with Koetter, Warhop

Donovan Smith, right, blocking the Giants' Jason Pierre-Paul, was one of four Bucs players named to the Pro Football Writers Association's All-Rookie team.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

Donovan Smith, right, blocking the Giants' Jason Pierre-Paul, was one of four Bucs players named to the Pro Football Writers Association's All-Rookie team.

20

January

For Bucs left tackle Donovan Smith, catching his breath after taking every offensive snap as a rookie, part of his excitement at the Bucs promoting offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter to head coach is the continuity of the same offense in 2016.

"I don't have to learn a new playbook," Smith said Wednesday, taking in Shrine Game practice on Wednesday in St. Petersburg and watching some of his former Penn State teammates. "At the end of the day, that's a big part of it. He's a great coach and he earned that spot. We're going to hit the ground running."

Smith has even more continuity on the offensive line with assistant coach George Warhop brought back as part of Koetter's staff. As part of a line that brought in four new starters in 2015,  the idea of staying on the same page is a major plus headed into next season.

"That'll be huge, staying with the same technique and terminology. It'll help everybody flow easier and continue what we started last year," Smith said. "It helps a lot that it's a face you're familiar with, someone you've built a relationship with. It's not straight brand-new, gotta-get-to-know-him type deal. That helps a lot."

Smith was one of four Bucs players named to the Pro Football Writers Association's All-Rookie team -- the most of any NFL team -- and said it's rewarding to be recognized for what he and his fellow Bucs rookies were able to accomplish in making an immediate impact.

"It means a lot -- it's something to put on the resume and build from there," Smith said. "It speaks volumes of the job Jason (Licht) has done in drafting us and getting us to Tampa. The future is bright for all of us, just the whole team."

Bucs players will go their separate ways for the next few months until reconvening for offseason minicamps and OTAs, but he said he'll stay in touch with his teammates. Fellow rookie Ali Marpet's father, Bill, a photographer, has invited him to go to Fashion Week in New York.

"I might check that out," Smith said.

[Last modified: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 2:12pm]

    

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