Ironmen: Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet didn't miss a snap in '16
In a season in which so many Bucs players missed time due to injury, left tackle Donovan Smith and right guard Ali Marpet were the only players to manage perfect attendance all season, with both playing in all 1,075 offensive snaps over 16 games.
For Smith, he's yet to miss a snap in his two NFL seasons -- he and Jameis Winston were the only two to play on all 1,089 offensive snaps in 2015, and he repeated the feat, while Winston missed a total of 15 snaps all year to play in 98.6 percent of the snaps.
Marpet took it a step further -- the Bucs use their guards and tackles on the extra point and field goal unit, and Marpet was the only lineman on the field for all 65 kicks -- Smith was replaced by Evan Smith on the kick team from Week 2 to Week 8.
"It's a huge achievement. I'm really proud of it," Marpet said. "It's something that I want to do, and it's also a testament to how (coach Dirk) Koetter approached the season. It's all been about keeping our bodies fresh. I told him I appreciated it. It's awesome."
Smith and Marpet were mainstays on a line that dealt with injuries at other positions -- the Bucs started four different players at left guard in the final eight games of the season (Kevin Pamphile and backups Caleb Benenoch, Ben Gottschalk and Evan Smith), with Pamphile missing two games with a concussion then filling in at right tackle when Demar Dotson and backup Gosder Cherilus were both sidelined in Week 16. The Bucs didn't have the same success running the ball with multiple injuries at running back, and Marpet said he'll look for personal improvement for 2017.
"I maybe improved a little bit, but at the same time, I set the bar a little higher for myself," Marpet said. "I definitely want to improve much more than I did from last year to this."
On the defensive side, for the second year in a row, linebacker Lavonte David had the most snaps, missing just 20 out of 992 plays. In 2015, David missed only eight when everyone else on defense missed at least 200; this year, rookie Vernon Hargreaves missed only 20 snaps all season and linebacker Kwon Alexander missed only 39.