TAMPA — The Bucs like what they saw from OL Demar Dotson on Sunday.
The backup who started at right tackle for injured Jeremy Trueblood was listed Tuesday as the starting right tackle on this week's depth chart. Coach Greg Schiano has said that permanent changes in the lineup would be reflected there, meaning the move is not related to Trueblood's ankle injury but instead is based on performance.
Dotson had previously started just two games in his career as a blocking tight end, but his showing in the preseason — when he filled in for injured LT Donald Penn — and his improvement in practices showed coaches he was capable of playing more.
Sunday, against the Giants' feared pass rush, Dotson was solid, his main flaw being one false start. Otherwise, he was sound in his pass protection against some of the league's best pass rushers — Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck among them.
"Those guys are real, real good," Dotson said afterward. "… It's tough. With the noise, it was hard to hear. But we kept our poise. I had my false start. I have to work on that."
Dotson has come a long way in his fourth season. He played just one year — as a defensive lineman — at Southern Miss and was brought in as an undrafted free agent project. Now, the former basketball player has a chance to further establish himself.
Meanwhile, Trueblood has lost his starting job for the second time in three seasons after being benched for James Lee in 2010. The Bucs forcefully asked him to renegotiate his contract before the season, taking back roughly $1 million, so it's reasonable to suggest Trueblood could be in his last Bucs season.
SHIPLEY RETURNS: Reacting to a foot injury suffered by WR Preston Parker, the Bucs re-signed free agent Jordan Shipley as a slot receiver Tuesday.
After spending two weeks with the team in the preseason, Shipley was released at final roster cuts. Shipley likely won't have to step in immediately and contribute. Sammie Stroughter remains on the roster and filled in after Parker left.
To make room, the Bucs released OL Derek Hardman. He had returned last week after being released a week before that.
As for why Tiquan Underwood, another intriguing player from the preseason, wasn't an option, it's likely because he is not considered an ideal option in the slot.