August 3, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackle Jeremy Trueblood (65) pushes a blocking sled during training camp at One Buc Place. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
Now that Donald Penn has returned to practice, Demar Dotson is no longer a starting offensive tackle in the NFL. That could change quickly, though, given Dotson's solid performances in practice and in the preseason games so far. Greg Schiano made it clear today that Dotson would compete with Jeremy Trueblood for the starting job at right tackle, which would give the veteran right tackle finally some legitimate competition. Trueblood has been a solid run-blocker, but he's a liability in pass protection and is easily the weakest link on the offensive line.
It seems a little unlikely that Dotson will beat out Trueblood for the starting job this preseason, with just two weeks to go, but he should at least be able to push the veteran. More importantly, if Dotson can show he's a capable backup and possible starter at right tackle, the Bucs won't need to panic at right tackle next year, when Trueblood's contract runs out. They can easily move Dotson to right tackle, and bring in some competition for him through the draft or free agency.