The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have traded for Gabe Carimi, but that's not stopping Demar Dotson from setting some lofty goals. "The goal is now to be the best right tackle in the league," Dotson told Pewter Report for their excellent SR's Fab 5 series.
Dotson was a breath of fresh air last year. Bucs fans had been traumatized by years of Jeremy Trueblood's turnstile pass protection, and to see someone remotely competent step up at right tackle was a surprise. Granted, Dotson was far from perfect (top ten in blown blocks, according to Football Outsiders Almanac), but he was much, much better than Trueblood had been in years past.
With Gabe Carimi in town, Dotson has to improve this offseason to hang on to his job. But he has done more than that: he's dominated practices, so much so that the Bucs were somewhat disappointed in Da'Quan Bowers' inability to beat the right tackle. Dotson has always had outstanding length and great feet, so his continued improvement in pass protection really shouldn't be much of a surprise.
Dotson's real problems didn't come in pass protection, after all. They came in run blocking. At 6'9", it's hard for him to stay low -- and in the trenches, the low man wins, especially in the run game. "He has to focus on his bending, no doubt," Schiano told Pewter Report. "But I think he's improved at that."
Just four years ago, Demar Dotson was an undrafted free agent with his total football experience being one season of playing defensive tackle in college. Now, he's a starting right tackle in the NFL. Dotson still has a ways to go before he can be the best right tackle in the NFL, but he's off to a good start.