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Koetter: Demar Dotson will start at right tackle, competition at center

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will start Demar Dotson at right tackle this year, or that is at least the plan going into training camp, Dirk Koetter told the media in Boca Raton today -- via Roy Cummings. Gosder Cherilus will be the swing backup tackle, with Kevin Pamphile the other backup lineman. Pamphile can play all across the offensive line, though Koetter also said that Pamphile would be expected to compete with J.R. Sweezy at left guard (via Rick Stroud). Koetter also noted that Joe Hawley and Evan Smith will compete for the starting job at center, via Scott Smith.

That clears up the Bucs' offensive line plans, which were a bit unclear -- at least at right tackle. The Bucs were engaged in contract talks with Demar Dotson last year when he suffered a knee injury, causing him to miss the first half of the season. They'd signed veteran Gosder Cherilus to play right tackle and he did an adequate job. In the end, Dotson only started three games -- though those three games also made it obvious that he was the better player.

Starting Dotson at right tackle now is a bit of a no-brainer. The bigger question is what the Bucs plan to do in the long term: Dotson and Cherilus are both over 30 and in the final year of their respective contracts. The team could address right tackle in the draft, or they could see Pamphile as the future at that position. There's also the possibility that they re-open contract talks with Dotson and get him signed to a two- or three-year extension to keep him in the fold.

Regardless of what happens, though, the Bucs actually have a decent amount of depth along the offensive line.