Buccaneers LT Donovan Smith believes left guard competition will ‘make everybody better’

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers kick off training camp next week, the battle for the left guard job will be up for grabs.

The Bucs are replacing both starting guards following Ali Marpet’s retirement and Alex Cappa signing in Cincinnati. Shaq Mason is slated to take over the right guard job after his trade from New England. But the left side will offer a training camp competition.

Veteran Aaron Stinnie likely enters camp with a slight edge on the job but is expected to be pushed by second-round pick Luke Goedeke. Robert Hainsey and Nick Leverett are also in the mix.

Bucs left tackle Donovan Smith, who will line up next to whoever wins the job, believes the competition for the position will make the whole line better.

“I enjoy it. To be able to see guys just go out there and make a name for themselves, establish themselves in the position to be able to help the team is huge,” Smith recently told Pewter Report. “Between Stinnie and Luke, you’ve still got Hainsey that’s out there, Nick Leverett … So, it’s not gonna do anything but just make everybody better.”

Interior line play is essential for the Bucs to allow Tom Brady to operate. The hope in Tampa is whoever wins the job out of camp will keep the gig for the duration. But Smith said as long as the man next to him does his job, Tampa’s O-line will be fine.

“I’ve been through Bucs seasons where we done transferred guards at half and all of these other things, swapping back and forth,” he said. “So, as long as the guy goes out there and gets his job done to the best of his abilities and making sure that we’re protecting well and getting movement in the run game, I’m all for it. But like I said, the competition is just gonna make everybody better.”

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