Move to center proving to be harder than Bucs Marpet hoped

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TAMPA – Buccaneers offensive lineman Ali Marpet was hoping and mostly expecting his transition from right guard to center to go rather smoothly this offseason. So far, that hasn’t been the case.

The Bucs aren’t even in pads yet and already Marpet is having some difficulty making the switch. He’s not saying the move has been a rocky one, it has been harder than he expected it to be.

“Much harder,’’ Marpet said Thursday following the Bucs OTA workout at One Buc Place. “Just processing all the information and getting everyone on the same page, it’s a lot and there are a lot of subtleties to it.’’

This just in: there’s a lot more to the center’s job than snapping the ball back to the quarterback. In fact, that’s the easiest part of a job that is far more taxing mentally than it is physically.

The difficult part, as Marpet is finding out, is surveying the defense, setting the protection scheme for the rest of the line and communicating that scheme to the line all in a matter of seconds.

Oh, and then, before he ever snaps the ball back to the    quarterback, the center also has to identify the “point linebacker’’ on each play, which triggers the blocking assignments for everyone else on the line.

It sounds like a lot and it is and despite the fact Marpet used to look for those exact same things when he was playing right guard hasn’t made the job of actually having to do it a whole lot easier.

“You have to be really detailed,’’ Marpet said. “It’s a matter of being able to process a lot of information in a really short amount of time and then get the information out and communicate it to everybody.”

Marpet said it will be a while before he gets to where he wants to be at his new spot. That’s why he’s already planning to work through the month off the Bucs will have between the end of their June minicamp and the start of training camp in July.

“If I was still playing guard I’d probably just (spend that time) relaxing, but I’ll be spending a lot of time in my playbook and looking at a lot of film,’’ Marpet said.





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