Monday, November 21, 2022

The Gritty Work Of Ko Kieft


The Gritty Work Of Ko Kieft

November 19th, 2022

Reputation growing.

At Sunday’s game in Munich between the Bucs and Seahawks, Joe laughed out loud early in the game.

Joe didn’t exactly see what happened but Joe saw the aftermath. A Seattle linebacker was furious with Bucs rookie Ko Kieft and had him by the shoulder pads and tried to swing him around and throw Kieft on the ground (it didn’t work) well after the whistle.

Why did Joe laugh? Well, if Kieft got under someone’s skin that quickly and that badly, it meant to Joe that Kieft was doing a helluva job.

Dudes usually don’t get that angry in the first half unless a cheap shot is involved or the guy just got flat-embarrassed. And Kieft isn’t a cheap shot artist.

It seems Joe isn’t the only person who noticed Kieft’s gritty play. So too has Ben Muth of Football Outsiders. Muth a former tackle at Stanford, and he focuses on offensive line play for Football Outsiders. Not long ago, Muth thought the Bucs’ offensive line was playing awful football.

Now? Muth is of the mind the line played its best game against Seattle. The way the Bucs ran the ball was proof, he typed. An underrated key was how the Bucs used Tristan Wirfs and Kieft as a double-team on a Seattle linebacker to spring Playoff Lenny.

Muth highlights a specific play with video and gave Kieft a standing-O.

I do want to point out the tight end Ko Kieft here that’s working with Wirfs. Because the linebacker attempted run through, Kieft doesn’t get much help from his tackle. That’s a tough block to get inside that defensive end and seal him off, but Kieft makes it. Look at how he emphasizes driving his inside leg up the field, fighting to keep it in front of the defender. That’s a hell of a job from the tight end.

Kieft is a helluva steal for a sixth-round pick. Kieft shows vicious blocking ability and in time, Joe thinks Kieft would be a weapon in the short passing game. He has good hands, despite what the draftniks thought when he came out of Minnesota.

Kieft is the kind of glass-eater type like Ryan Jensen that Joe knows Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht covets on the offensive line.

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