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2017 Player Recap: Ali Marpet

Posted Jan 17, 2018

Despite his first season at center ending prematurely due to injury, Ali Marpet and an effective pass protection effort by the offensive line aided the Tampa Bay offense in setting multiple franchise records in 2017.

This past season was a period of transition for center Ali Marpet. The former guard moved to center at the start of Training Camp and was under center most of the year before being hit with injury after Week 12.

It was a transition, however, that the offensive lineman handled with ease, earning praise from his quarterbacks and coaches alike throughout the year. He was part of a unit that allowed the Tampa Bay offense to surpass multiple records.

It was the pass protection in particular that made all the difference. Quarterback Jameis Winston set individual records through the air in 2017. He finished the season with the franchise record in yards per attempt (7.93). His six games with over 300 yards passing set the franchise record as well for most such games in a single season.

The Tampa Bay offense finished the season setting their own franchise records in pass completions (378), passing attempts (605), pass yards per attempt (7.61), net passing yards (4,366), total first downs (352) and passing first downs (243).

Ali Marpet was a huge factor in that effort. When he was on the field this season, the quarterback was sacked only 4.5 percent of the time on passing plays – when he was off the field, that figure went up to over 9 percent.

It’s worth noting that Marpet wasn’t the only offensive lineman to go down with injury after Week 11. The line as a whole did a lot of shuffling during that back half of the season. The same game that knocked Marpet out also saw tackle Demar Dotson go down. Left guard J.R. Sweezy would go on IR later in the season after Week 15, as well. In the Week 13 matchup with the Packers in Green Bay, backup center Joe Hawley - in for Marpet - came down with an illness and the call was made the morning of the game to send in guard Evan Smith at center instead.

Despite his injuries, Marpet was able to participate off the field in the offensive line’s Turkey Time with the O-Line event. Full Thanksgiving meals were packed up for underserved families and loaded into their cars at One Buccaneer Place, often by one of the linemen themselves.

Marpet finished the season playing in 11 games and starting each one at center.