Getty Images

Changing job titles is not always easy -- even if you stay with the same company -- and the same thing is true with football. When a player is asked to switch positions, there is an adjustment process. Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs is feeling this firsthand this offseason, switching from right tackle to left tackle.

Yes, the 2020 first-round draft pick still has "tackle" in his job description, but everything he has learned throughout his football career he now has to do backwards.

Wirfs said he was asked to start making the swap from right to left after the season ended during his meeting with head coach Todd Bowles. 

"[Bowles] said this is probably what we're going to do, so that's kind of when I started thinking about it," Wirfs said.

The Buccaneers released starting left tackle Donovan Smith in March, leaving Tampa Bay with a hole to fill on the offensive line ahead of the 2023 season. The veteran tackle spent eight years with the team, missing just six games, four of which came in 2022. With the release, the Bucs saved at least $9.95 million in cap space.

Wirfs said "everything" is different about the new role, adding that "everything is backwards." He noted that weight distribution is one major change, going from keeping his weight on his left leg to keeping the weight on his right.

Wirfs admitted that, of course, it is similar, because "you're doing the same stuff," but the fact that everything is flipped is where the challenge lies.

"I'm just getting as many reps as I can with [offensive line] coach Joe [Gilbert]," Wirfs said. "I've had thousands of reps on the right side to a newborn baby now on the left."

Earlier in the offseason, at the start of his left tackle journey, the Super Bowl champion said (via Rick Stroud), "It just feels awkward at first, but once you settle in it feels fine. ... You get used to it."

The Bucs did not add any left tackles to their squad in the draft, and at the time, Tampa Bay vice president of player personnel John Spytek explained that despite not adding anyone at the position, they felt they had players who could step up and help the line.

"It just sometimes doesn't go the way you want," Spytek said after the draft. "We all would've loved to add tackles, but I don't want to lose enough games every year to be up there where those tackles typically go. We've got guys we feel good with. We've got guys who we know can compete."

Wirfs still has some time to get used to flipping the script and will get a chance for more reps as training camp and the preseason approach.