Might Raheem Want His Own Pouncey?March 9th, 2011
Y0u’re nuts if you’re not enjoying the versatile multimedia coverage from NFL Draft guru Justin Pawlowski, aka The Commish of WDAE-AM 620. The Commish is ripping off all sorts of great stuff exclusively for JoeBucsFan.com — you’ll see him on JoeBucsFan TV soon — and he’s got his own great draft buzz page as well.
Below Pawlowski intelligently explores yet another plausible option for the Bucs in the first round.
By JUSTIN PAWLOWSKI
Mark Dominik recently listed his priorities to building a winning franchise. Priority No. 1 was a franchise quarterback, which the Bucs have. No. 2 was protecting that franchise quarterback. And he finished by saying you have to “attack the other team’s quarterback.”
Before Bucs fans move on to Dominik’s third priority, we should ask if No. 2 has been fully addressed.
The Bucs dealt with many issues along their offensive line last year and have many questions to answer this offseason. Davin Joseph and Jeremy Trueblood are destined for free agency. Center Jeff Faine has struggled with staying healthy and, although he’s been allegedly assured he’s coming back in 2011, is due $4.5 million in 2011 before seeing his salary jump to $6 million in 2012 and $7 million in 2013.
Ted Larsen and Derek Hardman played decent at the end of 2010, but can they be counted on in 2011?
Jeremy Zuttah was not great at guard at the beginning of 2010, but seemed at home when filling in for Faine at center. If Davin Joseph finds greener pastures in free agency, the Bucs would be forced to start Zuttah and Larsen at the guard positions and hope Faine can stay injury-free.
Only the Bucs and Mark Dominik know for sure whether they can afford to keep Joseph in a Bucs uniform. If they feel it’s going to be a struggle once free agency does get underway, they might be proactive in finding his replacement in the first round of the 2011 draft.
Sure, Mike Pouncey struggled with shotgun snaps at Florida in 2010, but his production as an overall lineman was very encouraging. He has been a very productive lineman from his days at Lakeland High School through his time with the Gators.
Pouncey has the ability to step in and compete right away, which is what the Bucs might need if Joseph leaves. Pouncey also has versatility, which is another attribute the Bucs like in their offensive linemen.
We should not forget the connection Raheem Morris has with Mike Tomlin, either. Mike Pouncey’s brother, Maurkice, had one of the best years any rookie offensive lineman has ever had in the NFL with the Steelers last year. There’s no doubt that Raheem has heard his buddy Tomlin talk about the luxury of having Maurkice on his lin. And raheem might view this as his opportunity to get his own Pouncey.
It’s all speculation, but isn’t that what the draft’s all about?