Bucs Offensive LIne No. 18January 29th, 2013
Joe thought one of the better units of the Bucs was the offensive line. Let’s think about it: Most teams, losing two All-Pro guards early in the season, losing a starting right tackle to injury (who was later Wally Pipp’ed) and having a starting center move to a new position to fill a hole, would be in deep trouble.
Joe thought offensive line coach Bob Bostad was fantastic. Bostad, in Joe’s eyes, was tied for first with Bryan Cox in production from an assistant coach.
But the numbers crunchers at ProFootballFocus.com aren’t as convinced. They winced at the Bucs’ blocking and ranked the Bucs in the bottom half of NFL squads, so wrote Khaled Elsayed.
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Stud: He’s not an elite left tackle as some would have you believe, but Donald Penn (+15.0) isn’t the type to let you down often — especially when the cameras are focused on him.
Dud: The Bucs never figured that Jamon Meredith (-9.4) would be required to start. Injury meant that he had to, unfortunately, and he was the weak link in pass protection while offering little in the run game.
Summary: They spent an awful lot of money on guards, yet injuries meant that Davin Joseph missed the entire year and Carl Nicks was limited to 455 snaps. The good news is both should be back next year, while they seem to have realized starting Jeremy Trueblood wasn’t a good idea. Demar Dotson played like a starter.
Joe can’t really quibble with this analysis. Donald Penn, when faced with challenges, is as good as it gets in pass blocking. Jamon Meredith will not be starting next season.
But this analysis also reinforces Gil Brandt’s belief that the Bucs will draft a right tackle in the first round. Demar Dotson was OK in pass blocking but needed a lot of work on rush blocking.
With the Muscle Hamster, Doug Martin, about to tear things up, Joe senses Greg Schiano would prefer a roadgrader at right tackle as opposed to a pass-blocking specialist.