O-Line Not Matching InvestmentDecember 1st, 2013
“Offensively, we had trouble handling their front,” Greg Schiano said after the Bucs beating at the hands of the Panthers today.
Boy, isn’t that an understatement.
The Bucs were mauled for the second week in a row by a defensive line. But that’s in no way acceptable given what the Bucs’ offensive line is paid.
Yes, Carl Nicks is recovering from MRSA foot surgery, but the Bucs have other hugely paid veterans on their O-line in Davin Joseph, Donald Penn and Jeremy Zuttah. Are these guys playing to their pay grade? Joe hopes not. The unit has been a disappointment for much of the season.
Simply because of their bloated salaries, Penn and Joseph are playing for their Bucs careers this December, Joe believes. They’re both 30 years old with lots of mileage on their bodies.
If Joe assumes one or both of these guys are under intense scrutiny as it relates to their 2014 return, Joe would assume Joseph has a tougher task to remain a Buccaneer. He’s been hurt throughout his career, whereas Penn is one of the NFL’s top ironmen.
Penn hasn’t missed a game since entering the starting lineup in 2007.
Penn also plays a premium position at left tackle, and it’s unlikely the New Schiano Order Buccaneers (if Greg Schiano returns) would want to gamble a change at that critical position next season.
Also factoring in is rockstar general manager Mark Dominik’s aversion to drafting O-linemen. He’s only selected one in five years, third-day pick Xavier Fulton, who was quickly cut.
Joe’s hoping the unite can re-gel over the final four games. But if not, Joe’s not sure how the Bucs can avoid a shakeup. And the question of Nicks looms large. He’s got a fat salary as well, but is younger and immensely talented.