Not Quite There YetMarch 27th, 2014
So far, the new regime of Bucs general manager Jason Licht and coach Lovie Smith have done some kind of job in reworking the roster. With the addition of wide receiver Louis Murphy, that makes 13 new Bucs into the fold.
Prior to the free agency dinner bell ringing, L&L all but promised a shakeup. Whenever they spoke about a player from the 2013 season, if his name wasn’t Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David or Darrelle Revis, they qualified their comments with “but we were 4-12.”
Nowhere has the shakeup been more visible than on the offensive line. Only one full-time starter from last year remains, right tackle Demar Dotson.
Joe has already stated this offensive line is thin. It seemed when appearing recently on SiriusXM NFL Radio with Alex Marvez this week, Licht would not disagree. When Marvez pressed Licht to name a starting five on the offensive line, Licht confessed the Bucs are not that far down the road yet.
“Well, that’s still going to be a work in progress,” Licht said. [The line] will fall into place. We are monitoring Carl Nicks and his health.”
Now, of course, Licht mentioned Anthony Collins, who has never started half a season much less a full season, as the starting left tackle and bragged how Dotson is a “very good” tackle (that’s the first time Joe has heard that term in reference to Dotson).
What’s strange is, Lovie often talks about how the Bucs will be a running team. Yet the guys the Bucs have on their front line seem to be more pass blocking specialists than run blocking types. This tells Joe two things: The mystery of the Jeff Tedford offense is in the passing. Why else would a team stock its offensive line with pass blocking types if they weren’t going to pass the ball?
But there also may be a second element, an undercurrent theme here. Could it be the Bucs believe they can coach up offensive linemen to rush block better than they can coach up pass blocking? So therefore get pass blocking types and teach them to run block?
If one thinks about it, it takes more of a skill set to pass block than to run block. There is so much that goes into pass blocking: footwork, handwork, agility, quickness. Run blocking, if someone is quick enough and brutish enough, they can get the job done.