“I’m Turning The TV Off “May 16th, 2014
Five months into the Lovie Smith administration, the roster has had a thorough makeover. Beefed up defensive line. Revolving door at cornerback. Stud wide receiver. New quarterback. Spiced up running attack.
The offensive line? Well, it’s gotten a near complete overhaul, with the exception of incumbent right tackle Demar Dotson and maybe Carl Nicks at left guard. If there is one major hole on the roster, it would be right guard, where veteran Oniel Cousins could start.
This left former Bucs defensive end Steve White in a foul mood. This week, he appeared with his old teammate, Booger McFarland, on WHFS-FM 98.7 to talk Bucs football. White was so perturbed at the thought of Cousins playing at guard, he threatened to shut down his TV and go clean the garage if Cousins sees the field.
“Listen, (laughs), it is going to look a lot like the past couple of years when we are using guys that should have been backups,” White said. “We signed Oniel Cousins, but, look, if we put him in the game, I’m turning the TV off because it is not going to be good, OK?
“No offense, Oniel Cousins, but you have seen your own film? You know what it looks like. So, we do have a problem there, and I was as much as anybody disheartened when we didn’t pick a guard early in the draft. But I sat down on it overnight and we always stress taking the best player available so it seems like the teams that draft best, they stick to their board and they don’t deviate from it even when they have glaring needs. So if you are going to preach that before the draft, you are going to have to have faith after the draft that it is going to work its way out one way or the other.
“Would I have been happy if they took a guard earlier? Yeah. But apparently there wasn;t one high on their board to take. So we are going to have to see this out and really going to have to cross our fingers and hope that Carl Nicks is healthy and ready to play because if we have to play any one of these rookies, ugh, it’s not going to look real good.”
Saturday night, after the draft concluded, Joe remembers Jason Licht saying there are other ways besides the draft to obtain offensive linemen. Lovie even noted there are all sorts of starting NFL linemen that were not drafted in the first three rounds — or drafted at all.
Pat Kirwan, a former front office man, linebackers coach and scout Joe greatly respects, recently shared how the Bucs could still beef up the offensive line.
Speaking on his show, “Movin’ the Chains,” heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Kirwan said a team needing a guard should look where guards were drafted on the first two days of the draft. It is likely guards from those teams either are on the trade block, or will soon be turned loose.
It’s not the ideal method to find help, but a gem now and then can be found. It could be an older veteran who may have a couple of seasons left in the tank to bridge a gap to a younger player down the road.