Offensive Line Will Be Tested QuicklyJune 6th, 2014
No, Joe cannot look at the offensive line with a straight face and say to anyone listening or reading, “Eh, no problem!” Joe sees holes.
Left tackle Anthony Collins may very well be a good tackle. He is sort of like the Josh McCown of offensive tackles. To use a term coined by the stat nerds, Collins has a small sample size. The guy has never started half a season. Not sure how that could inspire confidence in any Bucs fan.
Then there is left guard Carl Nicks, who has been virtually invisible since bowing out in the middle of the 2012 campaign because he could no longer physically push himself beyond the pain of his turf toe (Joe saw that toe with his own eyes and it was gross, damn near as big around as a beer can and cherry red).
Evan Dietrich-Smith is a fine pickup. No issue there at center. At right guard, a current coaching intern on the Bucs’ staff said on local radio if projected starter Oneil Cousins is in the lineup, then he will shut off his TV. Demar Dotson at right tackle is a competent player but, sorry, despite what the spreadsheeters say, Joe just doesn’t see Dotson as the second coming of Dan Dierdorf. Guards Jamon Meredith and Patrick Omameh aren’t soothing.
So forgive Joe if probably the most important unit on a team is keeping Joe awake at night.
It seems the “Custodian of Canton,” eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune, isn’t yet won over and took to Twitter to explain his concerns.
New O-line coach George Warhop says the play of his group will determine the fortunes of the 2014 Buccaneers. Guess what? The man’s right on
— Ira Kaufman (@IKaufmanTBO) June 4, 2014
Opening up against the defensive-minded Panthers and Rams, the overhauled O-line of the Bucs will have little choice but to jell quickly — Ira Kaufman (@IKaufmanTBO) June 5, 2014
Now Joe noted earlier this week how well Josh McCown played in a shotgun formation behind a suspect line in Chicago. At best, it appears the current offensive linemen are more adept at pass blocking than run blocking.
So maybe there is a reason offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford so much wants an “up-tempo” offense to mirror most teams’ two-minute offenses. If the line can block a little bit in a shotgun formation, McCown might be OK.
The pieces to the puzzle, some seven weeks before training camps starts, are beginning to take shape.