“We Have Work To Do… “August 18th, 2014
Bucs fans climbed off ledges and drove away from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge Sunday after the Bucs’ offensive line looked like they could block a little bit. It was relieving if not refreshing.
Images of the loss to Jacksonville to open the preseason were all too fresh in Bucs fans’ minds. That night, sans Demar Dotson, the line couldn’t block a tackling dummy. It was every bit the word “trainwreck” sounds like.
In the days after, Bucs coach Lovie Smith preached patience. And, his patience, and the work of the offensive line paid off with a decent performance. Still, Lovie said in his Monday presser, the Bucs are “nowhere” near regular-season ready up front. In fact, Lovie admitted he couldn’t name a starting offensive line this afternoon there is so much more to polish.
“We haven’t gone that far but it is working itself out,” Lovie said. “Believe me, we played better on the offensive line. Patrick Omameh … offensive line got better, simple as that. Individually, the players did. That should be the norm. We are not there yet. We have not locked in a starting offensive line Same as last week. We will keep continuing to look at the players and we have a little bit more time.
“We definitely think we were more physical this game, there were definitely some plays where we saw a look the way we wanted, a positive play we wanted. We need all of them like that. We are nowhere near — these guys [have] seen Carolina play [Sunday] night — we’re not there yet. They are still the division champs. We have work to do before we will be ready.”
Remember that all on the offensive line (sans the benched Jamon Meredith) besides Dotson are new to the Bucs or have no regular season experience. Each and every offensive lineman will tell you he needs time to grow. Lovie all but promised a better offensive line performance on Saturday and they delivered.
No, it wasn’t the 1976 Raiders offensive line, but it was better. If the Bucs can improve the blocking that much more this coming week at Buffalo, then Joe will feel a lot better as the Bucs wind down preseason and prepare for the Stinking Panthers.