Busy Week For O-Line

September 1st, 2014
It's the NFL version of finals week for Bucs G Logan Mankins.

It’s the NFL version of finals week for Bucs guard Logan Mankins

A week or so ago, Joe had a really interesting, cool chat with Bucs center Evan Dietrich-Smith about how an offensive line develops. Joe always hears about “gelling” with an offensive line and why innate knowledge of each other may be more important than in any unit on a football team.

EDS noted that when he was with the Packers, he and his linemates eventually knew each other’s tendencies so well that they didn’t need to make line calls. They developed a body language that took its place.

At that point, EDS said, defenses couldn’t break a code of audible line calls. EDS told Joe his goal would be for the Bucs to develop such a tool.

Of course, he said, that would take a lot of time and work together.

Enter newly acquired Logan Mankins, fresh from the clutches of Patriots strongman Bill Belicheat. Mankins, who in his introductory press conference Thursday night looked like someone stole his dog, mumbled out loud how he’s unsure he can master the Bucs playbook in a week.

And so begins game week. The Panthers are here in six days. Yes, Joe’s been waiting to type that phrase far too long. Mankins and his fellow starters on the offensive line are really going to have to do some cramming this week to get on the same page.

“I’m sure the guys are going to help me as much as possible, and I’m going to try my best to be up to speed with them, but I don’t know if it will happen,’’ he said. “But I’m definitely shooting for it.’’

Though Mankins has reservations, [Lovie] Smith doesn’t seem to have concerns about Mankins hitting his target. He said he could tell from watching Mankins work out Friday at One Buc Place that he’ll be ready to play at a high level for the opener.

“He knows how to get himself ready,’’ Smith said. “And yes, he’ll have to (learn) a little bit of (new) terminology, but not as much as you would assume. It won’t be an issue. That won’t stop him from playing a great game. Again, you can change the names, but he’s seen a lot of different looks, just about all the different looks and different blitzes you can see, and he played Carolina (during) his last (preseason) game as a Patriot, so he should be OK.’’

Yes, Lovie is on to something, but EDS nailed it, in that there are bigger goals than just getting the job done. It’s not a cliche to suggest an offense goes as far as the offensive line takes them. Joe’s pretty sure we all noticed that the past month.

Will Mankins be OK with a handful of practices? He should. But OK is not exactly why Bucs general manager Jason Licht traded for him. Having one of the best offensive lines in the NFC should be a goal, not just being OK.

22 Responses to “Busy Week For O-Line”

  1. Name Required Says:

    Is it me, or does Mankins seem like he doesn’t want to be here at all?

    Maybe I’m just being pessimistic.

  2. stratobuc Says:

    The Bucs just turned a weakness into a strength by adding two of the very best lineman in the league. Great job, Licht.

  3. t-dub Says:

    GAME WEEK!!!!!!!!!!


    Look, these guys are PROs! They are an prime example of what an O-line should be (Mankins and EDS). They will get the rest into shape. They may have had different coaches plus different teams, but they both reached the pinnicle, the Super Bowl!

    Game 1 is here! time to…


  4. biff barker Says:

    Mankins is a seasoned vet purported to have a high football IQ. He’ll be busy thinking and will struggle for the first few games though.

    What is not being discussed IMO is how much he can help the others with both technique and communication. He has more starting experience than the entire line combined.

  5. BucBob1 Says:

    Good read, thanks for the insight. I had some concerns, on weather the Bucs were going to be able, to unveil their new offence, this week. Looks like they may pull it of.

  6. McClown Says:

    EDS should tell that to Lovie. Apparently Lovie does not belive that continuity is big deal when it comes to OL.

  7. swiftone Says:

    it would be unfair to expect the line to be completely “gelled” until after week 4. I’m not expecting much early from this offence but hoping they surprise me. Hoping the D can rise to the occasion and help out with some points or at least some short fields to give our offense a chance. I would be shocked if the offence can do much against Carolina’s D, but if we did actually produce of offence against a quality D like Carolina all of Tampa should rejoice as we would finally be relevant again!

  8. DallasBuc Says:

    Name Required- “Is it me, or does Mankins seem like he doesn’t want to be here at all?” It sure does. If you were Mankins would you want to go from playing for the Patriots and protecting Brady to playing for a Bucs team that has been a terrible football team and protecting for McWho?

  9. OB Says:


    He said what a real professional should say, I am not sure if I can learn the system in a week which is true and if he does well, the herd will say he excelled and if he is not perfect, the herd will say he only had a week to learn the players next to him and the system.

    But he must know how to block but being used to the snap count here and it’s cadence will take time so don’t be surprised if a false start or two happens.

    Also, as soon as possible, get a new pix in the Buc’s whatever color we will call the uniform.

  10. Jim Walker Says:

    At least he is honest. If he said “I will have mastered it all by Sunday” I would be worried.

  11. biff barker Says:

    OB, haunted by the ghost of Kenyata Walker?

  12. phattitudes Says:

    For all those Mankin doubters, fear not, Cousins is on deck. Personally I am thrilled with Mankin.

  13. Eric Says:

    Wonder how Matt Forte had all those excellent years with Lovie behind those awful offensive lines.

    If you want awful underperforming offenses lines, look at ours the last few years. Just last year they were part of the worst offense in pro football.

    Amazingly, some seem to yearn for yesteryear.

  14. The Ether Says:

    DallasBuc Says:
    September 1st, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Name Required- “Is it me, or does Mankins seem like he doesn’t want to be here at all?” It sure does. If you were Mankins would you want to go from playing for the Patriots and protecting Brady to playing for a Bucs team that has been a terrible football team and protecting for McWho?


    Are you even a Bucs fan?? Game Week dude… Time for you MGMers to pull out of Glennons a**, and get behind this team… If not, then youre nothin but a poser. Getting tired of you negative a** buzkills.

    As far as Mankins lookin like he didnt want to be here… The guy just spent nearly a decade in NE, and overnight, he had to leave his home, friends, relocate to a totally new scene and team… Itd be a shock for anyone. He’ll get over it. Once he steps on that field, he’ll do his business.

  15. Joseph Mamma Says:

    I don’t know if he’ll beat out Cousins for that starter spot if he can’t learn all the plays.

  16. DallasBuc Says:

    TheEther- ya know what?…you are right. I don’t know what I was thinking. We have such a great oline featuring one of the following 3 studs starting at RG: Cousins, Omameh or Johnson but Lovie’s going to shroud that bombshell in secrecy until opening day. Then you have a backup C and LT starting with a new guy at RG who’s first day of work is today. Can you say “dominant”??!! This oline is going to maul Carolina’s front 7 easy.
    Oh and then you think about who this vaunted oline will be blocking for…whew! What QB in the game today has shown more from a success and leadership standpoint in his long and sterling 12 year career? I think he won like 5 games last year. Unheard of, really. And isn’t that what it’s all about…WINNING? Now we have a proven winner as our starting QB.
    I really think this is our year guys! Who’s with me? And all you Glennon-loving posers and Buc haters out there can go ahead and jump off this pirate ship because you are not REAL fans like us!!!
    How’s that Ether? Can I be in your true-fan fanboy club now?

  17. buc'd Up Says:

    It was hard to see through all the Buc love, but I was able to pick up on the sarcasm there.
    Its sad that one of the smallest and unappreciated organizations in the NFL has some of the worst fans. Instead of getting exited about the improvements that were made, we all harp on the same old b.s. I dont care if its Glennon or McCown or Kafka at this point. I want to see this team rip some a$$es apart on Sundays. Win or lose, just have some fun, go Bucs!!!!!

  18. The Ether Says:

    @Dallas, you must really hate life… oh well!

    Game Week Bitches!!!!

  19. DallasBuc Says:

    TheEther- yeah that’s it…I don’t like that we have a mediocre QB and oline so I must hate life. You must hate drawing logical conclusions!

  20. Thomas Says:

    If he really didn’t want to be here he would retire.

    He acts the way he does because the is still coming to grips with the trade after all that time. Its the same thing when one of us gets laid off. it takes a while to get the bad taste out of your mouth.

    It’s coming to grips with the fact that the place you poured your heart and soul into doesn’t want you anymore. He will be fine, just like anyone else would be fine after a while…plus he gets to be paid what, 6 million plus per year? That should help to take the sting out of it.

  21. Hoppy Says:

    Thomas, you nailed it! He feels betrayed by those he trusted and played so unselfishly for. Anyone that can’t understand that doesn’t understand life. He probably would also feel better if there was another guard on the other side that could be counted on.

  22. pick6 Says:

    barring injury, i predict this offense will improve significantly in the second half of the season. all these rookies, and OL so re-shaped that 2 potential starters weren’t even here for training camp, and a first time NFL OC who is now missing some critical days of preparation (hope JT is well, health is more important than football)…plenty of room for individual and collective improvement as the season goes on