Can Collins Live Up To Hope?

March 18th, 2014
Can OT Anthony Collins hold up for a full 16-game schedule?

Can OT Anthony Collins hold up through a full 16-game schedule?

When Bucs coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht spoke of their disappointment with last year’s Bucs offensive line, they sure were not kidding. With the possible exception of Demar Dotson, there may be a full cleaning of the O-line house.

Gone is Donald Penn. Gone is Davin Joseph. Jeremy Zuttah is rumored to be dangling as trade bait which, in the past week for the Bucs, is a precursor to an outright release. And, yes, Bucs fans won’t have to be tormented by Ted Larsen any longer, either.

But when Licht signed former Bengals offensive tackle Anthony Collins, it raised some eyebrows. To date, Collins has yet to start a full season. He’s got a massive contract for a guy that doesn’t have that on his resume.

Now it is pretty clear Penn’s contract did him in, even his biggest detractors would have to admit that Penn answered the bell each and every week. Bengals blogger Coley Harvey of BSPN (locals may remember when he covered Florida State for the Orlando Sentinel) believes Licht maybe have hit the lottery with Collins.

According to Pro Football Focus, we’re talking about a guy who hasn’t allowed a sack since 2009. Granted, he didn’t play much until last season. He was a pure backup from 2008 to 2012. In 2013, injuries forced him into a greater role. He earned seven starts between the playoffs and regular season last year and he didn’t disappoint. Called upon to fill in for Pro Bowl veteran Andrew Whitworth at Chicago in the season opener, Collins completely shut down sack king Julius Peppers. He did the same against Elvis Dumervil late in the year and kept outside linebacker Robert Mathis silent when the Colts visited Cincinnati. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has to be pleased with how clean Collins kept him.

Here is why Joe is, well, a pessimist about the current state of the offensive line. Granted, Collins did well as a backup. That’s fine. Starting 16 games is another animal. Harvey noted how solid Collins is as a pass blocker. Demar Dotson is a fine pass blocker, but struggles with run blocking (and he gets bullrushed way too much for Joe’s tastes). Lovie says he wants to run the ball.

So are Bucs fans to be confident pass blockers can effectively transform into rush blockers, as well? Or is this a tip off to the mystery of Jeff Tedford’s offense, that he will throw more than run?

17 Responses to “Can Collins Live Up To Hope?”

  1. Espo Says:

    But will he break Penn’s and Sapp’s fat guy touchdown record?

  2. Jim Says:

    Demar Dotson played his @ss of last year and deserves that contract he got last year. He was the single bright spot on the o-line. He graded out very well last year.

  3. kh Says:

    Collins is cheaper and younger than Penn and showed in 6 games that he’s the better player too.

  4. Glennon Mob Says:

    I have never allowed a sack…….

  5. biff barker Says:

    We’ll know come November won’t we. This signing is the most risky move other than McCown.

  6. Bruno Says:

    I agree he has skill, but he has NEVER played an entire season. 15, 5, 7, 9, 14, 9. Those are the number of games he has played, per season, in 6 years. I don’t get it. Maybe, he’ll stay healthy down here, but I’m tired of constant injuries to key players on this team.

  7. Bruno Says:

    ..to be fair I didn’t realize he was a back up his first 2 years. I’m still not sold though.

  8. kh Says:

    Bruno – he’s been a back-up his entire career to Whitworth and Smith – two 1st round LTs and Whitworth a pro-bowler. Last year when Whitworth was hurt Collins played so well he kept his starting spot when Whitworth came back from injury.

  9. bornandRAYSed Says:

    Great question, Joe. I’ve been asking myself the same after the revamp of the offensive line. If they are going to be throwing as much as these signings indicate, might want to pick up another target for him to throw at before they’re all gone.

  10. Joe Says:

    born:

    Great question, Joe. I’ve been asking myself the same after the revamp of the offensive line. If they are going to be throwing as much as these signings indicate, might want to pick up another target for him to throw at before they’re all gone.

    Right now with the slop that is left in the free agent pool, as Joe has been saying over and over for the past week, is that the Bucs can draft a starting WR in the third round just as good (or better) than current free agents because (all together now… ) the draft is lousy with WRs. Very, very deep.

    No need to sweat at all that the Bucs didn’t sign a WR.

  11. BirdDoggers Says:

    The new regime is pointing to last years record as a reason to purge the roster. The players aren’t the only reason for the record. The former coaching staff had a lot to do with it as well. Penn’s durability was an asset. Hopefully Collins and the rest of the remade O-line will perform and prove to be an upgrade.

  12. Vico Says:

    Don’t have an option but to give the guy a chance now. Though it seems like this post was written by pessimistbucsfan.

  13. rayray1 Says:

    Given the options S & L had in FA with O line and QB I believe they did the best they could. But will long time backups be able to move the needle on victories is what we don’t know. I’m only somewhat encouraged but not expecting beyond 7 wins.

  14. biff barker Says:

    Bird Dogger says:
    “The new regime is pointing to last years record as a reason to purge the roster. The players aren’t the only reason for the record.”
    _______________________________________________
    Fair point but the previous years were 6-10 and 3-13. People forgot that many on this roster quit on Rah too.
    Film is the biggest determining factor.

  15. rich Says:

    I don’t know if any of this is an indication that Tedford will have a more pass-oriented offense. It seems like he wants to build a more athletic O-line, perhaps for a zone-based running game instead of the power running game we’ve seen over the years. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that Dotson’s quick feet and athleticism could make him a much more effective run blocker in a zone scheme; the same may be true of Collins. I also think Zuttah would be a good fit if they hold on to him. Same for Dietrich-Smith. The only question mark would be the enormous Nicks (if he plays), although he is probably athletic enough to make it work.

  16. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Kid’s in great condition mentally & physically (No known Injury issues)

    (LT Anthony Collins)-2013

    • Snap Count- (673)
    • Number of Penalties-(2)
    • Quarterback Sacks-(0)
    • Quarterback Hits-(1)
    • Quarterback Hurries (13)

    Has only given up (6 sacks as a starter) in (1887 snap counts)
    Sounds like a player on the ascend not on the decline.

  17. BoJim Says:

    @rich

    I agree. With some zone blocking I think we’ll see the ball move more.

 
 

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