“It’s Not Just Guards”

August 25th, 2014

A prominent former Buccaneer weighs in

Joe felt bad for Tampa Bay fans watching the opening minutes of the Bucs-Bills game Saturday. The offensive line was bad, Jacksonville bad, Sean Mahan and Keydrick Vincent bad. Perched in the Buffalo press box, Joe swore he could hear the screams of agony.

Thankfully, it got better in the first half. But how much better?

Former Bucs tight end Anthony Becht, an analyst on the Buccaneers Radio Network, weighed in on the offensive line this morning during an appearance on WDAE-AM 620. Becht said time and snaps will help the line immensely, but it will only take them so far because he still sees no “every down NFL guard” on the field. But Becht says the trouble is more widespread

“There’s something about it that’s not quite there, you know, across the board it’s not just guards,” Becht said. “Guard play are the two spots that obviously need the most work. Just everybody else getting their game readiness, their focus ready to show, really, if I’m a coach watching tape, just let me know I’m going to feel comfortable into Game 1.

” I don’t think I’ve seen their best effort yet. Obviously, being that third preseason game, that’s where you want to see it. There’s just some small details, some technical stuff you want to get cleaned up. And that’s [Anthony] Collins on the outside. That’s the guards just kind of getting their technique cleaned up. You don’t like to see a strip getting to the quarterback early in the game.”

Yes, the O-line was good enough for a first-half shutout Saturday and two offensive touchdowns. Absolutely. But there were bad gaffes. And at the rate they’re going, Josh McCown could land in a body bag by November. Joe was most distressed by a rough game for Evan Dietrich-Smith, who wasn’t his usual self. Buffalo’s Pro Bowl front likely was the cause, but opening-day opponent Carolina has one as good or better.

Becht suggests a September remedy.

“Run the football early. Let them come off the ball and punish the defensive line you can get them kind of confident,” Becht said. “Get some of those quick pass going where they’re not having to defend and protect the quarterback as long and build their confidence in a game.”

Joe’s still hoping for an infusion of new talent. As Joe wrote this morning, Rishaw Johnson is a likely in-house fix. And then there’s all those offensive linemen who will be cut soon.

23 Responses to ““It’s Not Just Guards””

  1. Cannon Says:

    I think Tedford adjusted nicely with the early offensive struggles. McCown was getting harassed early, so Tedford dialed up more running plays and quick passes.

    Really though, what made this all click was the play of Martin… he made some pretty good runs against suspect blocking to get the offense up and going.

  2. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    “Run the football early. Let them come off the ball and punish the defensive line you can get them kind of confident,” Becht said. “Get some of those quick pass going where they’re not having to defend and protect the quarterback as long and build their confidence in a game.” – Becht

    This is really, really good advice. Fans won’t like it, but it is smart football, assuming out oline can run block.

    Wear the defensive line down. Rotate RBs frequently though, so when Martin is called upon later in the game, he still has legs.

    This is when a good pounding FB would come in handy. One that can get the line hard whenever called upon. Make them fear the impact. That’s when opportunities open up.

  3. Mort Says:

    Right because all these camp meat guards about to be cut are just the panacea that the bucs offense has been waiting for…

  4. Wombat Says:

    Buffalo was a team with the second most team sacks last year (57). I am no way sticking up for the O-line, just that they did an okay job.
    If Dougie can find some holes, our TE’s hold the outside rush on passing plays, we may move the ball.

    It baffles me that we didn’t strengthen our O-line in the offseason. I know Simms was a luxury, and maybe a lineman there may have been more prudent…

  5. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    @Mort

    Every year teams end up cutting guys that are potentially better. Every team does it. It’s because of the “win now” attitude of fans. The demand causes teams to miss out on developing players that could end up being better than what they have as starters.

  6. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Wombat Says
    “It baffles me that we didn’t strengthen our O-line in the off season.”

    Not me. We replaced 19 players. There are limits to how much can be done in one off season. I think Lovie and Licht did an amazing job considering the only positions in question are on the oline (and maybe the backup QB).

  7. Carls Toe Says:

    Larsen is even starting for Arizona. I like the two TE sets. Better blocking for run and pass!

  8. louden Says:

    Why is it that Dotson get so high praises (almost) everywhere?

    He often hear, how good a D-Liner is good, not because of a sack, but because he can apply pressure to the pocket:

    Check how many “pressures” Dotson is giving up.
    I will repeat myself as often as its needed:
    while not bad, Dotson is not all that good.

  9. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    So, now Incognito is in for a visit.

    This is precisely why I take any coach or GM interview with a grain of salt. They are forced to speak with the media. They are not forced to be honest.

  10. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    So, now In-cog-nito is in for a visit.

    This is precisely why I take any coach or GM interview with a grain of salt. They are forced to speak with the media. They are not forced to be honest.

  11. Joseph Mamma Says:

    Looks like you were wrong Joe about the Buc’s giving Incognito a shot.

  12. CC Says:

    Just heard. Incognito on way to Tampa for physical.

  13. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    They do have to improve the line, old man mcCown just panics when there is pressure up the middle.

  14. Tnew Says:

    Incognito visiting. What the Buc?

  15. Tnew Says:

    The Incognito thing would’ve been better if done prior to the last game IMO

  16. Ur mom Says:

    Incognito!!

  17. Gt40bear Says:

    “Joe was most distressed by a rough game for Evan Dietrich-Smith, who wasn’t his usual self.”
    This Joe hasn’t really been impressed during any game yet by EDS. I know it’s only preseason and I have no idea of his responsibilities but I have seen him get seemingly beat a lot so far. Not a warm, fuzzy so far!

  18. Reezy Says:

    Well I am not a coach but if I can see that you can get penetration with just 4 players there is no way in hell I wouldn’t attack that fact. Tampa has to look out there for some type of O-line help to cement some form of improvement. I mean what the heck was the point of firing your entire offensive line if you are not going to make it better immediately?

  19. DallasBuc Says:

    Joe has all but guaranteed Incognito would never get picked up by Lovie! Desperation makes people do funny things. This plan set in motion by do-no-wrong Lovie and his lapdog Licht is working out perfectly!!!

  20. louden Says:

    Why is there so much and way too much praise for Dotson?
    It seems like the same tactic suggestion “how good our O-Line is going to be” from the last years.

    Defenders get credit for applying good pressure on the QB – forcing hurrys, not letting them settle.

    Dotson gives up many many such “pressures” – still he comes away with it and getting praised as “maybe our best O.liner”.

    Well, if the starters talent level is Cousins – its not quite well done.

    ALSO ANYONE CONCERNED ABOUT CB´s?
    I mean: it was good to get rid of Revises contract situA
    Verner getting burned in the few snaps he was in – Oh oh.
    I think he is a great No2 Corner… but lets see

    AGAIN: horrible side effects of a AMATEUR STUPID DRAFT PLAN

    instead of taking a good o.line prospect (THINK FUTURE GOD DAMN IT) in the 3rd they took an “project” in later rounds.
    Basically: instead of for sure good future investment, they went BS and lets see…

    The 5th picks and later should have been used for future talents, or specimen (like an Herron).

    AGAIN: Slot-WR and some speed for offense was an issue since ??? long-long.
    Smith puts great emphasis on RB with good hands AND SPECIAL TEAMS ASS – WHATE THE HECK DID THEY THINK WHEN THEY LEFT DeAnthony Thomas (the maybe most dangerous offensive weapon) on the draft board and chose to go with SIMS – a, i can´t do anything special RB????

    Good Hands?
    Wanna tell me that the most RB´s in the NFL can´t catch?? Even College Level?!
    i dont f’-ing thinks so! Thats plain rubbish and an sorry excuse to go in the right direction with the first picks, than taking a major step back again with the rest of the draft!
    And drafts are so crucial to team building/mantaing…..

  21. ak427er Says:

    “Collins on the outside” this is the elephant in the room. you can find guards…not left tackles.

  22. Uncle Albert Says:

    Louden, you’re a moron.

  23. thegregwitul Says:

    Those screams of agony you heard were the collected Buffalo fanbase almost anytime EJ Manuel had the football.

    As for Incognito joining the Bucs; would it really be that much of a surprise? Lovie may be a man of faith, but he’s no idiot, the Bucs need a strong guard and he is far and away the best guy on the market, even though he is a meathead to the nth degree.

 
 

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