Abnormal May Be NormalAugust 22nd, 2013
The Bucs have, as Donald Penn calls it, their “core five” on the offensive line. That would be, from left, Penn, Carl Nicks, Jeremy Zuttah, Davin Joseph and Demar Dotson.
But the Bucs have not played with their core five during the regular season. Davin Joseph went down in the preseason last year. After Dotson unseated turnstile Jeremy Trueblood, Nicks went down with his first of two hoof injuries.
Now, Nicks has a nasty infection — Joe smells staph infection — and Joseph has yet to be cleared as 100 percent to play in games. So chaos on the front line seems to be the norm for the Bucs.
“That’s the nature of the beast in the NFL,” Penn said. “That’s how I got my start. When someone got I hurt I came in and stepped up. That’s how it goes. I can’t wait to get those guys back. But that is the nature of the beast. Guys have to come in and step up when their time is called. Last year, we did a great job of doing that. We expect nothing less than this year.”
Until Joseph is ready — he practiced this week and Penn lauded his play — and Nicks is over his foot issues, if he is every over his foot issues, it appears the Bucs could start the season back where they ended last season, down two starters.
But Penn isn’t fazed much by that. He believes the Bucs may have the best offensive line coach in the NFL with Bob Bostad and with the addition of Gabe Carimi, who has practiced at left guard. That gives the Bucs unparralled depth, Penn told Joe.