BREAKDOWN: Offensive Line

November 12th, 2008 analyst Steve Campbell was so impressed with Jeff Faine against the Chiefs, he got Campbells game ball. analyst Steve Campbell was so impressed with Jeff Faine against the Chiefs, he got Campbell's game ball. analyst Steve Campbell reviews the Bucs’ offensive line play in the Bucs win over Kansas City.

In the 1990s, Campbell was a NCAA Division I lineman and played semipro football (he likes to say he was a tackling dummy for a future NFL defenisve tackle). His analysis appears here weekly.

Looking back at the Bucs-Chiefs game at Arrowhead Stadium, there was some good and some bad play on the O-line.

First, the good:

The Bucs won, of course. I don’t care how you win in this league or how “ugly” it is. This isn’t college football where the mismatches are that glaring every week. The Bucs or any other NFL team shouldn’t have to apologize for any win. They all count the same.

Another positive was the pass protection that this unit is providing. Before the season, I thought this unit would be a better than average run blocking unit and struggle a bit on pass protection, specifically on the edges. But this unit has been way above average in pass protection. In 43 pass attempts, Jeff Garcia again wasn’t sacked. For the season, the Bucs have attempted 348 passes and have only been sacked 10 times. That’s good for fourth in the league in that category.

Cause for concern though, is the inability to establish a consistent running game for the third week in a row. Granted, falling behind by 14 points eight minutes into a game isn’t a good recipe for establishing the run. But the fact is, they did try to run, but the holes weren’t there. The Bucs will have to run the ball down the stretch if they want to make the playoffs and advance there.

Donald Penn, LT: Penn didn’t have much trouble with whoever the Chiefs threw at him. Defensive end Tamba Hali is a former first round draft pick, but Penn neutralized him for the most part. Penn needs to play better in the run game, though.

Jeremy Zuttah, LG: Zuttah had no trouble whatsoever with rookie Glenn Dorsey on passing plays, but it wasn’t one of Jeremy’s better days run-blocking. He didn’t get much push, and he struggled getting to the second level.

Jeff Faine, C: I feel like I haven’t given enough accolades to Faine this season. Faine has so many responsibilities that it’s sometimes hard to tell if he had a positive or a negative play. I still think it was a great signing by the Bucs’ front office.

Davin Joseph, RG: It’s hard to run the ball when both of your guards struggle, and that was the case against Kansas City. Like Zuttah, Joseph didn’t have one of his better games.

Jeremy Trueblood, RT: Another solid effort from Trueblood. He has shown tremendous improvement in pass protection this year and this game was no exception. In the run game, Trueblood looked strong once again.

Game ball: Faine. He was solid in the win over the Chiefs and gets my game ball.

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