Offensive Line Woes No Surprise At All

October 3rd, 2009

Stephen Holder, of the St. Pete Times, explores the problems with the Bucs offensive line play in a story today.

Joe’s not even going to quote the story, which comes to no conclusion, but feel free to read it. First, Joe wants you to consider some things about the Bucs offensive line before you right the unit off:

1) Remember late in the preseason cerebral center Jeff Faine said it would take half a season for the offensive line to get its new zone blocking scheme down. Then Davin Joseph followed up in an exclusive conversation with Joe where he explained the line was a ways away from hitting its stride.

2) It’s important to remember the O-line was just fine against Dallas. We’re talking then about two sub-par games out of three, in Buffalo and against Dallass at home. And what’s the common thread in those games?  Oh, yeah, Byron Leftwich threw two early interceptions that led to scores and the Bucs dug themselves massive holes in both games because the defense is non-existent.

3) Leftwich holds the ball too long. Surely that didn’t help the Bucs O-line look as good on film. Leftwich was brought in to Tampa to be successful downfield off play-action. Getting down early in the last two games negated the limited positives in Leftwich’s game, yet against Buffalo they still pass-blocked well enough to mount a serious comeback. You could also make the case that only allowing two sacks of Leftwich in 50 passing attempts against Buffalo wasn’t too shabby.

4) Before the season, would any sane Bucs fan have said Tampa Bay would win the battles at the line of scrimmage against the Giants without Jeff Faine and Arron Sears?  Please.

5) Individually, Donald Penn is playing extremely well, Zuttah has made the transition to guard, and Jeremy Trueblood seems to have cut back on his bonehead issues and is pass protecting well. Davin Joseph has yet to look like a Pro Bowler, and the Bucs are coming up short at center, understandably, with Faine out. As for Joseph, he’s a great talent, but maybe he is struggling with the playbook and all the new plays being installed since Jeff Jagodzinski was ousted. Joseph did say it took him an entire year to learn Chucky’s system.  

Also, Joe has written many times that maybe it was, in fact, a bad idea for this young, highly-touted offensive line to be pushed into a new scheme. If it ain’t broke … but the jury’s out on that.

Washington’s defensive front is another massive test for the O-line. Passing this test could mean the Bucs have a prayer of fulfilling Raheem The Dream’s core beliefs: that the Bucs are a running football team.

5 Responses to “Offensive Line Woes No Surprise At All”

  1. Fredrick Says:

    Review your the tapes or TIVO or whatever you use and watch how many blocks Mahan misses and/or times he just gets beat. Losing Faine killed this line.

  2. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    No question. As mentioned, the loss of Faine is clear. Buffalo zeroed right in on Mahan, especially.

  3. JK Says:

    Cmon Joe, This blaming Chucky is getting old. When the transition first happened you hardly mentioned it. As the season rolls along and the loses pile up you keep throwing Chucky under the bus like it’s his fault. This is what you wanted so look at it objectively and realize the Glazers F—— up. Maybe not firing Chucky but my gosh look what they replaced him with. Talk about bargain basement shopping. This takes the cake.

  4. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    JK – What’s the deal? Nowhere in this post is Chucky blamed for anything. You got me stumped. …Only mentioned that Davin Joseph needs more time than most to learn an offense, by his own admission.

  5. Sgt Mike Says:

    The only people to blame for the offensive woe’s are the head coach and Olson when they ousted Jags before he even got to day 1 of the regular season. Jags was the only real offensive coach with any real smarts. I could see Snyder falling back on Jags when experienced coaches treat Snyder like he’s Al Davis. We F**KED up getting rid of Jags and not just the timing but for the development of all of our young QB’s who have athletic talent and smarts but needed molding especially Freeman. The talk radio and media up here in DC are considering this a win for the Redskins. The Bucs have a unique opportunity to maybe get a second wind here and start being competitive. Go BUCS!!!!!