Offensive Line Really Isn’t That Bad

September 29th, 2010

Joe has stated this so often he’s tired of reading his own words: The Bucs’ running backs are at best, mediocre.

Many Bucs fans gasp in outrage whenever Joe writes this as if he’s dropping a load in the middle of Sunday morning Mass. Bucs fans, understandably, think of Earnest Graham and Cadillac Williams like a comfy Teddy Bear. Joe loves both of these guys, too, but sadly, the numbers don’t lie.

The Commissioner, aka Justin Pawlowski of WDAE-AM 620, also is of the belief the lack of a Bucs rushing attack is not the fault of the line. Writing on his blog, Pawlowski came away impressed with the Bucs offensive line against arguably the best defense in the NFL last Sunday.

The offensive line isn’t as bad as most people think. Going against one of, if not, the toughest defenses in the NFL, I actually thought the offensive line played ok.  After seeing the way Blount ran effectively, I’m starting to think that it’s the RB and not the offensive line that’s the problem.  Cadillac’s a good story, but he’s not a good RB.  That’s on the coaching staff to realize that.  As for pass protection against one of the best pass rushing defenses in the NFL, I thought Freeman was getting as much time as he was going to get.  Freeman held onto the ball too long at times which lead to a couple sacks.

Joe believes the running of LeGarrette Blount, a guy who doesn’t even know the playbook, may have finally opened the eyes of Bucs fans.

The holes are there for people to run through. And even if there aren’t holes, as Marshall Faulk has stated recently on the wonderful NFL Network, good running backs can overcome bad offensives lines.

The Bucs’ offensive line is not bad.

29 Responses to “Offensive Line Really Isn’t That Bad”

  1. Atrain WD40 Says:

    I hate to agree with Joe on this one… I love both our backs but continue to watch Caddy miss holes due to his lack of cutback skills. Whether due to injuries or whatever his career as a premier back is behind him.

  2. McBuc Says:

    I agree and have agreed with you since you started saying this. I think the coaching staff started to see it in preseason, and they hoped Ward would pull it together and be the guy. Once that did not happen they picked up two big backs that played well in college. Kregg has been plagued with injury both in college and his short stint in Green Bay, and Blount a troubled back that was undrafted and cut from TN. They need to put this kid on the fast track and let him show what he can do. Like my friend Eric pointed out, we do not really know what we have in him. I feel he is going to be great. GO BUCS!

  3. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Finally, someone “get’s it”. I have been saying Caddy should not be the starter for months…really since I started posting here.

    “I’m starting to think that it’s the RB and not the offensive line that’s the problem. Cadillac’s a good story, but he’s not a good RB.”

    As I said before. Justin almost unknowingly quoted me, lol. The problem before, as I had pointed out, was that we had no one that could replace him, except Graham. Graham was good enough to do so…a few years ago. Now he’s up there in age, and his talent has been wasted.

    I know next to nothing about Blount, but I have to say, he WAS impressive to me. And Raham stuck to his word…he stayed with the “hot runningback” in hte last game. Blount got plent of carries for being his first game.

  4. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Raham = Raheem (obviously)

  5. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Joe, I was just wondering…

    …would it be possible for you to do an article evaluating each of the new players for this year? A breakdown of their play, and how you think they will perform in the future (potential)?

  6. BucFan South Tampa Says:

    Agree 100%. Love Caddy to death, he is a great story. But Blount needs to be fed the ball. He has shown that he has the strength to bull through the line.

  7. Joe Says:

    Pete Dutcher:

    That’s a lotta work. Something like that is better for the offseason. Hard if not unfair to judge first-year guys after only three games.

  8. Earl Says:

    Cadillac has never been very good, his first three games notwithstanding. I agree that the line is not awful, but at some point it will become an anchor. This is not the line of an 11-5 or 12-4 team, no matter how good the RB is. We will need 2-3 new lineman over the course of the next 2-3 seasons. Until then, we need a top-notch RB in next year’s draft, or depending on draft position the best FS available.

  9. JoeBucsSteveCampbell Says:

    I agree. I don’t think our OL is good, but a decent back can make them look better. The thing with Blount is I think he can turn the 0 and 1 yards gains by caddy and turn them into 3 and 4 yard gains. That is huge.

    Caddy is not good at all.

  10. lightningbuc Says:

    Joe said:

    “dropping a load in the middle of Sunday morning Mass”

    While a frightening thought, that is hilarious!

  11. javto24 Says:

    I also feel Cadillac is misused .. He is not the best between the tackles runner .. He needs a few steps to get up to speed so he can make a cut.. He is much MUCH better on pitch plays and Off Tackle ..

  12. Joe Says:


    Thank you. 🙂

  13. Not A Rocket Surgeon Says:

    Feed Blount and Huggins in the first 3 qtrs.

    Give Caddy the reps in the fourth.

  14. BigMacAttack Says:

    I think Cadi runs with reckless abandon and needs to keep his head up. He spent too long with Ward and runs into the back of his blockers, or can’t find the holes. His timing also needs work IMO. He rarely seems to be in the right place at the right time, unless there is a holding call on the play. Blount was very refreshing to see, just like Kareem was in pre season. I would like to see more of them both, and sit Cadi or us him less for now. The run game can’t get any worse with Cadi on the bench.

  15. booty traps Says:

    Im done licking my wounds now…

    We have a decent OL, not great but decent. With that said a great RB would make them look even better. Kinda how a great QB with a mediocre OL can make them look great. Peyton Manning?

    I agree that Graham never given a chance was wasted, he still has his use.

    Any way Aaron Rogers is a GB Packer and Caddy is a Buc…movin on…

  16. Dave Says:

    I have been saying how I see Caddy breaking out this year because he is finally 100% healthy for the first time in 3 years.

    I was wrong and will admit.

    Over the next 4 weeks they need to swith over to Blount getting 18+ carries a game and Huggins getting 7+


    *** Not to mention I had Caddy on my fantasy team (behind Ray Rice and Michael Turner) and just picked up Blount this morning as insurance

  17. Matt Says:

    Sorry, but I disagree.

    No, they aren’t ‘bad’. But they’re not great either, and certainly aren’t a strength of this team.

    We desperately need a new RT and LG. And truthfully, I don’t think any of Penn, Faine, or even Joseph have been outstanding lately.

    Remember, Faine was the highest paid center in the league. Joseph is a first round GUARD. He should be an All Pro. Penn just got paid a ton of money. These three are guys that should be in the top 5 in the league at their position and they just aren’t. Sure, they might all be in the top 15, but that’s not up to the expectations each of them got when they got drafted/paid.

    Out of the three, at least one or two of them should be Pro Bowlers, but not one of them have played to an elite status.

  18. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    I think when you are an offensive lineman, it gets old in a hurry blocking for a RB that just aint getting it done. When Tampa put Blount in there, and he started dragging piles of defenders, I could see a new look on the faces of the Tampa O Line. ( I had binoculars).
    Caddy only seems to get yards if someone is holding.

  19. Spirit of '76 Says:

    I agree with Dave, Matt and ARC.

    I too wanted to think this would be Caddy’s year. He can still run but he’s lost his explosion. He is just a plodding, middle of the road NFL running back. I like the thought of seeing Blount and Huggins and can’t wait to see them.

    Our O-line is nothing special. it should be for what we have invested in salaries and draft picks. They are underachieving again and I sure don’t want to hear it’s because of a change of blocking schemes. I see this group being addressed in next year’s draft and possible existing PS and backups.

    A good running back can make an O-line look better (see Rams and 49’s). The next game should be telling if this theory is correct. The Bengals have a pretty decent defense and with Blount and Huggins getting some carries, we will see for ourselves.

  20. BamBamBuc Says:

    I know many people don’t understand the point system or agree with what Pro Football Focus has to say, but here’s a snipet from this week…

    “Truth be told, it seemed like LT Donald Penn (-5.0) got a contract boost based on his 2008 play, maybe thinking a big deal would motivate him to rebound from a substandard 2009. It hasn’t worked. Penn was slow reacting to where the Steelers were attacking from on numerous occasions and gave up two sacks, two hits and six pressures. This was not a franchise left tackle performance — a line we’re using far too often for a man who has now given up 17 total pressures on the year.”

    Obviously not good. 17 pressures already this year. He has looked “man-handled” out there. He has completely whiffed (and not just against the DB on the sack). But he is not the only one to blame. Here’s a sampling from week 2.

    From the “Had a Bad Day” column: Jeff Faine (-5.1, Tampa Bay), Davin Joseph (-5.3, Tampa Bay) and Jeremy Trueblood (-7.0, Tampa Bay)

    “Trueblood is joined by Joseph and Faine to complete an all-Bucs right side of the line after the Carolina duo of Charles Johnson and Derek Landri dominated them”

    Funny thing is they aren’t even mentioning Vincent or Zuttah here. The line is weak. Sure, better running backs make poor O-lines look better, but isn’t that just masking the problem? It wouldn’t be any different than an All-Pro line making an average running back look like an all star. The difference is that an All-Pro line not only helps a running back, but also protects our QB and gives him time to throw, instead of forcing him to run for his life.

    Blame the RBs all you want, but if we don’t upgrade the line we have two problems… run AND pass.

  21. eric Says:

    If you look at the good lines they keep right on going even with a change at rb. Steelers and formerly the Broncos are good examples.

    I am inclined to think the problem starts upfront, but do agree that caddy is pretty average at this point.

    I think the days of Graham playing much effective rb are pretty much over. Both he and caddy are passed the typical expiration date for that position.

    Only one way to prove Joe’s theory, play someone else.

  22. BamBamBuc Says:

    I will say this…. Caddy is no Chris Johnson or Michael Turner. Johnson had a whopping 34 yards against that D (of course he also was the victim of O-line penalties having a 85 yard TD called back due to holding). Turner had a whopping 42 yards against that D. Caddy obviously only had 13 yards. As a team, however, our 75 yards was better than Atlanta and Tennessee (both considered better rushing teams, both in close games allowing for more rushing attempts). Can’t even use the excuse that Freeman or JJ ran the ball, because they also faced Vince Young.

  23. Capt.Tim Says:

    Agree with giving more carries to Blount. I also believe he can be more effective, although for different reasons. As I, and others, have noted before. The biggest problem with our running game is – our passing game!! Although our young recievers and QB have played well, the strategy so far has been to make them beat you. Teams ( including to a lesser degree the Steelers) are stacking the box with an extra defender. Taking away Caddy, and placing 1 on 1 coverage on our WRs! Caddy is getting hit quick, with no time to maneuver! I believe Blount will have more sucess because he is a power back, and has a chance to run thru tackles. The extra defender isn’t as effective against backs that depend on breaking tackles

  24. Pete 422 Says:

    I’m interested to see more of what LeGarrette Blount can do (especially in the red zone), but I also want to see Kareem Huggins in there. He has cut back skills and can certainly find holes.

  25. passthebuc Says:

    Very easy choice, Give both Grahamn and Blount the ball more from a 2 back set. Caddy will do better when he is not being keyed on. Caddy will be gone next year as a free agent and considerable more money. train for the future.

  26. passthebuc Says:

    Nice Try, but no sale

  27. BigMacAttack Says:

    I really like Cadi, but honestly, he’s dumber than dirt. You listen to him speak and wonder how the hell he made it through college. I mean what are they teaching at Auburn? How to choose which sister to marry? Really? Jason Campbell was Cadi’s QB, and look at him, he sucks too. I hate to be hard on Cadi, but he needs to wake up.

    Athletic ability is wonderful, but there is no substitute for brains. With brains usually follows heart, and those two things can move mountains.

    Now watch Cadi have a 200 yd game since we’re all talking trash about him. Nothing would please me more, but it’s time for some consistency. C’mon man!!!

  28. Patrick Says:

    Guys come on. You can’t throw the towel in on Caddy now. I still think he’s a good running back. Yes, he hasn’t had a very good start to the season, but his first game was actually ok. The second game was bad. On Sunday against the Steelers he only got 3 carries.

    Caddy is a good back, but definitely not a #1. I think he’s still a good #2 though and can help this team win.

  29. BigMacAttack Says:

    Patrick, I agree with you. I just want to see Huggy in a real game situation with a number of plays so he can try and build a rhythm. We saw what Blount is capable of last week. Put those two together and they could be special. I don’t think they have anything to lose by sitting Cadi for the Cinci game and letting the kids play. It really isn’t any different than any of the other kids that are starting. I say what the hell. If doesn’t work, switch back and give them more time.