Bucs Offensive Line No. 10

May 8th, 2012
Davin Joseph anchors what should be a dominant Bucs offensive line.

Many Bucs fans were quick to knight the Bucs offensive line as one of the best in the NFL when Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik landed All-Pro guard Carl Nicks in free agency.

This allowed the Bucs to move left guard Jeremy Zuttah to center and wave goodbye to former starting center Jeff Faine.

But Evan Silva of Rotoworld.com isn’t ready to jump on the bandwagon quite yet. Though impressed with Nicks, he believes Dominik is not getting the most bang for his buck with his offensive line and barely grades the Bucs offensive line in the top third of the league at No. 10.

Overview: Meet the NFL’s most expensive O-Line. Over the past three years, the Bucs have devoted an unprecedented $168 million in combined contracts to their five starters, including this offseason’s Nicks ($47.5M) and Zuttah ($16.3M) deals. So far, the group has been overpaid. Nicks is the lone truly elite lineman, and he’s yet to play a down for Tampa. There are reasons to believe this unit is destined for a big leap, though. New coach Greg Schiano is installing a run-heavy attack, and that philosophy plays to the strengths of this power-blocking group. Nicks’ presence allows Zuttah to kick from left guard to center, turning last year’s biggest negative into a positive. The addition of a running back with power and wiggle in first-round pick Doug Martin will naturally make the blocking look better. Though not quite as good as its price tag suggests, Tampa’s offensive line was still a top 15 or 18 unit in 2011. It should be top ten in 2012.

The key to the offensive line lies with two people, both tackles: Donald Penn and Jeremy Trueblood.

Though in a NFL Network special on the Top 100 players of2012 Penn was ranked by current NFL players at No. 97, Penn seemed to become disinterested late last season, gaining weight and losing his edge as one of the dominant tackles in the NFL.

Trueblood is a pretty damned good run blocker but he struggles against the pass. Two years ago James Lee pushed him aside for a starting job and defensive ends ran past Trueblood ease.

If Penn can stay sharp all year and Trueblood can improve his pass blocking, there is no reason to believe the Bucs will struggle on the offensive line.

30 Responses to “Bucs Offensive Line No. 10”

  1. Big Picture Guy Says:

    When I think of Trueblood, I think of Penalties. More so than poor pass blocking. He’s good for 1 a game quite often. Hopefully Schiano can crack down on that.

  2. musclehampster22 Says:

    We have the best offensive line on paper in my opinion, let’s see how it translates on the field.

  3. Jason Says:

    Gotta believe if we’re running the ball as often as I think we will, that will encourage the opposing DE’s to look for run-blocking. In turn that will help Trueblood get an advantage with his pass blocking, since the DE will prepped for the run. I see a big leap in our O-line’s production coming after the first few games of gelling together.

  4. Paul Says:

    I thought Zuttah was one of the better pulling guards. He looked better at LG but is still an upgrade over Faine. It was only when Faine went down and Larsen got in there at LG that it went to crap.

  5. jvato24 Says:

    Actually Truebloods penalties went way down last season.

    Trueblood is actually a very good Run Blocker … We have actually always asked him to play to his weakness.

    Pass Ratio 2/3 plays, IF all goes well Run Ratio 2/3 he will fare better.

  6. jvato24 Says:


    After watching some games Zuttah @ Center is fantastic at hitting the 2nd level FAST to seal a LB. Turned a few 4 yard runs into 8-12-15.

  7. bob Says:

    wow what did youall watch last year??? our line was horrible!! they are paid a lot but all of them make way too many flags. and didnt give josh much time on 2-15 3-18 type plays to make up for it. hopfully new coaching will get our moneys woth but remains to be seen. i put us at about 15th with nicks

  8. BonesMahoney Says:

    Penn gets “disinterested” near the end of every season and Trueblood has never been able to pass block or control his penalties. These things aren’t going to all of a sudden change.

  9. Brandon Says:

    I really could not care less where somebody “ranks” our offensive line. I care that they play well and win games. They SHOULD be pretty good this season and they SHOULD be among the league’s better o-lines. As good as the Bucs line is, it is really splitting hairs in ranking them above or behind anybody else in the top 12 or so.

  10. jvato24 Says:

    You all have a short memory. Our line in 2010 under Mangurian was Solid as Hell … Last year … Everyone just sucked for some reason.

  11. Eric Says:

    Sure hope the line can stay together long enough for the lasting contender thing to kick in.

    Be a shame to have to rebuild the rebuild.

  12. Travis Says:

    How did the myth “Trueblood is a good run blocker” come to be? I dont blame you for not watching lineman, its not sexy, but dont insult people who do and make outragous claims like that. The FACT is that Trueblood is a TERRIBLE runblocker. Dont take my word for it, spend the $ to get ProFootballFocus’s subscription to see how he ranks. (SPOILER: hes bottom 1/3 among starting offensive tackles). Sorry people Trueblood is a terrible offensive lineman and a glaring weakness on an otherwise solid o-line.

  13. George Says:

    I hate it when some of these analysts (namely Mayock, who I like otherwise) talk about the Bucs maybe having the best O-line in football. What? Don’t you have to prove it on the field? Signing Nicks doesn’t suddenly catapult an underachieving line to such a level. Now, if the new coaching staff can get the most out of all these guys, I do think it’s possible, based on the existing talent, that the Bucs could have one of the best O-lines in the NFL. We have reason to be hopeful.

  14. stanglassman Says:

    RT Ranking Trueblood 29 of 32: Fail


  15. patrickbucs Says:

    I say a new scheme, new coaching, a deep threat in Jackson will take another guy outside of the box so it should help this line tremendously. Nicks deal was huge, just made Penn and Zuttah (at his position strength) better.

    If this team doesn’t rank in the top 7 rushing attack next year it’s because this group underachieved our or defense is porous again and we have to throw to try to get back in the game.

  16. Big Picture Guy Says:

    Trueblood’s penalties were down last season, sure. Going from disaster to mildly-attrocious isn’t exactly a reason to throw a parade for a guy tho.

    And surprisingly, Zuttah had the most penalties of anyone on the OL last year. So moving to center better fix that too.

    We can’t have two guys essentially combining to kill 1 drive a game.

  17. tcaviar Says:

    Our o-line has been good since garcia was there. Penn has been our most consistent player for the last 3 years. Our team has sucked but give credit where it is due watch tape

  18. tcaviar Says:

    Freeman had all day to throw he just made poor decisions. We finished top 10 in sacks given up

  19. pewterC Says:

    Evan Silva? EVAN SILVA???? That dude should be banned from reporting on football forever! This is the same “guru” who predicted that the Bucs would pick a Defensive Lineman at #5 in the 2012 draft. The guy is trash with a press badge.

  20. Dano Says:

    The O-line sucked last yr. NO WAY did Freeman have all day to throw! Trueblood just flat out sucks & Penn who is usually a good at pass protection/avg. at run blocking, started sucking in the last qtr. of the season.

  21. Dano Says:

    Totally agree with patrickbucs

  22. Have A Nice Day Says:

    I think #10 is a bit high. We haven’t even seen the new line play together yet. They certainly weren’t #10 last year. Nicks alone isn’t going to bring them up ten spots.

  23. thibs5599 Says:

    This is just one man’s opinion, as is the above bleacher report link. He has the packers o line ranked as number 1 and they allowed the 6th most sacks last season, even with having an elite QB. Enough said right their, and when was the last time they had a 100 yard rusher.

  24. Jonny 3.3 Says:

    Joseph and Penn are overrated where as Trueblood sucks. No we aren’t even close to being the best O-line in NFL. 10th ranking seems fair.

  25. Miguel Grande Says:

    I can’t cry over Kalil because he was just not available, bu it was fun dreaming. Trueblood is our weakness, we’ll just have to be a left handed running team.

  26. deminion Says:

    most of the pressure was coming up the gut

  27. Have A Nice Day Says:

    @Deminion Most of the pressure was unquestionably coming off the edges.

    Zuttah(21), Faine(15), and Joseph(26) allowed a combined 62 total pressures. Trueblood alone allowed a league leading 59 total pressures.

    The guards and center were decent at pass pro. It was the edge that was unquestionably killing us.

  28. Jessup Says:

    I think EVERYONE became disinteretsed towards the end of last season. Players, coaches, fans….why single Penn out?

  29. christ, joe Says:

    What the hell are you doing writing “if Trueblood can improve his pass blocking”? He’s going into his 7th year as a starter and has always sucked against the pass. Saying he “struggles” shows how oblivious you are to his inability to play the position.

    I should have expected your delusions were strong when you advertised him as a pretty damn good rush blocker when on his best day he’s simply good.

  30. 941-Bucs Says:

    Still got that itch that tells me Demar Dotson will push Trueblood aside this year. I felt he was ready last year but got injured early on. Started to get back into rotation towards the end of the season. By then tho, the season was garbage.

    Remember he was about to go into training camp in 09′ as the starting LT because Penn was on a hold out. He was still very raw but showed flashes. Now i believe he has the experience to start really pushing Trueblood.

    This will be a position of interest to me over the next couple months. at 6’9 315lbs and a college basket ball back ground. He has the size and agility to play that spot well. Let’s see if he has learned enough about football to get the spot.