Trust The Offensive Line

October 18th, 2013
carl nicks

The play of the offensive line really suffers without roadgrader Carl Nicks.

If there is one area of the Bucs that has played  woefully below expectations, it’s the offensive line. Once thought to be a strong unit, it has been anything but.

First, there is the MRSA foot/turf toe of stud left guard Carl Nicks, who just had surgery and no one knows exacly when or if he will return in 2013. Then there is the right guard, Davin Joseph, who simply isn’t his old self since having major knee surgery. He claims his knee is fine, but something is awry.

Because of Nicks’ absences, the Bucs have juggled the line and now are toying with returning Jeremy Zuttah to left guard and Ted Larsen to center. It’s just a mess.

If Joe could point to one area that is the problem for the Bucs 0-5 start (there are many) it is the line. It can’t run block, and as a result, defenses are loading the box with eight and nine men, confirmed by Bucs All-Pro running back Doug Martin. Defenses are daring the Bucs to pass by loading up the box, which is why Mike Glennon is second all-time in NFL history for most pass attempts in his first two starts.

“Trust” is a word tossed around a lot of late at One Buc Palace and Bucs commander Greg Schiano asks that people trust that the offensive line, as a mess as it is, will eventually get the job done for Martin, and the floodgates will open.

“Every play’s designed to go in a certain area with a certain scheme, but then, once you trust the play, you’ve got to trust your eyes then,” Schiano said. “So, trust the play to get it going and then trust your eyes, and [running back] Doug’s [Martin] got as good [of] vision as any back I’ve ever coached, so we’ve just got to keep trusting it. It’ll pop.”

Here’s the thing: Rarely has Martin been able to break a good run through five games because of the instability of the offensive line. After five games, how much more can Martin, or any Bucs running back, trust that the offensive line will magically turn into the Hogs of the 21st Century?

Getting the offensive line turned around may be the key to getting the Bucs turned around. But after five games of being unable to flip the switch, Joe must be frank and ask, why should anyone expect the line to suddenly blast open holes?

Isn’t five games, nearly a third of the season, enough of a sample size to suggest with some authority that the play of the offensive line may just be what it will be for the remainder of the season?

22 Responses to “Trust The Offensive Line”

  1. Patrick in VA Says:

    Schiano is essentially asking his backs to do the same thing he’s asking fans to do. Put blind faith into empty promises based on no evidence. If we all just believe and hope really hard then schiano’s gonna bring it all together and see his master plan come to fruition.

  2. lightningbuc Says:

    Yep Joe, there is no polishing the turd that is the O-line.

    The reason I have always disliked Dom as a GM is because he can sign high profile Free Agents with the best of them, but he is horrible at assembling depth throughout a 53 man roster.

  3. Paul Says:

    Since we won’t audible out of 10 man in the box and still run it…I don’t have much hope

  4. Patrick in VA Says:

    @Paul-we don’t audible because our system is going to win and the plays we call are the right ones. don’t mind the fact that they aren’t working. as long as we keep doing this same thing it’s going to come through and we’re eventually going to make the league bend to our will.

  5. Bobby Says:

    Well, it’s a combination of things. 4 of the 5 teams we have played have defenses ranked higher than ours and our O-line just hasn’t performed well at all. When you play poorly against good defenses you get beat.

  6. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    Absolute biggest disappoint this season, simply because they had the highest of expectations. And, they are dragging down the entire offense. If Martin had holes, it would free up the passing game. There’s no fear on play-action right now.

  7. Chris Says:

    Joe I wouldn’t pin point the oline as the problem. The scheme and play calling are. When a defense. Lines up 8-9 in the box there’s no where to go. They need to spread the offense out. We’re too predictable.

  8. Kreator Says:

    @ this point nicks has become an incredible bust, liability And distraction. Why keep bringing up whether he can play or not.

  9. tampa2 Says:

    OK – so let’s say hypothetically Davin Joseph’s knee IS fine. Then something is “awry” alright, he SUCKS and/or is overrated. There. I identified the problem. You’re welcome.

  10. Doubting Thomas Says:

    Nick has been a huge bust, whatever the reasons, he’s been healthy for maybe 3 games. Also, seems like whenever Martin breaks one for 10 – 15 yards we get a holding call. He was visibly pissed last week after about the 3rd one of those.

  11. joseph mamma Says:

    This line sucks, and it’s due in part to the fact that our genius of a GM never drafts any talent. You know that’s why we have an overpaid, overpriced, and overrated line. If Davin Joseph doesn’t improve, he should be cut after the season, and we should draft his replacement.

  12. BamBamBuc Says:

    Same as always, keep doing the same thing over and over. Schiano’s way will work or we’ll die trying. Who needs 2nd half adjustments, we just need to trust and execute better. Trust Schiano’s run game, trust Schiano’s QB, trust in his discipline…. (sarcasm)

  13. Chris Says:

    Just goes to show you spending big in FA is a waste. Dom failed in the draft. They’re all gone.

  14. Tomcin Says:

    Joseph, Nicks & Penn all suck. Way overrated. Get rid of them all. This team needs to be revamped starting with the GM on down. No playoffs in the forseeable future.

  15. Capt. Tim Says:

    “If Joe could point to one area . .”
    I think the rest of us have pointed to one area, in the largest show of solidarity I’ve ever witnessed on JoeBuc

    It’s Our office boys, Schiano and Dom. One can’t build a team one can’t coach.

    Never seen so many of us in agreement!

  16. joseph mamma Says:

    I never hear this mentioned much because it’s pretty much impossible to know but….. do we have some of the worst scout’s in the freaking league? Dominik swings and misses on almost every second round pick the team makes.

  17. Kreator Says:

    This team has no depth and that is a direct reflection on the GM.

  18. Biff Barker Says:

    Sorry folks, you just cannot assign significant blame to the HC and OC when these same plays were putting up huge numbers midseason last year.
    The OL has been dreadful all season long.

  19. zam Says:

    Opposing teams aren’t afraid of the pass, and so they can put 8 or 9 in the box, and that actually makes it tough to run block.

    Being bad at run blocking, opposing teams would have fewer men in the box, not more.

  20. Couch Fan Says:

    It sounds to me like he is saying they are gonna keep doing the same thing… that is getting them beat every week. I’m all for giving Schiano more time, but this statement bothers me.

  21. ROBERT4 Says:

    maybe if they put in some other backs they would not be so damn predictable! and who let hillis walk!!!

    this is about Sully. he’s very predictable combined which the scheme.

    it’a also about the defense using revis improperly!

    don’t those guys report to schiano. I’m all for hard headed and discipline….but he is on his last leg

    sully should be canned 1st (I don’t mean change the system……change the guy calling the plays!!!), put revis in zone and if that don’t work make em all walk the plank including schiano.

    I said before the season started nicks had checked out mentally…as I stated about freeman. nicks should not be on this team anymore. YOU CANT PLAY FROM THE TUB!!!

    oh, and take penn with him. that alone would free up enough money for 1/2 dozen players better than them!

  22. Splengo Says:

    Go Bucs!