Is Offensive Line Overrated?

February 7th, 2014
jake matthews

Joe wouldn’t lose sleep if the Bucs drafted stud offensive lineman Jake Matthews.

There is no surer football axiom than “it’s all about blocking and tackling.” And that starts in the trenches.

It’s simple offensively: If you cannot block a cool breeze, then your offense is going to stink out loud.

Yes, the Bucs stunk out loud.

Oh, sure it didn’t help that Doug Martin and Mike Williams were lost for the season with injuries, and quarterback Rip Van Freeman was lost for the season by going all Sybil on his team. But simply put, the Bucs were damaged by an inconsistent offensive line.

Carl Nicks got them with the double-whammy of both a nasty case of turf toe and then MRSA. David Joseph struggled to regain his form after knee surgery the previous season. It seemed like a domino effect from there, writes Andrew Astleford of Fox Sports Florida.

The potential is there, but the Bucs’ offensive line has failed to live its promise the past two seasons. It’s easy to think this collection of talent should be one of the best groups in the NFC South –€“ if not the entire NFC –€“ if Nicks and Joseph played to their potential and stayed on the field together for extended periods of time. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, that goal has been elusive, for reasons outside the former regime’s control. (Who could have seen Nicks’ toe and MRSA injuries coming? Who could have predicted Joseph’€™s knee problem?) Still, unforeseen issues are part of NFL life. This offensive line must be better in 2014.

Right now, though the Bucs claim Nicks is a daily participant at One Buc Palace working out, but after what has happened the past two years, one cannot bank on Nicks being able to answer the bell. Demar Dotson is a great story, but at times he gets bull-rushed so badly he looks like a tackling sled. Joe thinks Donald Penn is unfairly and harshly treated by fans but Penn isn’t exactly a spring chicken. Drafting and grooming his future replacement wouldn’t be such an awful thing.

As much as Joe would love to see the Bucs grab Johnny Football in the first round, Joe sure wouldn’t mind if the Bucs grabbed his teammate, Jake Matthews, a beast of an offensive lineman.

37 Responses to “Is Offensive Line Overrated?”

  1. lightningbuc Says:

    “Drafting and grooming his future replacement”

    You take a Left Tackle at #7, there will be no “grooming”.

  2. Bucnjim Says:

    Donald Penn was treated harshly & unfairly by Quinn of the Rams. Wasn’t even a fair fight!

  3. Barry Says:

    Jake Matthews and Richie Incognito would be excellent additions.

  4. Tomcin Says:

    I totally agree with Barry. If he was available I would take Matthews over any QB’s in the draft. He is a stud & comes from a great bloodline.

  5. buccanAy Says:

    Great to topic…it certainly appears as though our Oline has been overrated for a number of years, and overpaid, as well. IMO, one of dominiks shortfalls was his unwillingness to draft olineman in the mid rounds or even, at all, on occasions. IMO,games are won and lost in trenches. Read recently where someHC’s look right down the LOS and can get a quick feel how game is going to go, by who’s winning the trenches. We desparately need at least 2 immediate upgrades,maybe 3.

  6. joseph mamma Says:

    Over-rated and over-paid. Yes on both counts. The guy that was masquerading as GM here the past five years didn’t restock the trenches well through the draft. He d-linemen were mostly disappointing and his o-linemen drafts were, oh wait, he didn’t make any.

  7. spanishbuc Says:

    Completely agree with everything in this article. Picking up an offensive lineman with the number 7 pick will not excite the fan base, but it could be the best thing for this team. As long as he is not a reincarnation of Kentatta Walker. I still have nightmares of that guy getting burned on one play and a holding penalty the next.

  8. ryan Says:

    There is this guard for baylor I like I cant think of his name. But I could see us trading back into the the first round to draft him to take over for carl nicks

  9. gt40bear Says:

    Jake Matthews…yes please! Slide Penn to RT and have Dotson as the swing guy. Then upgrade center and get some better depth at guard. At least one of the three current over-paid linemen will need to go so try to get Mack from Cleveland and have Zutah as the swing guard/center.

  10. ROBERT6 Says:

    they were over rated. word is out now. they stink like 3 day old fish

  11. ROBERT6 Says:

    incognito all day baby.

  12. bucemup Says:

    Mobile QB’s like Wilson and Kap can hide an average O-line. With Glennon however, we need a v good O-line. The o-line was so bad last year. They had Glennon roling out on most passing play’s. Glennon belong’s in the pocket. His pocket awareness is lacking. His footwork and accuracy, was better than expected. Nick’s,Davin will be cut. Penn will move to RT and Matthews the new left T. Can Dotson play RG? If not we need a guard or two.

  13. BucsfaninChina Says:

    D line and O line. There are no greater priorities this offeason.

  14. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    Fortify the lines. I would never be disappointed seeing an OT taken in the first. People get to caught up in sexy picks.

  15. bucemup Says:

    Our O-line is so bad…picking an O-lineman would be a sexy pick

  16. deminion Says:

    @joe think there is any realistic chance teddy falls to #7?

  17. deminion Says:

    personally i prefer watkins @7

  18. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    Joe, what if the Bucs draft Jake Mattews, Then the (Bucs get a really good tackle), Penn moves to Guard, ( replaces Nicks) . Penn gets to eat as much as he wants! Its a Win, Win , Win!

  19. Tim Says:

    @ the Realist

    Penn is a tackle and only has played tackle he wouldn’t be able to move to guard. If Mathews is drafted he would play RT and move to LT when Penn moves on.

  20. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    (Just Opinion)

    Why would anyone want (G) Richie Incognito -We all got our issues, no ones perfect, I’ll admit to that. The problem is Richie, let’s his anger management issues get the better of him at the worst times.

    Sometimes directed at officials or opponents, every once in a while in practice toward one of his teammates. Is that you want? Sure he’s a mauler in the run game, and I respect that aspect of his game. But the dude gave up *6 sacks in 9 games (2013). (Just Opinion) but the risk clearly out ways the reward with this meat head.

  21. Buc1987 Says:

    Penn can move on soon too I hope. Include me in the group that wants Penn gone.

  22. geno714 Says:

    I love this idea! I would take Jake Matthews number 1 in this draft. There is no Andrew Luck in this draft, so take the sure thing. He can play RT for a year if Penn is still getting it done. I assume he would be better than Penn by his second year.

  23. The_Buc_Realist Says:


    Why would the Bucs place the better LT (Mattews) place him at RT while the struggling LT ( Penn ) stay at that position??? That makes no sense at all. I would tell Penn to try and beat out Dotson for RT or he can eat his way and compete at Guard.

  24. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    (Just My Opinion)

    • Donald Penn-$7,066,665
    • Davin Joseph-6,000,000
    • Jeremy Zuttah-4,000,000
    • Luke Stocker-763,172

    Not: If the best LT in the Draft is gone ( LT Greg Robinson)-Trade back in Draft LT Taylor Lewan.

    • Taylor Lewan
    • Billy Turner
    • JaWuan James
    • Spencer Long

    Sign Free Agents
    • Alex Mack
    • Geoff Schwartz
    • Mike Pollak

    New Rotation

    LT –Taylor Lewan
    LG -Carl Nicks- Billy Turner
    C -Alex Mack-Mike Pollack
    RG-Geoff Schwartz- Gabe Carimi
    RT-Demar Dotson- JaWuan James

    Prospect* Highlights
    -Jadeveon Clowney vs Taylor Lewan (2013 Bowl)

    Billy Turner vs Kansas State (2013)

    Ja’Wuan James

    Center/Guard-Spencer Long coming off of injury would be a good redshirt prospect for the offensive line. Would be nice grab for a 7th round pick.

  25. BucsfaninChina Says:

    @Realist Because Penn is a tried and true tested RT or guard right? Its all about fielding the best unit you can on the field and even if Mathews is the best individual player at LT doesnt mean you compromise the rest of the line by putting guys where they havent played their entire career.

    Worst case scenario is Penn sucks and gets benched and you move the guy who played RT for three years at A&M over to Penn’s position.

  26. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    *Mike Pollak

  27. deminion Says:


    i like yur cap-ology lol i would do it

  28. LUVMYBUCS Says:



  29. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    I tell you this -if some way-some how. We’re able to restructure (which I’m sure will happen anyway) Darrell Revis contact.

    Then trade him to one of the teams in the 3rd half of the 1st round. If *Cyrus Kouandjio is still there, I would waste no time sending the card in.

    Sure, the kids not a great tackle, but he’s got the talent and physical makeup to be a perennial All-Pro at guard.

  30. Jeagan1999 Says:

    My dream draft fantasy for the Bucs this year…..First, sign FA O-lineman Alex Mack to play center…(keep Zuttah for depth). Then I would trade down in Rd #1 (pick up another 2nd round pick) and get a guy like UNC TE Eric Ebron (a big, tall and strong receiver and a pretty decent blocker)…Then in round 2 go after Gabe Jackson (a huge 339lb road mauling interior lineman) and Dee Ford (DE/OLB from Auburn who tore it up in the Senior Bowl).

    Imagine if Nicks could return to health and play opposite Jackson, with Mack at center…. our run game would be extremely powerful with Martin and James healthy again! Ebron would give us a stud TE to go along with V-Jax, a healthy MW19, move Timmy Wright to the 3rd WR spot (and also use him in 2 TE sets). And Dee Ford would give us some badly needed speed at the DE position. Then in the later rounds of the draft focus on depth and a speed returner/special teams guy!

  31. Brandon Says:

    Paying top $ for a pair of OGs is overrated! Who invests that much money on the two least important starting positions on maybe the entire football field? Super Bowls are not won with stud OLines…it’s rare.

  32. Arealbucsfan Says:

    Cyril Richardson out of baylor. Looks like Carl Nicks in the making

  33. NY Buc Says:

    @ Jeagen1999

    I like what little bit of Ebron’s play I saw (not that I know what the hell I’m looking at, but he seemed like a playmaker). The kid out of Texas Tech (Amaro) has a buzz too. Either one would be great value if they fall to the Bucs in round 2 (Ebron) or 4 (Amaro)

  34. kh Says:

    Penn unfairly criticized? Did you watch the Rams game? Quinn beat him like a rented mule. And he wasn’t the only one. Penn used to be alright but it’s curtains for him now.

  35. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    “The two least important starting positions on maybe the entire football field? Super Bowls are not won with stud OLines…it’s rare”

    I’m sure you truly don’t mean that. Of course you understand the extreme value a quality guard means to an offensive line.

    • Randall McDaniel
    • John Hannah
    • Alan Faneca
    • Gene Upshaw
    • Steve Hutchinson
    • Larry Allen
    • Russ Grimm
    • Joe DeLamielleure
    • Larry Little
    • Mike Munchak

    These gentlemen blocked for some the greatest running rushing attacks in NFL history. You don’t have to be the BEST offensive line to win a Championship. Even though, you can make a strong argument, that a overwhelming strong majority of Super Bowl Champions. Over the past 25 yrs had one of the top 5 or 10 most dominate lines in the league.

  36. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    8These gentlemen blocked for some the best rushing attacks in NFL history

  37. Niko Says:

    Center and right tackle are set. Good coaching could get Penn and Joseph back to form. The true wildcard is Nicks. Getting Mathews would really solidify the line. I’ve heard penny could be switching sides next year. That could be an improvement.