Playing To His Strength?

April 11th, 2014

Why run behind Anthony Collins and a suspect offensive line?

No NFL team pounded the football more without big results than the Cincinnati Bengals did last season. Their former offensive coordinator, Jay Gruden, was committed to the run game like no other.

The Bengals had the eighth-most carries in the NFL but only averaged 3.6 yards per carry, which ranked 27th in the league. That’s almost old school football, and a tip of the cap to a suffocating defense that drove the Bengals to a division title but crumbled in the playoffs.

Now the only reason Joe cares about the Bengals’ running game is because new Bucs big-money left tackle Anthony Collins was a part of it. Collins had a busy year (for him) with Cincinnati last season, making seven starts. And Joe’s exhaustive research into Collins reveals a guy who was a near flawless pass blocker but not so great as a run blocker.

Even Gruden told BSPN that Collins’ “forte” definitely is pass blocking.

Including chatting with Bengals beat writers and Jay Gruden very briefly at the NFL owners meetings, Joe still can’t find anyone who labels Collins a good run blocker. The Internet stat geeks surely don’t paint him as a hole-opener.

Now Lovie Smith says he wants to run the football and be a “running team,” but where is he going to run? The left tackle isn’t much of a run blocker. The left guard is a mystery. The center is known more for pass blocking. The right-guard battle features a couple of NFL journeyman. The right tackle got little push in the running game last season. The top tight ends are not run blockers, and Lovie doesn’t believe much in the fullback and two-back sets.

This is yet another reason why Joe thinks the Bucs should draft a premier quarterback talent. It’s clear Tampa Bay is focusing on pass more than run in constructing the roster, so why would you not want to capitalize on that with more talent at QB? Surely Lovie Smith and staff, unlike the New Schiano Order, want to play to the strength of their personnel.

Are we really expecting to pound the rock behind this offensive line, a line with no continuity in a new system? That would feel like a prescription for a sad offense.

34 Responses to “Playing To His Strength?”

  1. Ryan Says:

    Bucs will be drafting a Guard early in this draft i think, maybe 2nd or 3rd round.. Its a passing league i think the bucs will be setting up the run from their passing game. And just because a team doesn’t have the best running attack doesn’t mean that an individual player is the problem. Lacy on the packers had a great season running the ball but Evan Dietrach isn’t a good run blocker? Its all perspective, i trust Tedford knows what he is doing

  2. Drew Says:

    Joe… Maybe they’ll draft Johnny. Wrong Answer!

  3. zam Says:

    in the new NFL, you run the ball effectively more by scheme than just beef. Could be all right.

  4. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Joe, the Bengals do not have Doug Martin either!

  5. Drew Says:

    But joe believes the lack of run blocking requires a Johnny football. Wrong Answer!

  6. gatrbuc17 Says:

    You talk about JF so much I cant take you seriously anymore.
    I mean you really think that a QB with more question marks than answers will turn us around. You are a true BUCS fan man. This coming from a guy who watched EVERY Bucs home game for the first 20 yrs

  7. PRBucFan Says:

    Clearly the o-line is being built for a pass friendly offense.


  8. MadMax Says:

    Which is clearly why we need Robinson to open the lanes for our RB’s….thats where my logic is.

  9. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    Joe, why did they sign McCown, so he can teach Johnny football. Wrong Answer!

    Joe why did they improve the defense. so they can help Johnny football. Wrong Answer!

    Joe, why did they change the uniforms. Cause they look better on Johnny football. Wrong Answer!

    You people obsessed with Johnny Football have lost your minds. Joe didn’t even write about Johnny Football here in this post. You’re seeing mirages. –Joe

  10. tmaxcon Says:

    Glennon and McCown have more questions to their games than JF. the difference is McCown and Glennon don’t have the same potential upside nor the athletic ability that JF has. I don’t dislike Glennon but I just dont see the greatness others see. He’d be a decent back up but it’s been 12 long years and I rather take chance on upside and athletic ability rather than mediocre at best qb play.

  11. passthebuc Says:

    I agree with Joe. Draft a premier QB talent. Problem is Joe, there are non in the draft. Bortles is a 3 yr project. Bridgewater and JF are suspect at best.
    How about
    What scouts are saying:

    “Fine touch and accuracy. Very good mobility and movement in the pocket. Tough and gritty competitor. Produced a rare 24-1 TD-INT ratio as a senior and cut down on mental mistakes that characterized his play earlier in his career. Has a 27-5 career starting record, has rallied his team to victory off the bench and carries a calm, confident, poised field presence

    That is Connor Shaw whom can be had in the 6th or 7th round. His highlights are as good as JF> and better than Bridgewater.

  12. Buc Fan #237 Says:

    Draft the best OT or Mike Evans… CORRECT answer.

    Draft Johnny “Tiny Man” ziel in round 1? WRONG answer.

    ☺ I’m liking this.

  13. Buc Fan #237 Says:

    What if Manziel falls to round 2 just like Drew Brees did?

    If that happens, do the Bucs waste a trade up to get Manziel in round 2?

  14. Drew Says:

    I seem to remember another JF who had all the tools and was athletic. How did that work out?

  15. PRBucFan Says:

    Isn’t this article about our offensive line?

  16. Joe Says:



  17. PRBucFan Says:

    Thought so thank you.

  18. Drew Says:

    The article began with the O-line, but the final paragraph of the article, no pun intended Joe, opened the discussion to a QB.

  19. theDON Says:

    Look, Johnny Manziel would bring some excitement to this org that we havent seen in a long, long time. we have never had a qb that is multi talented, maybe jeff garcia, but we had him when he was 40. Bucs need some star power on the offensive side.

    Go get johnny football

  20. PRBucFan Says:

    Point is the article was not intended to be about Manziel

    Obsessed much?

  21. kgh4life Says:

    I think they will try to run the ball by scheme rather than personal. For example Joe mentioned in a previous article that based on the personal, that a zone a blocking scheme will be implemented. It definitely looks that way. The zone blocking scheme does not require a physically imposing player, rather it requires guys that are athletic and are good in space. Plenty of teams over the years have had success implementing zone blocking.

  22. Bill Byrne Says:

    Before we define the offensive line as “weak” let’s wait until after the draft and free-agent cuts in June. I trust this management team and the 19 free agents that have been signed tells me they understand exactly what the BUCS need to compete for a division championship.

  23. rdbucfan Says:

    So the article is about the offensive line except for “This is yet another reason why Joe thinks the Bucs should draft a premier quarterback talent (aka John Manziel).”

    Though it was a nice try.

  24. William Says:

    Anyone who talk about QB in their comments are starting their weekend a little to early…

    Although Shaw is coming to Tampa… LOL

  25. Jeffobrien Says:

    Headline new defensive scheme. Joes take draft Johnny. Just signed pro bowl corner draft Johnny. Johnny Johnny Johnny Johnny. Holy crap we get it you love Johnny. And of course I’m hating cause I didnt pull tail in college like JOHNNY. And I wouldn’t mind drafting him. Just would like some other content to get me through this slow part of the off season. So I guess what I’m saying is we should draft Johnny.

  26. owlykat Says:

    The rules changes in recent years have made this a passing league. The Schiano approach was old school of setting up the pass with a good running attack and play action deep passes. NFL teams now put a premium on athletic blockers who can pass block well and they use a zone blocking scheme. They set up the run with the pass. Add to that an up-tempo approach and personnel groups to tire out the defense and keep them confused, and add in some spread techniques like you see with Kelly’s Offense in Philly last year, and now we are talking about what works best on offense in the NFL today. This is the direction Tedford is going and Licht has just been getting the type of offensive players needed for this kind of offense. And yes, Joe, you are correct, itis going to take an outstanding QB to make it work best and if we dont take a QB at 7 in the first round we will be in trouble, eventually. The days of The Hogs for your OL is over.

  27. pick6 Says:

    $13 mil left in the salary cap hopper. sure seems like we could’ve afforded to keep donald penn for the sake of depth & competition.

  28. Vico Says:

    I hope we get Manziel so we can talk about him and his girls all day long, for a year or two.

  29. Harry Says:

    “…You people obsessed with Johnny Football have lost your minds. Joe didn’t even write about Johnny Football here in this post. You’re seeing mirages.”

    They can’t loose something they never had…

  30. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    On topic, I don’t think we are going to run the ball in the traditional way we are used to in Tampa. Instead of ground and pound, I would expect us to run 4 WR sets to spread the defense out, then run out of that formation. I have no information to back that up, so that’s purely a guess. That’s basically what Philly does, and they have a very poor OL, so it can work. Hopefully gone are the days when we put everyone on the line and try to run it right at the other team.

  31. Splash Says:

    Back off topic… we should draft johnny browneye

  32. delson Says:

    Hawaiian buc I believe that’s our direction!! I hope so doug martin is a better compliment to a passing offense rather than being the whole offense. No 1 man can be the offense.

  33. BoJim Says:

    Part of the reason we got good pass blockers is to protect McCown/Glennon.

  34. ben harvey Says:

    Bucs will be drafting a guard early for sure. If Nicks is healthy and they get a high pick towards a guard, this could easily be a run first offense. The other linemen can pick up the garbage and let the two studs do the work lol.