What About The O-Line?

May 22nd, 2014
Bucs OT Demar Dotson is one of the few offensive linemen without a question mark beside his name.

Bucs OT Demar Dotson is one of two offensive linemen without a question mark beside his name.

There is no polite way of saying it. Last year the Bucs offensive line stunk.

Donald Penn had better years. Davin Joseph never did recover from his knee surgery (he is still looking for work). Jeremy Zuttah was shipped off to Baltimore. And, as former Bucs defensive end Steve White said recently, guys who should have been nothing but backups (the Ted Larsens of the world) were thrust into starting gigs.

This is what happens when an All-Pro guard gets the double-whammy of MRSA and a ugly bum toe.

Since Lovie Smith took over, the Bucs totally revamped their offensive line. Still, there are holes. and none other than the “Custodian of Canton,” eye-RAH! Kaufman of The Tampa Tribune, weighed in on the heavy subject matter via Twitter.

Joe is still in a show-me mode when it comes to left tackle Anthony Collins. Bucs general manager Jason Licht will tell all who will listen just how well Collins graded out with the Bengals. But Collins has never started half a season much less a full season. Can he handle the rigors of a 16-game slate?

Then there are the guard positions. Carl Nicks’ recent injury problems make it a very bad gamble to expect him to start. Working with the first team this week were Oneil Cousins at left guard and Jamon Meredith at right guard.

Not exactly the 1976 Oakland Raiders front wall.

Joe thinks Kaufman has every right to be concerned. While the team made major upgrades all over the place, the offensive line remains a question mark.

34 Responses to “What About The O-Line?”

  1. Espo Says:

    As much as I like our 2nd and 3rd round picks, I still think it would’ve been more responsible to pick a guard.

  2. William Says:

    2nd wave of free agency will take care of the line. All is right on track…

  3. Kevin Says:

    There is plenty of reason to be concerned….but every time the offensive line come’s up it’s the same what if’s the same concerns. Give the men some time to work this out. Obviously they are not very concerned and I think Jason and Jeff don’t want to go into week 1 with a terrible O-line. I’m sure these men have a plan. Let’s see what happens.

  4. Chef Paul Says:

    It depends on who picked out these new O-linemen in my eyes. To be honest, I dont really trust Lovie with that task. Tedford? Maybe not trust, but definitely have some optimism if he picked them out. Licht? So far, so good with him, so if he picked them out I have optimism with his choices too. If Tedford and Licht made those choices, I’d be just fine with their choices before the players prove it to us.

  5. BuCncRaZy Says:

    I’m really hoping there is a cap casualty pre training camp guard. We have NO depth at all on the O-line. For years our high priced o-line has been injured and or performed like crap.

  6. tickrdr Says:

    I was really hoping that Brett Smith would “take one for the team”, by having his big toe amputated and then grafted onto Carl Nicks foot especially since many posters said he had more talent in his big toe than any of the other QBs currently on the roster!

    Just kidding.


  7. pablo Says:

    Pablo is curios if you can give us a Carl Nicks medical update

  8. Yar Says:

    Brett Smith’s big toe would only be Nicks pinky

  9. Joe Says:

    Pablo is curios if you can give us a Carl Nicks medical update

    No update. Same as before.

  10. Destinjohnny Says:

    Despite all thAt mike played the best of any rook. Can anyone debate that?

  11. Captain Stagger Says:

    These olineman are all Tedford moves. Picked for his offense. Not the road graders Lovie would have grabbed but athletc guys that can move. That’s why we passed in Yankey and Jackson in the 3rd.

  12. joe$sucsfan Says:

    EYERA comes out of where ever he resides to give a huge nugget of obvious wisdom. I’m concerned also but can you tell us what strategy you think they should follow to alleviate our fears about the O line.

  13. Chef Paul Says:

    That’s a good point Stagger. I think you are right, and I hope you are right.

  14. Macabee Says:

    You know I keep reading all the comments about what a terrible offensive line we have and how it’s going to be our downfall this year. Well amid all the weeping and gnashing of teeth, the only people that seem to not be too worried about this are the Bucs themselves.

    How short our memories are from last season. We all (me included) raved about our monster O-Line and how it was the backbone of the team. We weren’t alone – Rotoworld and other NFL analysts convinced us that we were right.


    Well, guess what folks? Last year we went 4-12 and the O-Line was the major culprit! Many of my JBF brethren still pine for Mssrs Penn, Joseph, and Zuttah – central players in last year’s titanic disaster. The new administration saw that movie! Lovie and Licht moved quickly to re-vamp the entire line – with talent most analyst say is an improvement. I can’t explain Oniel Cousins any more than I can explain Luke Stocker other than to say I’m not expecting either of them to carry their respective units. But, could we really be any worse? Or have we been promised and unfulfilled so often that we are now paranoid with the mere thought of success?

    With so many naysayers and those concerned about the O-Line this year, I’m beginning to believe that sheer fate or divine providence will make them a success. Things may not be perfect, but they may be much better than we think!

  15. Architek Says:

    I look at it as for the value and price point we can only get better.

    They may not be the graders of the yesterday but more athleticism and movement the better. NE and Denver don’t have heavy linemen but flexible pieces that play smart and fit the scheme.

    We can only go up from here.

  16. dmon Says:

    I don’t think there is any cap relief even if Nicks can’t play at all

  17. Bucnjim Says:

    Too many holes to fill all at once! Skill positions are the hardest to find so that is the direction they went in the draft…pretty much common sence. Interior lineman much easier to find especially in free agency (no one wants to pay guards top dollar except the Bucs) get some blue collar no name guys with a serious attitude and watch them out perform any high priced finesse lineman we have had in the past.

  18. Harun Says:

    Everyone needs to come down. It’s May and there will be plenty salary cap casualties as we get closer to training camp. If we were in August, then I would’ve been concerned. I have no doubts they have a plan

  19. Jim Walker Says:

    Holes? That is a understatement. The o-line is non-existent.

  20. BucFanForever Says:

    As long as “The Cannon” has a short fuse, the o-line can be ranked 32nd.

  21. Michael Duggan Says:

    I have faith in our new coaching staff and until they are proved wrong, so should we. They want to win and they are quite aware of the OL and as such they made the changes……”Go Bucs”

  22. Posey99 Says:

    Via PFF
    “Stud: The team has to love how Demar Dotson (+23.0) has developed over the years. He’s among the best right tackles in the league right now.”

  23. Mr. Patrick Says:

    @ Architek
    You hit the nail on the head Brother. The Bucs are putting together an O-Line that is more athletic and mobile for their up-tempo more open offense. That’s probably why they re-signed Meredith so quickly as he fits the new scheme being a former tackle. And guys, please stop clammering for the Bucs to re-sign Davin. He doesn’t fit new scheme plus after the severe knee injury he suffered he just looks like he’s done. Obviously the rest of the NFL thinks so too as he hasn’t been offered a contract by any other team.

  24. Bear the Bucs Says:

    I’m telling ya, throw screen passes and you don’t need an offensive line..

  25. Jim Walker Says:

    @Posey99 Glad someone else noticed. Now we just need some guards.

  26. kh Says:

    @espo – guards fell about as much as any position in the draft this year which shows the rest of the league doesn’t rate guard highly in the positional hierarchy either.

    After the 1st guard from Utah was taken at the top of the 2nd round other guards were not selected until picks 78-82. When they had the choice between a skill position player with gamebreaking potential in Sims and a few guards they might rate as highly as Kadeem Edwards, the decision makes perfect sense.

  27. Mitch Says:

    I’ve been resisting the urge to say it again because I love the great coverage/service this site provides. But as a man who is up for 24 hr intervals I gotta say that the late night segment was such bust/tease Joe! Haven’t seen one for weeks & it was good content for the week-ten days you ran it!

  28. Andrew 1 Says:

    Gotta love bucs fans. They know about a fraction of the whole story, and yet feel the need to panic. News Flash- There is a lot more going on behind the scenes that Lovie and Licht would ever divulge. Rest assured, if WE are aware of the woes concerning the o line, THEY damn sure as well. I know, its been difficult lately to trust anyone running this organization given our futility as of late, but now is the time to have a little faith in trust in our new coach, because quite simply he has been there and done that. Relax people, be patient, and enjoy the ride.

  29. gatrbuc17 Says:

    Before I read the rest of the article I must first notice the Lack of the first sentence ever being a part of why a Rookie 3rd rounder might struggle. Not going to take it any further

  30. Vincente Says:

    Throw screen passes and you won’t need an O line??? Do you even watch football???? Just let it play out I’m sure the O line is a minor concern, I never hear Lovie or Licht talk about it so I’m not worried. Only thing I worry about is Nicks. I hope that he can play I hate to see his career fall cause if an injury….hope he recovers soon.

  31. gatrbuc17 Says:

    Vincent from BSPN is that you???

    “Yasinskas must go!”?

  32. owlykat Says:

    Look back when our OL was performing well and analyze where they came from. Joseph was the only premium draft pick from Oklahoma. Both our tackles weren’t even drafted or high priced free agents, OK? They both were developed, just like we are doing this year with our two late round Tackle and Guard. Zutah was just a third round pick at Center. So those who think we should have used our first pick on a premium LT and our second round pick on a Guard, if that was necessary, Licht would have done it. Instead, Licht smartly got value free agents for our LT and Center. Our Center was the eighth best NFL Center last year and has a year of proven performance in only his first year, and he will get even better and is athletic and fits our scheme. In five NFL games last year our LT didn’t give up a sack. I will take proven top NFL performance any day to the first round draft choice LT we traded a draft pick to the Bears last year and bought Carimi, a complete bust everywhere stupid Schiano played him, also showing Schiano was no great chooser of talent that the Glennon Mob thinks he was! L & L are real NFL proven Professionals. R E L A X!!!

  33. Bucsfanman Says:

    I love the positivity, what a welcome change. There’s no need to panic…yet. We haven’t even seen what this is going to look like.
    Am I concerned? Of course! This line was HORRENDOUS last year. At the same time, change breeds hope and we changed a lot.
    Go Bucs!

  34. BoJim Says:

    I’m not worried about the oline. I know it will be better than last year.