O-Line Coach Says Preseason Will Be Key

June 9th, 2014

New Bucs’ O-line coach George Warhop shares his intriguing philosophy

The radically overhauled Buccaneers offensive line, complete with its new coach and new-to-the-NFL offensive coordinator, has a very tough task ahead.

This bunch must find a way to be in sync at a level that can withstand the punishing front-7s of Carolina and St. Louis in Weeks 1 and 2 of the season.

 Bucs beat reporter Tom Krasniqi, “TKras” of WDAE-AM 620, asked new offensive line coach what it will take for his line to blossom. Warhop said it’s all about August..

Tom Krasniqi: How long do you think it typically takes for an offensive line to come together gel, especially when you’re dealing with a new group of guys?

George Warhop: It’s interesting. It’s really determined by how you play your preseason games. You know, in some situations, when you have a young quarterback, the emphasis is the quarterback. So you really don’t get to what you want to do until you really get into the season. So that pushes out the jelling part of it. If you go into the preseason and you’re going to call the game and play the game like you’re going to call it during the season, then it happens a little bit faster. It’s just going to be predicated on how we want to play the preseason games. With this group, though, and how they’re wired, I don’t see it being very long regardless of how we go about it.

Now that was interesting. So will the Bucs attack preseason playcalling like a regular season game in order for their O-line to jell quickly?

Will the first-team line get reps, even if Josh McCown and other “A” team guys are off the field?

Or will the Bucs, as Lovie Smith suggested, keep their real offense hidden until opening day in order to get a competitive advantage?

If Joe were head coach, Joe would just do everything possible to be firing hot on opening day against Carolina. So what if defensive coordinators get a feel for what to expect. Thankfully, the NFL is still very much a game of beating the guy in front of you — blocking, tackling and executing.

Let the first-team line crack some skulls in August and find a rhythm with their playbook.

(Enjoy Krasniqi’s full interview below.)

14 Responses to “O-Line Coach Says Preseason Will Be Key”

  1. geno714 Says:

    I’m really worried about the depth of the OL. Is there anywhere to find stats for how many teams lose starting O-linemen in the preseason? It seems to happen so often. Where will the Bucs be if they lose one of EDS, Collins, or Dotson?

  2. Bear the Bucs Says:

    Sometimes the best option for OL line is someone that doesn’t have great measureables, but a lot of heart. Plenty of those in free agency.

  3. Meh Says:

    It seems to me that the advantage of practicing your real offense in game situations is more valuable than hiding an offense that everyone is going to see after the first game anyway.

    If it were me, I’d be playing the real offense in preseason and trying to get the bugs worked out early, instead of trying to hold on to an advantage that is only going to be valuable for a single game.

  4. Macabee Says:

    I will always defer to the wisdom of the position coach because it’s his job on the line (pardon the pun). But I would feel a lot better if all the line issues were resolved early in training camp to allow time to make personnel adjustments during preaseason.

    I read an article elsewhere that said that George Warhop is as pleased as any NFL offensive line coach can be with his unit considering that the OTAs and mini-camps are non-contact practices without pads.

    George is going to have to own that one by himself, because I’m not walking down that dark alley with him on this one. Good Luck George!

  5. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Joe…best comment of the day!

    “Let the first-team line crack some skulls in August and find a rhythm with their playbook.”

    Amen brother!!!

  6. dick2111 Says:

    Still convinced that the Bucs will pick up at least 2 quality offensive linemen before the season begins. Player availability, OL needs and money available will all converge in mid-to-late August. Those O-linemen picked up may not start right away, but if our season-starters falter, backups will become starters pretty fast I bet. Short leashes.

  7. BucsQcCity Says:

    I’m not worried. Defense is still the strength of the Bucs. I fully expect a win on first game. You can design around a weak/unproven oline if you have a mobile qb and a shoot and run mindset. When Lovie came last year, it was so messy that he couldn’t address all the needs in 1 offseason. I trust them.

  8. Jim Walker Says:

    One silver lining is that our o-line “starters” wont be hidden on the bench during preseason like past years. All of the starters will have to work the whole preseason if they have any hope of being a unit.

  9. PanthersSuck! Says:

    Sullivan was keeping his real offense a secret until 2015

  10. robert8 Says:

    what if the coaches know more than we do :-O

  11. SAMCRO Says:

    If keeping our offense a secret, proves to be an advantage over the Stinkin” Panthers.

    Then I’m all for it!!!! ..Why give them an even playing field?

  12. owlykat Says:

    Hide your best plays but keep your Offensive Line in there for first and second string until halftime for every Preseason Game, and three fourths of the last game before the Panthers.

  13. Swaggy64 Says:

    I don’t think we should stress out over the preseason. Vanilla is always the flavor that time of year. I think player evaluations are best conducted running normal plays in normal situations. See who can block on offense and tackle on defense when the big lights are on. I know there is cause for concern implementing new schemes on both sides of the ball, but the usual procedure is to use at least the first half of game three to give the starters a chance to develop chemistry. I think we should all just take a page from Lovie and keep that stoic, even-keeled approach. I don’t know if he’s emulating his mentor Tony Dungy, or if he’s naturally that way, but it’s a refreshing channge from the granite jawed dictator.

  14. scubog Says:

    I’ll be happy if the opponent hasn’t figured out the offense so easily in games that by the second half we can’t even generate a drive, let alone score.