“You Can’t Put Four Or Five Average Football Players Together And Think You’re Going To Have A Great Line”

July 29th, 2014
Meredith hot

Jamon Meredith got a “slow feet” label

Former Bucs starting guard Ian Beckles (1990-1996) is not optimistic about the messy situation on the Tampa Bay offensive line.

He doesn’t question that the O-line, with all kinds of new faces, can jell quickly with veteran starting guards like Oneil Cousins and Jamon Meredith. Greater factors have him worried.

Wondering aloud about the quality of offensive line coaching during the Ron and Ian show this morning on WDAE-AM 620, Beckles said even if the coach is good, there’s only so much he can do.

“Then it becomes, “Are you a good football player or not?” You can’t put four or five average football players together and think you’re going to have a great line,” Beckles said. “It comes down to being able to block somebody 1-on-1. That’s the bottom line.”

Beckles can’t be disputed here, and that’s why Joe has a knot in his stomach. Lovie Smith says repeatedly that he wants to be a run-first offense, but you must open holes to accomplish that. Is the necessary talent on the roster? The Bucs are light on experience, too.

Beckles said his study of Meredith, currently the No. 1 left guard, reveals an almost average player. “He takes up space but he’s limited athletically, got slow feet,” Beckles said. “He might be good in some situations.”

A glimmer of hope offered by Beckles was his opinion that the Bucs’ offensive line may have been “undercoached” last season, based on what he saw and heard.

You can listen to the full breakdown via the WDAE-AM 620 audio below.

38 Responses to ““You Can’t Put Four Or Five Average Football Players Together And Think You’re Going To Have A Great Line””

  1. Bucwild007 Says:

    I saw the headline and knew it was a comment from Beckles… Give me more TKras!

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You can’t put four or five average football players together and think you’re going to have a great line,” Beckles said.

    I don’t think Collins, Dietrich-Smith or Dotson are average….so I don’t know where the “four or five” are coming from……we may really just have a problem with one guard position. I don’t think the sky is falling…after all, there is some money for FAs, trade opportunites & some time before the season starts.

  3. Nick H Says:

    Oh Ian Beckles… Fastest way to get the radio turned off AM for months at a time

  4. Cobraboy Says:

    Wasn’t Beckles the Poster Child of “average” offensive linemen?

    Perhaps an authority?

  5. Cobraboy Says:

    With more weapons and an unpredictable spread offense, I doubt the Bucs will have to block a stacked box. That by itself should help the O-Line immensely.

  6. flmike Says:

    If anyone would know below to average line play it would be Beckles…

  7. Andrew 1 Says:

    What’s got me is that the new regime had to have know that Nicks wasn’t going to play this season, despite all their outward optimism about it. And yet, they didn’t do much to shore up the position. I don’t know what they got up their sleeves, but it seems to risky.

  8. Bob Says:

    Is this guy still on the radio? I quit listening to that show about 3 years ago because Ian is so negative.. Between him and King I don’t know who hates the Bucs more.

  9. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    Ian, are you trying to tell me that a brand new regime with major roster turnover isn’t stacked at every single position group, right out of the gates?

    After the last 5 years, I’m willing to be a little patient with the new crew.

  10. Jim Walker Says:

    $18 million for Revis + a first round player who would be playing for us for up to 5 years.

  11. Andrew 1 Says:

    @ Cobraboy

    Very true.

  12. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Tampabay- I agree partially. Collins has yet to start an entire season at LT which may be why he’s being labeled as average. Also, if you look at our Super Bowl O-line, they weren’t exactly household names either(unless you were a Panthers fan! Julius Peppers!). The long and short of the matter is that they haven’t played together. Usually, a good o-line has time to marinate.
    What’s with the Beckles hate?! I’d rather listen to him than the other guy in the afternoon(purposely left anonymous!).

  13. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    Look people, the roster was terrible. They have 40 new faces that will be on the roster this year. They cannot replace the whole team exempting the two good players, ( McCoy and David).

    They will let them play, and see who they will need to replace next year.

  14. BFFL Says:

    it’s mostly about coaching and scheme..that’s the main thing that separates one team from the next. All players at this level are very talented.

  15. Brandon Says:

    If there are two positions that you can have problems with on the OL, it’s the LG and RG, hands down. You can get by with average play from your OGs and still be a damn good offensive team. We just need these guys to be average.

  16. Nick2 Says:

    I like Beckles but I distinctly remember he thought GMC was a bust??????
    Apparently he is not the best judge of talent.

  17. Snook Says:

    As the Bucs proved with Penn/Nicks/Zuttah/Joseph/XX, we proved you can’t put ANYONE together and expect a good line.

    We had a great O-line on paper the last few years and they sucked on the field.

    Not saying our O-line isn’t an area of concern right, but a lot more goes into this than just 5 individual pieces.

  18. Piratic Says:

    @The_Buc_Realist: You have thus far delivered on your promise. I commend you, sir.

  19. Baz Says:

    I’m not going to try and dispute what Ian said since he played OL in the NFL and I did not.
    However, I will say I hope this new offense that’s being installed will help the offensive line play. Getting the ball out of the hands of the QB and into the hands of a playmaker helps the OL since they only have to hold blocks for a few seconds at most (see: Drew Brees and the Saints, who have gone through several Pro Bowl OG’s and C’s partly because of their offensive scheme). That will set up the defense to be run on later, or “use the pass to set up the run.”
    We’ll see, but this is my hope.

  20. phattitudes Says:

    Ian Beckles never seen cloud with a silver lining in his life. He is always good to point out any and all potential pitfalls real or imagined. Absolutely nothing is good enough for Ian to praise it.

  21. D-Rome Says:

    7 – 9.

  22. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Nick2- Almost everybody thought GMC was a bust a few years ago, including me. I’m glad he proved us wrong…love that guy!
    O-line is a gray area right now and justifiably so. Think about it; who lets a decent LT or C go? Throw in the loss of your two starting OGs and what you get is a big fat question mark. My hope is that this line will emerge a beast. I’ll settle for above average though.
    I think Cobraboy says it best; with the multitude of new weapons on offense, maybe it’ll cover up our weaknesses, at least in the beginning.

  23. Brian D. Says:

    I think we have very good players at the tackle spots and at center…How many teams have every question answered at all 5 line spots? A handful? We easily have the 2nd best offensive line in the division. Depth is a concern, but not too many teams have that luxury.

  24. pick6 Says:

    i’m tired of this “you can’t fill every hole” justification. the bucs created their holes at guard. we have a guy in collins who is capable in the middle but we felt compelled to cut donald penn and force a depth problem at tackle that makes that impossible. we shipped zuttah out for a pick we won’t see until next year’s draft. and unless davin joseph has absolutely zero left in the tank, i don’t see why doesn’t get a minimal prove-it deal to stay in tampa to help our depth. the options were right there for us with no cap ramifications beyond this year. instead we go into the season carrying empty cap space instead of 3 guards with some level of proven NFL ability competing with our rookies & nobodies for those 2 jobs. i’m not saying we had a great interior OL and disassembled it, but we certainly actively downgraded our chances at high performing OL in 2014

  25. Bucsfanman Says:

    Who knows guys?! Maybe the next starting pro-bowl guards are already on the roster. Stranger things have happened!
    I have to agree with pick6 though, we didn’t do ourselves any favors. The Rams signed Joseph for a song and Zuttah was at the least, serviceable.

    Go Bucs!

  26. biff barker Says:

    The rancor directed Ian’s way is more a function of tone than substance. Many have the same concerns but understand L&L went BPA as opposed to overspending to patch holes.

    The tackles and center are should be solid, the guards are the unknown. Meredith can be serviceable if he plays his best.

    The biggest thing is if their skillset fits what Tedford is trying to do. Next is how well they play as a unit. It’s not just a sum of the parts thing and Warhop would be the first to say so.

    Cobra gets it though, play fast and keep the D guessing.

  27. BucLO123 Says:

    I hope Josh has a quicke release! This should be interesting. If they can’t run the ball or block, it’s going to be a long season. Joe’s gonna have to go to AA at the end of the season!

  28. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I’m not sure where all the Ian hate is coming from. I get that people might have different taste in radio hosts completely…but the hate?

    Give the man his props. He was a starting guard for the Bucs for much of the 90’s. He played along side one of the greatest Buc OL ever, perhaps just behind Gruber…in Tony Mayberry.

    He did have far more than just a cup of coffee in the league. He earned his props. He played along side greatness so he has seen it close up. Not saying he gets it right all the time, just saying we don’t need to pile on if he tries to be objective instead of a homer.

    Actually I guess some of the insults are actually compliments for Ian.

  29. But Fanactic Says:

    Name me 4 starting guards in the NFL not on the Bucs? Relax, you have to have pro bowl guards to be successful. Maybe L&L felt like those guys didn’t fix the scheme they want to run. My biggest for the Oline is how long will it take for them to jell and play comfortably together.

  30. Ralph Phillips Says:

    Everyone seems to forget that Lovie’s Bears had the worst offensive line in the league for damn near his whole tenure. Cutler was the most sacked QB in Bears history with over 160 sacks. They averaged almost 3 sacks per game. 148 in 56 starts is what Cutler had in Oct. 2013. That is damn awful. Hell, the Giants had an NFL record 9 sacks against him IN THE FIRST HALF of their game in 2010. Cutler was literally knocked unconscious in that game and missed the rest of the game and the game the week after. Lovie Smith should not be allowed to touch the offensive line but the first thing he did was come in and blow ours up. Yeah, this is going to turn out great. /s

  31. fritz50 Says:

    “Bucs’ offensive line may have been “undercoached” last season”

    Ya think ?!?!

  32. James Pearls Says:

    bad O line = bad mccown. then what chance do we have to win our division and make moves

  33. Kevin Says:

    I cannot stand Ian….just annoy’s me hearing his voice. Haven’t turned him on since……I can’t even remember. It’s almost as nice as not seeing my father in law…

  34. Owlykat Says:

    Beckles said our OL has to win one on one. Apparently he did not notice Chase Daniels win every one on one scrimmage with our excellent DL in our last two days in pads. He is ready for a shot at starting as a Guard on one side. Mark my words he will be just as good as any lineman on our OL. On the other side Meredith has already proved his worth during Martin’s rookie season where he ran for 1,400 yards, Meredith was playing guard and opening holes for Martin, so don’t think this OL with Meredith and Daniels at Guard can’t make our running game go! And our backup Guard we stole from the 49ers isn’t chopped liver either! I disagree with Beckles (chicken little). Tedford is going to take the NFL by storm. He was an Offensive Coordinator for a Canadian Football League Team as well as for the Oregon Ducks. The NFL is in for a surprise!!!

  35. Danati74 Says:

    The Bucs just resigned S.King to play OG.

  36. Joe Says:

    The Bucs just resigned S.King to play OG.

    Now THAT’S funny! 🙂

  37. BuccoBill Says:

    Just my opinion, but Beckles has about zero credibility. I remember his play. It was about average. He pisses me off every time he opens his mouth. DD is better than average. I can’t speak on the other guys that we just brought in but at least EDS seems to have a great pro rep. We’ll develop a couple of guards and if not we’ll go get someone. Beckles needs to go find a radio job up in Philly.

  38. Dreambig Says:

    The hate on Beckles is because he is always so negative on everything Bucs. As residents of Tampa we deserve to have local media who are fans of the local teams. It’s amazing he played for the Bucs but yet is still always dissing them. I would put out there a ratio of 70% homer to 30% objective would be good for the media in non winning years. The media plays a role in energizing the fan base, that in turn leads to ticket sales and excitement in the community. Take a trip to Washington or NOLA and see how those cities love their teams. The local media being in love with the teams they cover plays a huge role in that. Instead of leading, Beckles will follow the fan base to support for the Bucs after they are already a powerhouse.