Blame The Offensive Line

February 1st, 2015


The Bucs had a rotten time, for the most part, running the ball last year.

Yeah, Doug Martin was hurt early — so he told Joe after the season. And Bobby Rainey was benched, with some claiming he put the ball on the ground too much, despite not fumbling fumbled since September.

And Charles Sims was forced into the lineup before he was ready, as if someone was trying to prove his worth as a third-round pick.

Woody Cummings of The Tampa Tribune typed up a nugget on why the Bucs running game was akin to running in quicksand, and you can look no further than the offensive line.

A viable running attack was one of the many things the Bucs failed to develop this past season. They finished ranked 29th overall in that discipline, averaging just 85.9 yards per game and 3.9 yards per carry.

Smith placed most of the blame for those poor averages on his offensive line, saying the Bucs won’t really know what it is they have in RBs Doug Martin, Charles Sims and Bobby Rainey until the line improves.

“It always starts up front,’’ Smith said at season’s end. “And we know we need to get that part straight. Once we do that, we’ll have a chance to see who Doug Martin, Charles Sims and Bobby Rainey really are.’’

Well, even though the offensive line stunk out loud, somehow, when Rainey played, he found holes (often on the right side where Demar Dotson worked).

Again, Joe wouldn’t be shocked to see four new starting offensive linemen — not saying that will happen, but it would not be a shock.

If the Bucs do keep left-his-heart-in-New England guard Logan Mankins, Joe hopes some staff member with the Bucs is able to help him find a suitable spot to practice his pitmaster magic.

19 Responses to “Blame The Offensive Line”

  1. Brandon Says:

    And Martin finally had a decent day on the ground late in the season and that was also behind Dotson, but this time Dotson was on the left. This much we know for sure, Dotson is our best Olineman.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I doubt very much that we have 4 new Olinemen…..probably 2….I think Lovie has already signaled that Mankins, EDS & Dotson are keepers…

  3. robert8 Says:

    same same this year with warhop leading the plunge

  4. Bucfan4life Says:

    @tampabaybucfan lol, Lovie never lies! I know a lot of fans don’t like Lovie but he’s not an idiot! He knows this line is the weakest part of the NFLs worst football team. Like Joe said, I won’t be surprised if we have 4 new starting o-linemen next September.

  5. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I do not dislike our running backs, in fact I like all three for what they bring to the table. But we are missing a key ingredient.

    If you look at trends, hell even our own history with the “A-train”, you can see we need a BIG running back to complement the others. If Mike James is not that guy then let’s find a back who is.

    Both of the teams in today’s Super Bowl can go into “Beast mode”, or “Blount force trauma.” I miss the days of Alstott when our running game had its own nicknames. Alstott and Dunn were great complimentary running backs and of course the A train was invaluable in the 4th Quarter when we were ahead.
    Where is THAT running back on our team? We simply do not have a power back!

    BTW There is another consideration beyond our Oline. Both Martin and Sims battled injuries throughout the first half of the season. Both seemed to be getting healthy by the end.

    Love to see them healthy AND with a good OL.

  6. Barry Says:

    Bucs didn’t feed Martin the ball. Bucs Smith didn’t know how to use him. I hope they trade Martin, Glennon. Not for the Bucs sake but for the players.

  7. Jim Says:

    They are close, all they need is a center, a R and L guard, and a R and L tackle!

  8. OB Says:

    We have four good RBs when you include the invisible man named James. If we put Dotson back at Right Tackle where he belongs and get four better Left Tackle, both Guards, and the Center we will get somewhere, but I don’t trust Lovie to do this because he has proven he doesn’t know what a OL is nor the coaching needed for there. Hopefully Koetter will clean house but on the bright side of the darkness, if they don’t, we get another number one and just about new everybody in the front office and coaching ranks.

    Koetter is the answer, not Lovie

  9. biff barker Says:

    And yet the greatness of Warhop still occupies OBP.


  10. biff barker Says:

    Agree, we keep Dotson at RT. Go FA at LT.

    I’m still wondering what the hell happened with Collins? He was serviceable for the first few games.

    Cousins and Omameh must go. Pamphile and Edwards were touted as being highly athletic, maybe one can develop?

  11. Dean Says:

    OB….you are exactly right.

    Lovie Smith does NOT run the offense. Even with the “kid from left field” running the show last year, Lovie left it up to his OC and those other coaches minding the running and passing attack.

    It’s like saying Rex Ryan was running the offense for the Jets. Hell, guys. He (and Lovie) had strong hands on their respective defenses, but their offenses are pretty much out of their hands.

    That is why the hire of Koetter is so great. He can create an offense with the talent he has to work with, make all the adjustments he needs to make and not worry one little bit that Lovie is going to be anything but supportive.

  12. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    I’m still wondering what the hell happened with Collins? He was serviceable for the first few games.

    Cyndi Lauper had a song called “Money Changes Everything”.

    The hardest call on F.A. acquistions isn’t a simple talent judgment but also a calculation about the players love for the game.

    I was blessed to spend 25 years in broadcasting. Money had no bearing on my motivation. I’ve spent the last 15 as GM of my wife’s dental practice. If somebody gave me 5 million I would be worthless in the practice because it’s not my passion. I do it to help my wife. With 5 million I wouldn’t need to work.

    All of you ask yourselves about your current job. If somebody paid you multi millions of dollars meaning you no longer HAD to work but simply show up…how hard would you work? Serious question. I’m curious if there are any of you honest enough to admit you’d bag it in a heartbeat.

  13. gatrbuc17 Says:

    @StPeteBucsFan……………I am a contractor by label but I am a Carpenter at heart. I have guys that work for me and I make a decent living but I love to build stuff myself. I always get my hands dirty because I love it. As to your question if I had zero financial worries for myself and my families I would not “quit” getting my hands dirty but I sure would play more golf and fish more.

  14. gatrbuc17 Says:

    lol I only have one family.

  15. mac Says:

    We need a starting RG, a starting RT and a few more solid backups/depth players… The left side of the line is already complete and pretty solid with Dotson at LT, Mankins at LG and EDS at center…

    Pamphile, Edwards and Omamah all show promise as depth… We will draft at least 2 lineman this year and we should be able to sign a few free agents and perhaps at least one of the better guards or tackles available as we have plenty of cap space to do so…

    We need at least 7-8 solid lineman to make it through a season… Injuries will always hit during the season so you need a few versatile players who can start at several spots and hold there own…

    I don’t expect our line to go from worst to first but I think they can at least be average next year which would be a huge improvement…

  16. ddneast Says:

    Great posts StPeteBucsFan and Dean. Both of you nailed it. Gatrbuc, not sure if you realize it, but you agreed with St.Pete.
    Sure you love what you do, but if you made a big gob of cash all of a sudden, you wouldn’t be as interested in doing at as much as you used too because you would be so comfortable you wouldn’t have to.
    Again, not all of these players who were good last year could all go had at the same time without one common denominator.
    Marcus Areoyo.

  17. Lion Says:

    Two words, Marcus Arroyo.. He clearly had zero invision for how an offense should operate as a grand scheme.

  18. Lion Says:

    Envision that is

  19. Java Says:

    Loser Lovie got rid of all the good linemen before he coached his first game