Lovie: O-line Building “Constantly” Challenges

March 31st, 2015

lovie 1029Great offensive lines eluded Lovie Smith during his nine head coaching seasons in Chicago.

Heck, so did a top-10 offense.

Joe talked to Lovie about O-line building last week in Phoenix.

JoeBucsFan.com: As athletic as the defensive linemen have become in this league, and as much more passing as there is in this league, has that changed how you have to evaluate offensive linemen and build a line? It seems like there’s so many teams that are struggling to build a good offensive line.

Lovie Smith: No. I think it’s always been that — the defensive linemen have gotten better and better. They’ve always been a lot better than, the defensive linemen are than the offensive linemen. And we’ve always been trying to find those guys, it’s just there’s so very few of those guys. You’d like to have an athletic group of offensive linemen that are just as athletic as the defensive linemen. There’s only so many of those guys. It’s just hard getting, you know, really athletic linemen that can also block. That’s tough duty. There’s a reason why some of them make as much as they do. And I just know that everywhere I’ve been, we’ve always seemed like the offensive line has always been an area that you constantly, each year you’re saying, ‘Well, hey. What do you need to improve on?’ Well, offensive line is always a part of that talk.

Yes, Lovie has had a very bad run when it comes to offensive lines. Last year put an exclamation point on it. It wasn’t just the failed 2014 performance, it was the three dumped linemen — Donald Penn, Ted Larsen and Jeremy Zuttah — who went on to successful seasons as starters.

Joe doesn’t believe in coincidences when it comes to the gridiron, but perhaps the Bucs have adjusted how they evaluate O-linemen. Joe is hoping.

20 Responses to “Lovie: O-line Building “Constantly” Challenges”

  1. phreakybucfan Says:

    Jameis this year, then o-line first round for the next three years ala Dallas. I believe they had the best offensive line this year. Just saying.

  2. ATrain Says:

    Lovie better build a BIG OLINE for Winston because he can not out run any of the Defensive Linemen. Heck he cant out run the coach..

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It’s simply a matter of priority….and….it hasn’t been a priority of the Bucs for a long, long time……what….Davin Joseph & Kenyatta Walker?
    Even in round two…we pass.
    This year will be telling……pick oline at 33 or DE…..we will see.

  4. brandonbucfan Says:

    Just read that Connolly is coming in for a visit. I hope Mankins can talk his former teammate into coming here.

  5. The Buc Realist Says:

    Saying that “Lovie has had a very bad run when it comes to offensive lines”, is like saying that Charlie Brown has had a very bad run kicking footballs!!!

  6. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    At the risk of giving tmax a stroke….awful since I enjoy his posts even though I may disagree….I’m feeling much better about Lovie this season.

    I think he’s prepared to quit the “Dungyball”. When he selected Koetter and said it’s because he liked that Koetter could set up the running game with his passing game instead of the other way around that made me believe Lovie is finally adapting.

    The fact that he has surrounded himself with two former HC’s to help with the defense…Frazier and Edwards…shows me he’s comfortable in his own skin and not threatened by other successful coaches on his staff.

    We could address BOTH problems this draft. Fameis #1 and then trade up from #34 into the first round for a franchisee LT. Why not pair a franchise LT with our franchise QB?

    If you look at the NFL.com mock drafts and their four analysts only two LT’s go in the top ten and plenty drop as low as 20 including players as talented as Andrus Peat and D.J. Humphries.

    Because teams ahead of us in the 1st must address their own needs I think we could find an LT as low as 20. 14 spots is not an insurmountable move up and if we believed one of these guys was the real deal I’d pull the trigger with more picks and or a player or two to make it happen.

    I’d rather try to find an RG from all the other sources…lower round pick…waiiver wire…somebody already on the team…than an LT.

    QB’s are the hardest to find…LT’s are right behind them along with great rushing DL’s.

  7. bucs4lyfe Says:

    Davin Joseph was a hell of a player dam you’d swear people just became bucs fans like a couple years ago. lol I wonder how many defensive head coaches get credit for the offense they put on the field because I doubt that it would be very many, I assure you with what was going on with out offense last year I cannot not see how on earth lovie smith is involved in the offense very much at all and he even admitted that much. I bet koetter came here because he is going to have the flexibility to run the offense he wants within the game plan

  8. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    I bet koetter came here because he is going to have the flexibility to run the offense he wants within the game plan

    BINGO! That and he probably gets some input into which “franchise QB” he wants to work with.

  9. Arealbucsfan Says:

    If we trade up into the 1st for a o-lineman, id like to take TJ Clemmings or Humphries, wouldnt be mad if we took Eli Harold either

  10. Architek Says:

    Like Joel said – many of us fans aren’t stupid- many of are business men and investors that build teams and manage budgets daily.

    The trick to me is investing the right way in the OL and stop cutting corners.

    Build for long term growth and sustainability and look for the young promising prospect versus the aging veteran.

    Do it one player at a time andy they come together. Dallas OL is just so technically sound and nasty it’s not even funny and Jerry can thank Steven Jones for the patient approach. They drafted the LT out of USC and moved Free to RT drafted Frederick a bit high but nonetheless that’s who they liked and then they took the best OG in the draft last year.

    That’s steady progression!

  11. bucrightoff Says:

    The Cowboys have spent as many first round picks on OL in the last 3 years as the Bucs have the last 25 years. Any wonder why this offensive line is so horrible, and why the Bucs have really never had a consistently good offensive line?

  12. Iknowmorethanlovie Says:

    Loser Lovie has a history of bad offenses and bad QBs. Even Jameis can’t save Lovie from himself

  13. Buccfan37 Says:

    Picking a good O line addition in the draft must be on the Bucs agenda, either that or Lovie is allergic to protecting our QB. Have to be able to score enough points to win. Let’s get some long drives going and put points on the board. These upgraded receivers are waiting to receive the ball for big gains.

  14. salish_seamonster Says:

    I can’t wait until the draft to watch how this place explodes with horror when they draft a defensive player in round 2 or 3. The bitching, moaning, and catastrophizing will be deafening. Good times on JBF… always reasonable and thoughtful.

  15. Lord Cornelius Says:

    1. Winston
    2. OT with LT potential
    3. OG that can start at RG immediately
    4. C/OG
    5-7 BPA

    Then if that 2nd rounder ends up being more of a RT; go for premier LT in next draft or sign one if available in FA with the money we’d have. Take a preimer DE in 2nd; and another guard in 3rd; and O-line would be set.

    LT-2nd rounder from this year / FA / 1st round pick next year
    LG-mankins or 4th round pick from 2014 draft or early pick in 2015 draft
    C-EDS or 4th round pick from 2014 draft
    RG-3rd round pick from 2014 draft
    RT-either 2nd rounder from 2014 or Dotson/Pamphile

    That’s a lot of options and depth if we do that. Essentially I just want 4-5 o-line picks in the next 2 years in the top 3-4 rounds lol. Is that too much to ask?

    Elite DEs become available more than LTs it seems like in FA; but it just depends on the year i guess

  16. salish_seamonster Says:

    desperation drafting is idiotic… you don’t have to spend all high picks to build a decent offensive line.

  17. RustyRhinos Says:

    Sorry salish, You do have to invest in your oline with some high draft picks, low draft picks do not always pan out just like higher draft picks don’t work out. But with higher pick comes better players all around.

    Totally agree with desperation drafting being a foolish venture.

  18. Mike10 Says:

    I can’t take it. I loved Lovie coming in but he just sounds dumb now.

    He wants athletic? Wasn’t Zuttah the most dynamic lineman we had? Didn’t I hear that Penn was one of the best basketball players on the team?

    Lovie, Lovie, Lovie…. What tis your plan

  19. Pickgrin Says:

    Lord Cornelius Says:
    March 31st, 2015 at 1:20 pm
    “I just want 4-5 o-line picks in the next 2 years in the top 3-4 rounds lol. Is that too much to ask?”


    Not only is it NOT too much to ask – its the only realistic and long term solution to this major OLine problem we’ve been dealing with the last 2 years. If Dom had spent a few decent picks along the way on OLine – we wouldn’t be in this mess. But then again – we wouldn’t be getting Jameis Winston either so lets count our blessings in that regard and concentrate on fixing the problem. 3 draft picks between rounds 2>5 should go to OLine this year. That would be a very good start to getting this problem dealt with.

  20. JoeBucsFan.com » Blog Archive » “Antiquated” Thinking At Left Tackle - Tampa Bay Bucs Blog, Buccaneers News Says:

    […] Lovie has not had success building a strong O-line during his career. If you missed Lovie talking to Joe last month about that ongoing challenge, read here. […]