October 19th, 2015


In these unsettled times of devastating Bucs losses, constant change and growing pains, Joe thought it would be wise to bring back THE OPTIMIST.

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the Buccaneers goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.

THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t. … Of course, THE OPTIMIST’s opinions are his alone and are not influenced by Joe.

My early vote for Most Valuable Player on offense is the entire offensive line; not one single player, all of them.

It was a year ago the Bucs picked up Logan Mankins, and seriously, who would want to be traded from New England to a team that finishes in the cellar each year. But he took on this year with a better head on his shoulders. He’s led the charge for an offensive line ranked 8th on the left side by, with runs of 10 yards or more.
He missed last weekend’s Jacksonville game, replaced by one of last year’s lackeys, Kevin Pamphile, a fifth-rookie project by anyone’s measure. The O-line didn’t miss a beat. Doug Martin is one of the league’s best rushers right now; you look at the NFL leaders and you see familiar Matt Forte, Chris Johnson. And Doug Martin? 405 yards in 5 games?
Remember the question marks entering the season with rookies Ali Marpet and Donovan Smith? After five games, Tampa Bay was the 11th best rushing team in the NFL at 4.1 yards per rush. And they’re still in the top half of the league after yesterday’s games.
On the one TD against the Jags, Ali Marpet blew his guy deep into the linebackers where he continued to block. That kind of finishing is key for a guy like Charles Sims, who takes swing passes down the field. He has the patience of a Le’Veon Bell waiting for his blockers, and block they do!
Now I’m not for Pamphile replacing Mankins after one game, Mankins has a TON of experience, he is a leader in that locker room. But we’ve already seen Joe Hawley replace Evan Smith and have an instant, positive effect. If Pamphile can take over left guard, then when Demar Dotson returns to right tackle, the Bucs will have the makings of a very young and promising offensive line.
The Redskins are up next, and they did a good job on Atlanta’s offense but were clobbered by the Jets. And after that Atlanta, themselves shouldn’t offer crazy obstruction; But The Giants and Cowboys home at Raymond James WILL provide a valid test for the Bucs O-line. And we’ll be able to see how well the unit is really doing by Thanksgiving.

3 Responses to “THE OPTIMIST: The Early MVP”

  1. Buccfan37 Says:

    I’m optimistic that the Bucs get a win in that ugly place that the Redskins inhabit, at least they have decriminalized weed which beats this police state in Florida. The Skins need to play up to par, that being regressively worse with each game played. The Bucs at 3-3 has a nice ring to it. Go Bucs!

  2. D-Rome Says:

    I’m looking forward to this Sunday. If Glennon and that horrible offensive line could stick it to the Redskins last year on the road I’m far more optimistic this time around. The Bucs are much improved from last year. The Redskins? Not so much.

  3. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Rome, McCown played the Redskins game last season.