“Bucs Fans Should Consider Themselves Lucky”

June 1st, 2017

O-line chatter.

It seems a regular issue with Bucs fans who grumble over their fourth beer at Hooters is often the offensive line.

Oh, Joe is confident the schooled seals barking out loud and clapping in unison over at the PFF tribe have a lot to do with that. The same outfit that graded the Bears as having the best starting roster in the NFC North.

The tribe loathes the offensive line of the Bucs the way Joe has a vile dislike for warm beer and cold women. But Bucs center Joe Hawley waved off the tribe today and is of the mind that rather than wringing their hands in angst, Bucs fans should order that fifth beer (provided they are using Uber), wolf down a plate of wings and toast the front line.

“Bucs fans should consider themselves lucky they have a really solid offensive line,” Hawley told Joe after underwear football practice. “We have a starting five with a bunch of guys that can step in.”

In fact, Hawley said, the Bucs have eight current or former NFL starters on the offensive line depth chart and that fact alone should tell folks the line is not a weakness.

“I don’t think it is anything anybody should worry about,” Hawley said. “Confidence coming into the season is really big.”

Hawley noted that confidence stems from the team improving by three wins from the previous season largely without the man so many expected to carry the mail in the run game, Doug Martin. He struggled terribly when he did play, with a hamstring injury and a failed whiz quiz sandwiched in between his reps.

“An offensive line, a lot of people don’t know, you can’t just plug an All-Pro in and have him do just as well,” Hawley said. “It’s all about a unit. All five guys have to play well together. This is the tightest group I have been a part of since my second year with Atlanta.”

Best line since his second year with Atlanta? Joe sure hopes that is a premonition of things to come. That would be 2011, a year the Dixie Chicks were 10-6 and captured a wild card berth.

21 Responses to ““Bucs Fans Should Consider Themselves Lucky””

  1. Make America Brate Again Says:

    Don’t care what Joe says, the depth at OT is weak. We have two starters yes, but one is old and there is 0 depth behind that guy.

  2. Pickgrin Says:

    I hope Hawley is OK in accepting a reserve roll because if all goes as planned – this undersized center with an oversized heart will be riding the bench all year during the regular season. In fact, barring injury to an interior starter -he will likely not even be active on most game days as Evan Smith will probably get the nod to be back up for all 3 interior spots on Sundays this fall. Smith’s versatility and ability to play Center or either guard spot in a pinch makes him more valuable than Hawley as an active reserve Lineman.

  3. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Agree that my worry is OT depth. I have no worries about our interior and the interior depth

    LG-Pamphile – solid young starter
    C-Marpet – beast of a young stud
    RG-Sweezy – established starting G when healthy

    Evan Smith – can play LG/C/RG – many NFL starts
    Joe Hawley – C – many NFL starts
    Caleb Benecoch – showed some promse at G and trained at C/G like most

    LT – Smith – not worried but the depth worries me
    RT – Dotson – biggest liability / worry going into the year for me

    What scares me is that Pamphile is supposed to be the RT backup for Dotson but then who do we put at LG? I’d rather not shuffle people between G & OT roles mid season. We need a true designated 3rd OT who can be that backup guy to Dotson or Smith in case of injury.

  4. The Buc Realist Says:

    I really hope that the interior of the line settles in quickly!!! on Paper would be a pretty strong group!!!! The word on the street is to really grade the tackles this year!!! If DS76 does not take a big step, Look for the Bucs to draft a LT and move DS76 to right tackle and keep DD69 as the backup swing tackle!!!! Could be one of the more feared lines in the NFL if that plays out correctly!!!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. JimmyJack Says:

    I don’t understand all the hate for D. Smith. He got better last year in pass pro. and he is obviously expected to improve again. He is also a beast on run sweeps and screens.

    I would wager that the way Smith worked in tandem with his RG and C getting dowfield blocks away from the LOS is among the best you’ll find in the NFL.

    Hey naysayers………This O-Line did some special things last year and are building a solid unit. Open your eyes and watch these kids get even better this year.

  6. JimmyJack Says:

    The best thing I’d like to see is somebody step up and outplay Cherilous during TC. He was a basic stiff last year and too old to expect anything more from him this year.

  7. Stanglassman Says:

    Cherilous retired.

  8. JimmyJack Says:

    Oh my bad I thought it was Cherilos that retired. He and nd Dotson seem like the same player to me because they were both scrubs last year.

    Godsters go to move was getting pushed so far back knowing where the QB was became a guess. Demars trademark was spawning out just to put a forearm on his guy. Or was it vise versa? Either way we are in troble if that’s the best we got

  9. duthsty rhothdes Says:

    Bucs OL is one of the weakest on the team, hawley is lucky licht kept him around a year to late similar to vjax, licht has not given winston a wall of protection to get the ball to the weapons, time will tell but too many what ifs and hold your breaths at the tackle spot… laremy tunsil was the pick last year not an average corner

  10. SB Says:

    Any OLine worries and most of Jameis’ pressures came from lack of WR depth and RB depth. A single unit being singled out is a product of the sum of all parts. Our team was hugely upgraded this offseason. OLine will not be our problem this yr.

  11. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    What SB said.

  12. SB Says:

    Howdy Bro! Good to C Ya! Stoked for this Season!

  13. Bill T Says:

    There was some talk of trading Nate Solder.

    Put Solder in at LT Move Smith to LG, Pamphile to RT (provided he has the feet to keep up with DEs) and you have Dot as veteran depth.

  14. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Pickgrin Says
    “I hope Hawley is OK in accepting a reserve roll because if all goes as planned – this undersized center with an oversized heart will be riding the bench all year during the regular season. In fact, barring injury to an interior starter -he will likely not even be active on most game days as Evan Smith will probably get the nod to be back up for all 3 interior spots on Sundays this fall.”

    I might be wrong, but I think Hawley can play some tackle too. Don’t quote me in that though. But he can play both guard spots too, so really, he’s like Evan Smith, but better at center.

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Not all that important IMO how our OLine compares to other teams’ OLines. It’s how our OLine matches up against the better DLines for the most part. We play some pretty decent defenses this year (Giants, Pats, Miami, Buffalo, Vikings for starters) and all of those we play in the first half of the season. Just hoping that this OLine gels quickly.

  16. Lamarcus Says:

    D smith blows right now. I’m not riding on his potential so he just blows right now. Idk his strengths are. I keep watching tape of him and I don’t see it yet. Maybe next year

  17. JR in DC Says:

    Howley has been pushed to a reserve role by Marpet, I need to see whats Sweezy will bring to the team, I hope he’s healthy.

  18. Capt.Tim Says:

    Lord Cornelius
    You left off Leonard Webster and Cole Gardner
    Webster is a talented young Tackle, Once he puts on some muscle- Cole Gardner may be a starter someday.

    Our line is Fine. Both Smith and Marpet may be all pros this year

  19. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Our receivers have been vastly improved this year, so our line will look even better, since Jameis will no longer have to wait, for Evans to get open.

  20. USFBUC Says:

    @Bill T – that idea isn’t crazy and the proposed trade in the article wouldn’t hurt that bad unless Tandy is set to start over the rookie. I would also want to have an extension worked out before hand too so we don’t just get Solder for one season.

  21. USFBUC Says:

    The only issue I could see with that trade would be the ability of Smith or Solder to play RT. I’m pretty sure Smith has said he would struggle at RT