Meltdown Of The Offensive Line

December 13th, 2018

Prior to the season, Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht said he wanted to build a nasty offensive line.

That’s why he signed Ryan Jensen in the offseason. Licht cited his “nasty” attitude.

But having a nasty attitude is much different than being able to block efficiently. And as the NFL season has grown longer, the Bucs run blocking has gotten worse. In fact, per, by way of jet-flyin’, kiss–stealin‘, data-analyzin’, Bucs-film-studyin’, limousine-ridin’, why-man Thomas Bassinger of the Tampa Bay Times, only one offensive line allows running backs to get blown up behind the line of scrimmage more than the Bucs.

Though Tampa Bay sought to maintain a balance between runs and passes, that commitment provided little benefit. Take, for instance, a second-and-5 run in the first quarter. Saints defensive end Alex Okafor slipped through the gap between left tackle Donovan Smith and left guard Ali Marpet to trip up Peyton Barber for a 3-yard loss. After an incompletion on third down, the Bucs punted.

Such losses have been commonplace — far too commonplace at this point in the season — and it’s more of an offensive line problem than a running back problem. Bucs running backs have been stuffed (tackled at or behind the line of scrimmage) on 26.2 percent of their runs this season. Only the Falcons have been stuffed more often (26.5 percent).

This is not good. Of course, football people say leaving that glorified Hyatt Regency doorman Caleb Benenoch on the field at right guard absolutely erodes the entire offensive line as dudes are cleaning up the messes he leaves behind.

Mark Duffner showed what a competent coach can do when he takes over a unit stinking the joint up with a coach who is over his head. The Bucs have a lot of Team Glazer loot and draft capital sunk into the offensive line for it to be shatting on the field.

That’s not a good sign for veteran offensive line coach George Warhop.

28 Responses to “Meltdown Of The Offensive Line”

  1. John B Says:

    A couple of those clips demonstrate a lack of vision by the RB

    A few confirm that DSmith is not a good LT – his footwork is sloppy, doesn’t stay wide based, lunges, slips a lot

    Caleb gets no push and stands flat footed – OLE’

    OLine is a hot mess, we screamed for a RG all off season, crickets….

  2. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    This is great stuff Joe, and this just affirms what the naked eye can see! These RBs don’t even have the chance to get started. How do you find a hole when you get the ball and you have to worry about breaking tackles right away.
    This is why I refuse to call Rojo a bust when he has to run behind this Oline.

    We need to see what the young guys can do so we know if we need upgrades or not. Barber has been playing hurt for a bit and he doesn’t need to further risk injury playing for a team with no playoff aspirations. It’s time to see young talent out there!

    That’s Rojo, Vea, Stewart, Davis, Whitehead, Cappa, Wester, Liedke, Watson, and Spence

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “That’s not a good sign for veteran offensive line coach George Warhop.” And an even worse look for Jason Licht. Warhop probably won’t be coaching the NFC OLine at the Pro Bowl Joe, but a lot of our results this year have got to do with what he was given to work with. And that’s not much.

    Caleb Benenoch (5th rounder drafted by Licht) is obviously not an NFL starting talent, but is cheap for a RG at $630K. Demar Dotson (undrafted back in 2009) is getting really long in the tooth (33 yrs old) but is cheap for a RT (at $4 mil per yr). Ryan Jensen (6th rounder drafted by Ravens in 2013) is reliable & well-paid ($10.5 mil per yr) but hasn’t turned out to be the OLine leader Bucs so desperately need. Ali Marpet (2nd rounder drafted by Licht) is also reliable & well-paid ($10.8 mil per yr) but doesn’t seem to be making a significant difference this yr. And Donovan Smith (another 2nd rounder drafted by Licht) still has me shaking my head. At times he can look dominant, but at other times he looks incredibly slow for a LT (like he’s asleep at the switch as they say). But he is cheap (at $1.5 mil per year he actually makes less than Jacquizz Rodgers $1.65 mil annually).

    So Licht has stocked our OLine with two 2nd rounders, a 5th rounder, a 6th rounder and an undrafted FA, none of whom are setting the world on fire right now. Everyone can blame Warhop for not being able to ‘coach them up’ but the reality to me is that Licht has stocked our OLine with overall mediocre talent. The results that we’re now seeing should be expected.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Dsmith tripped himself and fell down blocking a rookie. Lovely.

  5. D-Rome Says:

    I’m tired of hearing people say we have talent on this roster. Every player on an NFL roster has talent! It’s just that most teams have *better* talent.

    No one needs to be shown the door faster than Jason Licht.

  6. adam from ny Says:

    wow that tape is quite revealing…grab some tissues the o-line has issues

  7. adam from ny Says:

    we need hogs in tampa bay…hogs…hogs who don’t let you touch their qb…and where mauling is a way of life…


  8. Grt1 Says:

    Why is Jameis so inaccurate? Man Tampa fans are idiots, he was getting pressured all day. Good job Licht on drafting Vita over Davenport!!! Another miss that’s going to haunt us for the next 10 years. Good job Licht.

  9. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Whats the difference between the saints vs Bucs during the last 4 years?

    The saints draft very well and the Bucs dont.

    There is absolutely 1 way for the Bucs to get better…

    It is thru the draft

    *kobe Faker endorses bringing in saints asst GM Scott Pioli to run the Bucs. His past work history with the pats and chiefs is 2nd to none. We get better and saints get weaker”

    Kobe Faker

  10. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Been saying this since the beginning but has landed on deaf ears. Everyone wants to blame Barber, and the rookie Jones. Our backs seem to never see the blown open alleys like other teams RB’s enjoy. I have said that if I were the Oline coach I’d have all them men on the sleds at every single practice. They are a lazy bunch.

  11. Not there yet Says:

    The only problems with this is dirk has better film and defended his line all year as if we couldn’t see how bad it is. How can he not see this or see the film and not attempt any changes knowing he’s on the verge of getting fired? Because he was no real coach to begin with. Stick to coordinator title dirk because that’s all you do as head coach anyway

  12. Knack2Babbyyyy Says:

    The main problem for this offensive line comes from the RG and RT positions.”Father Time” seems to have caught up to Demar Dotson, and Caleb Benenoch is like having a revolving door at RG.
    In his limited play, Alex Cappa has shown flashes of his potential, so look for him to continue to develop and battle for a starting job at either RG or RT next season (he was an OT in college).
    Now on to the man who seems to get the most hate on this offensive line, Donovan Smith. He’s definitely not as bad as a lot of people think he is, Donovan’s just inconsistent. There are games when he just man-handles the DE, and then in others he struggles big time. When looking at the market for free agent left tackles, I wouldn’t take many of them over D. Smith and they would come at an extremely stiff price tag. Also, drafting a LT while the Bucs have so many needs on the O-Line and defensive already wouldn’t be a smart move.
    With all that being said, I think the Bucs will choose to re-sign Donovan at a slightly above average LT price, start Cappa at RG or RT next year, and choose to fill the remaining hole high in the draft (Rounds 1-3).

  13. Bucsfanman Says:

    I’m not trying to be funny, but he just looks soft. There’s nothing about him that’s intimidating, including his blocking!

  14. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Defense Rules – 100% and well stated…..licht could have drafted Laremy Tunsil as well as Lael Collins in the 7th round…imagine if there was a competent GM at the helm

  15. Jean Lafitte Says:


    This article was about run blocking, the Oline is 17th in pass blocking, and 31st in run blocking. Jameis was indecisive and held on to the ball way too long, on to many downs. Yes there was a couple jail breaks but that happens to every single offense, every single week. Good QB’s have a plan before the snap, and can read the defense to decide the hot read. The Saints confused Jameis, and he was misreading the defense the whole game. He missed the read on many wide open targets. …and the fact that Koetter said WR’s weren’t getting huge separation didn’t help. After watching Jameis against NO this week makes me wonder if Jameis could’ve defeated them in week 1?

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We need to use our first two picks on the Oline…..we have tried to get by with UDFA, and cheap projects. You get what you pay for.
    Although he doesn’t want to play there, D Smith would be a serviceable RT or RG.
    We need to draft a LT & RG in rounds 1 & 2.
    Use FA for CB….there will be several hundred thousand available.

  17. Troy Says:

    Warhop stunk when he was with the Browns and the 49ers. There was plenty of tape.

  18. Knack2Babbyyyy Says:

    Besides to add depth to the position, I don’t think the Bucs will go after a top market CB in free agency. VH3 will be back next year, across from Carlton Davis, with M.J. Stewart in at Nickel.

  19. Anonymous Says:

    D. Smith making 1.5 mil is already overpaid. Glazers are bigger fools than I thought if they play this lazy ass anywhere near 12 mil. Need at least two OL in draft & if God forbid Licht is still around keep him the hell out of the draft room.

  20. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Smith is a reliable Tackle, who needs to be moved away from the left side of the line. His weakness is speed rushers, who blow right past him, leaving Jameis running for his life. IMHO, we need to draft a better left tackle.

  21. tmaxcon Says:

    They would have had to be good at one point in order to melt down. This roster is garbage 5 to 7 keepers period but low standard bucfan loves to overrate the garbage the fall in love with…. marpet is ok not good nor great the rest pure freaking garbage led by Joe’s other useless man crush d smith…

  22. martinii Says:

    Need to get OL in first 2 rounds, weak OL draft class.

  23. Bucamania Says:

    Oline just getting zero push is the norm this year. Just unacceptable.

  24. John Sinclear Says:

    I am reminded of a comment by John McKay when asked about the execution of the offensive line – “I think they should all be executed.”

  25. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    tmxcon Says:
    “They (OL) would have had to be good at one point in order to melt down.”


    That’s actually a really good point lol.

    — Jensen might be doing better if he was not playing next to Benenoch. — Donovan Smith has been a huge disappointment.

  26. Alanbucsfan Says:

    To those who want to blame lack of talent and not coaching:

    Why is defense giving up 1/2 the points since Def coord change?
    Why were Bucs dominant in 1st half vs Saints and had opportunity to be up 20-3 if kicker did his job, then were blown out 25-0 in 2nd half?
    Why has running game been terrible for 3 straight years with different rb’s and different OLinemen?
    I blame Licht for 2 things:
    Not taking enough trench picks in early rounds
    Inability to find consistent kicker

  27. SOEbuc Says:

    BINGO. Donovan Smith gets ran around by big DEs constantly.

  28. SOEbuc Says:

    Smith might be a good OG. Put him on the left and Ali back at the right where he dominated.