Broken Record

May 19th, 2019


Joe will forever remember what Phil Simms once said about those searching for excuses under rocks.

At a Super Bowl week function, Joe heard the Super Bowl-winning quarterback say there are two sure things in the NFL.

What are they? Playcalling and offensive line.

Simms said when he worked CBS-TV games, sports radio on the way to the airport featured those two subjects fans always kvetched about.

And the way some Bucs fans holler about the offensive line like a broken record, Joe is at times convinced they are watching tapes of 2014, when the Bucs truly did have a garish offensive line.

Today’s Bucs’ offensive line may not be the Oakland Raiders of the 1970s, but it sure as hell isn’t the 2014 Bucs. Joe has seen bad offensive lines. Now that was a bad offensive line.

(Fun fact: the first time Peyton Barber ran for 100 yards in a game was two years ago at Green Bay. Who started at right tackle? The notorious Caleb Benenoch — gasp! Yet Barber still had his best day as a pro. Imagine that.)

Derrik Klassen of Bleacher Report is also one of those types that, when it doubt, blames the offensive line. He believes the Bucs don’t have a major problem at defensive line, don’t have a major problem at running back but do have a major problem up front offensively and must address this lest evil befalls them.

Offensive line was a pain point for Tampa Bay last season. Per Football Outsiders, the Bucs finished 31st in adjusted line yards, 30th in stuff rate and 27th in second-level yards, all of which led to a 24th-place rushing DVOA ranking. Few teams were as dismal across the board in run blocking.

Pass protection was not quite as ugly, as they managed to slot in at 15th in adjusted sack rate, which accounts for down and distance, penalties and quality of opponent. Still, they ranked worst in the NFC South in that category, which is a problem in a division loaded with talented quarterbacks who lead good passing offenses.

Right guard is a particular position of need. … The Bucs chose to focus heavily on secondary in the draft, which makes sense given their dire need there, but that means the offensive line upgrades will be delayed another year.

Joe agrees the Bucs must improve at right guard. The only thing Alex Cappa reminds Joe of is he looks more like a dude that owns a biker bar than an offensive guard.

Now Bucco Bruce Arians has stated a couple of times there is no way to fairly judge a lineman in underwear football. So Joe will guess the Bucs are waiting until training camp before deciding to pursue a guard or not. Risky? Yeah.

Joe believes offensive line might be the No. 3 area of need as we stand in mid-May. For example, if both Jason Pierre-Paul and Gerald McCoy are off the roster, Joe sees the defense being just as bad as last year, if that is possible.

And the Bucs running backs had the worst production in the NFL last year. Worst, and not by a little. But yeah, let’s blame the offensive line, right?

Somewhere, Simms is giggling.

37 Responses to “Broken Record”

  1. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    ……and this is why me and other bucs fans were not happy that the team did not address it early in the draft!!!!


  2. Hodad Says:

    It would be nice if the Bucs could get lucky for once, and have an unknown emerge during camp. If I had to pick who that might be, I’d go with the kid Bailey, UDFA from S.C.. He played in the SEC, he’s got to be better then Cappa already.

  3. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Can anyone tell me why we didn’t see more Evan Smith last year? Usually he’s a solid fill in gaurd and pretty much any option is better than Calen Bennoch.

  4. Confucius buc Says:

    Doesn’t matter if their in underwear or pads the right guard position sucks. This falls squarely on Licht bulb.

  5. Todd Says:

    I just re-watched the first 52-minute interview BA gave to you reporters earlier this year. He acknowledged that run-blocking was not good, but pass protection was. He also stated, “You don’t ask someone to do something they suck at.” Meaning, if a lineman sucks at run blocking, don’t count on them to do that.

    Sage wisdom, it seems.

    That said, we sucked at run blocking on both sides of the ball.

    Let’s get some help.

    Need a RG who knows how to pass block AND run block…as a strategic “piece” that BA references last week.

    He’ll get one. I trust that.

  6. Go Bucs 72 Says:

    Just because they weren’t the horrible mess they were in 14 doesn’t mean they’re good. I’m not sure what you were watching Joe but that line got zero push last year, most of Barber’s yards came after contact. I believe we have one of the most expensive O-lines in the league, they certainly don’t perform that way. The next time Caleb Cannotblock moves anybody will be the first time.

  7. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ Go Bucs 72

    With the exception of Ali Marpet…….this is not an expensive O-Line. DS is on a sweetheart “prove-it or lose it” deal……….everyone else is on average pay.

    This line just sucks…………that’s the bottomline. THEY ARE AT THE BOTTOM. Maybe the Ravens knew the truth about Jensen and that’s why they let him walk??????

    Here’s one thing I do know.

    Our stupid GM has set us back significantly by drafting an unheard of MULTIPLE DBs for 2 CONSECUTIVE YEARS???????????? WTF?????????

    Sorry, but you will never progress by doing this as a team and as an organization……….welcome to another fours years of bottom feeding slums in the NFC/NFL.

  8. SkBucsfan Says:

    After the fiasco draft (which incidentally can not be changed!), we have to now hope that coaching is the key. Maybe we have the right personnel on the field? Maybe our OL and DL are strong? And maybe unicorns fart rainbows and all will be well.
    Glazers. Do the right thing: Fire Licht before the season starts!

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    OMGosh, here it is almost 9 AM and the sun STILL hasn’t come up in JBF-land. It’s dark, very very dark. Hopefully somebody turns on the Licht soon. Oh wait, JBFers have already turned on him. My bad.

    But Chicken Little, the sky REALLY hasn’t fallen … YET. We’ve still got TWO months until Training Camp. We’ve still got several MAJOR issues on the table that WILL be resolved sooner or later (no furry though). Bucs MIGHT have what we need already on the roster; we don’t know. Neither does this coaching staff I’d bet. Once they see what they’ve REALLY got to work with, I think the path ahead will become much clearer. Some new opportunities WILL arise; they always do.

    I for one don’t have a clue what our OLine or RB stable will look like come September. IF we end up freeing up enough $$$ … however we do that … we COULD end up adding pieces to our OLine, our RB stable, our DLine, and possibly even our Secondary. It’s all well-and-good to forecast doom-and-gloom, or to forecast a Super Bowl victory, but May is kinda early for THAT type of projection. Time’s on our side … let it play out. Enjoy the ride Joe. Whatever our record ends up being, this year holds promise of being a VERY interesting year.

  10. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ SkBucsfan

    Let all bucs fans pray for “unicorns fart rainbows”

    I think this all falls back to our stupid GMs broken philosophy that he’s trying to incorporate the “Patriot Way” down here in Tampa.

    Our GM thinks we can get average to below average transform them into something like the Patriots do every single year…..BUT HERE’S THE NUMBER ONE PROBLEM:

    1. We don’t have coach that demands “Buy In” or he’ll get rid of you

    2. We don’t have a Franchise QB…….Winston is an over-hyped average QB

    3. We don’t have any leaders on Defense or Offense

    So all we have are a collection of players who don’t believe and are just “there” or playing for paychecks………there’s no “buy in”.

    We gotta change the culture and that starts hopefully by getting rid of CANCER93 McCoy and hopefully next year getting rid of the Fraud UNFRANCHISE QB…..yes, WINSTON needs to go too.

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    Hmmm, ‘furry’? Make that ‘hurry’. My Mac is thinking for itself again. (It’s a Bucs’ fan too BTW).

  12. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ Defense Rules

    Oh CMON DUDE!!!!!!!!

    ……….stop lying to yourself………

    this current bucs roster a .500 or below team all season long.

    You might as well accept it now

  13. Destinjohnny Says:

    After 6 Licht drafts here we sit with line talent

  14. Stanglassman Says:

    After day two JL was asked why they didn’t take OL and he said they had OLineman on top of their board but their guy got picked right beforehand. I think he’s talking about the 2nd rd pick when Jawaan Taylor (35), Gregg Little (37) and Cody Ford (38) got picked right before the Bucs pick at 39. I bet the Bucs figured they had 3 OL players on the top of their board with 4 picks to go so they expected to get one of them. Bunting should’ve been their 3rd round choice on down. I just felt like they were reaching a round early after that in all their picks after White.

  15. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ Stanglassman

    You made my point…………..

    Our GM ALWAYS overdrafts and players too early instead of letting them slide.

    I thought Bucco Bruce was going to instill the Philosophy of “draft the best players at that position and not for need???” Remember Bucco Bruce said you’d get fired if you drafted for need?????

    Why can’t our GUMP GM draft for the best players and then address the rest in free agency?????

    His drafting is so stupid…….it’s not even funny anymore.

  16. JabooBuc Says:

    Joe, your last comment is pretty dumb. You’d have to have a very rare talent at RB to make a bad OL look good. However, an OL with decent talent that is well coached and works together can make average RB’s look pretty damn good. If you were to prioritize one over the other, it should always be OL.

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    @TheBucsAnthem … “this current bucs roster a .500 or below team all season long.”

    Never said it wasn’t Anthem. Just saying that at this CURRENT moment … 4 months out from the 1st game … no one knows what we have. My personal GUESS (from past comments if you want to check) is that we’ll fall in a RANGE between 4-12 and 8-8 this year. Still, that’s nothing more than a GUESS. Depends on a LOT of things that none of us KNOW at this CURRENT time.

    The one who’s lying to himself is YOU Anthem, IF you think that you KNOW for sure what our final 53-man roster will look like, how good (or bad) our opponents will be, how many injuries (and when) we’ll have this year, etc, etc. Multiple UNKNOWNS at this moment in time.

  18. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ Defense Rules

    It doesn’t matter WHO is on the final roster because at the end of the day, this team will not have enough talent to get over the hump to a winning season.

    Our GUMP GM cannot find enough quality players even after camp cuts and the finalized 53 man roster…….and there’s no denying that.

    Yes, Bucco Bruce maybe is good for another win or two…..BUT, he cannot make miracles happen from the talent we have on this roster which overall will not be good enough come September.

    I’ve got my brown bag already ready. I asked a bunch of Browns fans to give some tips on Awesome Loser decorations for the “Den of Depression”.

    I can send some your way??????

  19. Alanbucsfan Says:

    So Benenoch was successful at RT at UCLA and successful at RT against Packers, yet Koetter puts him at RG (smh)

    Arians has Cappa (RG) and Benenoch (RT) as starters in early practices.

  20. Go Bucs 72 Says:

    @TheBucsAnthem that is incorrect, Jensen is the highest paid center in the league. DS deal maybe good in that you can cut him in two years without a cap hit but his per year salary is high.

  21. tmaxcon Says:

    Dotson is just as big of a liability as the rg was…. Dotson is the real problem…. but with Dotson being a feel good story low standard bucfan won’t admit it….. bucfan is more concerned with popularity and feelings than actual wins…. the entire right side is garbage and they have a loafer at lt how is that going to end well.

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    Anthem … Nah, don’t need any more brown paper bags, and they keep telling me not to put the plastic ones over my head (still can’t figure out why they need to print things like that on plastic bags).

    Keep in mind though … JL is irrelevant at this point. Bucco Bruce is in charge. Just look at the FAs who’ve come in (most will be gone by Sept I’m convinced). This season IMO is a ‘Let’s see what we’ve got’ season and a ‘Set the foundation’ season. Keep what works, get rid of what doesn’t work. Expectations are low for the most part. Well, except for Joe. He’s expecting Armageddon … as in ‘Im a gettin outta here’. I’m getting concerned about him. I’ve known a lot of guys who got PTSD from combat, but Joe may have contracted it from last year’s Bucs. We need to keep a close eye on him. The key indicator that’s he’s healing I think will be when he writes something (anything) positive about Devin White … without mentioning Josh Allen in the same sentence.

  23. Clw JB Says:

    Play calling in the run game means everything. Too many zone running plays called in the wrong down and distance when we had a much better man on man blocking talent level.

    First order of business is to call plays that help your lineman by 1) playing to their strengths 2) helping them by not running off RG on 2nd 10 after an incompletion when everyone knows he is your weak-spot and you are likely to run to get a better DAD for 3rd down

    Good D coaches watch for tendency all week, when they see you not regarding your weaknesses because its ” the wide side of the field” then they run blitz your weak spot and blow your stank up in 2nd and long all day

    When you ask a bullish C to play dancing bear, it doesnt work and your G’s get exposed also

    Lay those strong bodies on bodies, push the pile and watch Barber run for 1200+

    Bet ya 10K

  24. mark2001 Says:

    Joe…you mean the guys that own Biker Bars in Charleston look like that? Umm….come to think about it, they do look like that in Normal and Peoria, as well.

  25. SOEbuc Says:

    Idiot to the game or not, everyone could tell how much worse Benenoch made that oline. Worst pass blocker in the league. Classic Koetter leaving him in all season, not giving Cappa any time during the end of the season when we were already dust in the wind. And Benenoch and Cappa are both OT in the first place.

  26. Season Is Over Says:

    The OL has been terrible. The RBs have been terrible. It is more a fault of the line because RBs do not forget how to run. If the RB were not trying no coach would leave them in. Why have you championed Barber the last two years if you think it it his fault and not the OL? It pretty much makes everything you said nonsense. I’m reminded why I visit less. This place is turning into Buzzfeed.

  27. Jean Lafitte Says:

    I don’t understand why they don’t put Liedtke at RG, and Benenoch or Cappa at RT

  28. #1bucsfan Says:

    Joe, it sure sounds like your blaming the running backs for what they produce. It’s hard to run the ball wen they are getting hit consistently in the back field an the line is not opening up holes for them to run thru. It’s not like barber is a soft running back the dude ran hard to get out the back field an usually didn’t go down with the first tackler. I honestly believe you could of put Barry Sanders or Eric Dickerson back there an they prob would have only produce marginally better. Better blocking equals better rushing results. We need to build the trenches on both sides. If #3 plays well an get an extension an the secondary gets better down the stretch remember they are mostly rookies an 2nd year players then we should focus heavily on the trenches

  29. Sport Says:

    For Chrisakes Joe! Yammering about how guard is no big deal, that Nelson wouldn’t be worth a high pick last yr and now saying it’s a huge hole. Having it both ways again I see.

    Keep in mind what BA said about how different the roster will look come Sept. We will pick up a few pieces after cuts.

    And those pieces will be coached by the best Staff we have seen in these parts since Tomlin was a secondary coach.

  30. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    So “the defense will be just as bad” is the new “we need a pass rusher” in terms of Joe’s breathtaking ignorance of this defense. The 4-3 has left the building, bud!

    Improved Vita, bigger Beau, Devin freakin’ White, someone giving Spence a clue, Shaq, Anthony Nelson, MJ Stewart playing the Honey Badger, Carlton Davis in year two, Mike Edwards, a motivated Jordan Whitehead, and Murphy-Bunting and Dean. Oh, and Todd Bowles.

    Definitely same broken record.

  31. westernbuc Says:

    We haven’t been able to run the ball since Logan Mankins last year on the team. I don’t think that’s a coincidence

  32. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    The Clueless Joe shows his low football IQ, yet again.

    How many times were RBs stopped behind or at the line of scrimmage? When your line is that bad and can’t get even a little push in the run game it means they are a liability

  33. Reach87 Says:

    We were not very good in a lot of areas last year. By the numbers even worse in other areas. Acknowledged. Documented. Rather than go around and around and around about last year, I’ll look to the coming year… the one where we have a new coaching staff, new players, young players with more experience, a QB who is not suspended the first 4 games, a pretty promising LB drafted, more speed at WR, a supposedly (supposedly) hated diva gone, a supposedly hated HC gone, a supposedly inept OL coach gone….I can go on all day. BL: why cry so much about last year? It’s gotten to the point of ridiculousness, IMO. New year. We CAN win this year. Go Bucs!

  34. Jonathan Limpchimpi Says:

    Out maneuvered for lineman as well as running back ( in the later case hand delivering the Rams a running back with tons of promise for two toss away 4th round picks )…yet Licht Weight shored up both 2nd and 3rd string dbs and safeties these past two drafts! Now that’s progress…6-10 would lift his 5 year winning/losing percentage!

  35. Buchead588 Says:

    I think we have a coach who will use his players wisely annstop making square pegs fit in round holes BA has a staff that knows how to win an will have this team hungry an ready to win once they get a taste they will be like rabbit dogs wanting more we haven’t had any player development in years an I think Dirk was a grEat OC just wasn’t ready for HC we finally have our first HC since Jon G left an we are in good shape people don’t realize we have a good roster not complete yet but they haven’t been coached right or held accountable watch ppl stay sleep here we Come GoBucs

  36. unbelievable Says:

    the Bucs finished 31st in adjusted line yards, 30th in stuff rate and 27th in second-level yards, all of which led to a 24th-place rushing DVOA ranking. Few teams were as dismal across the board in run blocking.

    Been trying to tell ya’ll this for 2 years straight.

    Our o-line was straight garbage at run blocking.

    Pass protection was good, run blocking has been pathetic. Good thing we addressed the o-line this offseason. Oh wait…

  37. Trenale Says:

    Bruce Arians first two years in Arizona he had records of 10-6 and 11-5. The top running back those two years was Andre Ellington, they drafted David Johnson in 2015.

    The Bucs need coaching and talent to mesh. This team will finally find out if the players they have can play.