“Not A Solid Group”

June 28th, 2019

Offensive line talk from a Hall of Fame GM

For those that enjoy howling about the Bucs’ offensive line, let the dog whistle be sounded.

Recently, Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian, while on “Late Hits” with Friend of Joe co-host Alex Marvez, broke down each team in the NFC South. Of course, the Bucs were among them.

Polian blasted the Tampa Bay salary cap mess and wagged a finger at America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston.

As far as the Bucs’ offensive line, Polian threw out red meat for those who are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt it is the root cause of unrest in the Middle East, the rash of hepatitis outbreaks in Florida and the Rays wanting to move to Montreal.

“The offensive line, not a solid group, particularly at tackle,” Polian said. “And there are really no answers there. Ali Marpet I think is the standout there. I kind of like Ryan Jensen. The others are what you might call ‘Journeyman.'”

Joe loves Jensen’s attitude but in no way has he lived up to being the highest paid center in the league. We all know Demar Dotson, who turns 34 in October, is in the sunset of his career.

You know what would make the Bucs’ offensive line much better? If Donovan Smith would play to the whistle.

Joe is in no way suggesting Smith is bad, but it appears that after his first point of contact (often throwing defenders away like Joe chucking empty beer bottles), he too often thinks his job is finished until the next play.

If new offensive line coach Joe Gilbert, or maybe higher up on the food chain like Bucco Bruce Arians, can get Smith to play to the whistle consistently and look for someone to flatten after the initial point of contact, that would surely help the entire line.

Joe’s sources have said one reason Jensen wasn’t his normal self last year was that he was too often covering for Caleb Benenoch, who had no business being on the field as a right guard.

28 Responses to ““Not A Solid Group””

  1. Pickgrin Says:

    “one reason Jensen wasn’t his normal self last year was that he was too often covering for Caleb Benenoch”

    I’ll buy that excuse if Jensen balls this year….

    No reason for Alex Cappa not to have been inserted at RG last year at some point. He certainly wouldn’t have done any worse than Benenoch – and would have gained valuable experience in playing the last few games of the season. Another Koetter head scratcher…

    Both starting tackles are not very good at run blocking – so Polian is correct to point that out as a known problem.

  2. westernbuc Says:

    The thing with Donavan is that it seems like he has a few bad plays a game and it feels like it’s at the worst times. But that’s just the Buccaneers.

    The fact is, we haven’t had a strong right side in a long time. Maybe Warhop was a bad coach, but I don’t think he had enough talent to work with

  3. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    But didn’t Joe just post that we should stop posting about how bad the o line is because, ONE respected analyst said Marpet was great?!!!!

    If your RB is getting stopped behind the line or at the line consistently that’s the o lines fault. Just an overpaid group that can’t move people in the run game

  4. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    But…but…but, look at the passing game numbers.


    Put Suh against the RG throughout training camp and they will be ready by game 1. They should at least get better. Hopefully Suh will give them pointers.

    Go Bucs!!!

    Coaching, Coaching, Coaching!!!

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I totally agree that Cappa should have been given more playing time toward the end of last season….the same with Rojo.

    I actually agree with Polian’s assessment of our Oline…..it is mediocre at best…..but for the exception of the WR/TE corps, so was the rest of the team.

    Let’s hope coaching is the difference because we didn’t address Oline, RB in the off-season.

  7. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Which is why I want DL & OL with the 1st 4 picks….DC will exploit the weakness again and again….it’ll be a long long season

  8. Bucsfanman Says:

    What problem with the offensive line?! We didn’t have any problems, right?!

    “Who’s there?”
    “Caleb who?”

  9. Bird Says:

    No question the oline needs to give Jameis time to go thru his reads.
    And establish a better run game.
    We finally have real coaches to coach the big guys up front

    I always thought George Warhop had naked photos of one of the buc executives to keep his underperforming job

  10. DB55 Says:

    Almost 40 mil in cap space between 4 of our oline and not 1 playoff game or pro-bowl between them.

    Meanwhile our division foes all have at least 1 pb on the line. We play against a total of 7 pro-bowl oline in our division and more than half of them have been to multiple pro bowls.

    But Jameis is the 4th best QBs in the division 🙄

  11. Magadude Says:

    I wish Donovon’s woes were as simple as saying “he thinks his job is done until the next play.” The problem cannot be that he doesn’t know he has to keep it going, or that is, “play until the whistle.” That’s silly to suggest. The reality is Smith probably just doesn’t have the stamina to do really well in the NFL. Now getting into Ryan Jensen…to get a guy like him to even come play for the Bucs, he needs big money dangled. Enter Jasson Licht and salary cap He11. We’ve had (still do in some cases) a roster full of overpaid players (some past their prime) along with young, first-contract players…and guys like BA has to say he likes the roster because that’s all he’s got. Problem: Licht.

  12. Bobby M. Says:

    Everyone always says Cappa should have been inserted….Rojo should have been given carries. This is the NFL where everyone is fighting for a job. IF either of those had anything to bring to the table that offered improvement the coaches would have played them. They weren’t ready which generally means they weren’t executing their assignments consistently at practice…..against their own peers where they know one another. You put them in a game of total randomness, they’ll melt. Either one of them misses a block here….a block there….you end up with Winston getting hurt. The objective last year was to analyze Winston. I think that continues this year but with more urgency to win as a team.

  13. Clw JB Says:

    A lack of commitment to drafting quality o lineman versus CB and S is ridiculous

    We have burned 6 high picks on DBs in the past 3 years and not one 1 st or 2nd rd pick at OL

    Enough said

  14. Tom Edrington Says:

    That’s a pretty solid evaluation of what the Bucs have up front….sad as it is…

  15. zzbuc Says:

    Agree with Polian on each statement made……..Thats once again makes me think what the real proble is in tampa lately, bad coaching or bad management? No doubt on my mind what the answer is……Obviosuly M;anagement, that doesn´t make our former coaches great, by any means.
    But I will keep on saying that we DIDNT and DONT have a talented roster over a decade and today…. We have a phew VERY talented, but as a roster ovearll???? NAAHHHHH

  16. Magadude Says:

    “Almost 40 mil in cap space between 4 of our oline and not 1 playoff game or pro-bowl between them.” Pretty much says it all right there. Licht.

  17. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Again how is ol jason gump the GM of anything?

  18. Race to 10 Says:

    Not a solid group particularly at tackle? Has he seen Caleb Benenoch play?

    I guess since what he is really saying is I’m a hall of fame gm, I didnt need a Tony Dungy to win his superbowl, he could have signed any head coach off the streets because he was drafting hall guys. Not enough superbowls for that big mouth

  19. Magadude Says:

    Oppps….Dungy…there’s that name again (right above). Hmmm….

  20. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    So Donovan Smith, a completely homegrown talent who has never missed a start in his career, is a “journeyman”? Cmon man, at least pretend like you know what you’re talking about.

  21. 813bucboi Says:

    i think warfold will be the difference maker….

    or another veteran camp casualty….

    GO BUCS!!!!

  22. Marine Buc Says:

    The best we can hope for is for this line to play at least average this season. If injuries begin to mount we are totally screwed.

  23. Buccfan37 Says:

    Cappa seems to be another developmental project reach that is yet to cut the mustard. But who knows as not much is said about him or his progress that I have noticed.

  24. DBS Says:

    Last I heard the Pro Bowl was a popularity contest. But not that it comes to our offensive linemen someone wants to use it as an excuse. We have none in it.

  25. DBS Says:


  26. unbelievable Says:

    Does this mean that both Joe’s are finally understanding just how poor our offensive line play has been?


  27. Pittsshore Says:

    This is all on Jason L. All you need to do it look at the 2016 draft. Round 1 Heargraves (benched), early second round Noah Spence from Eastern Kentucky: he sucks and cannot stay healthy. Late second round he picked a damn kicker. There were MANY QUALITY OL drafted after the damn kicker.

  28. TOM Says:

    I don’t recall seeing D Smith throwing any defenders away. But I do definetely recall seeing his lazy ass taking way to many plays off. Had the same problem in college. I don’t see anything changing any time soon.