Not-so Max Protect

August 28th, 2019

Deep data dive

One reason Joe guesses folks are having a collective freakout over the offensive line is their belief Friday night’s embarrassment may be the new norm.

Joe has heard and read that one reason none of us (unless blind drunk) saw such a jailbreak last year due to non-blocking is former Bucs coach Dirk Koetter believed in using a lot of max protection — which had most of the offense blocking for America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston.

Well, per Football Outsiders 2019 Almanac, that just isn’t so. Typing for Football Outsiders, jet-flyin’, kiss–stealin‘, data-analyzin’, Bucs-film-studyin’, limousine-ridin’ Thomas Bassinger discovered no team in the NFL used max protect less than the Bucs in 2018.

Tampa Bay was one of three offenses tied for last place in usage of max protect (defined as seven or more blockers with at least two more blockers than pass-rushers), just 3.7 percent of pass plays.

What does this mean? Well, on face value, Arians is known not to use max protect, and the Bucs rarely used max protect last year. So if last Friday night is an example of what to expect this season, it means the Bucs have actually gotten worse up front.

Might be a long year for Jameis.

34 Responses to “Not-so Max Protect”

  1. pelbuc Says:

    Dotson, Jensen, Benenoch won’t be on the team next year so BA and Licht will have to find some competent Olinemen real quick. Not to mention depth.

  2. Phil Says:

    The Browns have a great starting defensive line. I’m just glad the Bucs don’t have to face them every week or it would be a very long year. Jameis also needs to get the ball out quicker.

  3. casual observer Says:

    Benenoch needs to go. He can’t cut it.

  4. Onetrickpony Says:

    It all starts with the man doing the hireing

  5. Snook Says:

    Gosh… a lot of judgments being put into one half of preseason football.

  6. Buccernutter Says:

    Dotson was graded high with several outlets last year. His only issue is age but I sincerely doubt he falls off as much as most of you think. Not worried about Dotson although i can agree it may be his last year.

    Ali and Jensen are average or better. Both young. Ali is legit and Jensen can do his thing so I’m not worried about them too much.

    Donny is all over the place. We all know how bad he can be. But he’s certainly not terrible. I think he’ll be slightly below average and give up some bad plays but overall not too worried.

    RG is a huge issue. Cappa is not any better than benenoch so far. Bruce will address that with cuts coming up and i think we’ll find a gem.

    Also, don’t be shocked by any trades in the next week or so.

  7. Buchead407 Says:

    This team has had so many different coaches at every position over the years and still suck. When will the glazers realize this team lacks premier talent on both sides of the trenches……oh wait we resigned the gm for 5 years…….

  8. tmaxcon Says:


    dotson is a walking penalty machine when he is not falling to the ground in the fetal position as soon as a de is within 5 yards of him. dotson is horrible and always has been. at his very best he is average and that’s about 5 plays a year… you can’t develop a rg when the rt is so horrible… again you choose popularity over reality and actual on field play… dotson sucks..

  9. Hodad Says:

    Max protect, whatever. The fact is they weren’t good last year especially in the run game, and they haven’t looked all that much better this year. How much can this O line improve bringing back the same players from last year? There won’t be one of these guys to make the pro bowl including the great Ali Marpet. When you consider what Smith, Jensen, and Marpet are making, that’s mind blowing. Notice I said what they’re making, not earning.

  10. chris L Says:

    doesnt that mean the team can do well since they are already used to not doing max protect? yes friday was bad but this team is proven on the o-line to be better than that and i doubt we see anything AS BAD as what we saw. if it is so bad should we cut jameis and just start over? by the sound of the freak out from here and everyone, we might as well give up and if jameis will be bad because of the o-line then let’s just save face and cut him. this is craziness to me. they were horrific friday but do you honestly think it will be that bad every game this season? if you think yes, i disagree but then your freak out is valid. jameis threw 4 interceptions against the bengals last year (a real game). Should we expect to see that each week?

    Fitz was lights out against the saints week 1, did we expect that to continue? no. so why the panic over one bad preseason outing?

  11. Bucsfanman Says:

    They better look to the quick-rhythm plays to mitigate pass rushes.
    This team acts like the screen pass and the slant is an Ebola conveyance!

  12. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Pamphile was an extra blocker but I thought it was to supplement the rungame .mostly. Nearly 2500 yards from rb’s that year.

    I remember Jake Delhome and Steve Smith often killed us with their max protect package with Panthers.
    Joe, Are gonna tell Jenna Laine. That’s the first I heard of us using a
    Max protect package.

  13. JimmyJack Says:

    If this line continues to look like they did vs the Browns it should test Bruce’s words that your scheme is your players. If he was being honest he will tweek his scheme of not using many extra blockers.

    At the very least we will change a few concepts in the pass game and call much quicker reads and/or get Winston on the move a little more. Or maybe we find a running game and lean on that.

    I didn’t see much adjustment made in the Browns game but was preseason playcalling so not a issue……yet.

    For now let’s hope for the best that the blocked ng in that game does not repeat itself.

  14. TexBuc Says:

    I very doubt any waiver wire pickups will become starters, but better depth for some positions like OL, DL, and RB. Two or three of the five sacks were Winston fault for staying with slow developing long shot and should’ve taken the check down sooner. We will not see a DL on the level of the Browns every week.

  15. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Might be a long year for Jameis

    lol ..No more built in excuses.

    These men are gonna have to suck it up. This is the season it all has to happen. Next season we may lose a number of players because of salaries and JW’s potential mega-million contract. He’s gonna demand a huge portion of the cap. We’ll probably have to say goodbye to ME13 just to sign JW. Anything less than 9 – 7 and some really hard decisions will have to be made. Win and decisions get easier.

  16. Slugglife Says:

    If our o line is so bad, might as well bring in some undrafted lineman and give them a shot.

  17. Buccernutter Says:


    Dotson has been our starter for 10 years. He was graded out as one of the best right tackles in the league last year by pff. You can discredit him all you want utilizing your own opinion but a 10 year start under multiple regimes and graded out as above average by most if not all outlets does not indicate he sucks or is horrible.

    Keep an eye on the league’s offensive lines so you can tell what a good tackle looks like cuz your assessment is off.

  18. unbelievable Says:

    @Jean Lafitte no way they would get rid of Evans due to Jameis’ contract.

  19. Licht Headed Says:

    over/under Buc 2019 wins: 4 1/2

  20. TOM Says:

    The hell with worrying about which OLmen are going to be on the team next year. Better take care of this year first. Two decent linemen. Marpet & Jensen. The rest are garbage.

  21. BucTooth Says:

    Jean Lafitte i guarantee you and you can take this to the bank Jame’s head will roll before Mikes ever will in a heart beat. So it was said so it was written. Come on man.

  22. Buc4evr Says:

    BA will be dumpster diving for linemen on Saturday. Hopefully he can get an RG and DL that can work into the rotation.

  23. BucsFan727 Says:

    Will see. Its a half of a pre season game. They all struggled. But so did Mayfield. So is he going to be bad or is it just a half of a preseason game and he will get better? Its never as good as you think and never as bad as you think. Its some where in between. And a win is a win. Even if the other team beats there self.

  24. Rod Munch Says:

    It was Jenna Laine of ESPN I believe who said the Bucs used a ton of max protection. Just more fake news I guess.

  25. Dapostman Says:

    If this was a real game the Bucs would have kept a TE in or had the back chip on his way out. They would have moved the pocket or ran more screens or draws. What they let happen was to let their OL get some work in one on one against a formidable front 4. These guy hadn’t really played against anyone but their own team. No reason to panic.

  26. tmaxcon Says:


    Being a starter 10 years on a team that collected 8 basement titles doesn’t not make your man crush good…. being a starter for bucs carries no weight…. minor league small market irrelevant franchise with a high school level offensive line

  27. pick6 Says:

    RG remains the weakest link and honestly Jensen hasn’t come close to living up to his top-5 salary. If we can fire off the ball and run well they’ll be less exposed but you can bet that every defensive coordinator will be attacking that weakness on passing downs

    that being said, i can’t help but think that the bucs were trying to evaluate moreso than win with their playcalling…you can put players outside their comfort zone in preseason with limited consequences, and know their limitations for the regular season

  28. Isaac haggins Says:

    The Bucs should be looking to trade , David, brate, Dotson,J Evans, Hardgraves, Nassib, P Paul , Gholston ( cut) and Spence to upgrade the o line ………. any player on this list can be absorbed and has way less bearing on winning than a quality o lineman ………. there are older high salary guys avail you just have to go get them . There are GM s all over the league with needs and young lineman they drafted that they just like Licht love their guy a little to much !!! You have to be active and convince them that their draft pick is ready and pluck the vet away !!! 15 to 25 million can quickly and easily be freed up orswapped !!! Licht just has to be Agressive, canney, smart, slick , steadfast and aware of his teams problems and each players true roster value to his current team !!! Not the players talent, draft position , possible upside but the team roster value ……….. the players above have a roster value higher elsewhere ( all teams needs) than in Tampa . David is the only one above a five value to the Bucs on a 1 to 10 a good o lineman is a 9 to this current team

  29. Buccernutter Says:

    tmax stop being dumb dude.

    so joe thomas isn’t good? and those that believe he is have a man crush on him? You spend a lot of time on something you still dont know much about lol

    so howard, evans, marpet, lavonte, white, suh, jpp carry no weight?

    You lose every debate you have dude. Be real and you’ll get respect.

    I do have to give u props for telling everyone about mccoy for years though.

  30. Darin Says:

    Canf believe the Bucs didnt draft 2 Olinemen still. Bruce made it clear when he came here the oline was the weak unit. Then did next to nothing. Guess it was draft smoke screening already. But it was a preseason game so not gona put any stock into it. Zero. Not sure why these games are still played. Any. Pull a college deal and go straight to the real games.

  31. jerseybuc Says:

    A thousand guys will hit the pavement in the next week. We get an early shot at them by virtue of our lousy year last year. I would be shocked if we don’t grab an OL who winds up sticking.

  32. BigHog Says:

    I been trying to tell ya!! Do something about this mess now…Not Later Now!!

  33. Dubcity6 Says:

    It’s so irritating to have all Buc fans agree the OL is a problem 2 years too late. I’ve only been screaming about it for every. Football games are won with the OL. Wanna help the defense? Keep em off the field. Help the run game. And Jameis. A dominant OL can fix this team. Meanwhile Patriots just traded for another one. The best OL in football. Jason Litch is clueless.

  34. Isaac haggins Says:

    The Patriots just traded for two o lineman !!! They focus on that line and normally about week four they have a unit that is top ten and along with the quick reads and releases it becomes a top 5 machine !!! They have an O line plan every year that takes precident of everything else . Bill just doesn’t announce it or talk about it !!! His 40 yr old qb just proves it !!!