It’s Average

September 18th, 2020

He wasn’t average.

For years Joe has thought the offensive line of the Bucs is OK. It’s not a jailbreak on every snap, nor is it five dudes pancaking defenders, either.

The line is not the reason why the Bucs lost nine games last year. If Joe thought so, Joe would say so.

Along comes former NFL offensive lineman Ross Tucker. The Princeton grad played six NFL seasons — a couple for Bill Belicheat and Uncle Ira’s favorite offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia.

Tucker retired after the 2009 season with the Redskins following a neck injury.

Since, Tucker has made a nice living running a very successful podcast, and being an NFL analyst for all sorts of outlets from SiriusXM NFL Radio to CBS to Sports Illustrated and side gigs with the Philadelphia Eagles and calling Penn State games.

Tucker, who lives and works from his home in Bethel, Pa., (a dot on the map in the middle of Pennsylvania) also founded “Go Big Recruiting” and made enough cash with that to be profiled in Inc. magazine. Anyway, Joe trusts Tucker’s football acumen.

Writing for The Athletic, Tucker decided to break down each team’s offensive line after Week 1. And Tucker is not nearly as down on the Bucs offensive line as many fans are (but fans will likely agree with his assessment of a certain Bucs tackle).

Tom Brady’s line in Tampa Bay might not be quite what he’s used to in New England, but it has enough talent to be more than equipped for the job. The interior trio is solid but the inconsistency of Donovan Smith at left tackle combined with a rookie right tackle in Tristan Wirfs is concerning.

Yes, it’s only one game, one week. But Wirfs showed by he was such a high pick. When your very first game in the NFL is against a Pro Bowler and your coach said you had maybe seven bad plays all day, that’s balling out in Joe’s eyes.

At least for the season-opener at New Orleans, it is fair to suggest Wirfs was the Bucs’ best tackle that afternoon.

As Joe stated in the Ira Kaufman Podcast, it’s difficult to believe the Bucs have a rotten offensive line when the team ranked third in yards and touchdowns last year. Doing that without a serviceable offensive line simply doesn’t compute.

17 Responses to “It’s Average”

  1. SB Says:

    Whirfs is gonna be stellar.
    Anyone who believes otherwhise is clueless.

  2. ArmchairGM Says:

    I find it amusing that you can ask the same question about both tackles:

    Will he be able to eliminate the bad plays and show consistency?

    One of them was playing in his first game; the other has had that question hanging over his head for 5 years…

  3. «Delusional Intelligence» Says:

    “….it is fair to suggest that Wirfs was the Bucs’ best tackle that afternoon.”

    Fair to suggest? It’s the damn truth.

    I am unsure why you are not willing to be critical of 2 Buc’s picks from the 2015 Draft.

    1) America’s Turnover Machine, the vulgar remarks making, Shelton Quarles shoving, Pick-6 throwing, Wet Willie giving, squirrel hunting, soda stealing, crab leg shoplifting, ‘W’ eating, property damaging, BB gun shooting, Jamboree jamming, uber driver groping, Jameis Lanaed Winston

    2) Donovan Smith

    You are critical of Rojo, claiming you want production. What of the production from WHAT IS ACTUALLY FAIR TO SUGGEST, is the second most important position on the offensive side of the ball? Your defense of Donnie has always been

    ““The way Smith always answers the bell, it would be awfully hard for football people to release a guy they can count on each Sunday.”

    Would the same hold true for Michael “Ghost” Johnson? He always answered the bell.

    I’m not saying we need to start Haeg, but there is nothing wrong with witnessing Donnie’s performance Sunday and commenting that someone needs to pull his head out of his arse.

  4. «Delusional Intelligence» Says:

    but I guess those comments are reserved for Rojo & Devin White only.

  5. Yeah Says:

    Well Said Intelligence, WELL SAID

  6. teacherman777 Says:

    “Wirfs showed by he”

    Check it Joe.

  7. teacherman777 Says:

    Hire Logan Mankins as O-Line advisor.

    We have sucked ever since he was here.

    Tom Brady was so angry when the Pats traded him to us.

    Logan Mankins was the real coach that year, ask Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet who really taught them how to play offensive line. Warhop or Mankins?

    Logan Mankins is a genius and a general.

    We need him back in our lockerroom.

    Sign Brady to a 20 year, 100 million deal as Team President/Co-GM/ Football Guru/Advisor.

    We need Brady’s influence and magic for 20 years if we are going to turn our putrid franchise around.

    Hire Mankins. Keep Brady for life.

    Go Bucs!

    And trade Brate for the best RG we can find. Put Cappa back on the bench. He gets zero push in the run game.

  8. Cainishere Says:

    Wow Teacherman777 What a detailed plan you have presented to us.
    I ask you, what are the odds of your scenario happening? Tom Brady being a coach? I can definitely see that happening.
    I would love a rookie coach Tom Brady!
    Meanwhile back at the ranch . . .
    This team is headed in a perfect direction, finally after so many years of sadness
    Go Coach Brady!!!

  9. Cainishere Says:

    The Bucs would be an excellent team to coach as the team records are easily achieved for real pros.
    It’s a nice market with awesome weather, awesome facilities and nice looking team.
    Brady could really play in the sand and I am quite sure the Glazers will allow him to play. Another Elway hmmmm?
    Go BUCS!!!!

  10. Bucsfanman Says:

    Bottom line, and one the former QB apologists don’t seem to want to understand, is that we should expect better.
    For instance, yours truly could not comprehend the presence of Will Gholston on this roster. Drafted in 2013, he did ZERO, he was a “body”. Now, suddenly in the right defensive scheme, this guy is an actual player. He’s IMPROVED.
    The same should be able to be said for other positions, LT for instance. Yes availability is a notable trait. As a player, he SHOULD be improving, we should expect improvement.
    On a line with a rookie RT and a relatively young RG in Cappa, Smith is the singular “weak link”, and it should be the opposite.
    Expect more Buc fans, demand it. LT is not good enough.

  11. Clean House Says:

    Joe, It computes when you had a young, ultra talented, #1 overall qb, running around back there making something out of nothing.

    Everyone took JW for granted and cast him so much blame.

    5109 yds- gone

  12. Jason Says:


    I love the Mankins idea (especially since he appreciates the value and power of a good BBQ)

    As for the Brady idea, I have a feeling there is a handshake agreement in place for something like that. Depending on winning of course.

  13. BucDan Says:

    Just a heads up, this means Mr. Tucker likes Cappa at right guard!

    I rewatched some highlights and the FG block is all on D. Smith (lined up in Cappa’s right. Cappa mimics the left guards movements and helps protect the inside A gap. Smith gets bullied and it looked like he thought there wasn’t going to be a real rush!

  14. Anonymous Says:

    How many td throws did Mr 5k have last season? 33? Nope! 26 because he also had 7 pick 6’s.

    How many points did the opponent score off of JW turnovers? 121! 7.5 points per game gifted to the other team my JW.

    JW fan boys always bring up the 5k yards but fail to mention the entire picture. 5k is useless when you give the opponents 7.5 points per game off of your bonehead mistakes.


  15. Bucsfan951 Says:

    ^that was from me

  16. Go Bucs 72 Says:

    Joe (LD) 76 got his a$$ worked over all game long by a freaking backup but hey, he plays every game so we can’t be critical of him. You cry daily about RoJo’s lack of production but Smith clearly sucked and you write an article a day glossing over his pathetic performance last Sunday. How about a little consistency.

  17. SOEbuc Says:

    No hate here Joe. Whirfs will excel. But I did see him get ran through to block that kick.