Overlooked But Appreciated

January 25th, 2021


For way, way, way too long, so many Bucs fans kvetched and hollered and stomped their feet habitually claiming the Bucs’ offensive line was a collection of windmills.

Joe never thought that (probably because Joe had witnessed way too many real windmills playing for the Bucs including but not limited to Kenyatta Walker the human Hands-to-the-Face penalty, Sean Mayhem, Jeremy Trueblood, Anthony Collins, Garrett “Whoops!” Gilkey and Oniel Cousins, to name a few).

Besides, it was difficult to wrap Joe’s head around how the Bucs could have a 1,000-yard rusher (Doug Martin) and a 5,000-yard passer if the line was trash. That is simply just not possible.

On the Bucs’ run to the Super Bowl with a franchise-record seven-game winning streak, the Bucs’ offensive line has been dominant. That’s all there is to it.

Guys like the Second Coming (Chase Young) and a trio of double-digit sackers (present and past) Trey Hendrickson, Za’Darius Smith and Cam Jordan) were taken out completely by the Bucs’ front line.

So when asked today about what element of his team may not be getting the street cred that perhaps it deserves, Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians didn’t hesitate.

“I think our offensive line and tight ends, they don’t get enough recognition for how good they are playing these last few weeks,” Arians said. “The protection has been outstanding.

“We missed one blitz pickup that led to an interception. That was probably the only really bad play.”

There is no doubt that park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking Bucs quarterback Tom Brady has had a clean pocket to throw in for much of the playoffs.

In recent weeks, when you see Brady go back to pass, an end zone angle on All-22 video shows just about the perfect U-shaped blocking an offensive line strives to achieve.

When a team gets blocking like that, they can damn near dictate what an offense does and can do.

It’s an awesome thing to watch.

40 Responses to “Overlooked But Appreciated”

  1. DingleBerry Says:

    I mean don’t you think its just a tad bit disingenuous to pretend that there hasn’t been a focused effort by Jason Licht to improve the offensive line?

    Made Jensen the highest paid center in the league. Spent a premium 3rd round pick on Alex Cappa. Culminating this year with trading up to draft the animal that is Tristan Wirfs.

    The offensive line is ask good as it is now precisely because Jason Licht listened to the fans “kvetching.”

    Kinda odd to frame it like you have been as if you were right all along and the offensive line was just fine from the start…

  2. DingleBerry Says:

    As* good not ask good..

  3. Weebs10 Says:

    The big boys have been eating D lines for weeks now. Love to see it!!! Let’s get healthy on the bye and then WIN THE SUPER BOWL BABY!!!!!!!! Finish the drill, Bucs!!

  4. Swampbuc Says:

    The failed blitz pickup was a function of Lenny having to get around Tom to try to play cake it up, more a function of Tom being under center and not in shotgun. If Mike had been looking for the ball it could have been a play he made or at least an incompletion.

  5. Joe Says:

    I mean don’t you think its just a tad bit disingenuous to pretend that there hasn’t been a focused effort by Jason Licht to improve the offensive line?

    The way people tried to indoctrinate Joe into thinking the line was a complete and total sieve, absolutely not.

    Joe long ago became convinced that he and most fans have a fundamentally different set of standards and goals for what a decent offensive line should be. Joe is convinced fans demand five pancake blocks on each and every snap and anything less a GM should be fired for and the line as a whole should be flogged in public.

    Joe’s goal and objective about an offensive line is to just get in the way and delay. Doesn’t matter how much penetration a guy gets so long as the QB completes his pass and is standing upright.

  6. Tye Says:

    The NFC champs have done very well in the trenches…
    give Brady enough time and he will pick apart their opponent…
    just keep from throwing any more ints in the Super Bowl and they should have a solid chance at the win!

  7. Robert Says:

    Not taking anything away from the O line…and I have been critical of Smith at times…but yeah they are playing lights out.

    I said before the season started that TB would make them look great and they have. When you don’t have some idiot playing school yard football back there you can block where you’re supposed to block.

    They deserve MUCH credit! (they haven’t been opening many running lanes the last couple weeks though. BL need to play more runs on the edges!

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    And, correct me if I’m wrong….but we have 2 Olinemen on rookie contracts and the others under contract…..all will be back. I believe that is the case for the entire offense….less Fournette & AB….
    The only way AB returns is if somehow we lose Godwin to FA….

    The problem for next year as I see it is not enough money to keep Godwin, Gronk Suh & Shaq…..maybe we can keep 2 or 3 of the 4 but not all 4.

    We need to draft DT/DE high in the draft……money for FAs will be a problem.

  9. gp Says:

    He He!
    Someone named “DingleBerry” telling Joe how to clean it up!

  10. Joe Says:

    Godwin, Gronk Suh & Shaq

    If Brady wants Gronk back, Gronk will be back.

    Suh is gone. Look for the Bucs to draft a guy to play d-tackle.

    Basically, it comes down to Shaq and Godwin. It gives Joe the shivers when he hears people claiming the Bucs think Tyler Johnson is the next Godwin (hint, hint).

    Joe cannot think of a team that let a top-shelf receiver like Godwin go and didn’t suffer the next year.

    This may sound like heresy, especially as much as Joe LOVES the current starter, but the way Aaron Stinnie is playing, and he’s dirt cheap, could he play left guard?

    Whittling salaries to get under the cap is a cold, ruthless business.

  11. DingleBerry Says:

    So by that logic you’re basically saying all the investments put into the transformation of this offensive line into a truly elite unit was just a waste and we’d have been just fine sticking with Evan (no Dietrich) Smith at center, Caleb Benenoch at right guard, and Demar Dotson at right tackle?

    I don’t think thats even remotely close to being the case.

  12. Listnfrmafar Says:

    I don’t believe you have any chance of securing Brady without a decent oline. Brady was getting buried earlier, not sure if that was resentment for trading Winston and the new guy chewing their a@@es out. Maybe it was the lack of discipline was the reason they under achieved but we can all see now they are a force to reckon with. Great job, hope they got one more in them.

  13. Robert Says:

    ME, CG, AB……too many good receivers to keep em all, especially when Tyler and Scooter deserve more balls. It’ll come down to which of the top 3 wants the most money…..and let that one walk. That may well be CG, as he is yet to earn his payday.

    This team will have a much different roster next year. hope they capitalize this year.

  14. Jmarkbuc Says:

    I will prefer AB move on… he’s a ticking time bomb.

  15. buxszntkt Says:

    nice tribute to a deserving group !

  16. Mike Says:

    They really have been awesome! Getting Wirfs where they did will go down as one of the all time draft steals!

  17. Cobraboy Says:

    It’s amazing how high draft picks spent on Big Uglies results in more wins, huh?

  18. Cobraboy Says:

    Joe Says:

    Suh is gone. Look for the Bucs to draft a guy to play d-tackle.

    Not so fast.

    A guy who KNOWS he is in the twilight of his career, who has made 100’s of millions in his career and saved most of it, may want to go out in a place he really likes.

    As long as Brady is a productive QB—the guy is at the end of his career, too—many of the older vets may want to go out with him, and may play for a friendlier deal.

    At some point with these guys, it’s no longer about the money.

  19. PSL Bob Says:

    We need to start thinking QB. Grab a good prospect in this year’s draft and let him learn under Brady. Can’t miss this opportunity of a lifetime.

  20. Joe Says:

    We need to start thinking QB. Grab a good prospect in this year’s draft and let him learn under Brady. Can’t miss this opportunity of a lifetime.

    Won’t happen with Arians (unless the Glazers order him to which right now seems far-fetched).

    So no use sweating about it. But yeah, Joe sure as hell would make a play for a quarterback. Joe is not Arians.

  21. OBF Says:

    I guess we’ll find out what talent gets pushed down to the back end of the draft each year 🦾.. or maybe the draft room trades out for multiple picks🙏
    I didn’t want to jinx anything by talking draft so I have not brought it up… not on me now 🤓
    Pinch me !

  22. AlV Says:

    Y’all do realize Bucs are in great position salary cap wise and will have money to go around.

    What Brady wants Brady gets. Brady will get Godwin will be tagged, Gronk and AB will be team friendly deals. They only want to play with Brady.

    Who knows maybe Fournette has changed to the point he’d take a team friendly deal as well. Although I’d take James White in a heartbeat.

  23. AlV Says:

    And Brady is not going anywhere, homeboy probably has 2-3 years left if not more before he retires. He’s playing at a insane level. We’re gonna keep Brady under center until he retires.

  24. unbelievable Says:

    It’s a bit disingenuous for sure… as there was very very good reason to complain about the o-line until recently.

    2016, 2017 and 2018 they did not play well, especially in the run game. Pass blocking was decent. They started getting better in 2019 but were still way too inconsistent, and then really have shaped up in 2020.

    Cappa in his 2nd year along with the additions of Wirds and Gronk have made a huge difference. To try to pretend that this is the same o-line the fans were complaining about in years prior is ridiculous.

  25. Capt.Tim Says:

    Im glad the line is FINALLY getting the credit they deserve.
    Damn shame Cappa will miss the SuperBowl.
    He, along with Jensen, have given the Oline a badass attitude.
    He is a great guard.
    Surprisingly- Stennie has played very well. Good to know!
    Donovan Smith has crossed the line from” above average” to “Elite” in the last
    Seven weeks.

    I bet Brady’s contract has a “ keep the Line intact” clause! Lol
    Id be surprised if we see any linemen leave.

  26. 813bucboi Says:

    been saying for years…it was lack of development by the coaches….not the talent!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!

  27. OBF Says:

    To be fair the offensive line play is directly related to the guy taking the snap on each play !

  28. R.O. Says:

    I didn’t think the O line played particularly well yesterday.

  29. orlbucfan Says:

    Every knowledgeable NFL nerd has emphasized that it takes several seasons for a decent Oline to jell. Classic example is the Hogs of WFT fame. That is happening here with Tampa Bay. This offense is the equal to the great Bucs SB defense.

  30. Rod Munch Says:

    Licht has done a great job of drafting offensive lineman, it’s one area in particular where he’s completely earned my trust.

  31. David Says:

    I see them getting a DB and another DL in the first three rounds of the draft. I’m hoping the other pick in the top three rounds is Kyle Trask.
    He makes good decisions, has a damn good arm, is very accurate, he’d be perfect to sit behind Brady for a year or even two and really learn.

  32. David Says:

    I also expect them to draft another offensive lineman, by round four. Good teams constantly pick up a lineman every year. With Stinnie playing the way he is, they are 6 deep right now at line, so they are in good position

  33. David Says:

    Hearing the name Jeremy Trueblood sent shivers. He was a guy I wanted to root for so bad… but he was just so… bad

  34. David Says:

    This should make every buccaneer fan really happy…

    The entire starting offensive line’s ages NEXT season
    and a couple backups. This is a pretty young group playing fantastic.

    T Smith – 28
    G Marpet – 28
    C Jensen – 30
    G Cappa – 27
    T Wirfs – 22

    T Haeg – 27
    G Stinnie – 27

    (They have a couple other backups like Shipley and Larson that are older)

  35. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Suh is as bright as he is physically gifted. God smiled on the dude.

    I agree with you. Money will not be the issue. Suh has not only made a ton playing already…he may have made just as much with his business and investment savvy. And being from Nebraska he got to pick the brain of the legendary Warren Buffet.

    I haven’t written Suh off at all. He’s aged well, is incredibly intelligent and experienced. If he’s having fun he’ll return.

    It might be hyperbole but I’m not certain that Suh is not now making more annually from his investments than any single year contract he could sign anyway.

  36. Jim Hodges Says:

    Gronk adds a lot to the equation.

  37. MarineBucsFan Says:

    We have had two critical campaigns towards Jason Licht and he listened to both.
    There was #Weapons4Winston and #ProtectWinston unfortunately half the problem was him. This team was tailor made for a QB to ball out. Just needed the right guy behind center.

  38. Anonymous Says:

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  39. Brandon Says:

    Bucs are $30m under the cap for next season with Godwin, David, Barrett, Gronk, Brown, Fournette, Suh, Nacho, McClendon, and all QBs other than Brady being free agents. $30m will not go far. The cap presumably goes way up in 2022 so players can be extended longer deals with smaller first year hits on 2021. Due to their ages, only David, Godwin, and maybe Nacho and Shaq would be candidates. Godwin likely gets franchised if he doesn’t sign long term.

    I think the one player that rides off into the sunset if we win is Suh. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to play this season. BA said he wanted Brown back… i think he’s just saying the right things there and perhaps part of negotiating tactic to get Godwin to sign.

  40. Brandon Says:

    Succop is a free agent too. He has to come back.