Offensive Line Balled Out

February 28th, 2021

Key figure on strong o-line.

Remember when people, just a few short months ago, used to holler about how awful the Bucs’ offensive line is?

Joe for years argued it wasn’t nearly as bad as people wanted it to be — that’s right, people conned themselves into thinking the line was rotten because they wanted Donovan Smith run out of town so badly.

Joe cited all kinds of examples, including how the Bucs moved the ball, scored a lot of points and had a quarterback throw for an insane 5,000 yards. All of those elements are simply impossible to accomplish without a degree of decent blocking.

Well, the PFF tribe came out with an interesting stat. Only two other starting NFL quarterbacks were pressured less dropping back to pass than park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking, tequila-shooting, trophy-throwing Bucs Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady.

Mind you, this was done starting a rookie right tackle.

The way the offensive line balled out this year, specifically in the playoffs, this is why Joe isn’t sweating the future of Playoff Lenny. Sure, Joe would like to have him back. Joe was over the moon and ecstatic the Bucs signed Playoff Lenny to begin with.

If Playoff Lenny leaves, Joe is confident the Bucs can find another capable running back to get yards behind this offensive line.

33 Responses to “Offensive Line Balled Out”

  1. DaBux Says:

    If Lenny leaves he’s an idiot. Yeah, he’ll get his $10-$12 million per, but a Gurley, a David Johnson, and/or a James White could fill his position with RoJo easily.

  2. youngbucs Says:

    I would like to comment to say no comment.

  3. PassingThru Says:

    The OL made some nice strides as the season progressed. That being said, what really helped was the migration from the vertical passing game to a more controlled horizontal passing game. That means less time that Brady (or any QB) spends holding the ball, which means the OL doesn’t have to hold their blocks as long.

    That’s a lesson for KC.

  4. ModHairKen Says:

    Agree, DaBux, he would be shortsighted to leave unless someone throws a 4 year $40m deal at him.

  5. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    Alex Cappa missed the last several games and the O-line didn’t miss a beat…impressive stuff!

  6. Davenport Buc Says:

    Another way that Brady improved this team. its not a coincidence. Tom forces everyone to up their level of play – including the coaches.

    Once they got around to doing things Brady’s way, the offense started to become unstoppable.

  7. BucEmUp Says:

    I always laughed when people daid we needed to dump smith.Idiots….you vannnot just replace that guy without spending the same amount or more and getting a lesser tackle, or older or drafting a rookie.

    I will say though, Jason Licht has been on fore picking Olineman

  8. Cobraboy Says:

    Another reason to extend Marpet, Smith and Jensen a couple of years: keeps a good thing going, and buys some 2021 cap space to keep the key warriors for a repeat…or three.

  9. Cobraboy Says:

    Fournette is NOT irreplacable.

  10. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    I’m stoked about the O-line moving forward. Alex Cappa was out the last few games and the line didn’t miss a beat. That speaks well as to depth.

  11. Bucamania Says:

    Oline was stellar in the playoffs. Loved the nastiness too. Bucs closed out games on the regular, which was key. Keep building the trenches!

  12. Duemig from HELL Says:

    Almost every player performed to their potential which is nearly impossible. Brady made them believe

  13. Joe in Michigan Says:

    DaBux: You just explained to yourself why Lenny will HAVE to leave. He won’t get paid by Tampa Bay when there are cheaper, comparable options.

  14. JimmyJack Says:

    Balled out? Can we just retire this phase? Its dumb.

  15. youngbucs Says:

    PassingThru is that why Brady lead the league in deep passes? Asking for a friend.

  16. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Has Durable Donnie been custom fitted for a kimono yet?

  17. Swampbuc Says:

    The O-line was co-playoff mvp. It’s the best O-line Play the Bucs have ever had. I’m so impressed. And playoff Lenny blocked his azz off when he wasn’t toting the rock or catching passes for first downs. And Gronk is better than some offensive tackles with his blocking. Going back and watching the games during the 8 game win streak, it’s pretty spectacular.

  18. Tackleblockwin Says:

    I have never seen a QB comfortably sit in the pocket while eating avocado ice cream until this season. The Oline was unbelievable at times. On many plays this year I actually was getting mad at Brady and the receivers for taking so long to connect. In my mind it was almost unfair to expect the Oline to hold up defenders as long as they did, lol.

  19. Chris L Says:

    It seems a lot of posts recently about trolling prior opinions. What about jameis being a great quarterback and savior for this team? Devin white being a mistake of a pick? Not being fazed by Bowles leaving? Saying leftwich sucks and is a figurehead? I’m not saying I’m either or in of these camps but why are we going after eachother here but not the other way around?

  20. Joe in Michigan Says:

    “Balled out” is overused, but not as overused as “If it’s not broke, why fix it?”. Well, first of all, you should always be trying to get better. For instance, there were people who said since the Bucs passed for over 5,000 yards in 2019, it wasn’t broke. The Bucs could’ve stayed status quo and probably finished 8-8 or 9-7. Thank God they tried GETTING BETTER.

  21. StickinUp4Centers Says:

    Stinnie and Oline depth is more important than Fournette. Vaughn looked explosive going to the hole in limited time, especially the Detriot game, plenty of vets available, or possibly a top tier RB @ 32/trade back.

  22. Owlykat2 Says:

    Great article, Joe. D. Smith earned his 14 Million this year balling out for Brady.

  23. Joe Says:

    Almost every player performed to their potential which is nearly impossible. Brady made them believe


  24. firethecannons Says:

    Fournette is a pawn that will be sacrificed. Joe is right, there are many runningbacks capable of performing admirably, disappointed in ROJO’s ability to break through for that touchdown that never happpened in the superbowl.

  25. All lives matter Says:

    I really believe when they solidified that line with Tristan everything fell into place. No-longer was there this feeling of having a weak link.

  26. All lives matter Says:

    I think if we hadn’t drafted Tristan and kept Dotson at RT our run game would have suffered and Brady may have been hurt.

  27. geno711 Says:

    @All lives.
    Agree. Dotson would have wrecked this magical season.
    Glad we went after the right tackle.

  28. DingleBerry Says:

    “Joe for years argued (the online) wasn’t nearly as bad as people wanted it to be..”

    And for years, Joe was wrong as wrong can be.

    It took Jason Licht invested a tremendous amount of draft capital and money to transform this line into a dominant unit. And if he had heeded Joes advice that would never have happened. More nonsense.–Joe.

    Let’s just recount all of the additions Licht has made in an effort to craft a true top 5 offensine line.

    Spent two 2nd round picks on Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet and gave both big extensions.

    Made Ryan Jensen the highest paid center in the league.

    Traded up in the 3rd round to draft Alex Cappa.

    Traded up in the 1st round to draft Tristan Wirfs.

    Hmm, seems as though the actual progression of events transpired a little different to the song you’re singing there Joe. As you said yourself, you were lobbying that the line was A-ok when guys like Evan Smith, Caleb Benenoch, Kevin Pamphile and Dear Dotson were all either full time starters or played significant snaps in replacement duty.

    The whole time you argument seemed to be “fans just like to complain, these guys arent that bad because they are better than Garret Gilkey.” Thats simply wasnt ever the truth. And it isn’t true now despite your constant attempts retcon history. LOL. This was not Joes argument.–Joe

  29. PassingThru Says:


    Brady toned down the vertical game as the season progressed, which is what made Tampa Bay much more formidable on offense late in the season. In fact, that’s what sparked the Tampa Bay turnaround last season. Brady made an occasional deep throw, but it was to try catching the defense off-guard, and to keep the safeties from playing shallow.

  30. BigMacAttack Says:

    They played awesome but the unit has to be complete from end to end. One hole screws it up. When Cappa went down it left a huge void that they couldn’t overcome until Stennie stepped in and showed it up. Last season Dotson was a hole. He dragged the whole line down. Why give everything you have for a QB that does stupid things on every other drive. Winston destroyed team morale. Wirfs was the missing piece to a great offensive line. Brady was the catalyst to elevate their play and abilities. Ryan Jensen is gold with his nasty play.

  31. ExPatfanPatty Says:

    They kept Tommy upright!!!!

  32. August 1976 Buc Says:

    As I have posted here on JBF multiple times, if Brady has a CLEAN jersey and the Bucs will be fine. Look at that picture above, Brady has a super clean pocket to slice and dice up the Chiefs. Ryan Jensen really got his act together after the Bear game. After several years of hot-headed penalty causing antics at times, Ryan really cleaned up his game and played great. Remember when he was blocking guys like Anciloni of the Saints into the 2nd row of the seats. Or the other plays where is blocking guys for 8 yards past the run play, Brian Baldinger highlighted these plays. Tristan Wirfs looks like the answer for the next decade at RT. Donovan Smith played great down the stretch, by not having his sometimes maddening erratic play. We know now it has been about D Smiths’ focus, not his talent. And Stinnie coming in for Cappa, he was solid too. Overall they are one of the best O Lines in the game. As long as Bradys jersey stays clean, this team is in great shape. Here’s to the “BIG UGLIES” we salute you. GO BUCS!!!!!

  33. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Here is how the Bucs keep Lenny and he doesn’t really give up that much.

    They play him with ROJO and give each of their legs more life through the season.
    With less wear and tear odds are better that either Lenny or ROJO get an additional year on their career. Even at a marginal salary another year is worth a lot more than the additional money over a season or two a guy might make in FA.