How The O-Line Changed

March 25th, 2021

O-line learned to dominate.

Left tackle Donovan Smith was made available to the local pen and mic club by the Bucs today, the first time he spoke publicly since the night he and his teammates won the Super Bowl.

And one of the questions he fielded was what clicked for the offensive line.

A lot has been typed and spoken about the defense balling out, and a lot has been typed and spoken about the Bucs offense, which averaged 30 points a game into the playoffs (just what they averaged in the regular season).

Beyond that, the offensive line was freaking dominant.

Park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking, tequila-shooting, waffle-grilling, trophy-throwing, Bucs-Super-Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady had all kinds of time to throw. And there were runs that Playoff Lenny and Ronald Jones made that Joe could have walked through.

The line was simply impressive, and for that eight-game win streak to close the season with the Super Bowl win, that may have been the most dominant play Joe has ever seen from a Bucs offensive line. So Smith was asked what flipped for them.

And the way Smith described it, it sounded as if Bill Belicheat, by way of Brady, rubbed off on the Big Uglies.

“You just seen a bunch of guys going out there doing their job,” Smith said. “Not trying to do any more; not trying to do any less. Go out there and do your job the best way that you can.”

Sound like a certain head coach with a fistful of rings?

And Smith seemed to suggest that the strong play bred confidence and the line just got better and better.

“You saw a lot of guys out there play with swagger, too,” Smith said. “The locker room — I always compliment our locker room — but you saw that fight and that heart from a lot of guys to want to go out there and compete and to dominate.”

Smith is a perfect example of that. When the Bucs traveled to Washington, all the talk was about Chase Young. And deservedly so. He’s the best young pass rusher to come into the league since Josh Allen of the Jags and Joey Bosa from the 49ers made the Pro Bowl as rookies.

That night, however, Smith owned Young. And that’s not hyperbole. Smith dominated Young to where he was a total non-factor.

And that Bucs offensive line seemed to improve each game.

20 Responses to “How The O-Line Changed”

  1. AKicknTheBucNuts Says:

    Smith has won me over.

  2. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    A running game allows a team to impose their will on the other team.

  3. stpetebucsfan Says:

    “certain head coach with a fistful of rings?”

    You mean a certain coach that was LUCKY enough to find Brady?

    A certain head coach who could only produce one winning season in seven seasons without Brady much less a Super Bowl?

  4. gbobucsfan Says:

    Didn’t Young not even finish that game due to “injury” ?

  5. Mitch Says:

    Young was limited late in the 4th quarter due to a mild ankle sprain. He played 65 snaps in that game which is the most he played in a game all season long, and still only had 3 tackles (1 solo 2 assists) and not even a pressure on the QB.

  6. FrankPillow Says:

    From “Highway 76” to being a key cog in the Championship machine. Keep it up big man, this team needs you to keep maximizing your effort! Congrats to you on the extension and let’s ride the OL back to the the SB.

  7. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    Josh Wells now back in the fold…can you say depth?

  8. PSL Bob Says:

    Let’s just hope that swagger carries over into 2021. I want this team to be the most dominant team in the NFL since the glory days of the Cowboys or Steelers. High scoring on offense, low scoring on defense – lopsided victories. It won’t be easy though. You know everyone will be gunning for us. But, the talent is there. They all just have to do their job, no more, no less!

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    D Smith was never bad…..was at least average to good… he could be great…..the same can be said of our entire Oline…..
    We’ve got them all back along with some depth pieces and the draft in front of us.

  10. geno711 Says:

    Ouch, Josh Allen of Jags last year. 9 tackles and 2 sacks for season.
    I guess Dev White is looking like the right choice!

    Some of the other picks close to Dev White:

    Josh Allen – didnt some fans push hard for him
    Daniel Jones
    TJ Hockenson
    Clelin Farrell
    Ed Oliver
    Jonan Williams – didnt some fans want him

    Also that 3rd round we traded our 70th pick for two later picks and the Rams picked Darrell Henderson. Fans were griping about that.

    We did get Jamal Dean and Mike Edwards with those 2 picks. Like that deal.

  11. Craig Says:

    I have been a fan of D. Smith for quite a while. It helped him to have Wirfs anchor the other end.

    It also helped to have a QB that doesn’t hold the ball and wait for something to happen.

    A large part of liking him had to do with his getting exasperated the past few years when the QB did dumb stuff and gave games away.

  12. Mr. B Says:

    Give this guy a lot of credit. He took a lot of criticism from the fans and became a much better player. Glad to see he got a nice payday!

  13. SOEbuc Says:

    Just read we resigned Wells. We are so f#cking stacked.

  14. Iamabuc Says:

    Watch out, NFL. One more year together for this club, you all are not ready for what’s coming. You ain’t seen nothing yet!!

  15. adam from ny Says:

    This o-line has arrived big time…and they know it…watch for swagger in 2021


  16. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Yep, BTO and Randy Bachman said it best:
    “You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.”

  17. August 1976 Buc Says:

    It is a Bucs World in 2021, “1-2-3 DOMINATE” GO BUCS!!!!

  18. Mike Says:

    I believe Tom has been coaching the O line to compliment his special movement in the pocket. You can find out one great LT of the Patriots left for the Giants and immediately gave up a ton of sacks. TB only needs a smaller pocket compared to other QBs, which certainly helps the OL.

  19. MarkR Says:

    What Mike said…
    With Tom, OTs need only push pass rushers to the outside. As long as the
    interior of the line maintains a pocket, Tom will step up & get rid of the ball too fast for outside rushers to be effective.

  20. Bucs Guy Says:

    With the Smith extension, I don’t see the Bucs drafting OT until maybe day 3. Looking more like Edge rusher to develop behind Shaq and JPP at #32. DT is very thin and will probably be addressed in FA. RB and C/G in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.