The Sickness Has Not Sunk Offensive Line

August 4th, 2021

Bucs LG Alex Cappa

Joe always remembered what former Bucs great Warren Sapp once said about offensive linemen.

Sapp referred to them as cattle because they always hung out together.

Football coaches like to say how cohesiveness is critical to offensive linemen. Before The Sickness, on nearly every NFL team, offensive linemen would often gather outside of work for beers or food or both.

Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet when they were younger seemed to always go out together, often with other offensive linemen for weekly taco scarf sessions.

The lore of offensive linemen hanging out got blown up, like so many things did, since The Sickness hit the world. Last year, Bucs players were forbidden to hang out in public places outside of One Buc Palace, per NFL protocols.

So much for weekly taco sessions.

But Bucs right guard Alex Cappa said the lack of camaraderie outside of One Buc Palace hasn’t bothered the development of one of the better lines in the game.

“To be honest, I don’t think it has really affected us,” Cappa said. “Like last year, yeah, you don’t get to hang out as much outside the building. But, I mean, we’re here working a lot. We’re still with us with each other all day.

“I don’t think that has really bothered us. I think we all get along good. We all enjoy working together. So, I don’t think that has been a problem.”

It clearly has not. Unlike many Bucs fans, Joe was never on the bandwagon that the Bucs had an awful line as so many parroted. The Bucs were a top-10 offense in 2015 and had excellent offensive production the past few years. You don’t pull that off with a sieve of a line.

Like seemingly everything else on the Bucs, that offensive line was spectacular after the bye and through the postseason. Joe firmly believes the Bucs have a top-five line.

And this was developed in the midst of a pandemic.

Just like the NFL last year destroyed the nonsense coaches clutched to — that you must have preseason games or your product will be lousy — the Bucs also may have thrown cold water on the idea that an offensive line has to be tight-knit off the field in order to work as-one on gameday.

13 Responses to “The Sickness Has Not Sunk Offensive Line”

  1. Bird Says:

    Buddy went to fan viewing practice the other day and said he looks like a monster. Put on so much good weight since being drafted

  2. geno711 Says:

    Well said. When you score a bunch of points, your offensive line is always a big part of that.

    When you bring in Tom Brady and he realizes that all he wants you to pass block for is 2.4 seconds then your offensive line that was good becomes elite.

    I see no reason to believe that they will be anything but elite again this year.
    We have a two good coaches for the line. And are developing better depth IMO with Stinnie and Hainsey.

  3. Bobby M. Says:

    Looking back, the talent was indeed there but the motivation and attention to detail was lacking at times. When we look at what changed…..we went from Winston to Brady. One a bonehead rah rah guy that was talented but not effective….to a proven champion that raises the bar by having a high level of personal accountability. At that level, real recognizes real. Those guys knew pretty quickly Winston wasn’t the real deal, particularly from a leadership standpoint and it showed in their consistency.

  4. Hodad Says:

    This O line is hitting their prime. Wirfs prime will be his whole career, he played like a seasoned vet as a rookie. Then consider the skill at receiver, and running back, with the master Tom Brady pulling the strings. With good health easily a top 3 offense, and O line. Right now I can’t think of a better unit in the NFL. They were clearly the best O line in the playoffs, and S.B..

  5. stpetebucsfan Says:

    It all starts up front on both sides of the ball.

    It’s very exciting that we’re really good upfront on both O and D.

    But behind all that talent on the OLINE and I think it’s substantial…there is mindbending talent in the form of the GOAT at QB surrounded by playmakers.

    Our top four WR’s are all TD makers and frequently explode for big plays…our TE’s are also capable of getting in the end zone. Now we add Bernard out of the backfield and a year more experience for ROJO and the hard running of Fournette.

    I’m an old dude and the only team I can think of that matches or exceeds the Bucs on Paper is the ole Bradshaw Steelers. I give TB12 the edge over TB12.

    See what I did there. It’s fitting they were both TB12 but they were both great but I gotta give the edge to Tom at QB.

    After that though…Swann and Stallworth certainly could matchup with CG and ME but we also have AB…perhaps again slight edge to the Bucs

    RB the Steeler with Rocky Bleier and of course the great “miraculous catch” Franco Harris…Steelers with a definite edge at RB

    And on the OL…don’t really know…both teams stout up front..even?

    I’ll try and get D.R. to break down the Steelers great D compared to the Bucs great D. As an offensive guy they both look really great but the Bucs need perhaps to do it a few more years to be discussed in the same sentence as the
    “Steel Curtain”.

    So which team was more talented on paper…the Bradshaw Steelers or the Brady Bucs.

  6. BuucccNASTY he p Says:

    Stpetebucsfan, I do love me some Bucs D but you can’t compare our current D to “THE Steel Curtain”… I mean even given a few more super bowls and I think it’s fair to look at the points our D let up last year to what they did back then and it’s not even close.. our D won us that Super Bowl game hands down.. but many other fames this season we had to score 30+ points to win those games. That’s on Tom and the O

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete … The NFL game has changed so much in the past 40-50 years that I don’t think you can really compare teams from back then to present-day teams. Steelers won the Super Bowl in 1974, 1975, 1978 & 1979 with Chuck Noll as their HC & Terry Bradshaw as their QB (4 out of 6 years is pretty darned good IMO). They had a very good defense as you noted, but they also had a very good offense to go with it (COMPLIMENTARY FOOTBALL? TEAM BALANCE?). But I’d venture to say that against today’s top teams they get roasted.

    Look at their offense & defense in those SB years:
    o 1974 (10-3-1): Pts scored: 305 (ranked #6); Pts allowed: 189 (ranked #2)
    o 1975 (12-2): Pts scored: 373 (ranked #5); Pts allowed: 162 (ranked #2)
    o 1978 (14-2): Pts scored: 356 (ranked #5); Pts allowed: 195 (ranked #1)
    o 1979 (12-4): Pts scored: 416 (ranked #1); Pts allowed: 262 (ranked #5)

    Just compare 1979 with 2020. Bucs last year scored 492 points in 16 games in comparison, and ranked #3 (quite a difference). Bucs threw 626 times & rushed 369 times in 2020; Steelers threw 492 times & rushed 561 times in 1979 (quite a difference). Brady completed 65.7% of his passes last year; Bradshaw completed 54.9% of his passes in 1979 (pass defenses supposedly had a LOT more latitude than they have today).

    The one similarity both teams share though is that they were both quite balanced in terms of offense & defense (unlike our 2002 SB team whose defense ranked #1 but our offense ranked #18). Hmmm, guess you might say they played nice together huh. Oh and BTW, did you notice that as good as the Steel Curtain was, they only ranked #1 in ONE of their 4 Super Bowl years?

  8. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Thanks for the perspective D.R. and Nasty.

    D.R. I took my car in for regularly scheduled service. My major problem is keeping tires inflated because of all the broken coin operated air hoses.

    Here is how old we are D.R. Can you remember when a guy would come out and pump your gas, check your oil, and add air or water if you needed. Perhaps that’s why the called them “Service Stations”

    Then they became gas stations with free pump your own air.

    And now they are quick stops that gouge a buck or more for air and that’s when their freaking machines work. I guess I’m getting too dang old. LMAO

    Happy ending though. Crown Buick told me come by anytime and they’ll fill em free for me.

    So I sort of end up where I started…someone pumping air in my tires for free.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    That guy who used to come out and pump your gas, check your oil, and add air or water if you needed? That was me. (And oh BTW, had to clean the windshield too).

    And also thinking StPete that you may need to invest in some new tires. I end up putting air in mine maybe once a year. Not a big deal though since I bought a compressor a couple years ago. Between my cars, electric bikes, wheelbarrow, pressure washer & other toys that require air in the tires I figured that’d be a lot easier than dragging them off to someone else’s air pump (Crown Buick ?) every time.

  10. geno711 Says:


    Wawa stations have free air. No coins needed.

  11. Eckwood Says:

    Disagree Joe , It’s Great but a lil sad at the same time that the o line across the board played 25 % better individually and the coaching took protecting the qb to another level than before ………… now did the old qb hold it to long , yes but that D was also 40 percent better at week 10 than anything the old qb had to depend on to hold a lead or get the ball back !! Fact ( eye test) Word !!! Go Bucs !!!!

  12. Wild Bill Says:

    Well paid pros know their job and don’t need high-school rah rah to get it done. Licht made some great draft pics for both physical and INTELLIGENT linemen.

  13. 1sparkybuc Says:

    I started watching football in the 1950s. I remember one guy who played DL at 220 lbs while typical was 240 to 250. HOF players from that era wouldn’t make the PS in today’s game. Doug Williams couldn’t complete 50% of his passes with the Bucs. How long do you think BA would put up with that? Different rules, different game, different era, and my HS job was as a full service attendant at the Shell station at the corner of Dale Mabre and Euclid.