“When You Are Solid Up Front On Both Sides Of The Ball, It’s Hard Not To Win”

August 21st, 2021
 Ian Beckles

Former Bucs G Ian Beckles.

Who better to offer up analysis of both the Bucs offensive and defensive lines than a guy who fought in the trenches in the NFL himself?

And that would be former Bucs guard Ian Beckles. A popular local sports radio personality, Beckles has returned from an extended siesta from his podcast, “In the Trenches” to offer Bucs thoughts.

In his first podcast edition after pulling a months-long Rip Van Winkle, Beckles decided to break down the lines. Below is a synopsis.

Offensive line

Donovan Smith: “Donovan Smith by far had his best year and he excelled as he went on through the season. … Listen, everybody at the end of the season, they always want to talk about, ‘Let’s cut Donovan Smith. Let’s get another left tackle.’ Watch what your wish for.”

Ali Marpet: “Ali has to start making some Pro Bowls. … For God’s sakes Ali has been playing some good football for a long, long time.”

Ryan Jensen: “I’ve always been a fan. Even when the Bucs were losing, I like the way he plays. He plays with a little edge to him. Sometimes when you have a guy in the middle playing with an edge, it wears off on other players. And you become an edgy offensive line. And that’s what you want.”

Alex Cappa: “Before he got hurt, was playing at a Pro Bowl level. He was playing really, really good football.”

Aaron Stinnie: “He played pretty darn well in the playoffs. What’s good about that is Stinnie put in some quality time last year. If something happens to Ali Marpet or Cappa, they can put Stinnie in. You will still lose a little bit but you can still win in that situation.”

Tristan Wirfs: “[A producer] said I had a mancrush on Tristan Wirfs. I’ll take it. I’ll accept it. I have not seen a rookie play that well. Ever. Ever.”

As for the offensive line as a whole, Beckles said, “Our offensive line was actually fantastic” in 2020. “We are in unbelievable hands.”

Defensive line

Ndamukong Suh: “He’s getting on in age but he didn’t fall off last year. … He never misses a play. Never. Since he has been here I have never seen him miss a play. … He comes with that grimy nature and I think he makes everyone around him better. No doubt in my mind.”

Vita Vea: “Vita Vea impressed when he came back. I’m ready for Vita Vea to go a whole season without getting hurt. If he goes a whole season without getting hurt, I can see him going to the Pro Bowl. … The Buccaneers defense is not the same without Vita Vea. It’s not. … If you single-block him, that’s a bad idea.”

Will Gholston: “Not everybody has to be flashy. I know William Gholston is not a flashy-type player. He’s kind of a flashback old school dude. But you need that guy in your lineup. You need him. … You need that attitude.”

Beckles summed up the trenches for the Bucs as setting the team up to win.

“This Buccaneer football team is solid up front,” Beckles said. “And when you are solid up front on both sides of the ball, it’s hard not to win football games.”

12 Responses to ““When You Are Solid Up Front On Both Sides Of The Ball, It’s Hard Not To Win””

  1. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    Well said Mr. B…well said indeed!

  2. Bird Says:

    No doubt

    Agree – i wish teams would single block vea

  3. Cobraboy Says:


    The Big Uglies win games, the flashy boys sell tickets.

  4. Rayjay1122 Says:

    Games always have been won and lost in the trenches. That is historically proven in the NFL.

  5. gotbbucs Says:

    This is true.

  6. BillyBucoff Says:

    It’s so obvious it drives me crazy when we go an opposite direction in round one.

    Unless of course it’s a generational LB like White.
    Still almost trenches the way he blitzes.

    Might break the sack record for LB this year. Only 9.5.

  7. Tackleblockwin Says:

    Never going to hear me complain if we draft Dline or Oline early in the draft when a good player is sitting there waiting to get picked.

  8. mark2001 Says:

    When it comes to line play, you are in Ians wheelhouse. What he is saying sounds right on the money on this topic.

  9. Mike Johnson Says:

    What? You slippin Joe. An actual picture of Ian not stuffin his pie hole or around the honeys?

  10. unbelievable Says:

    Well said.

    Both lines have been transformed over the last 2 years.

  11. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    I’ve never listened to his show and have only read what he’s said on this site. And have quite often wondered what team he is watching. Spot on here though.

  12. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    When I think of Ian Beckles, I think of Food! Not to say I don’t like his football opinions, but I also like his food critic hat.
    Many don’t realize that he is from Montreal, a real food crazy town.