The Best Offensive Line

November 8th, 2021


Joe remembers only a handful of months ago that many Bucs fans would habitually stomp their feet blaming just about everything wrong with our world on the Bucs offensive line.

Joe would get hate messages from social media killing Joe for not joining the faction. That’s because Joe didn’t believe it. Both Joe’s eyes and the numbers suggested something entirely different.

Now? Outside of the handful devout Donovan Smith haters — you know who you are — no one whines about the Bucs’ front-five. Why? Because they would look and sound like damn fools.

NFL analyst Brandon Thorn has grown into perhaps the most noted writer focused on NFL offensive lines and blocking. And on his EstablishTheRun website, he decided to rank offensive lines.

And take a guess who he believes has the best offensive line in football? Yup, your Buccaneers, baby!

The Bucs have been the healthiest of the elite units this season without a single player missing a start and all five guys playing at least 97% of the teams’ snaps. The unit is led by their three elite players on the line (Ali Marpet, Ryan Jensen, Tristan Wirfs) who have maintained their status among the league’s best at their position through eight games. Donovan Smith has continued his 2020 level of play, which was the best of his career up until that point. A large portion of the unit’s success as pass-protectors can be attributed to QB Tom Brady’s near flawless pocket presence and quick trigger, but when you study them on film they are communicating and playing off of one another exceptionally well, plus winning their individual matchups at a ridiculously high level. This is a unit without a glaring weakness, blue-chip talent at several spots, and a line’s best friend at QB in Brady to help make their lives easier in protection.

And yeah, Joe still gets a kick out of posting videos from time to time of offensive line adult entertainment from the Bucs’ offensive line and how it manhandles people.

Thorn, in a way that is funny to Joe, seems to have an unhealthy fetish with Ryan Jensen’s play-past-the-whistle tactics. Joe admits to finding them cool as heck, too.

Just a hunch. Next season is Tom Brady’s last in his current contract and Jensen will be a free agent. Joe just has a feeling the Bucs won’t want to hand the job to Robert Hainsey so quickly, and probably neither does Brady.

Joe fully expects Jensen, if he doesn’t re-up with the Bucs, to be franchised.

20 Responses to “The Best Offensive Line”

  1. Medicated Pete Says:

    Now that Donovan Smith can hold his own, u see how it could’ve been a long time ago

  2. Hodad Says:

    I’d like to see this Oline get to run block more. We have some maulers up front let them maul some. Running the ball only 14 times against the Saints was asking to lose. Coming out of the bye we can still carve up teams through the air, but we should commit to imposing our will more. We got the horse power, let’s run at least 20, 25 times a game moving forward. That would onlt help our play action more which we’re very good at.

  3. Upstate NY BUC Says:

    Shady McCoy showing love for Bucs and Brady, Good morning Football!!!

  4. Robert Says:

    they are good…and very good at pass protection. but why does the run up the middle on 1st down rarely work?

  5. Swampbuc Says:

    The posters who hate on Donovan Smith obviously have endured some sort of brain trauma that enables them to imagine that they’re better evaluators of football talent than the coaches, players and staff who earn their living in the NFL. I’d love to hear Arians or Licht or Brady or Marpet or Baldinger eviscerate these toads in three sentences.

  6. Listnfrmafar Says:

    These guys are animals and play very well together. Shaddy on GMFB today, the question asked was who is the most dangerous NFC team? Some said AZ or GB, not Shaddy, he said my boys the Bucs. They pushed back on him saying they have trouble beating Payton and winning division. Shaddy brushed it off and said did you see yesterday’s Saints game? He went on to say he played with great QB’s including Mahomes but NONE compare to Brady and how prepared he is. He said never count Brady out in November & December.

  7. Medicated Pete Says:

    @ Listnfrmafar

    Cool I’m about to watch the GMF replay

  8. PassingThru Says:


    It’s a good question. The O Line is excellent at pass blocking, for the most part the QB pressures come from excellent coverage or late-breaking routes. They are just so-so at run blocking, which doesn’t make sense as the line isn’t undersized or simply not athletic. In addition it isn’t as if the RBs are hulks with poor explosion. If you watch closely you simply don’t see holes being developed with any regularity.

    I wish Dante Scarnecchia would come out of retirement to coach these guys, I’ve seen him turn lesser players into a formidable unit.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    Agree Joe that Bucs have the best OLine in the NFL right now. Talent is a huge part of that obviously, but coaching has played a big part also. So has Tom Brady.

    Our sack percentage thus far this year is only 3.3%, 2nd best in the NFL (behind the Vikings, who pass less & run more than we do). That’s a credit IMO to both our OLine protection & to Tom Brady (his quick release & ability to move in the pocket).

  10. DoooshLaRue Says:

    I agree, Durable Donnie certainly does “hold” his own.

  11. BerrickDrooks Says:

    couldn’t stop LA or the Saints tho

  12. Craig Says:

    A large part of the O-line is the QB. We have such a consistent QB that it reflects on the line.

    They are playing great right now, but we still need Smith to work on his run blocking. Jensen, Cappa, and Marpet are great run blockers, but you need to run to more than one side.

  13. Buc king Says:

    Brady makes these guys look better all day Winston back there and we be roasting these guy’s…
    The run blocking when a online should be at it’s most aggressiveness has looked to my eye very blah.
    No major holes or physicality shown like the titans online vs the bounty hunting sex scandal weird faced leg broke at the game I intended beats us in the regular season bot can’t get the job done when it matters saints.

    I was actually nice in rant I could of went places where Joe would delete my comment but a simple Google search will show you thevtype of outfit those punks are.

    My point this line is above average it still needs a monster inside with tenacity and well nastiness like Jensen who pushes dline men into the second level…market and wire are real deal oline..Jensen plays like how I would imagine myself to if I was online guy
    …cappa and Smith both play well enough

  14. SlyPirate Says:

    The story of the season may be D Smith’s rise to a Pro Bowl caliber OT.

  15. DoooshLaRue Says:


  16. Pickgrin Says:

    No love for Alex Cappa eh? Can’t even get his name mentioned in an article about the NFL’s best group of 5 OLine players…..

  17. 2021 Year of the GOAT Says:

    def. rul.

    his quick release & ability to move in the pocket…. definately makes them better and just the experience of playing together longer …..
    Great time to be a Bucs fan.

  18. Ben green Says:

    You could have the jags o line and it probably wouldn’t look a lot different. He gets rid of the ball faster than he ever has. Partly because he has recievers that can get open at will. The other reason is just his anticipation. We had a saying in New England, it he knows it goes. Meaning if he knows what defense you’re in, it’s going to be a + play. It’s incredibly hard to confuse him, he’s seen every defense

  19. crazyBucs_CL Says:

    @Ryan Jensen Nominated for Salute to Service Award
    Great guy, superb player.

  20. unbelievable Says:

    It’s almost like… the o-line used to be below average in the run game and average in the passing game…. And then they got better!

    Hence people no longer complaining.

    Those negative views were not misguided 2-3 years ago.