“Average At Best”

December 9th, 2021

Harsh critique

It’s always interesting to hear men of experience in the Bucs’ offensive trenches talk about blocking. And no, this isn’t an Ian Beckles post.

Joe likes to quote no-BS film guru Dave Moore, the tight end who retired after 15 seasons (1992-2006). Moore works on the Buccaneers Radio Network as their game analyst.

Two or Moore’s NFL seasons were spent in Buffalo, so it was no surprise to hear him on Buffalo sports radio this week (WGR-AM).

Of course, Moore was asked about the Tom Brady Effect and he went right to the offensive line. If you listen to Moore, he’ll tell you the unit tried a lot harder when Brady showed up to usher out the Jameis Winston era.

“The offensive line before Tom Brady got here was playing average at best,” Moore said. “But now you have, you know, the offensive linemen turning around looking at a 43 year old quarterback last year saying — and the best that’s ever played — ‘I’m going to block a little harder for him.’ So all of a sudden that offensive line became very good at pass blocking and they take good care of him.”

It’s always a eye-opening to hear ex-players critique effort, especially a guy who’s watching and studying all Bucs games.

Moore also implied the Bucs defense ramped up with Brady around because they recognized how valuable every Brady possession is.

“Him showing up in Tampa has really, you know, shifted the mentality of the entire organization and of course the talent along with it,” Moore said of Brady.

Joe can’t really buy that the Bucs’ O-line tried a lot harder when Brady walked through the door. Maybe a little bit. Keep in mind the Bucs led the NFL in passing yards and were third in scoring in 2019.

Joe leans more toward former Bucs tight end Anthony Becht’s theory that the arrival of Tristan Wirfs had a huge effect across the line.

44 Responses to ““Average At Best””

  1. Bird Says:

    AInt that the truth 👍

  2. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I can definitively see the Brady Effect on our O Line.
    Not only is he easier to block for because he gets the ball out so fast, they also know they will get yelled at, if they do not do their job.
    Brady demands excellence from himself, and everyone around him.

  3. Medicated Pete Says:

    Jameis Winston was thrown under the bus by debacle of a franchise & inept coaches & players. Brady changed everything.

    Get ready for Kyle Trask next season lolololololo

  4. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Again, top paid players needing more inspiration etc.


  5. Alexander Nascimento Says:

    I believe that the fact that TB is in every snap right where his OL thinks he is goes a LOOONG way on how they’ve been playing.
    If I’m not mistaken, Jensen talked about it on an interview.

    Go Bucs!

  6. PSL Bob Says:

    Doesn’t hurt that the O-line has played together as a unit now for two years and that they’ve been relatively healthy. The reserves have played well also when they’ve had to step in. I do recognize the Brady effect, but I think you’ve also got to give a little credit to the o-line coaching.

  7. Listnfrmafar Says:

    I think it the in aw factor. Do you want to be known as the olineman responsible for getting the GOAT crushed? What he did was sell these guys on their own talent and asked that the play to it. In other words do you really want to be known as a loser? They also saw the respect the vet gave Brady. Add in Gronk & AB’s work ethic and there you have it a wining team.

  8. SB Says:

    I completely believe that they try harder for Brady. Winston didn’t stay in the pocket. You never knew where he was as an OL
    Much Much easier to follow your assignment when you know where your QB is.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    Agree with you Joe; can’t totally buy into the notion that ‘the Bucs’ O-line tried a lot harder when Brady walked through the door.’ I do think that Brady’s expectations had a huge impact on the Bucs’ organization as a whole, but it still comes down to talent, coaching & ‘field leadership’ IMO, with ‘personal motivation’ or ‘desire’ playing a role to some extent.

    Part of our OLine (Donovan & Ali) have been together since 2015. That year our OLine only gave up 27 sacks, with 2 rookies in key positions & Jameis the rookie playing QB. But we had 3 long-time pros working with them on the OLine: Mankins, Hawley & Cherilus. And even though Jameis didn’t help them much (often held the ball too long?) they did pretty well together.

    But Mankins retired after that year (2015), and Pamphile & Dotson replaced Mankins & Cherilus. Result: sacks increased to 35 in 2016. Sweezy replaced Hawley in 2017. Result: sacks increased to 40 that year. Jensen replaced Sweezy in 2018 & Benenoch replaced Pamphile. Result: sacks increased to 41 in 2018. Reason for the steady increase in sacks from 2015-2018? Steady OLine turnover, lack of talent at some positions, and probably coaching to some degree.

    In 2019 things stabilized somewhat. D Smith, Marpet, Jensen & Dotson had played together for awhile. Cappa replaced Benenoch, and a new coaching staff was hired. Plenty of hiccups that first year. Result: Jameis threw an NFL record 30 INTs & was sacked 47 times. And most of that IMO was his own fault (the new coaching staff helped).

    In 2020 everything came up roses. D Smith, Marpet, Jensen, Cappa had lots of time together, and Tristan Wirfs was added to round out a beastly OLine. Tom Brady knew how to take advantage of the protection, and had a quick release. Result: our Oline only surrendered 22 sacks total in 2020 on the way to the Super Bowl.

    This OLine has developed some nice chemistry at this point, and they’re all still in their prime. Jensen is the ‘field-leader’ of the pack IMO, and Bucs NEED to re-sign him even though he will be turning 31 next Spring. Also need to re-sign Cappa (and hopefully Stinnie for flexibility).

  10. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Wirfs and Gronk and better depth

  11. Mike Says:

    Winston held on to the ball too long and also wasn’t always where the O Line expected him to be within the pocket. The thing about Brady is he is going to be in the pocket, so the O Line knows where he is and they have to work hard to protect him and give him time to go through his reads and make the play.

  12. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    I think @SB is right.
    Plus the fact, Brady has a really good idea where the ball is going before it’s snapped, and gets rid of the ball quickly.

    He’s done it a few times, lol

  13. WillieG Says:

    I think it’s more likely that the offensive line has always been good but they were trying to protect a QB who held the ball too long and may have been anywhere behind them. Brady pretty much knows where he’s going with the ball as soon as it hits his hands and he stays in the pocket.

  14. Tackleblockwin Says:

    I agree with you, Joe.

  15. D-Rok Says:

    I believe the O line played better under Brady simply due to the fact that Brady is very precise with his drops, and the blockers know their exact spots to be in. That, plus his super fast release time, transformed an average-good O line to very good, possibly elite. I think blockers have a harder time with more mobile QB’s. Just my observations. GO BUCS!!

  16. Youngbucs Says:

    Post like these bring oneilbucs out of hiding lol.

  17. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    To says you blocked for the GOAT, will be told for generations. Better do a good job.

  18. Bob in valrico Says:

    I don’t question Moore”s assessment, because it did affect some players.But drafting Wirfs and signing Gronk also added to the result.

  19. JimmyJack Says:

    A huge contributing factor was coaching. The previous staff failed to develope a single lineman……..The soon as Bruce got here Cappa was developed into a solid starter and we also developed some nice depth player(Stinnine might actualy be our starting LG in the future).

    I would also argue D. Smith has played his best football under Bruce, same with Jensen.

    I do also agree with what SB said and I would add that Brady is one of the best at reading defenses and calling out the right protection………

    I dont know that we are physically trying harder but I darn sure believe theres a lot more confidence with Tom back there……Our line now knows if they do their job we are going to move down the field. That has to be a factor.

    And yes adding a beast like Tristian Wirfs is a big part of it.

    Lots of factors at play.

  20. Espo Says:

    I don’t believe it to be an effort issue. I think Donovan Smith finally developed into the guy we drafted. Wirfs was an instant improvement. Jensen and Market were about the same as always.

  21. westernbuc Says:

    I think Tristan Wirfs replacing Demar Dotson has more to do with it than anything

  22. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Brady plays professional football. Winston was playing backyard, sandlot ball. Big difference. Everyone performs better when their coworkers do as well..

  23. Coburn Says:

    Jameis was maddening how long he’d hold onto the ball at times. Stats looked better than it was for release because sometimes it was quick. Very inconsistent. He also didn’t have the pocket presence Brady does

  24. Coburn Says:

    Also agree with espo and others. Don Smith improved, Cappa has been good, wirfs was a stud. Market and Jensen always been solid

  25. DoooshLaRue Says:

    So Wirfs was a stud right out of the gate but it took Durable Donnie how many years to get his sh!t together?

    Speaks volumes.

  26. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    Pro tip : Quickest way to lessen your playing time. Allow too many sacks on TB12.

  27. Mr Bean Says:

    The O line is better with Brady for two main reasons:
    1) Quick release, so they don’t have to hold the fort for too long;
    2) pocket passer with predictable but limited mobility so they know at all times where the QB is.

  28. ModHairKen Says:

    I respect Dave Moore. He never got liquored up and attacked a horse.

  29. D-Rome Says:

    The offensive line was fine throughout the majority of Jay-Miss’ career in Tampa. Jay-Miss was ultimately the problem. Watching the Bucs in Atlanta this year was the first time I’ve watched Brady live and in person. He gets the ball out so quickly that I don’t think I’ve ever seen a QB get it out so quick, at least not in person. It’s truly remarkable and must be a nightmare for defensive coordinators to game plan against.

    Jay-Miss held the ball too long. He was rarely decisive and half the time he chucked it in the air thinking he saw a WR open.

  30. gotbbucs Says:

    It’s a lot easier to block when you trust the guy behind you to take advantage of good blocking. Give Winston the cleanest pocket ever and he’ll still find a way to bonehead the hell out of any play call.

    There’s not an offensive line unit in the world that enjoys blocking for a garbage QB. If they have no pocket awareness and hold the ball too long they make the offensive line look bad.
    Obviously going from Winston to The Goat is going to be a massive emotional uptick in the unit that has to pass block for the QB.

  31. Lamarcus Says:

    We knew they were lazy and not playing up to par before Brady got here. All that harsh criticism I did and everyone was warranted. We knew JW and a couple of others were playing their hearts out but players GMC were caught loafing many times

  32. LakelandSteve Says:

    I think it’s a combination of better, more consistent blocking and Brady’s ability to get the ball out fast if needed. The difference between Brady who knows pre-snap where he is going with the ball to Winston who was slower to recognize where the ball needs to go is huge. Also the offensive line knows if they give Brady the time, he will work his magic. They did not have that kind of confidence in Winston and their play showed it.

  33. TampabayDJ82 Says:

    YoungBucs – lmfao 😂 !! Agreed

  34. Craig Says:

    Posts like this bring the medicated N-dog out.

    The O-line only has to hold up for something like 3.2 seconds, on every snap, damn straight they will play harder for that.

    No more 7-8 seconds of trying to hold a block, or trying to figure out which way to block someone.

  35. 1sparkybuc Says:

    The two most prolific QBs in franchise history are Tom Brady and Jameis Winston, and it’s not even close. Brady has experience and vastly superior coaching as his advantage. Jameis had Mike Evans and little else.

  36. Oneilbuc Says:

    I understand why you will agree with youngbucs because I just call it like I see it . I don’t buy in to the media narratives like yall do. Brady is a hall of famer hands down I just don’t ignore the rest of the team like yall do. Again defense when championships and Brady has been bless to have played with top 5 defenses most of his career if not his whole career. No one can name me 1 time when Brady played with a 10th or 15th ranked defense . And Belichick has proven that without him their is no Brady . Football is a team sport and yall bought in the media false narrative about the quarterback. Just like I said Belichick won by throwing the ball 3 times . Facts!!

  37. Oneilbuc Says:

    Youngbucs everything I said has came to pass lol 😆 😂 and you know it 😜!! Brady played with the exact same team Jamies played with and you got the same results we lost both games fact 1. That’s why yall crying for AB and Gronk to come back fact 2 !! Yall told me that a running game doesn’t matter it’s all about the quarterback remember now yall talk about how we should run the ball. Yall told me that Belichick can’t win without Brady and he can’t develop a quarterback because he didn’t develop Brady remember lol 😂 ? I told yall he would develop Mac Jones and now Mac Jones looks like a young Brady !! All of the national media narratives and plus your own has been destroyed this year and I’m loving it lol 😆 😄!! I told yall that yall know nothing about football so go debate those fantasy football people because a real football fan can see the false narratives plus I played the game .

  38. Merlin Says:

    I don’t buy this for a second. A professional O-lineman going to half ass it because of the QB behind him? This isn’t “the replacements”. These guys are professionals and every mistake costs them future earnings.

    JW held the ball too long because he didn’t recognize the defense as fast as Brady. That made the line look worse. End of story.

  39. Oneilbuc Says:

    Merlin. You must be a Brady fan more than a bucs fan !! Lol 😆 🤣. It’s the no risk it no biscuit it offense that’s the problem long route trees!!

  40. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Long route trees but Brady has the fastest release in the NFL.
    He’s making the throws.

    So, Oh-kneel…… did our receivers start running faster?

  41. Oneilbuc Says:

    Doosh. The games we lost was more no risk it no biscuit and to yall it was the defense fault and the coaches when we lose . But when we win it’s all Brady with yall lol 😆 😂 . The difference is I look at the team yall see 1 guy !!

  42. tvan101 Says:

    @medicated pete Winston threw himself under that bus around the time he threw himself into an Uber.

  43. Scot person Says:

    Sure, you can give some credit to the Oline playing harder and smarter now that they have the GOAT. You can even give Wirfs a lot of credit.
    But don’t forget TB is the GOAT because other than P.Manning a close 2nd no other QB comes close for pre-sbap reads, quick progressions, audibles, change direction of the run, so many things he can do with the Oline before the snap, change a counter move by a guard to a dive block or a double block for example.
    And it’s not that Winston went deep just because of a string arm. Nope, you only throw 30 picks in this era if you don’t preread the play, find your checkdowns etc

  44. David Says:

    Donovan Smith was still improving, they did not have WIRFS, and they brought in Jensen at center.
    Maybe they did step it up a little but I think mostly some players got better and they got some better players.
    Then they also had Brady helping them with assignments, calling out defenses, reading defenses faster and getting rid of the ball faster. He also does not panic when option 1&2 are not available and run out of the pocket immediately, like previous QBs have.

    So I don’t think they necessarily are trying harder, I just think they’ve gotten better and he has played a big part of that