Analysis: Bucs Offensive Line Isn’t That Bad

December 24th, 2022

Left tackle Donovan Smith. (Photo courtesy of

Joe knows people will go nuts because when all else fails, you know, blame the offensive line. Just because.

Legions of Bucs fans develop blisters from beating on their keyboards typing comments here claiming the Bucs’ offensive line is the absolute worst mankind has laid eyes upon and that is the reason for climate change. Or cancer. Or, hell, damn near anything.

You know, just because.

Ben Muth, a former offensive tackle at Stanford, regularly writes analysis for Football Outsiders. Muth goes into great detail breaking down the Bucs’ front line in their loss to Cincinnati. Did Muth have quibbles with the line? Sure. But overall, he thought the Bucs’ front line played OK, certainly good enough to win.

And that’s been Joe’s point all year. Is the line as good as it was the past three years? No, but good enough. Joe sees teams succeeding with worse lines. Why is that?

Well, other teams have coordinators that adjust. That’s not exactly the forê of Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.

Caution: Muth also has a couple of nice things to say about Bucs left tackle Donovan Smith.

One thing Muth did mention in the article hit home with Joe. Muth noticed Tom Brady seems awfully antsy in the pocket.

If you feel like killing time, you will notice that during last week’s game against the Bengals, Joe Twittered out that Brady seemed awfully jumpy, like he was hearing footsteps when he had time to throw. Muth thinks Brady panicked himself into one of his two picks.

Joe’s glad to not be the only one seeing Brady acting gun-shy.

54 Responses to “Analysis: Bucs Offensive Line Isn’t That Bad”

  1. Bucs go Bucs Says:

    I watch film, too.
    Spoiler alert: Bucs O line BAD!!!

  2. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Sitting in the stands you can see Brady is seeing some ghosts however Smith has clearly regressed.

  3. Tucker Says:

    At 45 years old I don’t blame Brady for being antsy at an inconsistent offensive line his quick release time hides how bad the oline is at times. I blame the GM for not getting an elite oline or more quickness at the wr spot to get separation quicker or the oc for not adapting the scheme to work with that they have.

  4. Cassius55 Says:

    Isn’t Brady releasing this year the quickest in his career? And why can’t the bucs run all of a sudden this year? I-line needs to be better!

  5. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Hogwash. The backs have been getting hit in the backfield all year. This line gets pushed into the backfield on a consistent basis. What teams are winning with a worse line ?

  6. G-FUNK Says:

    Bucs have not been able to convert on 3rd or 4th and 1 all year long. That says all you need to know about our line’s performance.

  7. Destinjohnny Says:

    Jason must have a lobbyist

  8. AmauryGuzman Says:

    If Carolina wins it puts extra pressure on these clowns to win tomorrow.

  9. Tony1775 Says:

    Not that bad not that good.

  10. FrontFour Says:

    Smith leads the league in holding penalties, including two that negated TD’s. The conversion of short yardage 3rd and 4th downs has been nonexistent. I don’t need some analyst – even a former player, coach – telling me this Oline isn’t so bad when it’s just horrible. Give me a break. The only surprise is he didn’t blame Bowles for the poor Oline play.

  11. Marine Buc Says:

    This offensive line isn’t horrible but to call them a “good” or “solid” unit just isn’t true…

    Losing Cappa, Marpet and Jenson were difficult to deal with.

    Goedeke needs to improve (and probably will) and the Bucs should re-sign N. Leverett to return as our main OG reserve.

    If Jenson returns and Smith can pull his head out of posterior then we should have a more “solid” line next season…

    LT – Smith
    LG – Hainsey
    C – Jenson
    RG – Mason
    RT – Wirfs

    Reserve OG/OT – Goedeke
    Reserve OG/C – N. Leverett
    Reserve OT – Walton

  12. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I’m not saying Donovan Smith is bad all of the time, but his drive killing/TD killing penalties this year have been unacceptable.

  13. AmauryGuzman Says:

    lol at the panthers. This division is embarrassing and the bucs are the biggest frauds. Come on man. If they had taken care of business they wouldn’t be on the verge of a collapse.

  14. AmauryGuzman Says:

    Lions being the lions . Panthers up 21-7 with freaking sam darnold.

  15. Redeemer Says:

    His is the O line not that bad, when they’re ranked in the bottom of the league in pass/run block win rate? People defending this line, will point to the sacks allowed. That’s misleading. Brady doesn’t take sacks, never has. If they had the same line as last year, – Cappa + Mason, the offense would be fine. Not great, but good enough. It’s looked better lately. Calling this line anything but way below average, just isn’t accurate. IDK what film this guy is watching, but apparently it’s different than the tape I’ve watched. Brady doesn’t trust them, that’s the reason he looks gun shy. Most any older pocket passer would

  16. Redeemer Says:

    How is

  17. AmauryGuzman Says:

    Well the bucs better take care of business tomorrow.

  18. AmauryGuzman Says:

    Panthers laying the hammer on the crappy lions.

  19. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Clearly others are watching The Red Zone…Carolina clicking on all cylinders. Running at will allowing Sam I Am to look decent. Don’t be surprised if they flex The Buc/Panther game next Sunday to the featured night game on NBC. Winny has flashbacks to end of season 2008…Carolina two headed RB monster runs for 200+ yards in an absolute arse whoopin’.

  20. George Says:

    Bucs O Lin is atrocious.Brady had no time to throw . Blame fall squarely on Jason Licht for not bringing in som experienced linemen

  21. Allbuccedup Says:

    31-7 260 yards rushing Panthers are tuning up for the division title game a week from tomorrow against the Bucs. Bowles needs to put some magic in the Bucs rushing defense next week.

  22. Randy Bowers Says:

    He’s the best only if he has the best players around him.Face it he’s getting old and slower and none of his rings or records matter on game time.

  23. AmauryGuzman Says:

    Allbuccedup they better win tomorrow. Sick of this inept coaching staff.

  24. Winny Testaverde Says:

    I started the day/early game window rooting against the NFC South ( of course )…but The Bucs need to win out or might as well lose out. No backing in…that’s wussified.

  25. D Says:

    I’m afraid that the Bucs are going to have to win out to make the playoffs 🙁

  26. Christina Says:

    Ummm it’s pretty bad if it wasn’t our run game would be much better lol

  27. HC Grover Says:

    Panters could put them out of their misery next week?

  28. Craig Says:

    Brady is afraid he will break if he gets hit, it might be true because there isn’t much out there on 46 YO QBs.

    There are other teams with much worse lines than the Bucs have, so the Bucs O-line is middle of the road in comparison.

    Historically the O-line is awful, but football, as a whole, is getting worse since the last collective bargaining agreement cut practice time in half.

  29. Vlad The Impaler Says:

    It’s not a bad oline.
    It’s mediocre.
    Last 2 years it was top-shelf and the results showed.
    This year it’s good enough for podunk Buc fans.

    Just be happy you have a team even though it’s miserable and painful to watch. You should be happy for the torture of watching. Plebians.

  30. Vlad The Impaler Says:

    It’s not a bad oline.
    It’s mediocre.
    Last 2 years it was top-shelf and the results showed.
    This year it’s good enough for podunk Buc fans.

    Just be happy you have a team even though it’s miserable and painful to watch. You should be happy for the torture of watching. Plebians.

  31. Frank Fasulo Says:

    Panthers kickin’ butt

  32. Vlad The Impaler Says:

    Not going to watch and let this team take a big, nasty bowelswitch on my Christmas. Boycott is on. Last 3 weeks have been highly successful in protecting myself from Bucs induced misery

  33. Anonymous Says:

    Problem is Brady and Leftwitch think O line is bad leading to sshirt mental time clock and short play calling. No confidence = bad Offense. Whose fault is that? When was the last time you head something positive out of Bowles?

  34. Anonymous Says:

    Also Brady is soft. He was wearing a parka on the bench last week in Tampa. Tell that to Seahawk players warming up in KC today.

  35. BucfaninMi Says:

    Unfortunately I think this is Carolinas division to lose. Clearly a better team.

  36. D-Rok Says:

    Hogwash. This line is well below average, and the eye test tells me this, if the run-game performance doesn’t.

    For how the skill players are on O, meaning not quick guys, but more long-striders, the line needs to be above average. For the run scheme, this line is far below average.

    I call BS on this report, aint buying whatever the analyst is trying to sell.

    Now in the first half Bengals game, they performed well above average, and way above their normal performance. Then the 2nd half happened. On one Brady INT where his arm got smacked, there was a huge hole on left side and a free rusher came clean. That’s just one glaring example.

  37. TDavis Says:

    1. This article has 4 examples of OL play from that game. 2 good examples and 2 examples of “well the OL wasn’t great but they weren’t HORRIBLE on this play.” I’m not sure what that’s supposed to prove.

    2. There is not a single OL stat that will show the Bucs have a bad OL, because of how insanely fast Brady gets rid of the ball. But the bottom line is Brady has not had one game besides the Seattle game this year where he has had sufficient time to run the offense for the majority of the game.

    3. There is no QB in the league as immobile as Brady except maybe Ryan, and the Colts offense is worse than the Bucs, so you may see plenty of teams succeeding with subpar OL play.

    The Bucs and Brady need great to elite OL play and they’ve gotten average at best OL play this year. Not sure what’s so controversial about that.

  38. unbelievable Says:

    This is what I’ve been saying all season:

    1. They’ve taken a clear step down from where they were the previous years. They went from elite to average. And in run blocking, they are below average (again).

    2. Brady doesn’t trust then and has been rushing throws. All season long.

    3. None of that changes the fact that Donovan Smith is THE MOST PENALIZED O-LINEMEAN IN THE LEAGUE SINCE 2015.

  39. Wild Bill Says:

    I call bs on this guy Muth. Sure the Bucs look OK against loser teams. But they sure can’t block the contender teams. Which Bucs games did this guy watch? All the top teams and some of the lesser teams harassed Brady big time! The Bucs can’t throw deep like they did last two years. Brady is getting rushed bad even on short routes.

  40. steele Says:

    This article is nonsense based on the opinion of one outside guy looking at limited evidence, and stats (that can always be interpreted in any number of ways).

    We look at film, too. We watch the games intently. We obsess on this OL, and every individual on it.

    This OL is bad. Possibly not absolute bottom worst in the NFL, but that doesn’t make them anything close to good. Pushed around, pushed back, penalized, beat.

    Look at the results. At best, you can argue that they are mediocre to borderline poor. They give up serious pressure. Brady is not skittish for no reason, and stop blaming him for being a sitting duck and feeling it. The man knows. They give up sacks, but the bigger point is they give up important ones at key moments. They have not established any sort of consistent smashmouth running attack.

    As everyone in here points out, there has been a major dropoff from the OL of the past. You don’t lose Marpet, Cappa, Jensen, and suffer decline in D Smith, fail to replace or upgrade with anything but average in-house JAGs and expect anything but what we’ve expected and seen.

  41. Brooklyn Buc Says:

    If they get in, we will get killed by Dallas at home in front of the entire country. I feel we would be better to lose now and get a higher draft pick. Winning this garbage div. is nothing to be proud of.

  42. Goatfarmer Says:

    Sure. Bucs are great in the run game. Oh, wait.

    But they can pass protect, forcing Brady to get rid of the football in quantum clock time.

    Yep. This OL is just dandy.

  43. Kentucky Buc Says:

    If Wirfs was healthy and D Smith had his head on right this line would be average. Right now they’re a dumpster fire. Thank God Bucs signed Shaq Mason. He’s the most consistent lineman on the year.

  44. SOEbuc Says:

    They may not be great, but White and Lenny are way overrated in the run game and it’s too easy to see when the run is coming. Hainsey and Leverett have progressed well with what they have. Seen plenty of Brady in the pocket with plenty of time and top receivers that ends up with it collapsing sacks because of sh!t scheme is much worse than oline.

  45. Boodidley Says:

    I think Joe has a stake in this OLine. Maybe makes more money if he supports a failing unit with gibberish posts. The line is ranked in bottom 20%, and are generating the worst rushing offense of all time… very low ranked middle line against push. This is a bullsh1t post if I’ve ever seen one. Also the eye test says they are the worst Brady has had in his whole career

  46. Boodidley Says:

    Apparently the Jo’s don’t like it if you question their integrity in regards to OLine play. Be warned… sensitive types

  47. JimmyfromNY Says:

    Brady is soft? You really can’t make this stuff up the only games he’s missed in 23 years is when he had a complete tear of his MCL and ACL. He’s played the entire season with a torn ligament, broken hand, separated, shoulder, high ankle sprains in Super Bowls, and never complained once. In two decades, you’ve never seen him once told a media he’s been hurt, not like these other quarterbacks like Roger’s in big Ben who tell you when they have an ingrown toenail. In two decades, you’ve never seen him once tell the media he’s been hurt, not like these other quarterbacks like Roger’s and big Ben who tell you when they have an ingrown toenail. Lol. Keep trolling babe still the best there’s ever been , none of your trolling’s gonna change that.

  48. Chop block Says:

    ANONYMOUS Are you soft? Brady’s 45 playing against young guys in the prime of there
    careers. How many times has Brady ever been taken out of a game because of a hit? If he was soft he wouldn’t have lasted as long as he has, playing through injuries that you never
    would have guessed. Brady’s a fukn beast.

  49. Joe Says:

    I think Joe has a stake in this OLine. Maybe makes more money if he supports a failing unit with gibberish posts.

    If Joe thought the offensive line was horrible, he’d write it.

    People who think this line is awful either have short memories or are recent NFL/Bucs fans.

  50. firethecannons Says:

    Donovan Smith is bad real bad, he is a penalty magnet he holds everyy play every snap in the 4 th quarter, as soon as we score, then he gets called Make this sh!t stop–todd bowles you dufus do something to fix this!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  51. Blah Says:

    Brady cant even get 3 seconds of a clean pocket. If you look at his time to throw data, he has the least amount of time.
    Sacks are just as much as a QB stat than a o-line stat, the reason sacks arent through the roof is because Brady gets rid of the ball so fast.
    If you honestly believe the bucs o-line is “good” then you honestly have no idea what you’re watching on sundays.

  52. Smashsquatch Says:

    Brady typically makes his offensive lines look better with a quick release. This year he’s making them look worse with skittish play. Too bad he’s not wearing a no contact jersey or has an OC who like to score points. All odds are against Brady at this point. Three games remain against sub par opponents, can he find his mojo in time to boost everyone’s confidence? Including the coaching staff? Tbd….

  53. PassingThru Says:

    BS this OLine blows

  54. orlbucfan Says:

    The OLine with all the injuries and replacing Ali Marpet has done a decent job. The problem is the QB. He’s some zombie that keeps rising from the dead. He better help his team win this one. Otherwise, I hope he gets lynched by his fellow players. I bet they had quite a few words with this expired jerk before the plane left for Phoenix. Go Bucs!!