O-Line Grade And “Shape Shifting”

December 20th, 2022

So what went wrong in the third quarter on Sunday? It had to be more than Tom Brady giving the ball away personally on four consecutive possessions.

Bucs starting left guard Nick Leverett offered a thought on the historic collapse during his visit to the Buccaneers Radio Network yesterday.

After a day to think about it, Leverett dropped this gem. “It was just a world of like emotions and shape-shifting and stuff like that. It was just crazy,” he said.

Leverett said among the breakdowns were the basics. “Communication” and “being on the same page” slipped in the second half,” he said. Joe can’t explain why that happens to a veteran offense with Tom Brady at quarterback.

As for the offensive line, Leverett speculated the line as a whole would get a passing grade from Bucs coaches, “C, C+, maybe a B.”

Joe finds it hard to believe the line would get a “B” for the day. It looked more like a C+.

As for the shape-shifting, that sounds plausible to Joe. That could be one plausible reason for calling for a fake punt with a two-score lead on your own 26 yard line, and for the greatest quarterback in history completely falling apart on the field so abruptly.

42 Responses to “O-Line Grade And “Shape Shifting””

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    Not a clue what the phrase ‘shape-shifting’ means. Anyone care to elaborate?

  2. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    I will the O-Line an B+ on the first half of the game

    but in the second half after the Bengals adjusted their defense….the O-Line gets a C-.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The old, tired “On the same page” excuse…..

  4. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ Defense Rules

    It’s like the case of the body snatchers…..

    In the first half of the game….the O-Line and team played amazing….

    and then in the second half of the game…..other people jumped into all the players of the BUCS and they played like total chit!!!!!!!!!!! Shutout 31-0.


  5. SB~LV Says:

    So … is Jensen eating a roster spot all year?

  6. John Sinclear Says:

    @ Defense Rules

    I have experienced shape shifting. My shape has drastically shifted from what it was 30 years ago to what it is now.

  7. BucU Says:

    Give the O line whatever grade you care to.
    My grade is F for the entire organization.
    EVERYBODY has failed this year.
    Wait until we lose to a terrible Arizona team on Christmas. Needless to say my TV’s will NOT be tuned into that shytfest. I’d prefer not to ruin my Christmas.
    This team is dead men walking. Boy does that old catchphrase apply to these losers.

  8. DBS Says:

    Shape-shifting. First half we were fit and in shape and made them do what we wanted got our 17 points. 2nd half we were already worn and out of shape. They made us do what they wanted. Ran our a$$ over like a Mack Truck.

  9. pewter941 Says:

    We should be alot better when Whirfs comes back

  10. Craig Says:

    What a wonderful halftime adjustment. I can see everyone thinking the fake punt would be the kind of out of the box play that would make a splash.

    Then it turns out that if you put Gio in on a punt it is a dead giveaway.

    Then the other giveaways sealed it.

    I don’t care how good of an O-line it is, it can’t survive bad coaching or a QB who slid off his wheels.


    SO…. the FINAL play of Bruce Arians Head Coaching career….

    was a complete communication breakdown by the defense on a Zero Blitz.
    Todd Bowles had called it… half the D got it…. half the D did not….


    This afflicts our ENTIRE TEAM…. EVERY game.


    final (meaningful) play

  13. Buc4evr Says:


  14. Anonymous Says:

    B-F= C-

  15. robert Says:

    bring back jw…….this dumpster fire needs more fuel

  16. HC Grover Says:

    Fake Punt was a First Magnitude Bowzo Blunder.

  17. D-Rok Says:

    Here’s a speculative theory…

    The first half sure seemed to mimic how BA used to run the team. The defense was sound, because Bowles only had to call the D. Play-calls on O were elegant, imaginative, and sequenced properly. Lots of play-action! Is it possible, in an effort to help, BA was calling plays in first half? At half BA said, “This is how you do it, youngsters. We’re up 17-3 and we dominated a good team. Now go do the same in 2nd half.” If true, BA stepped in to try to help, to lead by example. He WAS in the booth, correct?

    Then we get a fake punt call deep in our own territory, a few TO’s, radically different and bland play-calling, and the implosion was on.

    It’s the only plausible explanation, in this fan’s mind. Call me crazy if you will.

  18. BucsFanSince1996 Says:

    I am leaning towards accepting the shape-shifting theory at this point. Some aliens took over the bodies of the players (and coaches) for the first half and absolutely dominated.

    But they got called away at halftime to take care of other business back on their home planet and the regular players & coaches took over.

    The team that played in the first half was great and I’m hoping they return as they could make a deep playoff run.

  19. Alanbucsfan Says:

    The fake punt was based on a read. If Bernard doesn’t have his head someplace else, Bucs easily gain 1st down.
    Blaming coaches for bad execution is weak.
    4 turnovers destroy your D’s psyche and give opponents’ offense alot of momentum.
    Turnovers and poor execution = 2nd half curb stomping

  20. sasquatch Says:

    SB~LV Says:
    December 20th, 2022 at 9:54 am

    So … is Jensen eating a roster spot all year?

    No. He’s been on injured reserve the entire time.

  21. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Shape shifting- Bucs transformed themselves into demonic incompetence

  22. bucsfaninOregon Says:

    Alan, whether or not the fake punt should have worked is not relevant. A fake punt on your ~25 while up by 14 to totally stupid. Make them earn their way back. This was and ignorant call compounded by the incredible fact that Bernard (bye-bye) seemingly didn’t even know it was on.

  23. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Some Bucs “fans”: Bowles is too conservative!!!! Whaaaa
    Same Bucs “fans”: Bowles tried a fake punt!!!! Whaaaa

    I don’t like Bowles as a Head Coach either, but this is talking out of both sides of your mouth.

  24. D-Rok Says:

    Regarding the fake punt, Simmons, the Bengals ST coordinator, said he thought it was a fake based on the tell that Gio was the personal protector (PP). He saw the Bucs in pregame and alerted his guys to watch out for fake.

    Simmons also said in an interview that the fake was called, but Gio was trying to call it off, but the snapper didn’t hear him.

    Super telling stuff from the other team.

    Seeing the demeanor of Gio in interview after game, he was VERY sarcastically retorting it was all my fault, OK? Many times.

    I’m not positive that was Gio’s fault. Even the other team didn’t think he was at fault! And with the lack of communication from this year’s coaches, we are seeing the same pattern over and over again. Coaching failure!!!

  25. D-Rok Says:

    I see your point, Joe in Michigan, but c’mon man – a fake punt deep in your own territory? That’s an idiotic decision!!! Gutsy/brave too, and whatever, but geez, grow a brain. We were up by 14, not down by 2 scores and desperate.

    Super stupid call, in my opinion.

  26. D-Rok Says:


    In Simmons’s eyes, the former Bengals’ rusher took one for the team.

    “I saw a couple interviews after the game, and Gio, as we know, is a stand-up guy,” Simmons said. “He took all the blame for it, and I think jumped on the sword for them. So I wouldn’t expect anything less out of him. But obviously, it was a pivotal play that helped get the snowball going.”

  27. The Coroner Says:

    BAD Coaching leads to BAD Plays leads to BAD Results leads to the BAD Decisions of not to go for it in 4th and short deep in their territory and making a (very) BAD Decision to go for some dumb, arse, fake punt deep in your own territory leads to a BAD Game to watch!

  28. Yucs2Bucsr Says:

    It’s just sad if you have an opinion about Brady then you get blasted by people you don’t even know. To say Tom isn’t a part of the problem as well as the owners, Coaching, players and I even say the trainers because some of those guys out there are in horrible shape ?? Cough Cough Lenny !!! This could have all been prevented if Bruce was still coaching and we will never know the real answer of why, but just because I sold the rest of my tickets doesn’t make me a horrible person and tired of watching this sheet show every week !!!!David grabbing Chase for no reason is just one example of how badly coached this team is and how bad these players miss true leadership!!!

  29. Greg Says:

    Something went wrong? Any time a team collapses and falls apart like that it’sa coaching failure. Whether it’s Bowles or Leftwich it doesn’t matter. We have seen this show before how many times? We have been watching variations on this theme since the 70’s with a couple of notable exceptions.

  30. Yucs2Bucsr Says:

    Keyboard warriors if you have a problem with me I live in north Tampa and if you want to disrespect me like I said Joe can give you my email and we can meet up if you want ?? Ever since TB came here so many flocked on this site from NE to other places trolling and I know Joe can’t enforce or stop it, but I and others can by meeting up. As long as your 18. Lol, but to all the real Buc Fans have a Great Christmas and hopefully they can win in AZ and I can’t believe I would ever say this, but IMO this is a must win and wouldn’t be surprised if they lost ✌️ Mark

  31. Defense Rules Says:

    Apparently I wasn’t alone in not understanding the ‘shape-shifting’ reference. Oh well, Google to the rescue …

    ‘In mythology, folklore and speculative fiction, shape-shifting is the ability to physically transform oneself through an inherently superhuman ability, divine intervention, demonic manipulation, sorcery, spells or having inherited the ability.’

    Looking at all the possibilities, I’m going with sorcery.

  32. Yucs2Bucsr Says:

    @greg I caught on in the late 90 at the old sumbrero and then became a season ticket holder since 2002. Sadly Lover will be the coach next year and that’s a crime, but another reason I didn’t renew

  33. Alanbucsfan Says:

    I disagree-
    It was an option read, – if the Bengals D lined up a certain way, the Bucs would’ve punted, the linemen knew the hole was there- Bernard screwed up- if you never want to go for a fake punt then take it out of your playbook.

  34. Redeemer Says:

    D-Rok, agreed on the fake punt. It’s a simple risk/ reward calculation. The coaches obviously saw something in the film, and were pretty confident it would work. But they were up 14 points. The chances for disaster and a momentum shift were just too great. The Bengals hadn’t shown an ability drive the length of the field. If the bucs punt there, who knows.

    The O line was a tale of two halfs. Pretty damn good, to bad. Cinci adjusted, and as usual, the bucs didn’t.

  35. D-Rok Says:


    For once, I applaud the killer instinct philosophy. Had the same play occurred on the 50-yard line or in Bengals territory, I’d have no problem at all with the call. At worst, Bengals ball around mid-field; not optimal, but not horrendous.

    It’s when in the game it was called, and where on the field it was called, and the score at the time that has me thinking it was a terrible coaching decision.

    Then the team had a melt-down, starting with Brady.

    Cardiac Bucs. Arrhythmia Bucs. V-Fib Bucs. Pick your moniker. I was really excited at end of first half!

  36. DungyDance Says:

    DR – based on the context of his statement, I think he was mis-using the term in trying to describe that in their heads they all morphed from confidence/precision to unsuredness/confusion.

    Assuming I’m right, is it too much to ask for leadership to step up and shake these guys when things like that happen?

  37. Tom in MadCity Says:

    I wonder if Brady didn’t bet against the Bucs in order to cover his FTX losses.

  38. captivajim Says:

    Gio should NOT have been on the roster for 2 yrs now. he’s done zilch for Bucs

  39. Eric b Says:

    First half looked great then im hearing we went to a conservative gameplan??? We were only up 17 points wtf yall lfgo play all 4 qrts like that first hakf!!!ets get to the playoffs!!!! Lfgo!!!

  40. Fover Says:

    All it shows is this team is capable of playing competitively for 30 minutes. Now if we can petition the NFL to shorten the game to 30 minutes, or allowing us to play the first half one day and the second half the next day, then maybe we can win. LOL

  41. steele Says:

    Shape shifting? Try brain melting, individually and collectively.

    It is a head coach’s job to stop freefalls, to stop mental collapses on the part of the players, and to make adjustments.

  42. Vadertime Says:

    Shape shifting?? Really? More like lack of competent O-line play. I don’t know if the play-calling was way off the mark or if the players were just not on the same page. Brady’s four turnovers were historic in their badness. This 2nd half self destruction happened after a 17-0 lead in most of the 1st half, which is inconceivable that they let this game slip away. This is a very bad Tampa team. Get rid of the high-priced veterans after this season and start the rebuild. We will definitely need a QB in the draft since Brady has that huge Fox contract waiting in the wings. Let’s gear up for 2023 and let’s get a new Head Coach. Bowles is just not capable. Glazers, are you listening? Go Bucs.