Will Bucs Struggle On Offensive Line?

May 29th, 2023

Will shuffling pay off?

Joe understands a lot of Bucs fans are irked that our friends in the desert placed the Bucs’ season-win total betting line at 6.5 games. That’s one of the worst in the NFL.

A big reason is the absence of Tom Brady. Look what that did for the Belicheats.

Michael Lombardi believes the other reason is what’s left of the Bucs’ offensive line.

The former NFL suit, general manager and coffee fetcher for Bill Walsh, Al Davis and Bill Belicheat didn’t think the Bucs’ front line was any good last year. And he thinks it will be worse, as he typed for VSiN.

The Bucs, at 6.5 wins, will struggle with Baker Mayfield behind an offensive line that can’t protect him. Last season Tom Brady got rid of the ball so quickly, he hid the lack of protection. That won’t happen this season. Mayfield or Kyle Trask is in a tough spot, replacing the GOAT with a team that doesn’t have talent around them.

Well, let’s not be an arsehole here. There is talent around Baker Mayfield (and competing Kyle Trask). Surely Lombardi knows about Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.

But yeah, Joe has legitimate worries about the offensive line. No, Joe does not like moving Tristan Wirfs to left tackle. This dude was on a Hall of Fame trajectory at right tackle. He wasn’t just good there, he was great. How do we know he will dominate at left tackle like he did at right tackle?

And who are the starting guards?

Can Luke Goedeke, who struggled as a rookie left guard, suddenly blossom at right tackle?

Can Ryan Jensen play center close to the way he did before destroying his knee last July?

Joe spoke with Cam Jordan of the slimy Saints earlier this year at the Pro Bowl. Jordan told Joe that Tom Brady, both with his line adjustments and execution after the snap, made offensive lines look sometimes better than what they were. In other words, Brady was an offensive lineman’s best friend.

Lombardi touched on that, as well.

With Brady gone, Jordan said, it’s natural to expect an offensive line to take a step back.

50 Responses to “Will Bucs Struggle On Offensive Line?”

  1. PewterStiffArm Says:

    Granted, Brady was a statue and his release was one of the fastest in the league. But with a new offense that has a lot of disguises and boot legs whose to say how the offense line will perform. Pre-season, regular season. Let it play out and shut the hell up already. Take some snaps Baker and we shall see.

  2. Buc1987 Says:

    Good article except from what I can tell most of us fans are not irked by the 6 win prediction.

    Some of us like me expect it to be much less.

    Like 3-4 wins.

  3. Fansince76 Says:

    I think there is actually a lot of talent on the O-line. Question is can they all Gel.
    no doubt Wirfs at the worst will be average to above average LT
    Jenson should perform decent and has Hainsey as backup not bad.
    RT is the biggest question with Goedeke but they do have Feiler who was an RT.
    Then for Guards they like five or six dudes Mauch should be one starter cause he can pull and the other spot will be between Feiler, Stinnie, Everett, and Hainsey all who have started and played well.

  4. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Well…no kidding.

    I fully expect to offensive line to struggle, at least at first.

  5. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    PewterStiffArm Says:
    May 29th, 2023 at 11:41 am
    . Let it play out and shut the hell up Already…”

    Asking a sports blog, which is highly active, to shut up, lol.



  7. CrackWise Says:

    I remember when everyone was so worried about the OL after JW famous 30 fir 30 season.

    You had Cappa, Ali, and Wirfs, Smith to go along with an angry bird center that until that point was best known for 15 yard penalties.

    Of course, hindsight being what it is. Brady was blessed with another championship based on guys around him stepping up.

    I think Kyle will lead by example and the guys around him will want to fight for this 6th(?) round draft pick too.

  8. Seth B Says:

    The line isn’t overly talented but is overly deep. We all look at the Starters but starters go down often. To have the depth they have is a good thing. Lots of Competition across the board. Brings the best out in guys.Our 3rd /4th guy have a legitimate belief they can win a job. They’ll be working their asses off all this off-season. Same situation as the QB room. I like it, and if a guy goes down multiple players having been preparing to be starters. Obviously, having a rock at every spot would be nice but it’s not the only way to do it.

  9. Bojim Says:

    Why don’t we wait and see??

  10. Allen Lofton Says:

    Until the season starts, we have to listen to all the lazy (which is most them) analysts Bucs line is not going to be good or whatever.
    If the Bucs end up under the 6.5 projected win column, it will be the Bucs tanking and not the so-called brilliance of the lazy bull sh!!!t analysts.

  11. Da Bucs Guy Says:

    It was not sometimes, Brady did make the O-line look better than it was, and covered up a lot.

  12. Smashsquatch Says:

    Brady, the goat, used to make o-lines look better. Brady v’23, not so much. Just the opposite. I expect our o-line to look and play better this year sans Brady & Smith.

  13. Ed Says:

    Brady didn’t exactly hide the O-line problems last year. It was pretty obvious from his inaccuracy at times and turning into a checkdown king that the pass protection was horrible and he was rushing to get rid of the ball. Not to mention that the running game was historically bad. Remember third and one–Fournette up the middle for no gain, fourth and one, same play, same result.

  14. HC Grover Says:

    Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

  15. #99 the big fella Says:

    Canales will be a 100 times better than Byron.. I love what Brady did for us, but last year Father Time caught up with him. I really think the bucs are going to surprise people.

  16. Joe Says:

    I remember when everyone was so worried about the OL after JW famous 30 fir 30 season.

    Joe wasn’t “everyone.” Thought the O-line was good.

  17. Pickgrin Says:

    OLine will be better than last year….

    A solid running game will do wonders for the entire offense.

  18. covertwo22 Says:

    A solid running game and SOLID play calling will do wonders. I could watch the games from home last year and knew exactly when a run was being called. This offense was ridiculously predictable.
    Moving the pocket rom time to time with a somewhat mobile QB will also help

  19. Buc4evr Says:

    Hopefully Canales can put an offense in that gives defenses pause to bull rush. RPO, misdirection, bootlegs, trick plays, anything to get the defense out of rhythm. If he can do that the Bucs have a chance. If we see another Leftwurst type offense, we are toast. Last year I often wondered why the Bucs just didn’t run a version of the West Coast Offense when the OLine was being overwhelmed? This year hopefully Canales gameplans to the other teams weaknesses and is able to adjust at halftime.

  20. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Two words: Nate Solder. Look him up. Brady has always hid a lot of his OL deficiencies throughout his year by doing what Cam Jordan explained. When people try to argue with me about whether the OL was bad last year, I’ll direct them to Joe Thomas who said the Bucs OL was terrible. Yes, the HOFer Joe Thomas. I think this guy knows a little about how to play OL. The Joes also wrote an article about it. Maybe he should repost it

    You people won’t realize how much you miss Brady when Mayfield shows you he has the pocket awareness of Helen Keller. Brady had the best pocket presence next to Marino. Danny was the best, imo. Mayfield may move outside of the pocket better, but he takes alot of unnecessary sacks.

  21. Pickgrin Says:

    Bucsfan13 Says:
    “Mayfield….has the pocket awareness of Helen Keller”

    LOL – good one. Lets hope not.

  22. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Baker Mayfield running for his life is not a pretty sight.
    Interceptions usually follow.
    I sure hope we have a decent offensive line this year, or it is gonna be a very long year for us.

  23. BillyBucco Says:

    Yes they were horrible last season.
    Jensen blew out his knee.
    Ali Marpet retired.
    Tried to start 2 rookies who weren’t ready.
    D Smith was injured all year.
    Of course they sucked.
    Remember Arians once said you draft O Lineman for the next coach.
    Now we have Jensen back.
    A 6’6” 310lb guard replacing an old 6’1” 300lb guard.
    Wirfs at left tackle is a huge upgrade
    Goedeke has gained muscle and naturally played RT.
    Feiler is 6’5” 330lb and started last year at RT.
    Plus all these guys have a year under their belt.
    They will be a much better unit this year, because last year the guys we got were to actually help the run.
    Look up film study on Mauch he is elite.
    Snatch and grab already in ridiculous territory.
    Finishes run blocks.
    We are deep too.
    I’m not even concerned with this offense.
    Just don’t stand in the middle like a TB statue and we will be fine.
    Nobody believes their O Line is ever COMPLETE.

  24. #99 the big fella Says:

    Amen! BillyBucco,
    The sky is always falling with some of these guys . Nice to see someone else see the brighter side.

  25. Cobraboy Says:

    45y.o. fear caused Brady’s “quick release”, not the OL.

    In years past, Brady would take a hit. In 2023, he was weak and fragile, afraid of contact.

    No one knows how the OL will perform in ’24. But I suspect neither QB will fear for his life as Brady did.

  26. SB~LV Says:

    Nope, they will struggle with “coaching “

  27. dmatt Says:

    All on this thread should compensate u with a Buc or two, my bad, a million or two for ur in depth analogy on the Bucs offensive lines. I support ur argument n for good reasons. DLinemens will not make a “Mauchkery” of Cody, as they often did with DSmith. Can’t wait to see Cody drive Cam Jordan, Grady Jarrett, n Brian Burns into the ground. All three, Burn baby Burn.

  28. lobsterman Says:

    Bucsfan13 Says: “Mayfield has the pocket awareness of Helen Keller”

    It flows naturally from being 5 inches shorter than the average lineman.

  29. lobsterman Says:

    We had the lowest yards per carry last season so, yeah, our line is problematic.

  30. sasquatch Says:

    Not gonna worry. We’re building something. There’s plenty of talent, and I’m not worried at all about Wirfs on the left side. Joe is just looking for problems… It would be different if it were Donovan Smith changing sides — he’s just not as gifted of an athlete. Jensen is a bit of a question with his recovery. Outside of that, I think it’s all upside, even if they start out slow.

  31. Bucsqb12 Says:

    I’m not on the negative train here… I think the Bucs with this roster are totally capable of a 10-6ish season. This defense really has no excuse to not keep the Bucs in every game… if they don’t then there’s no reason to have a Bowles season 3

  32. Hodad Says:

    Hard to pass protect when the other team knows you don’t run the ball. We have two pro bowl linemen, Wirfs, Jensen. Two second round picks, Goedeke, Mauch. There’s talent. They need to get. Canales has to be better than Leftwich.

  33. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    Jensen’s knee is my main concern. Hope he’s got it braced up for games and practice (and Hall stays away from him in camp).

  34. TampabayDJ Says:

    Don’t you notice that outside of KC and the obvious great teams , the preseason predictions from Vegas are most always wrong ! They had the AINTS winning the division last year for example. Outside of the great teams, you can’t predict what any team is going to do. That’s why there’s a salary cap and teams rotate every year. NOBODY seen Denver with Russell Wilson looking like the worst team in the NFL ! And Nobody can predict injuries , which is why our Bucs weren’t as good last year. Until we get a few games into the season , Nobody knows st1t about how many games a team will win. Go Bucs

  35. Jeff Says:

    I think the Bucs actually have a good offensive line. Wirfs will be a beast. The Guard position is deep and RT is the only question. If Jensen stays healthy this team is going to pound the rock and be successful. Bucs seem like an 8 win team to me.

  36. William Walls Says:

    If we were keeping the same offense, I’d be worried.

  37. SB~LV Says:

    I am not impressed with the yes men check cashiers holding their place in line as the one of 32 global entertainment companies.
    Yeah it’s a cap stool passing year but I have seen nothing from the shot callers leading me to believe that they have the killer instinct displayed in the top franchises.
    Sorry to burst your bubble

  38. DaLynchMob47 Says:

    Wirfs will be a pro bowl LT no doubt in my mind. At the very least he will be better than Smith ever was. Feiler is playing LG and Jensen will always be Jensen. Goedeke’s natural position in RT, in sure he will be fine and we have , Hainsey, Stinnett, Leverett, and Mauch to battle it out for RG. Our Oline will once again be one of the best in the NFL

  39. DoooshLaRue Says:

    No, no they won’t.
    Not like last year.

  40. Stanglassman Says:

    You can’t just talk about the ‘22 OL performance and not consider Ali’s sudden retirement and all the injuries on top of the OC getting figured out and Tom’s unusual bad play. TB didn’t want to be here and it showed. I expect a lot of growing pains in this young talented OL but I expect them to be playing well by mid season.

  41. Durango95 Says:

    Looking forward to gauging the OL following their bye week.

  42. Voice of Truth Says:

    We have more depth now, but we lost Jensen and Stinnie way past this date last year

    Take away two starters to injury from the current five and then rethink what the line looks like

    Let’s just hope and pray for health all around this year, we are gonna need it

  43. Brandon Says:

    Brady led the league in fewest sacks per throw at 2.8%, second and only two years in a row he led the league in that stat. There was no HIDING, it was purely Brady being scared to tale a hit.

  44. BigMacAttack Says:

    I’m taking the over here because I trust Licht when it comes to building an O line. I don’t think any GM in the NFL is better at it. He does more with less and has eye for spotting gems. I see talent all over this roster and a lot is unproven so I’ll give him that. I think the Bucs will win at least 10 games and Bowles finally gets the defense he’s been looking for. Yes I’m a Homer but there’s No throwing in the Towel happening this soon. I think too many NFL talking heads don’t put in the work to research what all teams have. They have their darlings who they spend time on and the rest they throw $#!+ at the wall and kinda hope it sticks. The problem is they don’t account for their mistakes and the tennis shoes and suits isn’t working. Buy a nice pair of shoes.

  45. Atlanta Buc Says:

    Heard from some Buc-insiders that even apart from the offensive line injuries last year affecting our run game, that Brady had a very hard time handing the ball off in-time on any outside run plays…just too slow to get there in time. I imagine that is why a lot of our designed runs were handed off up the middle, which limited even more so any creativity with our run-game play calling. So for those saying “we should have made changes in the offense like going to a more west-coast offense”, I don’t see that was an option for us at all, since timing and lateral movement are needed even more so in a west coast offense than a traditional drop back pro-style offense. Guess Father-Time just finally caught up to TB#12.

  46. Crickett Baker Says:

    Hmm..That’s an interesting tidbit, Atlanta Buc.

  47. steele Says:

    It all depends on what changes Canales will make to the offense, especially if he installs a Seahawks type zone blocking scheme, and one that favors a more mobile QB like Mayfield, while helping to disguise weaknesses along the line.
    If Jensen is 100%, the line will be better. With Feiler, Wirfs, that’s an excellent three right there. How they man the remaining slots are the issue. Goedeke has to show a big improvement. Mauch has talent, but is he ready to start? Are they going to bring in some veteran reinforcements?

  48. garro Says:

    One guy in his position from last year and he has a knee.
    Hope Jensen balls and the rest of the guys are solid, but I have real doubts abiut Goedeke and the rookie next him.

    Seems popular to blame last season on Brady getting the balll out too quickly. Before this year I had never ever heard of any QB getting the ball out too quickly! With the crap O line he had he still got us into the playoffs

    No other QB in the league who could have done that with Leftnut, no running game, no O line and one healthy reciever!

    The chnages and the draft reflect the real problems this team has.

  49. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    Well said garro. How did Mahomes fare in that Super Bowl against us with no offensive line? And he’s not a “statue” like Brady. I think Brady definitely was looking out for his health back there, but he’s never been “afraid to take a hit”. He put up respectable numbers with all of the adversity the team faced. This season (hopefully) our new OC and o-line can get the job done. I have faith so far

  50. My Momma Says:

    My Momma would hope that Trask would have picked up from Brady how to make the line adjustments. In My Momma’s mind, Trask would have the advantage over Mayfly in this area.