If The Bucs Succeed

August 31st, 2023

O-line could be the key.

So what will the Bucs need to make a run at the playoffs?

Head coach Todd Bowles wants to run the ball, so the easy answer here is for one or two Bucs running backs to establish himself as a middle-of-the-pack NFL runner if not better.

Some would say it will take a ferocious defense to cover for a subpar offense. You know, like in the Bucs’ glory days?

Since it is a passing league, others will suggest Baker Mayfield needs to play more like the former No. 1 overall pick like he was.

Gilberto Manzano would choose d) None of the above. Typing the NFC South preview for SI.com, Manzano thinks the key to the Bucs winning again is the offensive line getting the job done.

Best case: The Buccaneers’ offensive line has a bounce-back season to make Brady question whether he retired too soon. With stout blocking, Mayfield flourishes with a receiving crew of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, creating complementary football with a defense that still features many standout playmakers.

It’s an interesting thought and maybe a smart point. Stellar line play can provide holes for the 2022 NFL’s worst pack of running backs (minus Leonard Fournette). A good offensive line also would give Mayfield time to let plays develop, meaning time for Mike Evans and Chris Godwin to get open and for Trey Palmer to use his jets to get behind a defense.

31 Responses to “If The Bucs Succeed”

  1. Buddha Says:

    Fornette was a shell of his playoff Lenny self. Running back roster appears better this year as does the offensive play calling.

  2. Austin C Lewis Says:

    Jensen going down last year threw a massive wrench into our machine.. Brady couldnt move, we couldnt run; really messed our whole team up…. But now Baker can move, Hainsey has a year under his belt at center and should improve, and we can plan accordingly… Im sure we’ll have a better season

  3. HC Grover Says:

    A mirical

  4. Watch More ALL22 Before Commenting Says:

    If the oline can runblock, we’ll see an improvement in the passing game. Having watched a lot of tape of Mayfield he has a lot more experience than is often stated in handling poor or inconsistent pass blocking.

    If the run game can’t get its legs, in this style of offense, it’s gonna get ugly.

  5. Marine Buc Says:

    – Baker Mayfield needs to return to his 2019/2020 form.
    – Top 10 defense.
    – Top 12 rush offense.
    – Top 15 Special Teams.
    – Avoid the injury plaque.

  6. Casual Observer Says:

    A good year is possible, if unlikely. They are tied for the division lead right now. I hope for the best.

  7. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    If healthy, I think our line will still have some problems this year because they are so young. However, we could keep all the boys together for several years and could be very good in 24 and beyond. The future is bright.

  8. adam from ny Says:

    this line just seems like it can become road grader types on both sides of hainsey…

    i have no problemo if hainsey become a smart cerebral center with a tad of mean streak a la jensen…but he’s not as stout as you’d hope a center to be…so not so much “alstott up the gut” type ish this year…

    the left side should be good in the run game, but if the right side can develop into a mean azz duo — man, watch out…

    sure would be nice to average 150 a game on the ground – not sure it can happen – one can only hope

  9. PSL Bob Says:

    This year for the Bucs is a classic case of the glass being heir half full or half empty. You can read it either way. I’m with Casual Observer. No reason at this point to think it’s half empty.

  10. adam from ny Says:

    there really should be a team that goes against the grain of the passing league that has been so effective over the past 10 or so years…

    a real throwback pound the rock team…with an efficient passing game, solid defense, etc…

    the league is really not ready for a 1970s-1980s type team right now…and if a team can pull it off properly, it could be a real problem for opponents…with the right personnel it could be almost unstoppable…

    do we have the right personnel for it…i dunno…we shall see

    imagine we still had an alstott type as one of our 4 backs…one can only imagine…alstotts do not come around often

  11. Duane Says:

    Agreed that the offensive line getting back to a top ten unit would do wonders for the entire offense, and in terms of complimentary football, would also benefit the defense who would not need to be near perfect to compete when the offense is always behind on the scoreboard, and generates too many three and outs.

    A good offensive line can always protect the quarterback long enough to make his reads, and can also generate a significant running game – any running back can make yards when his line makes holes. We’ve got all the pieces we need on the offense to be better than average, as long as the O line performs well.

  12. unbelievable Says:

    “ – Top 15 Special Teams.”

    Uhhh, you realize Keith Armstrong is still here right? So that’s never gonna happen. He’s one of the worst coordinators I’ve ever seen. We have a bottom-5 special teams every year since he’s been here. The only bright spot has been our kickers.

  13. Marine Buc Says:

    @ unbelievable

    Yes – I know… I’m hopeful that the influx of younger faster players will give a boost to our Special Teams units this season.

    Plus – as you said – our kickers are pretty solid…

  14. BillyBucco Says:

    Special teams will be better because of the influx of speed.
    Already seeing better returns in preseason on punts and kick-offs.
    Now covering is a different story. Not having Patrick O’Conner is an issue IMO.
    As far as O Line I like the thought of these guys getting better just by doing it more.
    If we move the ball all around the field like I expect we will, the defense will get tired and running will get easier as we get better. Thats what makes 2nd halfs of these games interesting. Now we just need to be efficient and make good choices and the sky is the limit.
    No reason these guys can’t win this division.

  15. ModHairKen Says:

    Fournette, when there was no hole or was hit behind the line, was ineffective.

    As for “explosive plays”, they will come. They don’t need 40 yard throws and no YAC. A ten yard pass and 15 more yards of YAC will change the drives. Mayfield can do that. We know Evans and Godwin can do that.

  16. Dave Pear Says:

    Better have the tight ends and 6th o-lineman all ready to spend a lot of time helping turnstile Goedeke on the right side.

  17. DoooshLaRue Says:

    I miss Durable Donnie

  18. go dawgs Says:

    love the bucs, but “come on man?” we have too many rookies starting and the division has gotten much better. watch for the sorry falcons to challenge N.O. for the division.

  19. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Oh my, I’m allowed to comment again.
    Still don’t know what I did wrong?

  20. 1#bucsfan Says:

    ADAM FROM NY bro I love that strategy. I agree idk if we have the personnel to pull it off but that would deff ketch most teams with their pants down. Miss the A-train days.

  21. The Dave Says:

    13 rookies – a full quarter of the roster – means we don’t compete this year. If we get 5 wins we’ll be doing well. Evans, Godwin, David, and Vea can’t play every down. Let’s spend a year determining who is worth keeping, and remember we just won a Lombardi a couple of years ago. We had TOM FRICKIN BRADY as our QB for three years, and made the playoffs in all of those. No one is king forever.

  22. captivajim Says:

    Our running backs are a better group this yr ,, as are our 3rd & 4th receivers , & our tight ends are a stronger group with Rudolf ,Brate retired .. Its all coming down to how well the O-Line does

  23. Rod Munch Says:

    If you go back and watch Mayfield’s “highlights” from the last couple of years, one thing you’ll notice, in addition to him being Captain Checkdown, is how terrible he is under pressure. Meanwhile, like most QB’s, he’s much better when he’s got a clean pocket. Of course that’s ‘much better’ from his worst in the NFL status, so take that with a grain of salt.

  24. TDTB2023 Says:

    Licht continues to impress, if this yolt of athleticism and speed delivers.


  25. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    They good play from offensive tackles. Brady hated inside pressure, Mayfield doesn’t if he has an escape route outside the pocket. Wirfs is Bakers new BFF because the left side will always be clear. Always

  26. Kidfloflo Says:

    Rod Munch, what highlights did u watch of Baker!? I did the same and saw a guy with a strong arm throwing bullets and timing passes down field whenever he got the chance! With some o line protection and our veterans and nice addition rookie WRs he should be more than sufficient. Plus and this is key he can ACTUALLY run for a few key 3 and longs unlike Brady and keep the sticks moving!

  27. C.j. Massie Says:

    Injury plaque is the worst kind of plaque! Makes your breath stink!

  28. ScottyMack Says:

    I’m so tired of people bashing Fournette for his subpar rushing. He was one of the best receiving backs in the NFL last year and he averaged what … a whole 3/10 of a yard less than Rashaad White?

    The Bucs O-Line was abysmal. You could have put the league’s elite RBs in the backfield last year and they all would have sicked!

  29. Duane Says:

    ScottyMac – agreed. Fournette led the team in yards gained from scrimmage, tied for first in touchdowns, second in first downs gained, and third in receiving yards. Yet the dumb yahoos label him “washed up”.


  30. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    ScottyMac & Duane – Lenny also had great YAC when he caught the ball and zero fumbles lost in his career. If White was > Lenny last year, why wasn’t he #1? We have good backs. Maybe not world-beaters but to call them the worst backs in the league last year with that o-line? That’s like blaming a QB when a receiver drops a pass.

  31. garro Says:

    “It’s an interesting thought and maybe a smart point. Stellar line play can provide holes for the 2022 NFL’s worst pack of running backs (minus Leonard Fournette). A good offensive line also would give Mayfield time to let plays develop, meaning time for Mike Evans and Chris Godwin to get open and for Trey Palmer to use his jets to get behind a defense.”

    A much improved O line will fix most of 2022’s offensive woes. Leftnuts departure should fix most of the rest. In that case it depends on the QB play.


    Go Bucs!