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michael89156

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« : March 15, 2012, 11:16:21 AM »

Offensive Line Overhaul Leads to Impressive Upgrades for Tampa Bay Buccaneers


 March 15th, 2012 at 9:30 AM
By Jeremy Hill


The ten-game losing skid that concluded the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2011 season offered many a problem area for the organization to address in the offseason. The media and fans alike were quick to mention the porous secondary and the lack of separation by the receiving corps. Others noted the inconsistency of the backfield and linebackers.

The one unit often overlooked this winter has been the offensive line. That is, except by the team itself. General manager Mark Dominik and new head coach Greg Schiano went right to work on the line. With the team expected to rely on a downhill running attack, Dominik re-signed the versatile Jeremy Zuttah and brought in the most sought after lineman in this year’s free agent class, guard Carl Nicks. Center Jeff Faine, the pricey, veteran center appeared to be too expensive for his level of performance and was finally released Wednesday afternoon.

After the dust cleared, the Bucs stand with the strongest offensive line in the NFC South, if not the entire conference.

Nicks is undoubtedly among the top handful of guards in the league. His counterpart, Davin Joseph, is also among the league’s best. Both players dominate the line of scrimmage in the running game. According to statistics from NFL.com, the Bucs ran predominantly behind the right side (where Joseph resides). The same could be said for the Saints (with Nicks), just on the left side. It also works out well that Nicks is a left guard and Joseph is used to the right side. The duo should be one of the league’s best.


“Me and Davin Joseph are both physical guys and make blocks,” Nicks observed. “That's how we live.”


Zuttah, who re-upped with the team prior to the beginning of free agency, spent time at guard, center, and tackle in his NFL career. Now, with the release of Faine, Zuttah will be expected to take over the duties at center. Zuttah has been a solid, steady contributor on the line and his move to the middle of the line should cause little stir.

At tackle, Donald Penn has shown glimpses of becoming an elite NFL tackle. But over the span of the season’s last eight games of ’11, Penn looked like a player ready for the offseason. Hopefully, the new coaching staff will find Penn’s strike to succeed again. If so, the left tackle position should be of little worry for the Bucs.

The one question mark on the line is right tackle Jeremy Trueblood. Trueblood is a worker but is often beaten by more athletic players on the defensive side of the ball. The addition of Nicks and the shift of Zuttah to center should make Trueblood a considerably better player, and perhaps extend his shelf life with the organization.

One thing is certain; the Bucs have spent heavily on the line over the past three offseasons. The combined value of the Penn, Nicks, Zuttah, Joseph, and Trueblood deals is $168 million.

Now with a coaching staff committed to a power running game and a really talented new teammate, it is time for the line to shine.

Last season, the Bucs finished 32ndin the NFL in rushing yards; the only way up is up.




http://www.buccaneers101.com/2012/03/15/offensive-line-overhaul-leads-to-impressive-upgrades-for-tampa-bay-buccaneers/

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« #1 : March 15, 2012, 12:01:28 PM »

not to jinx them,or be premature....would it be too early for a descriptive nicname?..to steal an old gator reference and call them"the great wall" seems appropriate.
 I personally would like to thank this organization for having the chutzpah to make a decisive action in an attempt to make the bay area proud of this franchise again


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« #2 : March 15, 2012, 12:32:40 PM »

The game is won and lost by the line on both sides of ball IMO. Fill a few more holes, LB, CB, S and the Bucs are back.

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« #3 : March 15, 2012, 01:31:26 PM »

Nicks is a huge upgrade as is Zuts at center.  Problem is, as much hype as Davin recieves, he's only slightly......slightly above average imho.  Trueblood is decent in the run game and turrble in pass protection.  Penn has potential, but motivation and laziness can get the best of him for long stretches at a time.
Is the line better now than last year....yes.  Does it vie for the conferences best.....lol.

notabucsfan

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« #4 : March 15, 2012, 01:34:09 PM »

We may end up having the best Oline and Dline by the end of next year.. We add Lofton in the mix with a good draft I really like our chances.

The Anti-Java

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« #5 : March 15, 2012, 10:11:50 PM »

We will only be as good as the weakest link.  [Trueblood]   So unless a miracle happens and they get Kalil or Reiff, I have accepted the fact we are stuck with True one more season.


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JavaRay

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« #6 : March 15, 2012, 10:16:19 PM »

Nicks is a huge upgrade as is Zuts at center.

Zuts is a downgrade.


The Anti-Java

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« #7 : March 15, 2012, 10:18:53 PM »

Nicks is a huge upgrade as is Zuts at center.

Zuts is a downgrade.




Hell ......you were giving props to the O-line not long ago how great they were.  If they were that great would Dom have given them all this attention?    Java wrong again.


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« #8 : March 15, 2012, 10:19:45 PM »

Nicks is a huge upgrade as is Zuts at center.

Zuts is a downgrade.

From Faine?...I have a hard time believing you think that...at worst..Zuttah will be on the same level as Faine...the new OL coach should make Zut an above average to good C.


Hell, brees might not be as accurate as manziel.

The Anti-Java

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« #9 : March 15, 2012, 10:22:47 PM »

Nicks is a huge upgrade as is Zuts at center.

Zuts is a downgrade.

From Faine?...I have a hard time believing you think that...at worst..Zuttah will be on the same level as Faine...the new OL coach should make Zut an above average to good C.




Agree.   Faine got pushed around a lot.  Zutt is not going to get pushed around out there.


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« #10 : March 15, 2012, 10:24:23 PM »

I've always said the only weak position on the line was left guard.   They replaced the left guard.

Zuttah is a downgrade from Faine.   But Faine is past his prime.


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« #11 : March 15, 2012, 10:27:20 PM »

I've always said the only weak position on the line was left guard.   They replaced the left guard.

Zuttah is a downgrade from Faine.   But Faine is past his prime.

You're on crack.

JavaRay

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« #12 : March 15, 2012, 10:33:44 PM »

Why did Faine always start ahead of Zuttah if Zuttah is better?


The Anti-Java

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« #13 : March 15, 2012, 10:34:40 PM »

Why did Faine always start ahead of Zuttah if Zuttah is better?



Contract numbers?


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chace1986

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« #14 : March 15, 2012, 10:40:20 PM »

Why did Faine always start ahead of Zuttah if Zuttah is better?

Contract numbers?

Last year?...because Zuttah was playing LG when Faine was healthy...and really??...you are using a personnel decision that Raheem and staff made to back up your point ??..hmm


Hell, brees might not be as accurate as manziel.
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