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michael89156

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: November 17, 2012, 12:35:12 AM



Bucs offensive line giving QB Josh Freeman great protection



 

CLIFF MCBRIDE/STAFF
Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman has had plenty of time to step up in the pocket and find his intended target.




By ROY CUMMINGS | The Tampa Tribune
Published: November 16, 2012




TAMPA --


The potential loss of right guard Jamon Meredith to an ankle injury for Sunday's game at Carolina comes at a time when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' already makeshift offensive line is playing at a nearly historic level.

The Bucs' line has allowed two or fewer sacks in nine straight games for the first time since 1998.

"I think it all starts with Bob Bostad and Steve Loney doing a great job of coaching those guys," Bucs coach Greg Schiano said. "And then you have the vets that are left there Jeremy Zuttah and Donald Penn providing solid leadership and really getting the guys together.

"And they really work hard at it. There are guys in here at 6 in the morning with their coaches watching extra tape and trying to learn the position and the ins and outs of it, so it's not like they've lucked into their performance. They've earned it.''

That hard work has earned them a place among the NFL's elite. The Bucs have allowed only 13 sacks this season, second fewest in the league behind Denver and Houston, which have allowed 11 each. Tampa Bay also has allowed just 26 quarterback hits, second fewest in the league behind Denver's 24.

The desire to keep getting better has been the key to the unit's consistency, Penn said.

"We really try to stay away from talking about what we've done and just try to get better every week,'' the Pro Bowl left tackle said. "That's been our main focus. And by doing that we've avoided falling into a trap and have stayed focused and hungry, and that's allowed us to keep playing as well as we have.''

Meredith injured an ankle late in Wednesday's practice. He was back at practice on Friday, but Roger Allen was took the bulk of the first-team snaps at right guard.

Meredith was listed as "questionable" on Friday's injury report.

"I think he's got a chance,'' Schiano said of Meredith. "He looks better than we anticipated he'd look, so now it's a matter of waiting for the next 48 hours and seeing how well he responds.''

bucinsouthFL

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#1 : November 17, 2012, 01:04:12 AM

The funny part about this great protection is that it makes fans forget Josh's mobility. In 2010 he ran for lots of yards because he was running for his life, this year he has the time and just keeps his eyes downfield for the big play.

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1sparkybuc

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#2 : November 17, 2012, 11:13:01 AM

I would say Peyton Manning has something to do with taking the fewest sacks and hits. It can't all be the OL. Same goes for Freeman being third/second. Credit great coaching.

PassThePigSkin

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#3 : November 17, 2012, 11:25:31 AM

Bostad. He is a really good coach and has this banged up O-line looking great. Good Hire can't wait to see his influence in the Draft room.

JoshMcCrownUs

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#4 : November 17, 2012, 03:04:02 PM

The funny part about this great protection is that it makes fans forget Josh's mobility. In 2010 he ran for lots of yards because he was running for his life, this year he has the time and just keeps his eyes downfield for the big play.

I actually remember him getting really good protection that year, though likely not as good as this year. Also I still think he is too hesitant to run, and with the passing game clicking the way it is soon defenses are going to start daring him to do so. Hopefully he learns to harness that running ability and turns it into another weapon for this offense. Just look at how andrew luck has done it this year an you'll see what I'm talkin about

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#5 : November 17, 2012, 05:14:42 PM

Bostad. He is a really good coach and has this banged up O-line looking great. Good Hire can't wait to see his influence in the Draft room.

As a long time Badger fan, I can say he was a legend up in Wisconsin for the O-lines he fielded every year. Great teacher and coach.
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