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June 22, 2011 @ 8:31 am
Current rating: 4.67 Stars/3 Votes

Trueblood, Joseph Hope To Be Bucs

Written by Charlie
Charlie Campbell


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Bucs RT Jeremy Trueblood and RG Davin Joseph hope to continue their careers together in Tampa Bay. Trueblood reveals their hopes and plans as they enter free agency.
With tangible hope that the NFL lockout could be ending soon, many players are starting to look forward to free agency. Two of those players are veterans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in right tackle Jeremy Trueblood and right guard Davin Joseph. After entering the league together and being the Bucs starting right side of the offensive line for the majority of the past five seasons, Trueblood and Joseph hope to remain together in Buccaneer pewter and red in 2011.

“That is the general plan for him and I,” said Trueblood. “We work out everyday together and sometimes we are doing even two workouts. We work out at the Athletes Compound every day, so we spend a lot of time together. We’ve had this talk many times. 

“We just want the best situation for each of us individually and as a tandem. We feel that we’ve played a lot of games together and nothing is better for a tandem than experience in working together. To know what each other is going to do is something that comes only after playing with someone for five years. It’ll be awesome to keep going that way. If it doesn’t happen that way, we’ll remain close friends and all that kind of good stuff, but we’d prefer to keep playing with each other.”

After breaking into the starting lineup as a rookie to replace the injured Kenyatta Walker, Trueblood started 67 straight games. His streak was second only to cornerback Ronde Barber among active Buccaneers. The 6-foot-8, 320-pound Trueblood suffered a knee ligament strain in Week 7 last year against St. Louis and missed the next two games. 

Backup James Lee performed well and offensive line coach Pete Mangurian decided not to make the change after Trueblood was healthy. Lee (6-4, 305) missed the Week 16 home victory over the Seattle Seahawks due to injury, and Trueblood returned to the starting lineup. After the season Mangurian was fired by the Buccaneers. His handling of players and his relationship with others on the coaching staff was a significant reason why.

The Bucs hired veteran offensive line coach Pat Morris, who previously worked with the Minnesota Vikings. Buccaneers offensive coordinator Greg Olson has a good relationship with Morris from previous coaching stops. Morris is said to prefer bigger more physical linemen that can play a power-man blocking scheme. Mangurian deployed the zone blocking scheme and coached more read-and-react responsibilities.

Trueblood is a better fit for Morris' scheme, which is the same style that he was drafted for under former head coach Jon Gruden. Trueblood, a Boston College product, has been an enforcer on the Bucs offensive line that has never been shy about getting overly physical in defense of his quarterback or a teammate. At times that led to Trueblood getting flagged semi-regularly with personal foul or unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. After getting that under control he had a string of false start penalties in 2009, but in 2010 Trueblood had corrected his propensity to get flagged for both of those penalties.  

Trueblood, 28, and Joseph, 27, have been Tampa Bay’s best and most consistent run blockers over the past five seasons, and that has led the Bucs to having a right side-dominated rushing attack. Staying in the Bucs' power-man offense is appealing to Trueblood.

“I’ve always admired and loved playing for Coach Olson,” said Trueblood. “I think he has done a good job in seeing the kind of player he has and setting them up to succeed as much as possible. We started to do more power scheme last year towards the end. It has always been intertwined. I’ve always thought that was my strongpoint, so if we are going to do more of that, then yeah, I’d love to be a part of that. From what I hear, Pat Morris is a great coach. If I had the opportunity to play for him it would be a good thing.”

If Trueblood re-signs with Tampa Bay he expects to compete for the starting right tackle position with Lee and others. He is not looking for a starting spot to be guaranteed as part of his new contract with the Bucs or any other team. 

"I don’t think anything in the NFL is ever given to you, so I don’t expect anyone to be like, 'Here, be our starter,'" said Trueblood. "You never expect any one to tell you that. You have to earn everything you get. I want to figure out the best situation for me, and I’ll go from there."

Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik tendered one-year contract offers to Trueblood and Joseph in case the 2010 rules apply where a player needed six years of experience to be an unrestricted free agent. The new collective bargaining agreement that is currently being negotiated would have the league go back to having four years of experience in order for players to become unrestricted free agents.

The Bucs have been clear that Joseph is a priority to re-sign, and retaining Trueblood will help the chances of getting Joseph under contract. Throughout the offseason, Pewter Report has heard that there are staffers that want Trueblood to return to compete with Lee for the starting right tackle position. Whoever does not win the job will provide quality depth.

The Bucs took Joseph in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft. They followed that pick by selecting Trueblood in the second round. Trueblood and Joseph have both come under criticism over the years from fans, but that doesn’t bother the veterans.

“It would be awesome to stay down here,” said Trueblood. “I know you can’t win everybody over, so I don’t really worry about that so much. I would like to be popular, if you want to put it that way, but honestly, I’d rather just win football games. I want to be a part of a winning football team and do my job, and do my job well. And to be someone that the team can rely on.”

After playing left tackle in college, Trueblood was moved to right tackle as a professional. The duo bonded when they played together at the Senior Bowl and have aimed to play their entire careers together. The prospects of that for the next few years should be determined shortly.

In the meantime, Trueblood and Joseph will continue to work out in Tampa Bay in hopes that they will be doing the same thing in a few months once football season has started. By the sounds of it, Trueblood and Joseph have not been attending the private player workouts that have been organized by starting quarterback Josh Freeman. They also may not attend the three-day workouts next week that Freeman is trying to get the entire team to attend. Without helmets and pads the linemen are limited in what they can practice anyways.

“I’m not sure about next week. I’m not sure what Davin is thinking, we haven’t talked much about that because those things are better for seven-on-seven type guys,” said Trueblood. “There is not a whole lot of stuff that we can do as offensive and defensive linemen. I’d love to get together with the guys and see them and all that kind of good stuff. I’d love to go there if we had a d-line to go against, that’d be fun, too. But as a free agent, I’m not technically a Buc, but it’d be nice to get some teamwork in.”

With Freeman entering his prime after a breakout 2010 season, Tampa Bay has a lot to be excited about. If they re-sign Trueblood and Joseph, they could look forward to blocking for second-year running back LeGarrette Blount. Despite starting only seven games, Blount averaged five yards per carry and ran for a total of 1,007 yards.

“It would be really exciting for me,” said Trueblood. “I just think the Buccaneers are going to be a great team. I want to be a part of that. I spent five seasons there so, I’d like to think that I helped them along for the ride and I want to be there for the best part because the best is yet to come.”
Last modified on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 11:18

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  • avatar

    Maybe I was wrong about OT Trueblood. If he is planing to play backup or do everything he can to contribute along with Joseph to resign. I say great. GO Team in 2011
  • avatar

    It doesn't matter how good Paine is if he only is on the field for half the games every year.
  • avatar

    yeah faine does have injury problems but to trade him away for a 4th round pick would be crazy. a 2nd or maybe a 3rd then we could be talkin but for a top 10 center i couldnt see trading him for anything less of a 3rd rounder
  • avatar

    Sorry Kfig21, close but no cigar. Maurkice Pouncey is one of the best centers in the NFL. Faine is however one of the highest paid. He is one of the last Gruden holdovers and his time has come. He is too old , too small, and too inconsistent healthwise for a whole season. Besides, Freeman can now read his own defensive schemes and doesn't need Faine's help. The lockout may save his job this year, but the haberdashery business is in this guy's future, not the NFL.
  • avatar

    y does everyone want to trade faine away for a 4th round pick? u cant be serious hes one of the best centers in the league and u wanna give him away for a 4th rounder? its definally a must to re sign joseph but im not so high on re signing trueblood. were in jus as good hands with lee and ide like to see us spend some money on a more need position such as CB or LB
  • avatar

    After reading the article I fully expected to read posts that wanted Trueblood sent packing because he had a penchant for a few penalties in spite of his quality play. It's nice to see that you all recognize that he's a pretty good player and I think we need a little of his demeanor. Trading Jeff Paine is an excellent idea if we can duct tape him up enough to pass another team's physical. I do think he could garner a possible third round pick though. Doubtful Dominik could find a trading partner. If he did and Paine was swapped for that fourth round pick, many fans would cite the reason as the "cheap" Glazers wanting to save money.
  • avatar

    I like macabees post,trade faine for a 4 and play larsen and zee at center,resign true and davin,move lee to lg to fight it out with carter,barker back up penn,hardman backup davin and dotson back up true,wouldn't hurt to try and sign a fa guy like mankins or litui either,mankins could play anywhere and at a high level,litui would add bulk and be good in morris type of lineplay....mankins would cost but a lot of that could be faines lost salary,mankins would be a huge signing hes good at any spot and is nasty,excells on run or pass he does it all and well....him and Aso would be major ,huge up grades to the offense and defense....2 probowlers.
  • avatar

    Trueblood's penalties might be down, but I bet that has something to do with him not starting most of last year. Joseph is about to get paid like a top Gaurd in this league, and he doesn't always play like it. But there's a lockout going on. These guys know the system and are veterans that a new coach can lean on. I like macabee's plan ALOT. I mean he had me at trade Faine for next year's 4th. But then he provided competition at Center beyond Zutah, and has some very good camp battles listed. I'm really curious about Dotson at RT, and Carter at LG. Barker v. Penn is extra gravy because it could turn into some real depth at LT. Excellent post.
  • avatar

    Both of these guys drive me crazy. Neither are consistent. I am a little warmer on Joseph than Trueblood. I don't like Trueblood as a pass protector. I just can't think of a sure-fire better alternative to either of them. I would certainly like to see what Dotson can do at RT since much ado was made about him before his injury in pre-season.
  • avatar

    They both need to come back. Davin as a pro-bowl calibar starter and Trueblood as an above average RT to compete for the starter and add depth. I have never understood the people who get on him about not being that good. He is pretty good, not great, but good. His biggest problem was dumb penalties and those have been on the decline. Him and Joseph do work well together in the run though. His biggest issue is real speed rushers around the end. Regardless, they need both back and the depth at OT will be great.
  • avatar

    I have said this before and I will say it again, we should re-sign Joseph and TrueBlood. My understanding is that O-line coach Pat Morris prefers road-grader types for a run-oriented offense. James Lee is a natural guard out of SC State. Larsen was drafted as C. We should trade Faine to get our 4th round 2012 pick back. We should move Lee to LG, Larsen to C, Hardman to RG, and Dotson to RT. Then let's have these training camp battles - best man starts - Penn vs Barker (LT), Lee vs Carter (LG), Larsen vs Zuttah (C), Joseph vs Hardman (RG), and Dotson vs Trueblood (RT). We should put another couple of UFA OTs on the PS (David Mims -Va. Union, Willie Smith - E. Car, Zach Hurd - UCONN). Then in September, let's go out and grade some road!
  • avatar

    Resign Joseph, Trueblood for 5 year contracts. Resign Ruud for 1 year. And go big in the FA with Nnamdi Aso. Voila! Superbowl!
  • avatar

    Agreed, sign 'em both - like mean and nasty o lineman. Like power game that is shaping up.
  • avatar

    Nice story. Obviously Davin has to come back. A rematch of Derek Hardman vs. Ndamukong Suh, and now Nick Fairley in week 1 could be ugly. If I were the Bucs I'd be worried that Freeman or Blount would get injured. The Bucs NEED to re-sign Trueblood. The importance of that move is very underrated. I don't think Lee has the power to be a good right tackle in a man blocking scheme. He'd be a better left tackle. In a zone scheme you could get away with Lee. Trueblood is the kind of run blocker we need on the right side and his pass blocking has steadily improved. Lee is good depth as a swing tackle on game day. Trueblood and Joseph finally have a quarterback that helps them. Chris Simms and Gradkowski sucked. Garcia would scramble into sacks. Leftwich was a statue. Josh Johnson wasn't ready. Watch how good Trueblood and Joseph can be when you give them some help with Blount, Freeman, and a tight end that can block like Luke Stocker.
  • avatar

    I'd like to see both resigned as well. Let Lee battle it out with Trueblood, Joseph at RG, let Faine & Zuttah go at it for C, and the left side is set, but i'd like to see Dotson make a run at a starter role just so he can be developed. I'd like to think he could be Penn's backup, but not sure he is a LT. If all 4 really grow, then trade one for future pick. Nice to see depth on the front line finally!
  • avatar

    I agree we should sign these two back. James Lee hasn't proven anything yet. People forget that Julius Peppers dominated the Bucs until Trueblood and Penn came to town. After that Peppers wasn't a huge factor. I also love how nasty Trueblood is, even with the penalties. You need a guy that will kick some *censored* down there.
  • avatar

    We need to resign these guys especially with the shortened free agent period. With these two at least we know what we are getting and they know the offense.
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