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September 15, 2011 @ 2:35 pm
Current rating: 3.00 Stars/1 Votes

Offensive Line Looking For Improvement

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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With only 56 yards rushing last week against Detroit, the Buccaneers' coaches and players both know things must improve for Tampa Bay to have any success this season. Jeremy Trueblood and Davin Joseph spoke about what went wrong last week and what they are doing to improve.

In the aftermath of Sunday’s 27-20 loss to the Detroit Lions, debates on what went wrong were discussed on the radio, around the water cooler at the office, and even within the halls at One Buccaneer Place. Of all the glaring flaws in the game, the inability to establish any type of running attack stood out the most.

After rushing for 2,001 yards last season and averaging 4.6 yards per carry, Tampa Bay started the 2011 campaign off with only 56 yards, including a 15-yard scamper by Josh Freeman who was the team’s leading rusher with 26 yards on four carries. The frightening trend of the quarterback being the leading rusher for the Buccaneers started in Week 1 of the preseason.

Tampa Bay’s offensive line knows this must be corrected for the Buccaneers to have any success this season. Offensive tackle Jeremy Trueblood talked with PewterReport.com about his thoughts on what the issues have been. Trueblood doesn’t think the Buccaneers are that far away from turning things around.

“There is nothing there big to change, “ Trueblood said. “It’s all small things. It’s not like we have to change our philosophy or anything. We just have to go out there and do what we can do. Not play timid. Just go out there and do what we do everyday in practice. We need to do it right away and not ease our way into it.”

Of all the units on a football team the offense line is probably the group most affected by a single break down that can disrupt an entire play. Trueblood agreed and says that has been part of the lack of success.

“Most of the time we have a whole general plan us five have to accomplish. If one guy fails that is going to create a chink like in a chain. If one guy breaks down then that's a hole [opened for the defense]. That’s why everyone has to use good footwork [and] technique. There's so much that goes into it. But basically we all need to be successful for the play to work."

Much has been made about the change in offensive line coaches during the offseason. Pete Mangurian, who was brought in by original offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski, was let go after the 2010 season and former Vikings coach Pat Morris was hired. Trueblood says that isn’t an excuse for the offensive lines failures.

“The offense hasn’t changed, this is still Greg Olson’s offense,” Trueblood said. “It’s not like there's whole lot of difference. There might be a few minor things. We have changed a little terminology. Pat [Morris] and Pete [Mangurian] are two different types of guys; there is no question about it. But it’s not like a whole blocking-scheme change. So it’s not really a big difference.”

Tampa Bay’s starting right guard Davin Joseph, who lines up next to Trueblood, agreed with the comments of his teammate.

“We have to get better with the small things, the little things,” Joseph said. “That’s where not having the OTAs maybe hurt us a little. But we just have to play at a high level every snap. And some of those snaps we had out there, we weren’t playing to our level of expectations.”

During Monday’s press conferences, Greg Olson commented that the offense needs to play with a little more swagger during games.

“There was just a different feeling on the sideline a little bit,” Olson said. “I come back to the swagger. There’s no reason for this team to blink. You guys are a good football team. Believe that is what our message is too our football players. You’re a 10-6 football team. You won a lot of big football games last year. You’re playing against a good football team in the Lions, but you’re a good team yourself. There’s no reason for anybody on this team to blink and feel like, ‘Oh, no.’ We’ll be fine. Settle down, take a deep breath and play football."

When the comment was relayed, Joseph hesitated a few seconds before agreeing somewhat.

“I agree with him in that we could have played at a higher level,” Joseph said. “I believe sometimes we let the pace of the game dictate how we play. We get caught up in feeling like we're not in rhythm. You tend to just go with the flow. I think it's going to come with practice. We just need more quality time together. When the lights come on we definitely need to play at a higher level and we are working on it.”

Last modified on Thursday, 15 September 2011 14:57

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  • avatar

    i don't believe in this O-Line. Too many years of inconsistent production with the same cast of characters overall.
  • avatar

    The key to this game is the OL. They either play strong and nasty, blow some people off the ball so Blountforce stays ON the field and give Freeway a chance to throw the ball or they tuck their tails between their legs. We need Pitbulls not Chihuahuas! I want Budweiser not Taco Bell, if any of you know what I mean by that!
  • avatar

    Seat26: # 5 as in Donovan McNabb not Josh. I thought the "old" would give you a hint. Thank you for explaining Pinkstob.
  • avatar

    OLine make a crease, just a little crease and the run will work. Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    I disagree with Olsens comment that they are a 10-6 team. They are what they are now not last year. Now they are an 0-1 team. I've heard "little things" referenced often and I don't get it. Blow them off the freaking ball, period.
  • avatar

    seat26 - I was thinking the same thing totally forgot McNabb was #5 also.
  • avatar

    seat26, I believe scubog was talking about McNabb, the other #5.
  • avatar

    Scub0g : quickly fading career ? Really ? wow. All that from one game ? Ready to start looking for another QB are we ? maybe shop him around for a wiley veteran ? Are you nutz ? This guy is the best thing that has happened to this Team in a long time. He has one off game and its walk the Plank. Were you around in the Days of Dilfer and Testeverde ? You want to talk about off Days ? Those guys had Off Careers. They all did in Tampa before 2002. Give this guy a chance this year. He will surprise you.
  • avatar

    So much of the NFL is the mental approach to each game. While watching the game last Sunday I kept getting the impression that the defense was in shock after Detroit took the ball straight down the field for a field goal. Then on offense Sammy gets the ball into the red zone on the ensuing kick-off and the offense can't advance. The youth on the team seemed to utter a collective "Oh spit, what do we do now?" While never out of the game by the scoreboard, the players seemed to think they were. It was like the school bully was picking on them and they didn't know what to do about it; except take it. We needed a play to snap them out of being intimidated mentally. We needed an interception and spike like the great #47 delivered against Washington to in effect say, "We're not taking your crap anymore." I expect the team will be better prepared mentally this week unless old #5 rejuvenates his quickly fading career.
  • avatar

    Show us something vs Minnesota!! 100 plus yards!! (for the running backs) not for the QB!!
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