Former Wisconsin offensive line coach Bob Bostad, takes over a Tampa Bay unit with three Pro Bowlers in Davin Joseph, Carl Nicks and Donald Penn. Despite looking forward to coaching the unit, Bostad said he doesn't care what a player – or himself for that matter – has done in the past.
Talking to new Buccaneers offense line coach Bob Bostad, you get the sense he could be a masterful poker player. Calm and deliberate in his demeanor and speech patterns, everything he says is well thought out before it leaves his mouth.
His expression never changes and his eyes tell no stories. The wheels are always turning it seems, and as the person in charge of leading the unit that will have arguably the biggest impact in the success of the offense, Bostad looks forward to the challenge of coaching the best of the best.
“In any profession I think you are trying to get to the highest level you can get to, “ Bostad said. “The NFL has always piqued my interest. There was a big part of the game that I hadn’t been around so I wanted to fulfill that. I really enjoyed the college game and felt I did some really good things there, but thought, 'Here is the next step.'”
The ultra-intense Bostad (pronounced BO-stad) likes the fact that three members of his
offensive line – guards Carl Nicks and Davin Joseph and left tackle Donald Penn – have made the trek to Honolulu as Pro Bowlers, but says
that their resumés means little at this point.
“I haven’t been focused
too much on the past,” Bostad said. “I have a product in front of me. We
are at the elementary stages right now of trying to install an offense.
That about consumes everything I have right now. And I really don’t
care about what anyone has done in the past.”
success is impressive, as Wisconsin rushed for at least 3,000 yards in
two-straight seasons and Badger running back Montee Ball tied an NCAA
record with 39 touchdowns last season. But the Pardeeville, Wisconsin
native knows – like his players rd.
“The offense line has to gel as one,”
Bostad said. “You can’t have this guy with a good game and this guy with a
bad game. I think what makes that happen is identifying guy's strengths
and weaknesses. You only get so many reps in a game. When you go out to
practice you can't just run plays to run plays. You have to say 'This guy
does this well, and this guy does this well' and then start to formulate a
plant to attack a defense in multiple and balanced ways so you are not
just looking like (an offense) that guys in the stands are figuring
Bostad spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Wisconsin and was named the run game coordinator in February of 2007 and became the Badgers’ offensive line coach in January of 2008. At Wisconsin, Bostad made a name for himself as a teacher and talent developer, taking lesser-known recruits and turning them into productive offense linemen and future NFL material. Scanning Tampa Bay’s roster, Bostad sees what he feels is some hidden talent.
“I think there are some guys out there (on the roster) that have some qualities you like, that you want to keep working (with) and see if they improve,” Bostad said. “That is the thing. To have the quality is one thing, but now do you have the work ethic? Do you have the attention to detail? Are you taking the coaching and are you getting better off of it? I think those are the things that kind of make that (fringe) guy come out of nowhere and go in the direction you want them to go. Because certainly there are guys that have talent.”
Bostad inherits an offensive line that has two Pro Bowl guards in Nicks, a free agent import from New Orleans, and Joseph, and thinks a solid interior line opens things up all across the front five.
“I've always felt like that is a good start because guard play is really unique,” Bostad said. “If you can be good on the inside you have a chance to do a lot of good things tackle to tackle. You want to have those elements and those guys fill those prerequisites. They are strong guys.”
When asked what blocking scheme his bruisers up front will employ, Bostad said the style doesn’t matter as much as the scheme.
“There isn’t much left is there?” Bostad said. “I have always believed you have to be balanced. I think that is something I have always have done – if I want to take ownership for some things – is to make sure that the team comes in and lines up across from you says, 'They aren’t just going to line up and attack one way.' And whatever the scheme is – have some balance. Do what you do well. Then how can we exploit what they do well? Make their key players be guessing a little.”
To Bostad, the Pro Bowl honors for players like Nicks, Joseph and Penn are a thing of the past. He's more concerned about getting those players back to Hawaii then reveling in the fact that they have been there before.
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