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October 9, 2012 @ 11:33 am
Current rating: 4.00 Stars/1 Votes

Trueblood's Transition Familiar To Nicks

Written by Dory
LeBlanc
Dory LeBlanc

Dory
LeBlanc

Beat Writer E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
In his seventh year, Bucs' Jeremy Trueblood will attempt to make the transition from tackle to guard. Carl Nicks, who played tackle in college, feels Trueblood has what it takes to play inside. 
Before the Bucs left on their four day mini-vacation, head coach Greg Schiano said the offensive line would see an old face at a new position.

“This week because we don’t have an opponent, we’ve done some different things.” Schiano said. “We’ve tried to move Blood around a little bit because I told you, I love his competiveness, I love his fight, his desire. So we’ve moved him around a little bit, take a look at him at different spots, we’ll see. You know I think when you lose a guy like Davin (Joseph) you have to really work to figure out what’s the best way to fill in – I won’t say replace, because I don’t think anybody is going to replace [him] he’s an All-Pro player, but how do you fill in for him.”

Filling in for Joseph has been Ted Larsen, who as struggled on the right, particularly in the run game. Larsen also has allowed sacks and racked up crucial penalties – including a false start on a two-point conversion attempt against the Redskins that moved the Bucs from the two-yard line to the seven. Josh Freeman threw an incomplete pass to Mike Williams, preventing the Bucs from tying Washington after a two-yard LeGarrette Blount touchdown run.

On Schiano’s Bucs, mistakes aren’t taken lightly, which may have prompted the first-year NFL head coach to look at other options. Those options involve bringing Trueblood, who lost his starting job at right tackle to Demar Dotson in the beginning of the season, over to right guard.

Schiano explained there are other options available if the 6-8 Trueblood doesn’t pan out on the interior, but points out his height won’t have anything to do with it.

“It’s done,” Schiano said. “There [are] guys in our division that are doing it. So, it can be done. It’s a matter of – are you willing to do the things it takes to get the job done. I know he is, can he is the question, and we’ll figure that out. But Ted (Larsen)’s in the mix still and Cody Wallace and Jamon Meredith, so there’s a bunch of guys and we’ll figure it out.”

Figuring it out has been the hard part. Since Joseph’s injury on August 24th against New England, the right side of the line has been the one of the weakest links on the offense, despite Dotson exceeding expectations at right tackle. Aside from a minimal amount of false start and holding penalties, Jeremy Zuttah has played well at center, with Zuttah a clear beneficiary of having All-Pro Carl Nicks to his left.

That only leaves one spot remaining, right guard. As Schiano put it Monday, that spot has been a huge question mark for the Bucs through the first quarter of the season and is the position the coaching staff is focusing on the most.

“Well just that – the right guard spot.” Schiano said. “We are moving a few guys through there and as we talked about last week. We will probably evaluate that some over this Tuesday the players day off. Then try to kind of lock into something. Maybe one or two guys at the right guard. That has been the position that has kind of been up in the air.”

Trueblood left the practice fields at One Buc with a stomach virus Monday, something that did not affect Schiano’s decision when it came to moving the tackle inside. Schiano said a few players were not feeling well and the only change would have been to possibly not practice in full pads.

“Well, I mean it didn’t come up till real late in the morning.” Schiano said. “Otherwise we probably maybe would not have put pads on. Maybe change the day we put pads, but that’s the way it goes.”

Nicks, who played left tackle at Nebraska before being moved to guard by the Saints as a rookie said in open locker room that he isn’t worried about Trueblood moving over. 

“Well I played left tackle in college, which was a long time ago.” Nicks said. “It was a little hard, but True’s a good athlete, he can probably do it. So I’m curious to see how that works out.”

From his locker, Nicks talked about some of the differences Trueblood should expect with the transition. 

“Everything happens a lot faster.” Nicks said. “When you’re sitting at tackle, you’re kind of kicking back, kind of waiting. When you’re a guard, it’s happening right now – in your face - and they’re a lot bigger too.”

Schiano has said continuously that he makes moves that will make the Bucs better and help the team win. 

At guard, Trueblood, a solid run blocker, could very well help the Bucs win. Getting the running game established has been a must for Tampa Bay, and so far it just hasn’t come to fruition.  According to Nicks, it’s not just one position that needs to improve, it’s the entire team. 

“I think everybody’s got to play better.” Nicks said. “Everybody has to get better. There’s always room for improvement. Even if we have 1,000 yards every game, there’s always room for improvement.”

The Bucs have shown a tremendous amount of improvement from where they were a year ago, but another notch in the win column would be the biggest sign of a franchise turnaround.  Hopefully, the Bucs can take advantage of Kansas City’s questionable QB situation and 21st run defense and get the ball rolling in the right direction. 
Last modified on Tuesday, 09 October 2012 12:05
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COMMENTS

  • avatar

    So they replace Larsen with an even more penalty-causing non-guard player in Trueblood? Wtf is this organization thinking? Why doesn't anyone tell Schiano to knock it the hell off? Why is Martin still starting when he is made for 3rd down back role?
  • avatar

    I have never been a Trueblood guy he has slow feet and a waiste bender on speed rushers, lets see what happens not expecting much maybe he will hold less at guard
  • avatar


    To early to see the path we are on, but that we are more desciplined, focused, faster except at QB. I doubt if much of anything will change because we could have won every game with a little more luck. The one thing I can't figure out is Blount? There has to be something that we don't know because there is zero reason not to have used Blount as our starter since Day 1 of Schiano. So far either Pewter Report knows and doesn't what to report it as they have been asked not to, or Schiano doesn't believe Blount is better than Martin. I still can't figure out why he wasn't traded.
  • avatar


    After losing his spot to Dotson, then being inactive on game day for the first time in his career, I bet True can't wait to fire off the ball, and hit someone in the mouth! This much we know about Trueblood,he plays hard, and has a lot of pride. Now he has a chance to start again, and I'd be shocked if he doesn't come out on fire.
  • avatar


    LET'S SEE WHAT VETERAN TRUEBLOOD WILL DO THIS WEEK-GO BUCS
  • avatar


    I agree with Mjohnson062 that Trueblood is probably too tall to play guard effectively. But that's not say it isn't worth trying and seeing if he can hold his pad level low on a consistent basis. The upside is that Trueblood won't have to worry about as many initial outside moves then the pass rusher countering inside like he did at RT. He sucked at that.
  • avatar


    Start Blount... Why do we have a proven 1000 yd running back on the bench?
  • avatar


    I knew Larsen was a bust this year from the get go. Why it took Schiano so long to figure it out is a mystery to me, but I have to give him his due. I never thought of moving Trueblood to guard, and I think it is a brilliant move. True has always been a very good blocker. He just was not quick enought for the elite DE's on pass plays. With him asserted at right guard, and Schiano at last seeing the light for playing Blount more, I predict the run game is going to be much improved in October for the Bucs! This will also be a big help to Trueblood's career. Once he learns to play guard he will be a valued backup next year when Joseph returns. That is something the Bucs really need. I wiould still like to see the Bucs grab a good tackle for backup duty next year. Larsen should only be a center backup and nothing more if he isn't cut. I also hope they will start giving Smith some carries late in games as a change of pace back. He needs to be utilized the way the Saints use Sproles, but his talent has been wasted on the bench so far.
  • avatar

    This situation brings to mind Charles McRae. He was a first round bust at right tackle for the Buc’s, but when Sam Wyche moved him to guard he actually played pretty well helping Eric Rhett to back to back 1000 yard seasons. Then he lost interest in football and retired early. He was 6’-7”, btw.
  • avatar


    One of my biggest issues with this coaching staff to this point is its lack of ability to adjust in game to what the offense isn't doing well, or what the defense is taking away. However, one of my favorite things about the group is is its obvious interest in making adjustments on non-Sundays. It sounds like the team is honestly seeing that it's approach offensively of handcuffing Freeman and forcing runs up the middle of a suspect line isn't working, so they're doing the right things (or, at least to this point, saying them) to fix some of these issues. We're hearing that they're rethinking the tight approach to the passing game - that's good. We're hearing that the staff sees that the playcalling has been too predictable and straightforward to date - that's good. We're hearing that LGB is going to e featured more and that the team will try to put Martin in better situations to succeed when he does run. Both of those are good. Ted Larsen has been truly awful at RG, and we're doing what we can to improve the performance at that position. While I still want to see Schiano and Co. demonstrate the ability to alter their course when things aren't working right in-game, this willingness to look at things differently to improve results is a positive sign for me. It always astounds me to see staffs go through whole seasons just beating their heads against the wall rather than being willing to make necessary changes.
  • avatar

    Mentally, I can definitely see True getting the job done at RG, he's fearless. My only concern is pad level (hence the height concern). Not the first time a crazy-tall individual has played Guard, but its a first for True. I wish him (us) luck!
  • avatar


    From seeing the example of what the 49ers are doing with Boone, who was a RT and switched to RG I'm excited *censored* the potential
  • avatar

    I think the move to RG is great for True. I feel like he will have less holding calls with the lack of speed coming from a DT compared to a DE. I dont see the height as an issue because Free is tall himself. Ive always liked Trues nastiest and strength and I can see him being a big upgrade from Larsen.
  • avatar


    I'm hopefull for a reinvigorated rungame . . . including Blount getting more carries. Yes, I see the light at the end of the tunnel!
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