After revamping the Bucs offensive line in the offseason, the results have been a total disaster. While it is clear the Buccaneers need a quarterback for the future, the biggest the priority this offseason should be upgrading a porous offensive line, especially after Sunday’s 34-17 loss at Detroit. Tampa Bay’s offensive line gave up six sacks and 14 quarterback hits to a ferocious Lions defense.

“They got after us pretty good,” Bucs quarterback Josh McCown said of Detroit’s defense. “That’s a really, really good front. Maybe the best front four in the league. They were pinning their ears back and coming.”

After watching last season’s film felt team’s coaching staff and front office needed to upgrade the offensive line, and rightfully so. Unfortunately the money spent appears to have been a waste as this year’s group is even worse than the 2013 Bucs’ offensive line.

During the 2014 offseason, right guard Davin Joseph and left tackle Donald Penn were released and center Jeremy Zuttah was traded to the Baltimore Ravens for a fifth-round draft pick.

The Bucs added Oniel Cousins as a free agent and then gave Bengals offensive tackle Anthony Collins – who never started a 16-game schedule during his career – a five-year, $30 million deal to be the starting left tackle. The Bucs then added former Packers center Evan Dietrich-Smith to replace Zuttah at center, and during the preseason traded a fourth-rounder and tight end Tim Wright to New England for Logan Mankins, who looks like a shell of his former shelf.

The results have been underwhelming to say the least.

While the Jeff Tedford debacle hurt the chances for offensive success, along with inconsistent quarterback play, the biggest issue isn’t who is calling plays or the person under the center. The main problem is the inexcusable play of the offensive line.

The Buccaneers must revamp the offensive line in the offseason, or it doesn’t matter if Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston or even Peyton Manning is under center. The Buccaneers can’t pass protect (six sacks) or run block (26 yards rushing) and won’t see any improvement in 2015 without a major overhaul.

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Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]


  1. You’re right Mark, the Buccaneers OL needs a major overhaul. But isn’t the problem that the men who did the last major overhaul and RUINED the OL still in charge. How can we possibly expect different results now? And how do they do it? It could take years. And we certainly don’t have the coaching here anyway.
    Funny, if we do indeed a QB in April I only imagine the groans from the player’s family when we see them live on ESPN… Oh nooooooo.

  2. I believe that this year’s draft is very deep with tackles and guards. I think that we can definitely improve. I do think that Kevin Pamphile will nail down one of the tackle postions. I just hope we grab one of the three centers that would giantic up grade.

  3. I agree that the team needs to find more talented O-Linemen, however a lot of the problems and breakdowns we see are attributed to technique and coaching. Guys aren’t sinking their hips and instead are allowing defenders to get lower than them which makes the pocket collapse. Guys aren’t locking on and using leverage to maintain their block. I blame coaching more than the current talent. If someone like Dante Scarnecchia was our O-Line coach I’m sure it would look and function a lot different.

  4. A coach like that would do wonders but it also depends on what kind of style we play. It looks like we could clean out the 49ers staff and pick up some talented coaches there too. just a thought

  5. The Buc’s need to find their identity with their new OC. They then need to draft 3 OL that fit the system (ie zone or power). Ideally two linemen who can play both tackle and guard; and a center who can get the ball back to the QB without rolling it. Without an OL it won’t matter who is QB or RB or WR. And please ignore Coach Smith and his philosophy of not drafting guards until 4th round or later, we’ve seen how that works both here and in Chicago.