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    • Nobody

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      Post count: 6485

      Before the analysis on their actual 2020 play, some thoughts broadly about Licht’s investment in the OL and their performance during his tenure:

      1) Since Licht has been here, we’ve been north of average, mostly good, in terms of Pass Blocking (between # 7 to # 15 in the NFL…around # 11 overall-ish). However, during that same tenure we’ve been south of average, mostly awful, in Run Blocking (between # 22 and # 30…around # 26 overall-ish). This has put us in the # 18ish era in terms of NFL ranking (about +/- 3 ranking spots per year) over this period.

      This Run Blocking terribleness has been a huge contributor to our Redzone Scoring issues during Licht’s tenure. When you stack the Kicking Game woes on top of that (and all of the draft capital investment into the Kicking Game), its bad. We’ve left a truly crazy amount of points on the field during Licht’s tenure because of a crazy number of execution errors/losses by iOL in the running game inside RZ Tight (I’ve broken down every one of these snaps…its a horror show of iOL issues/losses – the primary culprit – with Benenoch, Pamphile, Sweezy, Jensen, Hawley, EDS, a spate by Cappa in the early part of year 2 when he was starting) on plays that were set up to win. Add in DSmith’s execution errors/losses in the running game inside RZ Tight and its a brutal picture (yes, Dot and Marpet had stray losses, but nothing of consequence).

      2) For the last many years, we’ve been top 3ish in the entire NFL in OL $ spending. Presently, we’re # 4 in the NFL in Cap Space allocated to OL.

      3) Picking Endpoints is always enormously controversial. If people have said over the years “we’re not good enough of the OL and we’re neglecting the OL because (a) we’re not spending premium picks on it and (b) there are absolutely difference-makers on the board,” its not addressing their claim of this in 2017, 2018, 2019 (people were also enormously annoyed that we passed over Tunsil in 2016 for a damn near LOCK to bust in VH3) to suddenly grab the endpoint of the 2020 draft where we selected Wirfs and hit.

      From 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 we never selected OL in the top 2 rounds of the draft despite (i) having an embarrassment of riches in draft capital during that period (no one else is even close) and (ii) many, many difference-makers being on the board during all of those 1st and 2nd round picks.

      Its more than fair (because its true) to say the following:

      During the 4 year interval of 2016 through 2019, we had a slightly below average OL, yet we neglected to make a single pick in rounds 1 and 2 toward the OL, despite a huge number of promising prospects on the board (with a ridiculous number turning out to be difference-makers, especially in round 2).

      Tunsil
      Decker
      Ramczyk
      Bolles
      Moton
      McGlinchey
      Ragnow
      Wynn
      Smith
      Daniels
      O’neil
      Risner
      Jenkins
      McCoy

      14 players were on the board during that era that would could have picked 1st or 2nd round that would have been instant and downstream upgrades for those positions and which, in turn, would have amplified the play around them.

      Forgetting Tunsil in 2016 or Ramczyk in 2017, things get TRULY AWFUL when you look at round 2 during that era (where I think most of us figured we would be a lock to pick 1 or 2 OL). Sub Aguayo, Evans, Jones, Stewart, or SMB for any one of those 7 guys in the 2nd round above? We’re a significantly better football team. And its not just that, it was the intuitive pick at the time.

      4) The Free Agency situation with OL hasn’t been bad…its been beyond terrible. And its not just been beyond terrible because of Cuts or terrible Free Agency selections/whiffs. Its been bad as well because (a) the “band-aid approach” has to have contributed to us not selecting any of those guys above in the first 2 rounds and, (b) who Licht neglected to pick up (instead paying big contracts to terrible players). Failing to sign FA Center Alex Mack in 2016 was one of Licht’s biggest failures in his tenure in my opinion. He was the best or top 2 Center in the league and he signed for relative peanuts to a division rival, anchoring a huge increase in functional OL play (including a Super Bowl run).

      5) Then you have to consider the 3 late round utter whiffs of wasted draft capital (where we could have spent it on DBs, LBs, RBs…guys that are going to bulwark your Special Teams units and have a considerably better chance of hitting than OL); Edwards, Pamphile, Benenoch (guys that aren’t even depth-worthy NFL players) that are supposed to soften the blow and make it look like we’ve invested enough draft capital and injected youth into the ranks to ensure optimal OL play during this interval.

      ++++++++++++++++++

      Alright, where are we presently in 2020 in terms of OL play.

      1) Sacks are overwhelmingly a QB stat. Compare 2019 to 2020 (where we’ve subbed Dotson, a good Pass Protector, for Wirfs who has been great in Pass Protection.

      In 2019, FBO and PFF had us around 7-11 in Pass Blocking.

      The below is taking QB, TE, RB out of the equation. These are OL only #s.

      We ended up # 8 in OL Efficiency in Pass Blocking w/ a Slash Line of (Sacks/Hits/Hurries) 21/30/113 = 164 Pressures

      Where are we in 2020?

      #10 w/ a Slash Line of 13/47/77 = 137 Pressures.

      Overwhelmingly we’ve traded Sacks and Pressures out for Hits. Which is intuitive. Brady is (a) getting rid of the ball before the negative play actualizes (the Sack) and (b) taking more Hits on certain plays because of an inability/unwillingness to move in the pocket or flat out escape.

      What should also be noted in these numbers is the HUGE fortune we’ve had in health along the OL. We’ve barely had guys miss games in the last 2 years where other teams above us in the rankings have endured more (sometimes much more) injuries.

      So, right now, we’re about the #10 Pass Blocking front 5 (OL) in the NFL. That looks right to me. GB, CLV, NO, PIT, LAR, KC, IND, TEN are all deserving of being a top team. Carolina has also been better than us so you can make a strong case that #11 is the appropriate ranking for our Pass Blocking in 2020 in terms of OL only.

      2) Run Blocking.

      Lets look at some Gross Stats:

      1ST DOWN RUSHING PER GAME # 29
      YARDS RUSHING PER GAME # 28
      TDS RUSHING # 16

      Lets look at some Advanced Metrics and Situational Stats/Efficiency.

      FBO has us at # 10 DVOA RUSHING, but this conflates Jones Yards After Contact and Forced Missed Tackles in 2020 with Line Contribution. Lets look deeper:

      ADJUSTED LINE YARDS # 12
      STUFFED RANK (RB tackled at or behind the LoS) # 5
      POWER SUCCESS RATE (2nd/3rd/4th and 2 or less to go for 1st D or TD) # 1

      Situationally where are we at?

      REDZONE EFFICIENCY RUSHING # 6
      1ST AND 10 EFFICIENCY # 27
      OVERALL EFFICIENCY # 18

      Alright, there is a LOT to incorporate right there. Just some crazy data about our running game. Thoughts, observations, and where we should be:

      * The Power Success Rate is inflated dramatically because we’re WAY below the median in attempts. We’re 31 and the median is 45 while the upper echelon teams have 60+ attempts. Still, that % is not just a complete data anomaly due to low # of attempts. We’re a legit top tier OL unit when we choose to run the football on 2nd or less to go. The tape absolutely shows it. Given our low # of attempts and conversions, I’d put us at probably around # 5 OL in the NFL here.

      * The 1st and 10 Efficiency is a crazy level of terrible and its brutally feeding back into down and distance issues and drives stalling because of the frustratingly high % of 1st down runs that Leftwich has called this year. HOWEVER, there is a not-insignificant % of this Efficiency that is due to Fournette’s just terrible running. Our front 5 is not THIS BAD on 1st and 10 in the Running Game. Fournette, on the other hand, actually is. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had errors and execution losses galore in terms of the front 5 on 1st and 10. Its just brought down further by Fournette.

      * The Stuffed Rank is extremely good as well.

      All told, those Gross Stats don’t matter that much. What matters in the modern NFL Running Game is:

      * Overall Efficiency
      * Short/Goal to Go Efficiency
      * RZ Efficiency
      * 1st Down Efficiency

      To a lesser degree, 10+ Rushes matters, but its waaaaaaaaay down the totem pole compared to those 3. We’re a little south of league average in 10+ Rushes at 19th in the NFL.

      I would say that puts us right around # 14 in the NFL in OL play in the running game (just south of FBO’s rankings because of (a) the sample size issues and (b) that hugely bad 1st down efficiency, but mitigated somewhat due to Fournette).

      ++++++++++++++++++++++

      Overall?

      I’d put our OL (just the 5) around # 12 (#11 Pass Blocking and # 14 Run Blocking) in the NFL for 2020. I want to say last year I put us at about # 18, so the big difference is (a) “the Brady effect” and (b) Wirfs and Marpet’s play (this is Marpet’s best year by far).

    • RW

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      Post count: 285

      the surprising thing for me is that Jensen actually grades out much lower than Smith this year( 62.4 to 71) based on PFF. Add in Jensen’s inability to call correct blocking assignments and I see a guy who the Bucs should move on from.

    • Natural Selection

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      Post count: 89

      I think oline drafting has been primarily a symptom of short term thinking/planning. We see in so many ways our strategy has always been about keeping people’s jobs in the short term. As much as I want to hang Jason sometimes, I get it. We look at the draft to fill holes in next years roster. So if we feel like we need a kicker, safety, or mlb most desperately, those get prioritized with premium draft assets. It’s a monumentally stupid way to approach building a roster that endures, but that’s never been our highest priority. As fans we look at positional value and potential over multiple contracts. What’s easier to fill 5 years down the road. What’s easier to find through vet FA or UDFA. What makes the best overall roster 5 years down the road. Licht objectively shouldn’t have made it 5 years. Maybe if we ever transition into a stable franchise Licht would organize a more forward thinking (and positional value focused) draft strategy?

      Yeah and Evans over Dion Dawkins burned me almost as badly as VHIII over Tunsil in real time. We could each name our least favorite reaches to fill a roster hole over great prospects at significantly higher value positions.

    • buc_boi

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      Post count: 3253

      We made the playoffs, nobody, think you can give your agenda a rest for a few weeks?

      Imagine that, Our oline was good enough after all!

      Playoffs!

    • RW

      Participant
      Post count: 285

      We made the playoffs, nobody, think you can give your agenda a rest for a few weeks?

      Imagine that, Our oline was good enough after all!

      Playoffs!

      Every fan knows that if the O-line can protect Brady the Bucs stand a chance against any team. Not sure why you are so against an in-depth analysis of a strategic part of the team. Or maybe you don’t like stats?

    • Donkey_Hunter

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      Post count: 1429

      We made the playoffs, nobody, think you can give your agenda a rest for a few weeks?

      Or, you could check your massive insecurities at the door, and simply not read the thread.

    • Detrimental

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      Post count: 1581

      I’m 100% convinced Licht has no opinion when it comes to the draft. He strikes me as “whatever the DC player wants” i’ll sign off on it. Under Mike Smith we drafted the worst DB prospects you could imagine. We hired Bowles and he got players to fit in his defense. That said, I’d rather have a GM that has an eye for talent then a guy just signing the dotted line because the coaches said so. </p>

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      <p>Going forward we need to upgrade our depth on the OL. Saints have been doing it for years. They’ll lose a starter then replace him with a guy already waiting in the wings. I hope we take that approach in 2021. Got to start thinking about life after Jansen/Smith. When Marpet went out it seem like the whole thing went to shit. So I’m down to grab a good iOL rounds 2-3. Replacing Smith sounds good but Licht is not doing that anytime soon.

      DL OL OLB in 2021 please

    • FinkleisEinhorn

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      Post count: 66

      “Sub Aguayo, Evans, Jones, Stewart, or SMB for any one of those 7 guys in the 2nd round above? We’re a significantly better football team. And its not just that, it was the intuitive pick at the time.”

      This is what’s so frustrating. It’s not like Licht selected revered players here: Guys like Stewart and SMB were mediocre players on meddling teams in bad conferences. Everyone, including casual fans, knew they were reaches…and “shockingly” they turned out to be below-average NFL players. Yet Licht doesn’t seem to learn from these mistakes. He continues to “outthink” other GMs and spends high picks on players with little to no redeeming qualities.

      I wouldn’t mind spending a 2nd or even 1st on a high quality Center. Such a difference that position makes in today’s league, ala Travis Frederick who was the catalyst of that incredible line in Dallas. For as much as Jensen makes he sucks in the run game, which is ironic since he prides himself on his ‘tough, bully’ demeanor.

    • Hockey Duckie

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      Post count: 1438

      When Marpet fell to injury, the backup LG just couldn’t hang. So we shifted Jensen from center to LG. All we did was move from replacement LG to replacement C. Odd thing is that there wasn’t that much of a drop off in play at center with AQ Shipley.

      This isn’t the first time that Licht’s FA center wasn’t exposed to just be average. The first instance was signing FA EDS (now Evan Smith). Street walking FA Joe Hawley usurped the starting center position from EDS. Why did we sign EDS? Because Lovie Smith didn’t want C Jeremy Zuttah for his offense (which also included LT Penn).

      The OLine could be much better, younger, and cheaper.

      In 2015, the Bucs had a great run attack.

        LT Smith*-LG Mankins-C Hawley-RG Marpet*-RT Cherilus
        * = rookie

      Dotson only played like 3 games and the turnstile Cherilus was the starting RT. The key here for the run game were the guards, Mankins and Marpet. Mankins retired after the 2015 season.

      2016 starting lineup

        LT Smith-LG Pamphile-C Hawley-RG Marpet-RT Dotson

      Licht relied on a 2014 fifth round pick to be the starting LG. Yes, Sweezy was signed in the off-season and before the draft his back has problems after surgery. We could have and should have added another LG talent in the higher rounds. Instead, we traded up for a kicker in the 2nd round and picked up Benenoch in the fifth round.

      That simple one change at LG was significant for our run game.

      Before FBO required being a member, I noticed the most improved aspect of our running was up the gut. Last year we ran up the gut (mid/guard) and were mediocre. This year, we vastly improved and that’s because Marpet was playing at a very high level compared to last year. Marpet had hip surgery between the off-season and it worked!

    • Biggs3535

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      Post count: 6059

      I wouldn’t mind spending a 2nd or even 1st on a high quality Center. Such a difference that position makes in today’s league, ala Travis Frederick who was the catalyst of that incredible line in Dallas. For as much as Jensen makes he sucks in the run game, which is ironic since he prides himself on his ‘tough, bully’ demeanor.

      I pivoted on my line of thinking that LT is the most important position on the OL a decade or so ago. It’s the Center, for a variety of reasons. A dominant Center gives you so many more options.

      I don’t know about first, but I’m good with using a second rounder. I like Josh Myers from Ohio State in R2. Although I won’t bitch if they use #32 on a Center.

    • FireLicht2020

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      Post count: 5687

      Rd1 – trenches
      Rd2 – BPA trenches or QB
      Rd3 – BPA trenches or QB
      Rd4-7 – BPA

      You win with elite QB play, great protection, and disrupting the opposing teams pocket

    • RW

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      Post count: 285

      Assuming Brady is back I could see the Bucs getting rid of Jensen and signing David Andrews in free agency. ( his old Pats center) That would save about $5 million on the cap and then they could draft a tackle with their first to replace Smith.

      • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by RW.

    • FireLicht2020

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      Post count: 5687

      Let Jensen and Smith walk.

      How much cap space is that? $30m?

      Draft trenches

      See if Brady can convince David Andrews to take a team-friendly deal.

    • Detrimental

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      Post count: 1581

      Yeah if we drafted an iOL R1 I would not be mad at that either. We have two high priced players that are both IMO replaceable with quality prospects.

    • buc_boi

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      Post count: 3253

      Lol

      I love it when your topics age, reveals your true agenda.

      Oline and more importantly, Jason licht, was never the issue here.

      • Hockey Duckie

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        Post count: 1438

        @buc_boi, here’s center Jensen’s PFF ratings with the Bucs

        Ryan Jensen’s PFF ratings with the Bucs (2018-2020)
        2018

          Regular Season: 56.6 PFF ($11 mil, highest paid center this year)

        2019

          Regular Season: 79.3 PFF ($10 mil)

        2020

          Regular Season: 64.9 PFF ($10 mil)
          Post Season: 58.3 PFF

        Seeing that Jensen has been below average for two out the three years, then we really should consider moving on from Jensen and his costly salary. Remember, LG Marpet had an amazing 2020 season with a PFF score of 86.7. Why would Jensen’s play go down when Marpet’s play was near elite status?

        To give more perspective about Jensen’s center play, let’s look Marpet’s only season at center for the Bucs.

        Marpet at center for Bucs, PFF rating

          2017: 81.5 PFF

        Jensen center for Baltimore, PFF rating

          2017: 72.3 PFF

        It really does make you wonder why Marpet’s only season as a center for the Bucs was far better than Jensen’s 2017 season, but GM Licht decided to sign Jensen at center and move Marpet to LG. It didn’t make sense to me because Marpet did well at center.

        2017 Bucs Sacks allowed

          With C Marpet: 20 sacks in 11 games
          Without C Marpet (and RT Dotson): 20 sacks in 5 games

        Remember, Marpet had LG Pamphile and RG Sweezy surrounding him in 2017. In 2018, Jensen had LG Marpet and RG Benenoch, yet Jensen sucked and we gave up 41 sacks, one more sack than 2017. Why?

        Bucs Sacks allowed

          2018: 41 sacks allowed
          2019: 47 sacks allowed
          2020: 22 sacks allowed

        With Jensen’s play dropping in 2020, according to PFF, how is it that the Bucs gave up 25 fewer sacks allowed? Simple. Brady knew to get rid of the ball faster to mask the OLine’s deficiencies.



        @buc_boi
        , did the Bucs get stopped from scoring a TD twice at the 1-yard line running the ball by the Chiefs?

        Maybe you should let people who know about nuance speak to each other because it’s apparent you’ll never understand nuance, quality of depth in conversation, or depth of scope.

        Your type of thinking would make us re-sign Winston because he threw 33 TDs and over 5,000 yards. Why would we need to look elsewhere at QB after the 2019 season when Winston produced those great numbers? Why should we look to improve to FA QB Brady when Winston threw 33 TDs and over 5,000 yards? This is why you need to let people who possess nuance thinking to converse with one another you probably should just keep quiet and learn.

        You questioning why we should improve the OLine is the same line of thinking of why should we improve from QB Winston after the 2019 season. ::: mic drop :::

    • RHBucsFan

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      Post count: 1798

      We finally get our O-line to gel and play well and some of you want to break it apart. I just don’t get it.

      • Hockey Duckie

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        Post count: 1438

        You okay with not being able to punch it in from, essentially, the 1-yard line twice?

      • RHBucsFan

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        Post count: 1798

        I’m okay with winning the super bowl and keeping Brady’s Jersey clean.

      • RW

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        Post count: 285

        if you look at the stats the O line is made better by Brady and the two highest paid linemen are the worst. With the cap going down you could save $10 million a year by replacing them and get the same or better production.

      • RW

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        Post count: 285

        Well look at the salary cap, the Olinemen’s respective grades and their respective salaries and you will “get it”.

    • Alldaway 2.0

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      Post count: 4527

      You draft a road grader at RG to sandwich between Jensen with Marpet on the other side if that is what the Bucs want to improve upon.

      Centers rarely are road graders for most NFL teams. When you have solid play at both guard spots it doesn’t really matter who you line up at center as long as they have a pulse.

      Build the trenches!

      • RW

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        Post count: 285

        When you have solid play at both guard spots it doesn’t really matter who you line up at center as long as they have a pulse.

        If that’s the case why are they paying jensen $10 million per year?

    • Biggs3535

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      Post count: 6059

      Maybe you should let people who know about nuance speak to each other because it’s apparent you’ll never understand nuance, quality of depth in conversation, or depth of scope.

      You have to understand, this is the same guy that thought the LT that replaced Smith one game had something to do with Alex Cappa giving up a sack at RG. Understanding nuance in any football conversation is a big-ask for this fella.

      • buc_boi

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        Post count: 3253

        Lol

        Oh really, is that what I thought?!?

        🤣😂

        You still crying josh Allen is a bust, so hilarious!

    • nitey

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      Post count: 1049

      Wasn’t Stinnie being trained at center? I thought he played well in the playoffs. Releasing Jensen for Stinnie would probably save 8-9M against the cap and I suspect play wouldn’t be that far off.

      Again, this assumes that I was correct in that the Bucs were training Stinnie to take over at center these last couple of years.