Lost in the Bucs win this past Sunday against the Steelers was the play of a unit that's been under the microscope since the start of the season. That unit would be the offensive line. Next to having a franchise quarterback in today's NFL, the offensive line is the most important unit maybe on the team. The league is geared towards scoring more points. You can't do that if your offensive line has deficiencies.
I'm not sure how good this Bucs offensive line can be moving forward. It's safe to say this past weekend was their best performance to date. Mike Glennon attempted 42 passes. He was sacked once. Glennon doesn't hold the ball nearly as long as Josh McCown. That certainly benefits an offensive line. As Lovie Smith said at his press conference yesterday, the offensive line played well against the Steelers.
"Protection was pretty good," Lovie Smith said. "Overall, very good. Still, as you break it down individually, there’s a couple of areas we do need to improve. But as a group, there were enough holes to make our running game relevant, and to also, of course, buy time."
I've said on air this offensive line won't start to come together until week 6 or 7. There were just too many moving pieces and too many changes leading up to the first regular season game for me to think otherwise. Keep in mind the offensive line that's currently constructed didn't play one snap together in the preseason. That's an indictment on the organization. Waiting as long as they did to fix that unit is a risky proposition. Heck, even Richie Incognito was brought in as a possible solution. Instead the team acquired Logan Mankins from the Patriots.
Bucs fans might not want to accept this reality but the team is in a transition year. Smith and his staff completely revamped this roster from a year ago. After winning just four games, you can't blame him. The team may have found its quarterback for the rest of the season in Mike Glennon after his performance against the Steelers. Just as important, the team may have found an offensive line it can rely on as well.