The Buccaneers' offensive line has struggled throughout this entire season and in the last two weeks, their performance may have gotten worse.
The running game does not exist in this offense and the team hopes to get a spark in that aspect of the game with rookie Charles Sims expected to see a lot of action this Sunday in Cleveland. But the problem has been protecting the quarterback.
Second-year quarterback Mike Glennon has been sacked 10 times in the last two games and has faced lots of pressure. Their offense has been anemic with slow starts and poor execution, lots of it stemming from the offensive line. The reason for the pressures and sacks is not resolved and are not just on the offensive line according to Glennon. Instead, he puts blame on everyone on the offensive side of the ball.
"I don't think you can pinpoint one part of the offense [to blame for sacks]," Glennon told the media on Tuesday. "Protection is on everybody; Offensive line, quarterbacks, it's on the running backs, it's on the receivers getting opened. We all play a part in that. Some of them have been on me, where I need to do a better job in the pocket. Sometimes it's been on the offensive line, the running backs, and sometimes it's kind of a coverage sack. It's a full team effort when it comes to protection. We'll work to get back to where we were those other games where I think we only had one sack each game."
Veteran left tackle Anthony Collins was turned around quite often against Minnesota this past Sunday. The Vikings' fifth-year defensive end Everson Griffen was in the backfield often, recording one sack, two tackles for loss, and two hits on the quarterback.
But it hasn't been just Collins who has struggled. Second-year guard Garrett Gilkey was called for back-to-back holding penalties against the Vikings as well as giving up a sack in just four plays. Veteran center, and offseason acquisition, Evan Dietrich-Smith was flagged for a false start while All-Pro veteran Logan Mankins also took some heat from the Minnesota pass rush. Right tackle Demar Dotson can be included in here as well.
During this past offseason, the Bucs made it a point to revamp the offensive line, saying that last year's performance was not good enough. Well, this year's version is just as bad if not worse. Have to wonder what they will do with it next offseason.
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