The Importance of Retooling the O- Line

The Buccaneers must be wise targeting offensive line help in free agency immediately.

I know what many of you are thinking. Many of you feel that the Bucs targeted offensive linemen last season after dumping Davin Joseph, Jeremy Zuttah and Donald Penn and it did not work. That does not mean they should ignore grabbing some via free agency.

The Bucs have all but admitted fault in signing left tackle Anthony Collins last season as he was perhaps the biggest disappointment along the offensive line. There were other problems as well. In fact, it was a collective failure more often than not. But they couldn't catch a break either.

Several times throughout the season the line gave the running backs holes -- particularly Doug Martin -- and there was still no production. When quarterbacks were given time -- especially Josh McCown -- they held on to the ball. The line will almost always get blamed for that.

In some cases it is unfair. After all, when at the same amount of attempts, McCown had a higher sack percentage than Mike Glennon had when he filled in. And McCown is supposed to be the more mobile quarterback.

Those close to the team say there were some upset with McCown and his line calls, making it harder on the offensive line (which by the way is one of Jameis Winston's best attributes). McCown would finish the season getting sacked on nearly 10 percent (9.9) of his attempts. Glennon finished at 7.3 percent.

And so the Bucs have no choice but to target linemen early and often. Sources say the Bucs will go strong towards offensive line help early on in free agency and names mentioned were Green Bay Packers' Bryan Bulaga and Cincinnati Bengals' Clint Boling. Both very capable linemen starting right away.

That's not saying this will fix all the problems the line may have had but it is a start. And with a potential rookie quarterback, it is important to get some help on the offensive line immediately.


Several reports have Bulaga agreeing to stay in Green Bay. Deal is reportedly for five years at just under $7-million per season.

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