The Buccaneers had an awful offensive line last season. There seemed to never be any cohesion, which was likely led by free agent bust Anthony Collins. Players like Garrett Gilkey played when they should have never touched the field, and other players like Patrick Omameh may have been out of position.
Omameh started all 16 games in 2014 at right guard for the Bucs. Right guard has been a position Omameh has been comfortable with since his 2nd year in college at Michigan.
Omameh became a three-year starter at right guard for the Wolverines before going undrafted and signing with the 49ers as an undrafted free agent following the 2013 draft. The Buccaneers would sign Omameh off the 49ers practice squad in 2013 and ultimately make Omameh their starting right guard less than a year later.
Despite Omameh starting every game at right guard for the Bucs in 2014, the Bucs and Lovie Smith decided to shift Omameh from a position he's played for the last 5 years to a position he last played in 2009 as a redshirt freshman at Michigan.
“We have a lot of guys that can play guard. It’s kind of simple and we feel he has flexibility to be able to do that," Lovie Smith said of Omameh's move to right tackle. "When a player is missing, during a course of a season you have injuries and it’s about the next guy up always. When there isn’t a player here for whatever reason, you get a chance to take different looks at other players. By Demar not being here (during OTAs), some of the other players had an opportunity to step-up. It’s like that. Football is going to go on long after all of us are gone, so take advantage of those situations.”
Omameh had an opportunity to work with the starting offensive line at right tackle during Demar Dotson's absence from OTAs due to a contract dispute.
"Every rep I can take is an opportunity," Omameh said to the Tampa Bay Times. "Any way I can possibly contribute, I'm happy to do it."
Omameh might not possess the elite power or girth of a right guard in the NFL, but he does have surprising athleticism for his size. Omameh also has some potential that he has started to reach with the amount of game experience he gained in 2014.
Demar Dotson is the clear favorite to be the Bucs' starting right tackle in 2015, while Omameh might prove to be a very valuable versatile backup who can play guard or tackle. However, it wouldn't surprise me if the Bucs are setting the young Omameh up to eventually take over at right tackle with Dotson turning 30 years old this year and already asking for a new contract.Subscribe to The Commish Online Podcast on iTunes!
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