Bucs Offensive Linemen Get Fined For Sacks

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive linemen actually get fined for surrendering sacks, blowing assignments and moving before the snap. Rookie left tackle Kenyatta Walker discusses the fines after the Pittsburgh game in which he and his linemates gave up a franchise record-tying 10 sacks.

Several fans who witnessed the Tampa Bay offensive line give up 10 sacks last week to Pittsburgh were probably thinking that they didn't deserve their paychecks. Well, collectively, they had to give up part of their paychecks after their dismal showing. You see, the Bucs offensive line has a kangaroo court of sorts. They have self-imposed fines for giving up sacks and blowing assignments.

"We watch the film and you get fined for missed assignments," rookie left tackle Kenyatta Walker said. "You get fines for quarterback sacks. You get fines for jumping off the ball. A sack is maybe $20 or $30 - I don't know. It adds up quickly. Jumping offsides in practice or a missed assignment or pressure is $5 or $10. It can add up. If you really want to know how you did on Sunday, you can just go in (to the offensive line meeting room) and look up and if you have $100 on the board you didn't do to good."

Walker wouldn't disclose how much last Sunday's performance cost him after surrendering more than a couple of sacks to Pittsburgh outside linebacker Joey Porter. As a whole, the Bucs offensive line probably had to donate a blank check to the fine committee for Sunday's efforts.

"It's irritating," Walker said. "It's a pride thing. Jeff (Christy) keeps the money. Who knows how much money we have in there. We just have to stick together as an offensive line."

"We're upset. Who wouldn't be upset? I think the whole offense is upset over what happened. Nobody likes to see Brad (Johnson) get hit as much as he did. I know I don't. It can't happen again. We've just got to go out there and re-group. There's a lot of pride involved. Nobody wants to let them get to their quarterback that many times, especially me."

Walker admitted that the Steelers made him a marked man and tried to take advantage of his rookie status by blitzing linebackers and cornerbacks from the left side.

"They're coming at me to try to confuse me, pull on me and expose me," Walker said. "I've just got to get prepared. But I knew it was coming and I have to fight through it. I can only talk for myself. I put a lot of it on me. We've just got to get better. It's a long season. Somebody told me after the game, 'You've got 11 more.' We've got to get it done."

Walker said that the Bucs' game plan wasn't helping the offensive line, especially after the team gave up on the run so quickly.

"The Pittsburgh game was a frustrating game," Walker said. "I think we were predictable this past game, but my play didn't help at all. The whole offense's play didn't help. When we're inside the 20, we need to score touchdowns. We need to put the ball in the end zone and stop kicking field goals."


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