Bucs Training Camp Preview — Offensive Line

BucsBlitz.com's countdown to training camp continues with a preview of the Buccaneers' offensive linemen. Each day BucsBlitz.com will break down a different position leading up to reporting day in Orlando on July 26.


TACKLES: Luke Petitgout (starting left tackle), Jeremy Trueblood (starting right tackle), Anthony Davis (also working at guard), Chris Denman, Jabari Levey, Donald Penn, Dennis Roland.

Petitgout was probably the best blocker on the Giants' line last year until he broke his leg. The Bucs have given him the starting left tackle job without a competition. They hope his size, quickness, speed and aggressiveness are still there in spite of the injury.

The Buccaneers believe Trueblood can anchor the right side for years to come. He isn't an elite blocker and needs to improve in pass situations, but he moves quickly for a 6-foot-8 tackle and can engulf defenders.

Davis will probably be a backup tackle, if he doesn't win the left guard job. Davis is a solid run blocker. Denman, Levey, Penn and Roland will all compete for backup roles. The Buccaneers have been kind to rookies lately, so Denman has a chance, if he can prove he has the athleticism to contribute.

GUARDS: Davin Joseph (starting right guard), Dan Buenning (also working at center), Jonathan Clinkscale (also working at center), Davis, Matt Lehr (also working at center), Arron Sears, Jeb Terry, Anthony Wollschlager.

Joseph should be a cog in the offensive line for years to come. He's not the biggest lineman, but he doesn't lose one-on-one battles and he delivers hits at the second level.

Davis and Sears will compete for the starting left guard. Davis has more experience, but the Buccaneers appear intent on giving Sears — voted the SEC's best interior lineman in 2006 — every chance to win the job.

Buenning appears to be on his way to making the transition to center. Clinkscale played center in NFL Europa, but doesn't figure to have much of a chance to make the roster. Lehr is a swing center-guard who has started at both positions and has value as a backup. Terry is probably staring at his last chance to make an impact in the NFL, and Wollschlager is nothing more than camp fodder.

CENTERS: John Wade (starter), Dan Buenning (also working at guard), Jonathan Clinkscale (also working at guard), Matt Lehr (also working at guard), Nick Milhauser.

Barring injury, Wade is the starter. His smarts and competitiveness help him win matchups he really shouldn't.

Lehr was a valuable offseason acquisition with the departure of Sean Mahan. Lehr has started at center and guard in the NFL, and is proficient at both. He's not spectacular, and the better fit is as Wade's backup.

The Bucs see Buenning as their center of the future, but he'll need time to develop and he'll have to take up a roster spot to do that. Fortunately, he can be used as a backup guard, as well.

Clinkscale and Milhauser will be lucky to make the final roster.

Postins' prediction: Petitgout, Trueblood, Davis, Joseph, Sears, Lehr, Wade, Buenning, Denman (practice squad).

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Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association. Included among his more than two dozen writing and editing awards are national awards from the PFWA, the National Newspaper Association and the Associated Press Sports Editors, and state awards from the Florida Press Club and the Florida Sports Writers Association, for his coverage of the Buccaneers since 2004.


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