Ever since the 2018 season finale against the Atlanta Falcons, the Buccaneers have invested in players and coaches alike. This was done in order to patch up weaknesses that led to yet another 5-11 season. At first glance, it was obvious that in order for Tampa Bay to be competitive there would need to be a coaching change as well as upgrades at defensive tackle, linebacker, safety, and offensive line. Unfortunately, only four of those five positions were addressed.
Changes Were Made
Bruce Arians was brought in to replace the inept Dirk Koetter. Ndamukong Suh was signed in a move that took place after long time defensive tackle, Gerald McCoy, was released. The Buccaneers spent their fifth-overall pick on generational talent, Devin White. Three other defensive backs were drafted, most notably, Mike Edwards who has had a phenomenal camp so far.
Yet the positions that hurt the Bucs the most last year, at offensive line, have been virtually ignored. Outside of two depth signings — right guard Earl Watford from Cleveland and undrafted free-agent left guard, Zack Bailey — not much has changed. That is worrisome. Donovan Smith is a growing talent, but all too often inconsistent. Ryan Jensen simply has not played up to his contract. Then you have Ali Marpet, the lone star of the group, but one guy can’t anchor an entire offensive line. The right guard position is still, perhaps, the biggest mystery in the Bay area. Demar Dotson, 34, is only serviceable at best. Do you see the trend?
More Of The Same?
Everyone knows Jameis Winston is a magician outside of the pocket. But throws outside the pocket are usually indicative of a breakdown in pass-protection where a quarterback has to extend a play. If Winston has to play another season running for his life and having to throw on the move, it will be a long year.
The only way to resolve this is with a bolstered line, which Tampa Bay currently does not have. Alex Cappa could be pegged as the starter at right guard. Especially after Arians comments as of late. If that does, in fact, happen this offense might experience more growing pains than success in Arians’ first season.
Source: NFL.com, Buccaneers.com