Forced to fill in after failed experiments and injuries, Buccaneers guard Aaron Stinnie is showing poise and promise. Moving forward, assuming he continues to play at his current level, he is proving he should be starting over Matt Feiler.
Feiler was signed during the offseason to solidify the new look Buccaneers offensive line. After week one he looked like a brilliant signing. Then, the wheels came off. Week two saw him allow three pressures. The following week he allowed two. Couple that with poor run blocking and a problem emerged. In week four his run blocking was still poor but he bounced back in the passing game. Follow that with his strongest game of the season against the Lions and things looked to be turning around. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be as he allowed five pressures and his run blocking regressed against the Falcons.
Following that performance and an injury Aaron Stinnie was pushed into action.
Filling In At Left Guard
With week eight rolling around against the Buffalo Bills Stinnie got the nod. A tough opponent in the trenches Stinnie would have his work cut out for him. With 67 offensive snaps Stinnie saw a 14 in the run game and 53 in pass protection. The result was one hit and one hurry. Additionally he faired well in the run game aiding in the best yards per carry performance all season thus far.
Against Houston Stinnie stepped in again. This time improving his pass protection and helping the team reach it’s most rushing yards this season. Ultimately, he performed admirably.
If Stinnie is playing at a higher level than Feiler he should be staying in. The issue is I don’t trust this coaching staff to stick with him if Feiler is healthy. So if Stinnie returns to the bench and Feiler falters they need to swallow their pride and put him back in.