No. Don’t be silly. Of course I am not saying the Bucs can just go about their business and forget about the offensive line. That’s crazy talk. But I am saying they don’t need superstars.
People have asked me — whether on Twitter or through the comments section here on TBC — who the Bucs should target for help along the offensive line. I have often said bringing in anyone would seem like an upgrade compared to what they had last season. But what I have more frequently said was, if they draft Jameis Winston, the offensive line won’t be a big issue.
“What? That’s insane” is what I usually get in response to that. There are several reasons for that though.
I have talked about it several times, a quarterback makes the line look good or bad. In 2014, Josh McCown had a worse sack percentage than Mike Glennon (and McCown is more mobile). McCown even placed himself on the sidelines after injuring his thumb against Atlanta.
Why do I say that? Throughout the season, McCown made the wrong line call several times leading to sacks, errors, and poor line play. Rumblings from One Buc Place suggested potential disconnects at times between McCown and his linemen at times. It was easy to point the finger at the offensive line — because they were bad often. However, it was not always on them. There were instances where Tampa Bay quarterbacks were given time to throw and they never pulled the trigger or decided to do something else.
All that can go away with drafting Jameis Winston. The Florida State product is cerebral at the line of scrimmage. He has demonstrated the ability to make the correct line calls throughout his college career and it is something those within league circles have raved about.
You can see that in this preview for ESPN’s Gruden QB Camp featuring Winston.
The Bucs are reportedly hosting former Patriots’ guard Dan Connolly. As I wrote on BucsBlitz.com on Thursday, if he signs, the Bucs could potentially have their offensive line set with Demar Dotson, Logan Mankins, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Dan Connolly, and Kevin Pamphile — a name many have forgotten and one who saw a decent amount of action as the 2014 season closed.
It may not be what many expected, but an actual signal caller will make the line leaps and bounds better than that of previous years.