The 2014 Buccaneers struggled mightily with protecting their quarterback. Entering the 2015 NFL Draft, the offensive line was a big focal point for them.
With their top pick of the second round, Tampa Bay selected Penn State tackle Donovan Smith. They later traded back into the second round and selected Hobart’s Ali Marpet. Last season they also selected lineman but in the later rounds in Kevin Pamphile and Kadeem Edwards.
With the Buccaneers building a young nucleus across the offensive line and sprinkling in a few veterans like Logan Mankins, Evan Smith and Demar Dotson, it’s evident the Buccaneers are putting some sort of emphasis in creating a foundation for the future across the line.
However, nothing is set in stone just yet.
“We certainly think we did (secure the offensive line). We certainly hope so,” general manager Jason Licht said on NBC Sports Radio. “We also know that it’s a work in progress but we got a couple of offensive linemen that we are excited about. Those guys have also been very impressive.
“[Guard] Logan Mankins has control of that room as the leader and even Logan is very excited about how this room is shaping up with [Donovan Smith] and Ali Marpet, who’s a small school guy but has tremendous ability.”
The Bucs’ struggles can be attributed to many things: Poor continuity, offensive scheme, the quarterbacks, etc. All played a major role in the lack of success for the offensive line. But a quarterback making they correct adjustments and calls before the snap is key.
Last year’s starter Josh McCown had his fair share of blown calls at the line which resulted in a higher sack rate than Mike Glennon when both had the same amount of dropbacks.
Koeter’s Offense Fits Winston
The fortunate thing for Tampa Bay is that one of the revered traits for rookie quarterback Jameis Winston is his ability to make adjustments at the line of scrimmage. Granted he has yet play a snap in the NFL but ability to make the right calls throughout his college career is something scouts raved about.
He will help himself by understanding Dirk Koetter’s offense — an offense that is geared towards Winston’s strengths. General manager Jason Licht told NBC Sports Radio that is exactly the case.
“You have to [tailor the offense] depending on who you have but this offense, the offense that [Dirk Koetter] is accustomed to running, does fit what Jameis’ strengths are.”