Will The O-line Be improved?

 

Buc fans all over seem to agree on 2 thing, the love for all the offensive additions and downing the team for not adding any help on the offensive line. Well lets take a look at why they think that. Yes, its a fact they didn’t add anyone through the draft or free agency to the offensive line this year but that doesn’t mean the entire line wont be different.

If you look at last years line the biggest weakness to me was right up front with the Center. Buc fans love Joe Hawley and so do I as he brings a never quit attitude and a lions heart to the team but we have to face it, he’s just not big enough to hold up against bigger defensive lineman and was pushed back and tossed aside on too many occasions. Now, shift over Ali Marpet and BOOM you have an instant upgrade in size and athleticism to the Center position. Will Marpet immediately be a dominant center without any hiccups along the way, most likely not but he is an upgrade and will get better as the year goes along. We all know how good he has been at Right Guard and there have always been rumors of him switching over to Center and now that has come true.

Now that Marpet has switched over to Center that leaves a whole at Right Guard. Step is JR Sweezy, who when healthy is one of the most aggressive, non-stop motor offensive lineman that you can find in the NFL. The Seahawks really wanted to retain Sweezy last year but Jason Licht wanted him more and paid him for it. This year we will see what Licht paid for barring his surgically repaired back can hold up. Just from what I have seen in practice and heard from player interviews, he still has that same nasty mentality and will go hunt lineman and linebackers down to pave the road for runners. Here’s a little glimpse of what he can bring:

Looking at the other 3 pieces of the line you have LT Donovan Smith, LG Kevin Pamphile and RT Demar Dotson. All have been with the team and grown together and built a continuity together and that is HUGE for an offensive line. Give Smith (24), Marpet (24) and Pamphile (26) another year of growing in their development. All 3 of them are so young and are coming into their own. Dotson was more than serviceable at RT and it showed how much he was missed in the Dallas game last year when he was hurt and no one could protect the right side at all. Lastly we also get to see the growth of last years 5th round pick Caleb Benenoch (22) who stepped in at LG last year and faired well for a rookie. He’s been taking reps at RT in training camp and looks like he will be Dotson’s eventual replacement.

The O-line in my opinion is made to run the ball. They’re all road graders and athletic enough to pull and block downfield. Media is hyping up the Bucs potential lethal passing game but what is getting missed is the potential for a great running game.

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