What needs to change on the O-line to improve run game?
It’s no secret that the Bucs have struggled running the football in recent years. Many will say it’s due to the lack of an explosive running back, however, this falls more heavily on the execution of the Offensive line. Let’s break down 2 potential reasons (and solutions) of why this offensive line has had issues with creating space for the Running back.
Personnel: This is the easy one. Some of the blame will definitely fall on personnel or inconsistent play from personnel. Tampa, for the most part, has a pretty solid offensive line on paper. Truly the only name that stands out as a liability is Caleb Benenoch. If he even gets a chance in this new regime, we will need to see vast improvements from Benenoch especially going into his contract year. Ryan Jensen has been pretty solid as far as blocking goes, but he will need to cut down on penalties. Too many times has Jensen been the cause of losing out on a positive play due to a nonsensical penalty. Demar Dotson and Donovan Smith will both just need to be more consistent in their run blocking. Multiple times we’ve seen Smith pancake someone, then completely whiff a block the next play. Dotson sees the same kind of inconsistencies, though not as drastic as Smith. If they can both sure this up, both ends of the line will be in good shape. Then you have Ali Marpet, whose just solid no matter where you put him on the line. He’s really the standard of what we’re looking for out of everyone on the O line.
Scheme: With a new regime, comes a new scheme and nothing will benefit the Bucs more than better coaching and a better scheme. Yes, the Bucs have had an inconsistent play from the O line, but coaching matters! We should see an improvement in play simply due to a new, more experienced coaching staff. We can expect a much better performance in the run game this season even if all the same personnel is held in place.