The grading series continues as I take a look at the center position for the 2010 Bucs. The Bucs have three centers on the current roster (others could switch over if needed, but that probably won’t happen). The center position is going to be a critical for the development of young Josh Freeman and the entire offensive unit. The Bucs need a leader and decision maker anchoring the line, someone who can guide the offense and the Bucs have that player, his name is Jeff Faine.
Jeff Faine is the starting center for the Bucs. The 6’3″, 291 lb., former first round pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2003, is the anchor and leader of the offensive line. Coming out of Notre Dame, Faine provides strong leadership in his decision making and coverage calls that will help Freeman develop and be more effective. Faine has great upper body strength and provides a good push off the line, opening up wholes for the running backs and protecting Freeman. He will have to step up this season and be a vocal leader both on and off the field if the Bucs offensive unit is to continue to progress.
Second on the depth chart is Jonathan Compas. Compas, the 6’3″, 300 lbs. center, and was claimed off waivers from Oakland where he played in only two games. Coming out of UC Davis, Compas went undrafted and took his first offer from Oakland. He helps provide depth at the position for the Bucs in case of injury, but has not played much over the few years. Not much should be expected from him, he can fill if needed, but the line is counting on Faine.
Third on the depth chart is Donovan Raiola. The 6’2″, 293 lb. signed with the Bucs after spending time with many teams around the league. Raiola has decent size and provides even more depth for the Bucs at the center position. Just like Compas, he probably won’t see much time this season unless truly needed.
Overall grade: C+. The Bucs have a good starter in Faine, but the rest of the depth chart behind him is waived players. Compas and Raiola were signed only to help add depth because the Bucs had no one else at the center position. Now they might surprise me this season with their play on the field, but for now, this is their grade unless they truly impress at training camp.