Buccaneers: Comparing the current team to the 2002 champions

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 10: Jameis Winston
CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 10: Jameis Winston /
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TAMPA, FL – AUGUST 26: Wide receiver Mike Evans
TAMPA, FL – AUGUST 26: Wide receiver Mike Evans /


2002: LT Roman Oben, LG Kerry Jenkins, C Jeff Christy, RG Corey Coleman, and RT Kenyatta Walker

The 2002 offensive line wasn’t the best one in the league giving up 41 sacks, and they could never really get the running game established averaging 4.5 yards/carry.

The two main backs (Pittman and Alstott) averaged only 3.65 yards/carry and only were able to rush for six touchdowns.

They did manage to stay healthy all season giving the offense some continuity with Oben and Christy playing all sixteen regular season games, while Jenkins and Coleman played in fifteen games, and Walker played in thirteen.

2017: LT Donovan Smith, LG Kevin Pamphile, C Ali Marpet, RG J.R. Sweezy, and RT Demar Dotson

The 2017 offensive line is going to look slightly different then the 2016 offensive line that gave up 35 sacks and only averaged 3.95 yards/carry with the moving of Marpet from right guard to center and the return of Sweezy from IR to play right guard.

Of the current starters Marpet and Smith started all sixteen games last season while Pamphile and Dotson played in fourteen and thirteen games respectively.

Sweezy, of course, played in zero so it’s hard to determine how the offensive line will gel together with a position switch and returner from IR.

If everyone can stay healthy and they start gelling together though they could be a dominant line.

ADVANTAGE: On potential alone … 2017 Offensive Line – Smith, Pamphile, Marpet, Sweezy, and Dotson.