The fifth edition of this off-season’s NFC South rankings will look at the offensive lines. For the sake of efficiency, we’re going to analyze the lines as a whole, as opposed to breaking it into separate articles for guards, centers and tackles. How will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stack up?
Though they’re not as flashy as the other four offensive position groups, offensive linemen will always be some of the most important players in football. Linemen are tasked with fueling every aspect of the offense – they have to protect the prized quarterback in passing situations, and pave the road for the running backs in the rushing attack. If the offensive line has a bad day, chances are the entire offense is having a bad one as well.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been struggling to get their offensive line right for the last few years in an attempt to protect their young quarterback, but have been hit and miss thanks to injuries, bad luck, and bad decisions. They finally ran out of luck last season when Jameis Winston was pummeled by the Arizona Cardinals and left with an injured shoulder that would plague him most of the year.
Thanks to an expensive check written by the Glazer family the Buccaneers have made real strides this off-season towards locking down their offensive trenches. Let’s take a look at their competition around the division in our usual format, compare them to the Buccaneers, and then determine a final verdict.