It’s been a constant push from fans to find new linemen. To some, it’s the only real need the Buccaneers have had. It’s not undue if you look at football as a limited dimensional game. There are huge factors that can be quickly addressed.
Authors note: This is NOT a knock on one player as an individual. Please don’t take it that way. This is an objective view of the flaws of a [new] system that had our starting quarterback sacked 5 times and stand up limping.
The forefront: availability. There’s simply not “better” on the market. Look at Matt Ryan last year getting sacked 46 times. Their line is a project now and it doesn’t look like it’s really improved as much as they would have liked. It’s going to take time. The Buccaneers have a mix of veterans and new blood on the line. They have to gel, they asked for a half against Cleveland and they needed it more than even head coach Bruce Arians thought. Powerful lessons were learned that night.
It goes deeper than that.
Let’s get a look at it at base value: Jameis Winston is the highest-rated quarterback out of pocket. Why is that a thing? Why would it matter? That isn’t a good look for the offensive line. Your quarterback has a rating most people didn’t know existed. Now they do and most are looking at his protection wonder why.
Here’s the defense of the linemen: Jameis tries to sell big plays and he has been guilty, habitually, of letting the play develop for too long. If you hold the ball for too long, you’re wearing your own protection down and he’s been far too guilty of that for too long.
A larger drawback on his emotional level: He panics! Look at Jameis on the blitz. Winston can and will leave a comfortable pocket when the running back picks up the rush. If you stack the box Winston can and will scramble. Even when he doesn’t need to. He’s already gotten used to it and will most likely continue status quo until a system can be carved around him that makes him feel it isn’t necessary. The drawback on that: it definitely won’t be this year that it happens.