If they would just listen
Apparently Bruce Almighty, and the front office (or is it the back office, I’ve never been inside One Buc Place) absolutely refuse to read my articles and heed my advice/warnings, shame on them. If they had, maybe Jameis Winston’s future here would be more certain. All horse apples aside, on this issue I’m pretty much dead center on.
In the beginning
From Bruce Arians’ first arrival here in Tampa, he has insisted that the Offensive Line is not an issue. Excuse me, if I refuse to drink the Kool-Aid anymore, I’m just not able to choke it down, without heaving it back up. A five sack night will do that to you. After the Cleveland game, Arians tried to sluff it off, some of the sacks on Winston, as being Jameis’s fault. Maybe there is some fundamental truth to that, maybe not. That does nothing though to excuse the other sacks by the Browns, much less the possible huge amount of trouble Mr. Winston is going to find himself in when playing a good rushing, legit defensive front.
Screaming to Exhaustion and getting help
I’ve been screaming about this for months. It’s a fact that the teams in this league that make it to the Finals of their respective Conferences, almost always, with very little exception, have above average offensive lines. In past articles, I have used New England as an example of an organization that puts heavy stock into who is upfront protecting Tom Brady, and opening holes for their backs. Case in point, the Patriots weren’t satisfied with the depth/ability of their current rostered line. I don’t know the specifics, but I know this. The Pats traded for not one, but two offensive linemen, on the same day. Picking up Jermaine Eluemunor from the Ravens, and earlier in the day, Korey Cunningham from the Cardinals (hmmmmm, the Cardinals) how ironic. The Ravens had Eluemunor listed as their starting left guard(he can play guard, and tackle), starting two preseason games so far this season, and three regular-season games before this season. One of the starts was at Left Tackle, the other two at right guard. Cunningham was listed as the backup to Marcus Gilbert in Arizona.
A Microcosm of sorts
It’s hard not to look at this as a microcosm of the two franchises. Here you have the most successfully run NFL Franchise, of the Last 15 years in the Patriots, and well one that has not been run so well at times during the same span. It surely isn’t a lack of “want to”. The Glazers have always done what they thought was best for the organization, I don’t doubt that for a minute. I am sure the salary cap situation here in Tampa has hindered any moves. I get the feeling though, had we been in a better situation, they still would not have busted a grape to get anyone else in here for the line. Where there is a will though, there surely was and is a way to have done something to help out this group of guys, that are going to play a massively huge role in our Franchise QB’s success, and future beyond this year. I’ve heard there is just no talent, no help out there to be had. The Patriots though feel that these two players will help solidify their line and make it better. Could they, and others, not have also made our line better? It’s hard to argue that the Pats are just trying to put butts on benches with these two moves. They did it for a reason, and the reason is they appreciate how important the Offensive Line is, and they refuse to sit still when they could improve their group. While we are continuing to be told, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” by the man who runs this show. There is no other group of players that start for this team that I’m worried about like I am the O-Line. For me, it’s been that way for many months/years. If there is anything that I’ve written about this season, that I pray I’m wrong about, it’s this.
In summation: Run Jameis, Run! Go Bucs!!