December 5, 2023

Bucs Life

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Bowles Confident in Young Offensive Line Depth

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackle Brandon Walton (73), left, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Nick Leverett (60) attend training camp on Monday, August 1, 2022, at the AdventHealth Training Center in Tampa.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have taken significant blows to their offensive line: First by losing Ali Marpet to retirement. Then Ryan Jensen was severely injured in practice with a knee injury, which is likely to keep him out until November or beyond to recently losing Aaron Stinnie to IR with what I suspect is a similar injury as Ryan Jensen. Tristan Wirfs suffered an oblique injury, which keeps him “day to day”, and depending on the severity, it could have his Week One appearance in jeopardy.

Many fans have been tossing around names of players that could or should be sought after to fill in for these injured players, whether as depth or to start in their stead. However, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles has stated that the team is confident with the young linemen that the team already has and believes that there is no one out there right now that is available to them to sign; if they were to go that route.

“We like our in-house options, but there’s got to be a player available for us to like to add a player. We’re not just going to sign one, to sign one. There’s nothing out there for us to sign, but at the same time, we’re comfortable with the guys we have right now.”

Losing Aaron Stinnie had thrown a bit of a monkey wrench into the competition for the Left Guard position, as it is a close one. Aaron Stinnie, Luke Goedeke, Nick Leverette, who can also fill in at center, and Sadarius Hutcherson have made this competition brutal; however, Todd Bowles believes he is close to a decision on who will be their starter. Goedeke and Leverett are the closest in the mix for the starting role, and no one should count Leverett out of this equation, nor should Brandon Walton.

“We’re fairly close. It’s awfully close. We’ll see what the game looks like, and we’ll see what the chemistry is when we watch the film.”

The Buccaneers head into their final preseason game in Indianapolis against the Colts, then the Roster will be trimmed down to 53 men and 16 for the practice squad. With the Buccaneers seemingly confident with their young linemen at this point, it would be surprising to see any kind of splash signing; however, the Practice Squad could find itself filled with Offensive Linemen who have fallen victim to roster cuts.