Lovie Smith: Offensive line play “unacceptable”

AP

The Buccaneers hope they have their quarterback for years to come in Jameis Winston and now they need to work on finding offensive linemen who can do more than help him up after taking a hit from an opposing defensive player.

Winston has been sacked seven times in three preseason games, which is more than any other quarterback in the league, and he was dropped four times by the Browns on Saturday night. Tampa’s starting a pair of rookies and third-round right guard Ali Marpet struggled mightily against Cleveland. On Sunday, coach Lovie Smith said he’s seen progress from the group but the overall body of work leaves much to be desired.

“We had some bad plays last night, yes, along our offensive line,” Smith said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s like that most games, though. You have some plays you’d like to have back. Good plays on their part. Looking at the overall picture, just like before when we played a lot better, you take everything in, which we will do. But that play last night, for the most part, was unacceptable for us, and we’ll fix it.”

They’ll have to because their current pace of sacks allowed would leave Winston in David Carr territory come the end of the regular season. The pounding Carr took in his rookie season with the Texans put him on the path to being a disappointment, which held the franchise back and serves as a warning for the Bucs as they ready their own first overall pick for his first NFL year.

16 responses to “Lovie Smith: Offensive line play “unacceptable”

  1. Rookie QB + terrible OL = disaster

    In all fairness to Marpet he is going to have to be given some time to adjust to the increased level of competition. It doesn’t say much about their current crop of linemen that they have a guy from a Division III program starting for them. I’m sure the guy has talent but I’m not sure he would have been considered an opening game starter. I would have thought he’d have a year to develop before being thrown to the wolves. I can’t believe they are so depleted on the OL to have to push him into the starting lineup. Still, it’s early so he may be able to handle it but that’s quite a lot to ask of this guy.

  2. He’s going to get sacked at least 40 times behind that line. I expect Koetter will have game plans to protect him from reaching Carr status, but that line is pretty terrible right now, especially at center, on the right, and Mankins spot at pass blocking. The Rookies will get better the more they play.

  3. Lovie Smith: Offensive line play “unacceptable…same problem as last year…doesn’t say much for either Lovie or the offensive line coach…going to be a long, non-playoff contending Buc season…

  4. This is just one more reason that Marcus Mariota should put Lovie Smith on his Christmas card list.

  5. As a Tampa resident, I watch a lot of the Bucs and you can’t help but feel bad for Winston. That line is terrible. A hybrid Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers couldn’t put together a solid performance. My only observation of Winston is he seems to put himself in harm’s way too much. They need to teach this guy to avoid contact stat.

  6. Lovie Smith has been an NFL coach for 11 years now, and I think he’s probably had one of the 5 worst offensive lines in the league for all 11 of them. Nothing new here.

  7. I blame Mark Dominik… The worst GM in NFL history next to Matt Millen… The idiot refused to draft offensive lineman and would brag about…

    One lineman drafted in the fifth round in five awful drafts… I’m so glad Dominik works for ESPN now… What a joke…

  8. He’s had a lot of practice saying that, going back to his days with the Bears.

    The last time the Bears were really competitive – the year they lost to the Colts in the Superbowl – also happened to be the last time they had an OL that could be considered anything above mid-tier in the league. Then he just kind of let that unit go (combined with a couple of spectacular high round OL busts by the quack Jerry Angelo), and that was it.

  9. The saddest thing about Marpet going straight from Division III to starting on the Bucs isn’t that he’s starting, but that he’s been one of our least awful starters so far.

    And Lovie leaving Demar Dotson, the best of the bunch, out for the ENTIRE first half of the first preseason game which led to a knee injury…that’s the type of terrible decision that can end up getting you fired.

  10. You can’t build a house without a foundation (in Florida it’s called a slab, which is grimly appropriate). One might assume that everyone should know this. When you pick a QB with the 1st pick in the draft, you would think they would move heaven and earth to put a line in front of him. Unless they don’t . . .

  11. but it was acceptable in chicago when you thought changing the play calling (and thus, limiting the play book) would solve the OL issues? when will he learn that it takes actual talent and making it a point of emphasis to fix anything in the nfl. where is there ever a patchwork area on a sustainable winning team?

  12. The O-Line is terrible right now.

    You can’t argue with what we did to improve it. Using 2 second round picks is a good start, but it needs more.

    A new centre, and another tackle should be on the menu for the draft next year.

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