The Bucs success this season will depend on the play of the o-line. Last season the Bucs o-line raised their level of play from poor to average and the team was able to make the playoffs. Still, the Achilles Heel of the Buc’s o-line last season was pass blocking and it appears nothing will change this season.
The two highly touted rookies the Bucs brought into the fold, Davin Joseph and Jeremy Trueblood looked impressive at time but still betrayed their inexperience. Joseph played better than Trueblood but had a stupid facemask penalty early in the game which would have killed the Bucs drive if they had not been bailed out by an equally stupid pass interference on the Jets. But really other than the one penalty Joseph looked good in run blocking, and more surprising, pass blocking. The same can not be said of Trueblood.
I’ll save final judgment for another exhibition game or two but from what I saw tonight Trueblood is not ready to pass Kenyatta on the depth chart. Trueblood struggled in pass blocking, even though about half the time he was double teaming defenders. Trueblood did not look like he was in synch with Joseph quite yet, so more reps with Joseph might be all Trueblood needs to fix his pass blocking woes.
Other Random Observations:
I have not commented at all on the Bucs backup quarterback battle, mostly ‘cause I’m still bitter they did not resign Griese (yes, I’m prob the only one who holds that opinion). Gradkowski made some impressive throws although he also betrayed his inexperience when he mistook a zone for a man defense and threw what should have been an interception. When Fiedler returns Rattay may be the odd man out, assuming Gruden sees the same potential in Gradkowski that I do.
Bye, bye Chas. Edell Shepherd and Paris Warren both looked better than the Ivy Grad who loves the “Hampty Hampts.”
Those of you that have read this blog for awhile now of my affection for Gators so it should come as no surprise that I love Graham. He always does just enough each training camp to make the team. He excels at running in between the tackles and has a nose for the endzone.
Stovall will be good if not great in Gruden’s offense. Tall, lanky receivers have always excelled in Gruden’s offense and Stovall has shown enough potential to make this writer salivate.
Finally, does anyone else find the Bucs preseason announcing combo of Jaws and Chris Myers to be lacking? Just a small example but Jaws kept referring to Michael Clayton as Mark. At halftime the NFL Network switched from the local Tampa announcers to the local New York announcers, a move which I actually appreciated. The New York graphics were crisper and the commentary more interesting.