NFL NEWS: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The 2014 Bucs retooled offensive line became one of the biggest disappointments this season, but whos more to blame? The players or line coach George Warhop?
The team acquired tackle Anthony Collins, guard/tackle Oniel Cousins, center Evan Dietrich-Smith and guard/tackle Logan Mankins to start along with holdovers tackle Demar Dotson and guard Patrick Omameh.
Lets look at the history of those players.
During Collins tenure with the Cincinnati Bengals, they finished 20th or worse in five of his six years there. The Bengals finished 10th overall in offense just last season. Collins started 35 games in 69 hes played in for his career, which is just over half. Hes also started in all 10 games hes played in for the year.
Cousins played for the Baltimore Ravens then the Cleveland Browns before landing himself in pewter and red. During his three-year stint with the Browns, they were 29th, 25th, and 17th overall in offense from 2011-2013. When he was with the Ravens, they were 18th, 13th, and 22nd overall in offense from 2008-2010. Clearly, Cousins stint with the Browns didnt help him. Cousins started only 15 of 74 games hes played in. Hes started in six of the 15 games for the season.
Dietrich-Smith served two stints with the Green Bay Packers, from 2009-2013. In between, he was signed by the Seattle Seahawks for only a month in 2010. Upon his return to Green Bay, the Packers won the Super Bowl. The Packers finished in the top 10, four out of five times, in total offense during Dietrich-Smiths tenure with the team. Hes stared 39 games in 75 hes played in. Hes started all 14 games hes appeared in this year for the Bucs.
Mankins has more of a storied career with the New England Patriots with six Pro Bowl appearances, five All-Pro selections, and appearing in two Super Bowls. He started in all 145 games hes played in including the Bucs. The Patriots finished in the top 10, eight out of nine times, in total offense during Mankins tenure with the team. The team also finished best overall offense twice in that span. Hes started all 15 games for the Bucs this season.
Dotson, the most senior Buc on the line, has played tackle for the team since 2009 appearing in 69 games and starting in 48. Hes started all 15 games for the team this season. As the veteran on the team, hes seen the Bucs breaking the top 10 in offense just once his entire time with the team.
The Bucs signed Omameh from the San Francisco 49ers practice squad in 2013. While he didnt play that year, hes started all 15 games for the team as a guard.
As the 31st overall offense this season and on pace to be the worst rushing team in franchise history, where is the blame pointed at? Lets look at Warhops NFL record.
Warhop made his debut with the St. Louis Rams in 1996. He since served four other franchises with the Arizona Cardinals (1998-2002), Dallas Cowboys (2003-2004), San Francisco 49ers (2005-2008) and the Browns (2009-2013). His line was at best 13th overall in production back in 1998 while he was with the Cardinals. While never having a producing a line of a top 10 offense caliber, he has a long history of producing mediocre lines finishing in the bottom third in the league in offensive production in 13 of 17 seasons. Warhops lines have protected for the leagues worst offense for three seasons and the 2014 Bucs might make it his fourth in their current 31st ranking.
Consider this, the Bucs currently rank 29th in sacked allowed with 49 and lead the league with quarterback hits with 118. How did the Browns fair in 2013? How about 30th in sacks allowed with 49 and top overall in quarterback hits with 121? Not to say Warhop is completely incompetent since the year prior, the Browns did finish 17th in sacks allowed and 9th in quarterback hits.
The changes require chemistry, time and proper coaching. Warhops track record compared to the players at hand suggest it might be time to move on with a coaching change and some depth to build around the veterans.