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Battle of the Lines: Youth VS The Aged... Tampa Bay Bucs OLine vs Giants DLine

I'd probably lose the respect of a couple members of this Site had I not conveyed the following story...

A Buc 'Em contributer once said,

"A Game is lost or won somewhere in the trenches" - Quote via Buc'Em Contributer kmac68k12

Going into tomorrow's Playoff Game against the New York Giants, alot of the talk has been about the Skill Positions; QB Eli Manning and whether he'll bring his "A" Game or "No" Game... CB Ronde Barber talking smack about the SORRY Giants and so on and so on... What usually gets overlooked during this time however is the Offensive Line.

Paul Schwartz of the New York Post once again, presents us with a great article about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers YOUNG Offensive Line and the Battle it will face when the Giants Veteran Defensive Line comes into town.

Our offensive line is the youngest in the NFL with an Average Age of 25 years old. This entire unit has yet to make a name for itself, but 2nd Year Right Tackle Jeremy Trueblood hopes to change that Sunday:

"If we can do a good job against these guys we're going to make a name for ourselves," said Trueblood. - New York Post

Everyone on the line except 10 year Veteran Center John Wade will be making their first Playoff Appearance. Starting Left Tackle Donald Penn, who took over for Off-Season Acquisition Luke Petitgout, will have a tough task protecting QB Jeff Garcia from DE Osi Umenyiora. Petitgout has been preparing Donald for Osi this week. Here's what Giants DE Umenyiora had to say about his opposition's study habits:

"It should help a little bit," Umenyiora said. "He can't know things that maybe a 10-year vet would know. But from what I've seen, the guy I'm going against is very, very athletic, he's shut down some of the best guys in the league he's played against. so it's not going to be like a cakewalk by any stretch of the imagination. It hasn't been a feeding frenzy for anybody they've played this year." - New York Post

That's alot of RESPECT coming from a man who has 13 Sacks on the season. Not bad for a undrafted Free Agent from Utah State, Way to go Donald...

Ancient Giants Veteran in DE Michael Strahan even had nice things to say about this young Bucs Offensive Line:

"I've never played against a line this young, but I think sometimes experienced is overrated," Strahan said. "To think that because you have so many years in the league you should automatically do certain things against them, that's not always the case" - New York Post

Giants DE Justin Tuck (10 Sacks), seems to value the Experience his team has:

"I think it's [experience] very much an advantage," Tuck said. "I feel as though experience wins most of the time. We got a lot of experience and we got a lot of athletes on this defense. This is probably one of the more athletic O-lines we're gonna face but I think the experience we have definitely gives us a little bit of [a] lead in that one." - New York Post

As Buccaneers WR Ike Hilliard says below, the Bucs Offensive Line shouldn't read these headlines and get full of themselves:

"They're in for a long day," Hilliard said of the Tampa offensive line. "I think we all know that." - New York Post

The Battle in the Trenches will definitely be something to watch for both teams...