The Buccaneers Voluntary Mini-Camp has started and the anchor of the offensive line in Jeff Faine likes what he sees:
Faine on the new Offensive Scheme:
"I think it's right up a lot of our guys' alleys," Faine said in reference to Offensive Coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski’s zone blocking scheme. "We have a pretty athletic offensive line. I think our skills fit this a little better than some of the things we were doing in the past. It gets us out in space and things like that." - per the Pewter Report
Without seeing the scheme in action with our personnel it’s hard to say whether there will be marked improvement, but you have to figure a player like Jeremy Zuttah will prosper from the change in systems. He held his own last season filling in for Davin Joseph, but he was very athletic while at Rutgers, so athletic he actually got touches on offense. Let’s hope the switch helps Trueblood who tends to lose his anger when he’s locked in battle mode with opposing defensive linemen. The scheme should help relieve some of his restlessness.
Faine on the Runningbacks:
"I watched a little bit of his tape a few weeks ago when we picked him up, he looks pretty good. I'm excited to get Earnest back, too. Some of the fun games I was a part of were blocking for Earnest and watching him do his thing. Hopefully we can get Cadillac back on the field, too, because he showed some great things there towards the end of the season before he got hurt. I am excited about the potential of that position." - per the Pewter Report
I hated to see Warrick Dunn get the axe, but with Clifton Smith’s emergence and the addition of Derrick Ward we should be pretty good like Faine says. Hopefully Graham can stay healthy this year. The wildcard (as always it seems) is Carnell Williams. Can he bounce back? When he does bounce back and breaks one with a man trailing will he slide like a Quarterback? I still chuckle at the thought of Clifton Smith walking under tables at the complex, as Jags so eloquently put it.
Faine on the Quarterbacks:
"I think those guys are fully capable. I'm impressed with Josh's growth from when he first got here. When he first got here he was hesitant to say the snap count, and now he's taking good control of the offense. From what I've seen so far he's definitely grown a little bit and definitely has matured. Luke is steady. He's showing some confidence right now that I haven't seen out of him since I've been back here in Tampa and especially when I was with him in Cleveland. We still have Griese, too. He is capable of moving this team as well. I'm excited. It's going to be a good competition." - per the Pewter Report
I still can’t wrap my head around the Bucs bringing in another QB. They have their veteran in Griese, the unknown in McCown, and the young cat in Johnson. If they were to add a QB from the Draft that’s not going to spruce up the competition any. The only addition they could make would be a journeyman (why?) or a legitimate starter (not going to happen). Regardless I’m ready for this QB competition. May the best man win.
Faine on the Collapse:
"Looking back on it I feel like we didn't finish the way we wanted to as a group. There were spots where we did show what we could do, but we didn't do it every week. The Bears game was a great example of that. We threw the ball over 60 times in that game and didn't allow a sack. But then we went to Denver and played terribly. You have to do it week-in and week-out and finish the season like we should have. I don't want to say we lacked it before, but the one thing we had all the way across the board was a bite. There was a bite in all of us. I've been on quite a few offensive lines where there are 2-3 guys that like to get after it, and then there are a few guys that just do what is necessary to get through to get the job done. With our offensive line, it's not just about getting the job done. It's taking it to that next level. That's something I appreciate about this offensive line tremendously." - per the Pewter Report
Who’s ready to forget about the collapse? I know I am. These guys certainly have ‘bite’ though, it’s almost night and day between the current linemen and the Kenyatta Walker days. Sometimes these guys have a bit too much bite, like Trueblood, but I’d rather see a personal foul call than a holding or false start penalty. Hopefully Trueblood can eliminate the latter calls from his play. I’d like to see how this line plays with a QB that trusts the pocket, like Griese, but has the accuracy to make the added time productive. McCown could be that guy. So could Johnson. We’ll see.