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The Bucs' Young Offensive Line

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Of all the position groups on the team, the offensive line may be the oldest. Donald Penn is 28 and has 5 years' experience, Jeff Faine is 30 and whas a whopping 8 years of experience and Davin Joseph is 27 and has been a Buccaneer for 5 seasons. While rookie Ted Larsen is still very young and right tackle James Lee is just 25 years old, the offensive line is more experienced and older than any other group on the team. Despite that, the Bucs' offensive line is the 8th youngest line in the NFL with 27 years, 4 months and 19 days. That, at least, is what Blogging the Beast has calculated. 

While experience at the offensive line position is important, youth is as well. The Dallas Cowboys had a pretty good offensive line in 2009, but that line collapsed under the weight of its age in 2010. As soon as players get to their thirties, they often start declining and injuries start playing a bigger role. At least the Bucs won't have to worry about any of that for the next couple of seasons given their youth. The oldest offensive lineman is Jeff Faine, and while the veteran has missed several games over the past seasons he is still playing competently. But even if he were to decline, the Bucs have a good backup ready in Jeremy Zuttah

The youth at all positions is another reason to believe that the Bucs' O-line will get better in the near future. Few players have reached their peak. Ted Larsen is most likely to take a big step forward, as an offseason of strength and conditioning work should do wonders for him. Bringing in a new line coach in Pat Morris to teach this line  how to run a power-blocking scheme should work in their favor as well. A successful running game starts with a good offensive line, and a passing game can be improved greatly by good pass-blocking. In previous years the Bucs' offensive line probably held the offense back a little, but there's reason to hope that they at least won't stand in the way of success.