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The Hidden Challenges of Scouting Offensive Line

Bruce Arians commented on some of the changes in recent years in players coming out of college.

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

As the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine continues moving forward, we have arrived to our first day of drills. Today, the offensive linemen and running backs take to the field at Lucas Oil Stadium to show scouts and team executives what they can add to the evaluation process.

Earlier in the week, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians was asked about some of the recent challenges associated with scouting young players transitioning from the college ranks to professional football, specifically pertaining to the offensive line.

His response to the questions was this,

“Two years ago we had two guys who had never been in a three-point stance. High school or college. So, you’re teaching things that you never had to teach before at the pro level.”

He continued describing some of the challenges in coaching young linemen by saying,

“..especially at the offensive line with the no huddle (and) reading cards from the sidelines, they’ve never heard a quarterback say, ‘set-hut’, you know. Everything’s a silent count. So, there’s so many things, that rookie mini-camp will drive you crazy.”

The Buccaneers have been a franchise - like others - who have had struggles with penalties in recent years.

Most recently, 2018 free-agent acquisition Ryan Jensen had more called and accepted penalties against him than he had in his entire career leading up to the season.

While many place the need on the offensive line for the Bucs in 2019 among the top two or three issues facing the Bucs this off-season, ability to gauge discipline in pre-snap situations and during the play will be equally valuable.

While solid coaching can always mitigate some of these learning curve concerns, the better the prospect is prepared before entering mini-camp the better head of steam they can gather heading into training camp and beyond.