Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Success Lies In the Trenches

By Devin O'Barr
Josh Freeman in NFL Camp
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made an enormous move last offseason when they signed left guard Carl Nicks away from the New Orleans Saints hoping he would help a decimated offensive line. Nicks was a disappointment in his first year with the club as he played in just seven games–this was the first time in Nicks’ career that he played less than a full season.

Barring good health, the Buccaneers should receive a huge jolt in 2013 as the club also has Davin Joseph and Demar Dotson on the line. Dotson was just extended this offseason with a four year deal worth $7.5M. Hopefully these three can band together and make Doug Martin a 1,000 plus yard rusher for the second straight season.

Offensive line is one of the hardest things to grade, but the Buccaneers have done a tremendous job laying down the groundwork for a new and improved setup. Joseph is going to be someone to keep your eye on as he went down prior to the 2012 season with a torn patella tendon and did not partake in a single snap last season. It’s a wonder how Martin was able to do so well without his two best linemen, but now that all hands are on deck, the sky is the limit for Tampa Bay.

Josh Freeman had to play from behind a lot last season, and with a makeshift line he was still able to throw a career-high 27 touchdowns in 2012. The Bucs look more potent than ever, and it will be their run offense that sets them apart in a division that is becoming all about the pass with teams like the Atlanta Falcons and the Saints tossing around the rock 50 times a game.


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