Bucs' revamped O-line needs to limit sacks

August, 20, 2008
8/20/08
9:03
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

The Tampa Bay offensive line, which looked so good on paper a few months ago, suddenly looks very ordinary. Luke Petitgout, who was supposed to be the starting left tackle, is gone because of an injury and a suspension. Right guard Davin Joseph is out for the foreseeable future with a foot injury.

That has the Bucs shuffling their line around and it's not looking nearly as pretty as it once did. The Bucs don't have their quarterbacks take a lot of deep drops, but they're running the possibility of seeing Jeff Garcia run for his life. Donald Penn took over as Petitgout's replacement early last season and, according to STATS, allowed 6.5 sacks. That number might have approached 10, but Penn only started 12 games. Over the course of this season, he's got to get better or Garcia's blind side will be a problem spot. One problem Penn will have this year that he didn't have last year is Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers, who is switching positions and will line up directly across from Penn for two games.

The right tackle spot isn't rock-solid either. Jeremy Trueblood is a good run blocker, but he allowed 7.5 sacks last season and 6.5 in 2006. The depth behind Trueblood and Penn also is a concern. Anthony Davis appears to be the top backup. Davis didn't play much last year and didn't give up a sack. But Davis allowed 7 sacks in 2006 and 7.5 in 2005 when he was a starter.

Trueblood and Penn are going to have to get some help from the tight ends or else Garcia could be in trouble.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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