Ranking Bucs' needs: No. 2 O-line


TAMPA, Fla. -- Our series on Tampa Bay's five biggest offseason needs continues with a look at the offensive line at No. 2.

This unit was supposed to be one of the team’s biggest strengths in 2013. Partly because of injury and partly because of inconsistent play, the offensive line ended up being a weakness. The run blocking was horrible, and the pass blocking wasn’t a lot better.

The new regime undoubtedly will be looking for better play from the offensive line, and that could mean some major changes. The biggest question on the line is guard Carl Nicks. When healthy, he might be the best in the game. But Nicks rarely has been healthy since joining the Bucs, and there are questions about whether or not he ever will return to full strength.

Veterans Donald Penn and Davin Joseph are getting older, and they’re carrying big salary-cap figures. The team also needs to decide if Jeremy Zuttah is a center or a guard and let him stay at one position. Right tackle Demar Dotson, who comes with a low salary, appears to be the only certainty for 2014.

The team could use an early draft pick on an offensive lineman. There also is enough salary-cap room to make a move or two in free agency.