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  • Tue., Sep. 08, 2015 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM EDT Back to Football Forum with the Buccaneers Luncheon The Tampa Bay Buccaneers invite local business leaders and Bucs fans to enjoy lunch and a 2015 season preview with Buccaneers Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer, Head Coach Lovie Smith and General Manager Jason Licht, along with various players.

  • Wed., Sep. 09, 2015 9:00 AM EDT Buccaneers Academy FDOT Backpack Caravan While getting ready for their own kickoff on the football field, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are proud to also help kick off the school year for young Bay-area Bucs fans!
  • Wed., Sep. 09, 2015 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM EDT Downtown Tampa SIEGE Celebration The Bucs will “SIEGE” Joe Chillura Courthouse Square Park to celebrate the upcoming Hispanic Heritage Month, the City of Tampa’s historic Hispanic roots and the beginning of our regular season! This fun, free event will feature autographs from Bucs Legends, the Buccaneers Street Team, a Buccaneers Cheerleader performance and various food truck vendors!
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    Join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 10th from 6pm-9pm at Raymond James Stadium to be a part of the Buccaneers all-new RED, the Women’s Movement!

  • Sat., Sep. 12, 2015 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM EDT Back to Football Celebration at Glazer Children’s Museum Celebrate the season opener with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by joining us at a special Back to Football event at the Glazer Children’s Museum!
  • Sun., Sep. 13, 2015 4:25 PM EDT Buccaneers vs. Titans Week 1
  • Tue., Sep. 15, 2015 12:00 PM EDT UnitedHealthcare Learning Garden Build UnitedHealthcare volunteers, Bucs players, cheerleaders, and Captain Fear will construct Learning Garden kits at One Buccaneer Place that will teach students about growing healthy, sustainable foods.
  • Sun., Sep. 20, 2015 1:00 PM EDT Buccaneers @ Saints Week 2
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  • Sun., Sep. 27, 2015 1:00 PM EDT Buccaneers @ Texans Week 3
  • Tue., Sep. 29, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Bucs Vision Mobile powered by Glazer Family Foundation Vehicle Unveiling The new and improved Bucs Vision Mobile powered by Glazer Family Foundation will be unveiled at Twin Lakes Elementary School!
  • Sun., Oct. 04, 2015 1:00 PM EDT Buccaneers vs. Panthers Week 4
  • Tue., Oct. 06, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Rookie Club: Metropolitan Ministries LAMPLighters Fall Festival The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rookie Club, Cheerleaders, and Captain Fear will interact with the children through games, dancing, arts & crafts, and more during Metropolitan Ministries' Fall Festival.
  • Sun., Oct. 11, 2015 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM EDT Treasure Chests 5K Run/Walk & Corporate Challenge

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the third-annual Treasure Chests 5K Run/Walk & Corporate Challenge highlighting the NFL-wide Breast Cancer Awareness Month celebration.

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Bostad: 2012 Was "Good Investment" for Bucs' Line

Posted Jun 14, 2013

Tampa Bay obviously did not want to lose both of its Pro Bowl guards to injury last fall, but the aftermath helped create what appears to be very good O-Line depth and flexibility heading into 2013


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers believed they would field the best offensive guard tandem in the league in 2012 after signing All-Pro Carl Nicks to play alongside Pro Bowler Davin Joseph.  Instead, those two combined for seven regular-season games played, none of them together.

 

That was undoubtedly one of the main disappointments of the 2012 season, which in many other ways was very promising under first-year Head Coach Greg Schiano.  That is also one very strong reason for optimism in 2013.

 

It’s not just that Nicks and Joseph are expected to be back at full strength for the start of the season, flanking Jeremy Zuttah in his most natural position at center.  It’s what transpired in their absence – plus a few more recent developments – that has the Buccaneers believing they have not only a very strong line to trot out in Week One but also the kind of depth that can prove crucially important.

 

The Buccaneers didn’t fold in the absence of Joseph, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the third week of the preseason.  And an offense that was just hitting its stride at midseason didn’t fall apart when Nicks was shelved by a toe injury after the seventh game.  They adjusted, they asked new things out of their reserves and they powered on, finishing with some of the best offensive numbers in franchise history.  A half-year later, Offensive Line Coach Bob Bostad is still impressed at what his chargers were able to handle in such adversity.

 

“Last year, you have to give the players all the credit,” said Bostad.  “I thought those guys did a tremendous job – Jamon Meredith and Demar [Dotson] and Ted Larsen moving around and playing multiple positions in a short amount of time, with short turnaround…being able to be the next guy up, so to speak.”

 

Jeremy Trueblood, the long-time starter at right tackle, was also banged up to start the season, which thrust Dotson into the lineup by Week Two.  He never relinquished the job.  Meanwhile, Larsen was the first one to get the call at right guard in Joseph’s place, though he was later replaced by Meredith, who made a quick conversion from offensive tackle.  After Nicks went down, Larsen came back into the picture at center, with the always versatile and dependable Jeremy Zuttah moving to left guard.

 

The Bucs knew they had a flexible piece in Zuttah, who has started all three interior spots during his career, though both he and the team would prefer to let him flourish at center.  They also knew that Larsen would hold his own at short notice after seeing the relatively unknown player emerge in similar circumstances as a rookie in 2010.  But they have since found out that Dotson, who played a grand total of six college football games before coming to the NFL, is a starting-caliber player despite his lack of experience.  And they have also very recently added a new piece to the puzzle in former Chicago Bear Gabe Carimi, a 2011 first-round pick who came over in a trade on Monday and who has started at both right tackle and right guard.

 

Those lessons, combined with the arrival of Carimi and the returns of Joseph and Nicks leave the Buccaneers with a suddenly very deep and malleable group of offensive linemen, one that can sustain success even if injuries unfortunately strike again. 

 

NFL teams generally keep either eight or nine offensive linemen on their 53-man roster, with seven of them usually active on game days.  Take the core that was on the depth chart at the end of last season – Donald Penn, Jamon Meredith, Jeremy Zuttah, Ted Larsen, Demar Dotson and Cody Wallace – and add Nicks, Joseph and Carimi and you have a possible nine-man crew.  Now, there are other young linemen in the mix who may force their way onto the depth chart, so the Week One depth chart might not be those exact nine players.  However, if it were, that would be an impressively versatile and experienced crew.

 

The Bucs would have four players they feel comfortable with at tackle in that scenario (Penn, Dotson, Meredith and Carimi), six who could play guard (Nicks, Joseph, Zuttah, Larsen, Carimi and Wallace) and three who could play center (Zuttah, Larsen and Wallace).  That’s the kind of depth a coach loves to see on a depth chart, and it was certainly hard-earned.

 

“Hopefully with those reps we dumped into them, they’re going to be able to either be there for us right off the bat or step into that same situation that happened,” said Bostad.  “It was a really good investment.  Last year was a good investment that way.”