One of the best offensive line analysts in the business says that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shouldn't put too much faith in the group that will be in charge of keeping Tom Brady safe this season.
Brandon Thorn writes the newsletter "Trench Warfare," works as an OL/DL analyst for "Establish the Run," and is in charge of scouting for "OL Masterminds."
He's also one of the best when it comes to doing deep dives on offensive line units and individual players. He looks at athleticism, power, technique, mentality,
and a lot of other things that separate the best from the rest. He is very thorough in his analysis, which is why his thoughts on the Buccaneers' current
offensive linemen might make people in Tampa scratch their heads. Thorn said that the Bucs' offensive line was the 15th best in the league.
He explained some of his reasons for this on Twitter. "The Bucs OL was set up to be in the top five again this season, with one big question at LG.
With Jensen's injury, they now have two. Losing the unit's leader will be hard to make up for, but the team still has a strong trio and a great right side to build on. "
It's clear that Thorn thinks the loss of several key players up front could be a bigger problem for the Bucs than many Tampa fans seem to think.
Tampa Bay's interior line will have three new starters in Week 1 because of the retirement of star left guard Ali Marpet; Ryan Jensen's bad knee injury in practice;
and the trade for Shaq Mason to replace Alex Cappa. Cappa is better than Mason, but losing Marpet will hurt even more now that Jensen will be out for a long time. "
"Before Jensen got hurt, this line was a lock for Tier 2, but now they'll have to replace their leader and set the tone with Robert Hainsey,
a second-year pro. Hainsey was a really good player at Notre Dame and was picked up in the draught.
However, he is moving from tackle to centre without ever having started a game before. "With a big drop-off at left guard and a centre who needs to find his own footing,
we're probably looking at a solid unit at best this season, unless Jensen returns unexpectedly later in the year."