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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Jeff Faine expecting familiar approach for Bucs' offensive line under new position coach

The members of the Bucs' offensive line are hoping to keep the unit intact despite having two key projected free agents (Davin Joseph and Jeremy Trueblood) and a projected restricted free agent (James Lee).

There will, however, be at least one change this fall. But when it comes to the unit's new position coach, Pat Morris, center and team captain Jeff Faine believes the Bucs can maintain some familiarity in this all-important unit. Faine said he and other members of the offensive line aren’t expecting an overhaul despite the addition of Morris, in part because he was essentially hand-picked by offensive coordinator Greg Olson.

“It’s not going to be extremely different because we have the same coordinator,” Faine said. “There’s a lot of similarities (with Morris’ style) and the style of offense that Coach Olson would like.”

Hired in January to replace the fired Pete Mangurian, Morris has not had a chance to work with any of his unit’s members because of the NFL lockout. But Faine did have some conversations with Morris prior to the lockout and doesn’t expect major adjustments that might be difficult to make without the benefit of a true offseason.

Faine anticipates there will be much less zone blocking elements as the Bucs get back to more of the man-on-man blocking techniques used extensively late last season.

“We got back to a little bit of that last year,” Faine said, “. . . and it was effective for us.”

Why the change in coaches after a successful offensive season? There are two reasons.

For one, Mangurian and Olson were philosophically different. Olson was promoted to offensive coordinator after Jeff Jagodzinski was fired and was forced to take on Jagodzinski's staff. For offensive coordinators, the offensive line coach is a key staff member and usually one of the most important hires.

Second, Mangurian and Olson clashed personally, often making the working environment unproductive. That's not something anyone can afford to have happen in high-stakes professional football.

The addition of Morris appears to have alleviated both these issues, as the Bucs look to build on their offensive achievements of 2010.

[Last modified: Saturday, July 2, 2011 8:25am]


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