Friday, October 29, 2010

Opportunity Knocking For James Lee

Bucs right tackle Jeremy Trueblood, who has missed practice with a knee injury, will not play Sunday against the Cardinals or travel to Arizona with the team. James Lee will start in his place.


Frequent readers of this blog know that since the preseason I have been singing the praises of Buccaneers offensive tackle James Lee. Here's something I wrote about him after the 2nd preseason game.

- I couldn't give James Lee a good this week because he was beaten a couple of times on pass rush. But the more I see of the guy the more I like. He actually reminds me of Penn in that he has a nasty streak. You see him blocking guys all the way across the formation. Pass blocking that is. Other times you see him finishing guys off with pancake blocks. I have a feeling that we will see more of him in the years to come.

Last week when Lee came in for an injured Jeremy Trueblood he looked exactly as I described in the preseason. You saw him trying to finish guys on every play and he locked down Rams left end Chris Long, who had a sack and other pressures earlier in the game, when he pass blocked him. He did however have a very stupid penalty and of course he did come in at the end of a game presumably fresher than his opposition.

Still it got me excited to see him playing the mean and nasty style that we need out of our right tackle while still being athletic enough to block a good pass rusher.

This week against the Arizona Cardinals, he has a prime opportunity to make himself some money and perhaps lock down a permanent starting role on the offensive line. That's because for most of the game Cardinals Pro Bowl defensive end Darnell Dockett will likely be lined up across from him. So far this season Docket only has 1 sack but he is a relentless player who beats up on offensive linemen and tries to physically dominate them. It actually should be a battle of force against force as I don't expect either guy to give an inch.

But if Lee can come out of this game having gotten the better of Dockett I think the Bucs will have to take a long look at allowing him to continue to start, especially if he stays away from the penalties. I think for a couple of years now the Buccaneers would have replaced Trueblood had they had anyone on the roster who was good enough to do so because of all of the stupid penalties he commits. Lee could give them the plan B they have been looking for.

If there was ever a time I would expect to see a very motivated James Lee it would be this game. Opportunity is knocking, the question is if he will answer the door.


  1. Steve,

    I hope your right about Lee. I always thought Trueblood seemed to play a little to upright on pass blocking allowing rushers to get underneath his pads and drive him back to the QB.

    I look at Lee's chance like Penn had a few years ago when Pettigout went down. As fans, we thought the Bucs were screwed when Luke went down against Carolina and just the opposite. Can't wait until Sunday.

  2. I think Docket is really a DT. I think he'll be going up against Davin for most of the game. I heard that he's listed as a DE so he can go to the pro bowl every year.

  3. First let me say again that there are many different ways to leave a comment here and be anonymous without actually having "Anonymous" beside your name. It really makes for confusion when you don't at least use a psuedonym or nickname.

    Second Darnell Dockett is a defensive end in a 3-4. Its nice that you think he's a defensive tackle, and yes several times a game you will see him on a guard, but his primary position is lined up head up on an offensive tackle and two gapping or running a line stunt. By the end of the game he will have a lot more snaps against Lee than he will against Joseph and you can count them if it makes you feel any better.

    As for the contention that he is listed at defensive end to make the Pro Bowl, that may be one of the nonesensical things I've ever heard of. The reason being is that he would have a MUCH easier time making the Pro Bowl as a defensive tackle considering he usually has low sack totals and considering the competition at defensive end in the NFC is pretty damn amazing.

    I mean you think he purposely lists himself as a defensive end so he can go up against the likes of John Abraham, Julius Peppers, Jared Allen, Will Smith, Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, and Trent Cole?


    Well then surely you can rattle off several names of defensive tackles who would be ahead of Dockett in Pro Bowl voting....right?

    But again, the game is the great arbiter. At 4:00 we will both see who is right lol

  4. Unless comments take a while to show up, did you really just delete my previous post? (If not, this post is worthless)

  5. You were right again Steve. James Lee delivered the block that sprung Blount on his hurdle run.
    Then, Lee was seen 20 yards downfield on the same play, looking to knock someone else down!

    Off topic a bit, I saw no link to this Blog on your Facebook Page Steve. I had to go to my favorites to get here.