Death and taxes are two things we have to accept.
But do we have to agree that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offensive line will always be a hodgepodge of misfits trying to find themselves?
The Bucs have one preseason game left, and we are preaching the same thing we said the night they drafted their franchise quarterback:
Never miss a local story.
Don't jump ship. The making of an NFL quarterback is a long process.
Worse, the making of an offensive lineman could be a longer process.
The Bucs thought their offensive line couldn't get any worse, They might be in for a rude awakening.
Offensive lines are not as good these days because a lot of linemen coming out of college are ill-prepared for the NFL. Experts say many were trained to play in the spread in college and have to learn things all over again under a collective bargaining agreement that limits contact.
Jameis Winston was said to be the NFL's most ready quarterback com
ing out of college and a reason the Bucs made him the overall No. 1 pick.
Winston has had a rough preseason, and Bucs head coach Lovie Smith keeps reminding us this is a team sport.
The quarterback will only be as good as the players around him, particularly the offensive line that is paid to protect him.
To be nice it hasn't been very good. Against Cleveland last Saturday night, it was terrible.
Winston says he is not worried, which you want to hear.
Bucs general manager Jason Licht should be worried because he basically struck out in last year's free agency, and his decision to select guard Ali Marpet in the second round this year is now under question.
Marpet played at NCAA Division III Hobart, and the jump from that level of competition to the NFL is like trying to fly without wings. Pro Football Focus has given him the lowest grade among all the guards for this preseason.
In one four-play stretch against Cleveland, Marpet was beaten in pass protection, allowed a quarterback hit, committed a false start and gave up a sack.
It's part of the reason Winston is walking around on a tender ankle, which has affected his throwing, says Bucs offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter.
Under pressure, Winston is 4-13 with two interceptions and has been sacked seven times, which leads all NFL quarterbacks in the preseason. He has yet to throw a TD pass while completing 23 of 47 tosses for 311 yards.
It's preseason, and few teams game plan, so we don't want to overreact, but Koetter losing sleep is worrisome, and he did say bottom line is Winston is the guy who has to cut our losses.
"This is a team game. We were terrible on offense (against Cleveland). Just not good enough," Koetter says.
What you like about Winston is that he accepts blame for most of the inconsistencies on offense. It would be nice if those guys up front showed their appreciation by protecting him better, but maybe they can't.
"We didn't protect him good enough. When we did protect him good enough -- there were just so many issues, so many breakdowns across the board," Koetter says. "The quarterback always gets too much credit when you do well and always gets too much blame when you don't do well (enough). It was just one thing after another went wrong. It (wasn't) all Jameis fault."
The Bucs have also struggled on special teams, which was Smith's forte when he coached in Chicago. Right now, it is anything but special.
"We have to do a better job, especially with our coverage teams," Smith says. "That has a lot to do with, of course, scheme, but personnel too, on who some of those down-the-line players are. That's why you can find out a lot from this last preseason game, to see exactly who wants to play those roles."
Alan Dell, Herald sports writer, can be reached at 941-745-7056. Follow him on Twitter @ADellSports.