If you thought the Buccaneers looked a bit behind the New England Patriots during their 25-21 loss in Foxboro on Friday evening, there might be a good reason why.
According to quotes obtained by Sports Talk Florida’s Jenna Laine, Schiano said that the Buccaneers did not come into the game concerned with addressing the Patriots’ scheme on defense, which is a very exotic and complex hybrid of multiple types of defense.
Here is a direct quote as obtained by Laine:
“We weren’t concerned [with] scheming. We wanted to just go out and block our rules, play our rules, and when you do that, you get caught in some one-on-one matchups and sometimes, you know, if it were regular season, might we not have had those one-on-one matchups?”
This makes good sense, because the Buccaneers will play the Patriots in a meaningful regular season game in a few weeks, and the preseason isn’t the time to reveal gameplans and strategies to stop such a complex defense. It’s still frustrating to see the team get dominated in the trenches, but not planning for the Patriots will usually result in that level of performance.
This might also explain why the defense seemed to be running the same slow-developing plays they were able to use against the Ravens, and seemed to be caught off guard by the Pats. This game may have been more of a test for the Buccaneers of how to deal with negative situations, rather than a test of scheme and playbook adherence.
The Buccaneers did get a chance to execute their basic offense and defense all game long, and eventually they seemed to catch up against the Patriots’ reserves. So clearly it was the lack of preparation for the menacing first team defense, and a lack of a gameplan to stop the first team offense that led to the discouraging results.
What do you think of this strategy? Was it wise to hide tactical decisions from New England in favor of putting the players in a position to be embarrassed? Let us know in the comment section.