The Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, and it will be the Bucs’ first opportunity to check out the fast-paced offense led by new Philly head coach Chip Kelly. So how will they cope with the up-tempo nature of the Eagles’ attack?
Greg Schiano already appears to be a bit intimidated by the speed of his next opponent’s offense.
Schiano said Tampa Bay is trying to simulate the speed of the Eagles offense, but is tough to duplicate with scout team
— Pewter Report (@PewterReport) October 9, 2013
And that’s really the main concern for the Buccaneers, who have struggled in the past when they’ve faced offenses who are able to call a lot of plays on offense. Last season, the Buccaneers lost to the Saints (twice), Broncos, Eagles, and Cowboys, all of whom ranked in the top 10 in plays from scrimmage in 2012.
So far this season, the Buccaneers have fallen short twice against the New England Patriots, who are always among the leaders in plays from scrimmage. And it was during those games that we saw where the Bucs fall short against quick offenses.
In the preseason, the first-team offense for New England carved apart the Tampa Bay defense, with the Bucs seemingly settling into position as the ball was being snapped on every down.
During the regular season, the Buccaneers have fallen victim to fourth quarter comebacks that came courtesy of no-huddle offenses that kept the Buccaneers’ defense on their heels. Consider the final drive against the New Orleans Saints, when Drew Brees was able to pick apart the Bucs’ defense with some favorable matchups for his receivers, and with no pressure in his face from the Bucs’ front four.
As Joe Bussell pointed out on Twitter, it’s a matter of communication.
@sgw94 Bucs have had some communication issues on defense (and offense) and the uptempo pace will really test that this week.
— NFL Philosophy (@NFLosophy) October 9, 2013
So it will be very interesting to see what schemes and adjustments are made when facing this high-octane offense, or if the Buccaneers will get left in the dust by the tempo if Chip Kelly’s gameplan.