Smash-mouth football is the order of the day, as Dirk Koetter reminds us that the Buccaneers are a run first team.
Buccaneers’ fans have a lot to be excited about in the passing game. Jameis Winston entered rare air last year with his numbers and is only maturing has he prepares for his second year. Mike Evans is ready for his third season as a pro and cagey veteran Vincent Jackson is ready to return to his 1,000 yard per season form. Tampa Bay sports a high-powered offense that is only headed for new heights.
But that doesn’t mean that Doug Martin and the ground game will be forgotten.
More from The Pewter Plank
- Devin White posts cryptic message to Lavonte David on Twitter
- ESPN predicts surprising outcome to Devin White trade saga
- Updated Buccaneers depth chart after signing two players from rookie minicamp
- Todd Bowles sends clear message about Baker Mayfield’s role with Bucs
- The Athletic is wrong about Bucs one ‘must-watch’ game in 2023
Head coach Dirk Koetter was asked about the direction of the offense during his Monday press conference. Specifically, he was asked whether the team was becoming a passing team:
"“I don’t think so. I don’t think that’s the case. Don’t read too much into that, you know how it goes in preseason. Preseason is not the season and it’s not game planning. We’re going to be a run-first football team. You’ve got to run the ball and stop the run to win in this league. We’re not going to change from that.”"
Despite the weapons in the passing game, the Bucs have every reason to be a running team. With Doug Martin back to the form of his rookie year, they can drive the football down the field with some “smash mouth” style. Add Charles Sims to the mix and you have one of the best running back duos in the game today. And by the way, if the Bucs find themselves headed up to places like Green Bay for playoff football, this type of football will be just the way to get the job done.
To effectively play this style, you must have a lot of horses on the offensive line. According to Koetter, the depth is rather good:
"“I think [Offensive Line Coach] George [Warhop] does a great job of training these guys to play multiple positions. With Donovan [Smith] out the last couple days, Kevin [Pamphile] sliding out to left tackle, and Evan Smith sliding out to left guard, you’ve got to have versatility in this league because you’re only going to have seven of them on game day so it’s a good test for us. Unfortunate that Donovan is sick but we’d expect he’d be back tomorrow.”"
Versatility is important. Playing with an attitude on the offensive line is important as well. The offensive line is trying to punish the opposing defensive line. The group will have no chance if they are passive.
One player gaining a reputation for being nasty is Joe Hawley. Some think he is bringing the same attitude to the offense that Robert Ayers is bringing to the defense, like we have talked about here. Here’s Hawley on being the nastiest lineman on the team:
"“Yeah, I like to play with passion I think that’s what he’s talking about. I feel like as team as an offense we feed off good energy on the field, and I try to bring that energy with me so it’s kind of contagious whenever people feed off of it.”"
If the offensive line can become a nasty group, only good things are in store for the “run first” Bucs.