4 biggest changes to expect from the Buccaneers in 2021
By Rob Leeds
Analytics should play a much more significant role for the Buccaneers on offense
It felt like Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich finally found the value of analytics-based football towards the end of the season. It’s hard to argue with the results of an extremely successful season, but there were times where the play calling felt bland during the regular season.
For clarity’s sake, the postseason is a bit of a different beast. Having a good run game worked wonders for Tampa during the playoffs when utilizing Leonard Fournette even when going against the numbers, but switching things up as they did later in the season only made the offense even better.
The two easiest changes that the Bucs made were throwing more on first down and incorporating more play-action into pass plays.
Passing on first down should be the only acceptable play going forward, especially when considering the talent on the offense. Ronald Jones was one of the most efficient running backs in the NFL last season with 5.1 yards per carry. Compared to that, Tom Brady averaged 7.6 yards per attempt on passing plays.
The difference between second and five and second and two is monumental, and that would actually open up the run game to be more successful.
Play action works off of this strategy as well. Teams would bite on the run constantly against the Bucs on first down during the start of the season, and it destroyed run plays. As the season wore on, the Buccaneers incorporated more play-action passes, and we all saw how that worked out down the stretch.
Neither of these changes are huge, but they would allow the offense even more freedom and success on later downs.