Easiest way to improve the Buccaneers offense under Brady
By Rob Leeds
The Buccaneers offense under Tom Brady has been one of the best in the NFL but it can still be much better than it has been.
The Buccaneers offense has been one of the best in the NFL since Byron Leftwich took over. Ranking amongst the top teams in the NFL in total yards and touchdowns is no easy task. This task becomes even more difficult when you have almost no rushing attack to speak of.
The fact that the Bucs have been one of the best offenses in the NFL without any threat to the defense of the ball coming down their throats is a testament to how good the passing attack is.
Sure, the analytics show that the pass is more important and almost every team in the league would be more efficient on the offensive side of the ball if they focused on the pass, but Tampa’s shortcomings at running the ball are actually hurting overall offensive success.
This offense is one of the best in the NFL right now. Any semblance of a competent ground game would make this offense one of the best in NFL history.
The good news for the Bucs is they don’t necessarily have to run the ball more to get better on the ground-they just have to do it in a different way.
The Buccaneers struggle on the ground because that part of their game has become predictable. First down runs and runs out of heavy sets make it so that the defense doesn’t have to put much thought into what the play will be.
Tampa runs the ball entirely too often in obvious run situations and continuing to do so is going to ensure that this part of the offense is never going to improve.
Again, the issue comes down to scheme above personnel. The Bucs have decent running backs now and they’ve had them for the past few seasons. But runs right into the gut of the defense with two or three tight ends on the field almost makes it too easy.
There is a difference between imposing your will via repetition and imposing your will through success. The Bucs don’t need the repetition that much in this area right now when the plays generally struggle, but running more out of lighter sets, finding a way to get to the outside, and getting away from the obvious is going to make the scheme more effective and help give the Bucs more chances to run the ball where they aren’t going to get hit at or behind the line of scrimmage.
It might take some time, but the Buccaneers have to get away from the predictability if they want to make their run game something to hang their hat on. Throw early. Run late. The formula works, the Bucs just have to put it into practice.
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