Julio Jones signing shows positive Buccaneers scheme shift on the horizon

Julio Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Julio Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

The Buccaneers just made a somewhat surprising move in signing veteran free agent Julio Jones. A great scheme shift could be coming.

The Buccaneers have yet another new Hall of Famer coming to Tampa. Julio Jones was an excellent signing for any team in the NFL, and the Bucs just ensured that they will have the best wide receiver corps in the NFL by a mile.

When healthy, the depth chart should be some combination of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and then Jones/Russell Gage splitting that third role. However, there is a better option that the Bucs can lean into.

Not that this would happen on every rep, but the Bucs do have the bodies to successfully implement four-wide receiver sets better than any other team in the NFL. This isn’t a great formation for a team that is looking to run the ball, but it is going to bring a group of pass-catchers onto the field that are nearly impossible to game plan for on a pass-first team.

The Bucs could pair a lineup consisting of their top four receivers and a running back on the field to give Brady a bit more time to get the pass off or a completely empty set with a guy like Cameron Brate on the field as well to ensure maximum defensive mismatches. This puts a bit more pressure on Brady to get the ball of quickly, but he is already one of the best in the NFL at diagnosing a player and making the quick read immediately.

Sets like this play to a smart and polished quarterback. Brady is absolutely that guy. Two seconds is all it will take to find one of these receivers in a favorable situation. There is no way to stop all four at once.

This may seem like a strange proposition when looking at it from the perspective of Todd Bowles and his stated desire to run the ball more in 2022, but this signing makes it pretty clear that the ball being in the air over 700 times this season is more likely by the day.

At least this type of play is indicative of a team that wants to win football games.

The nerds are winning, and there is nothing you can do about it. Throw the damn ball.

Trending. Julio Jones signing puts new Buccaneers players on the hot seat. light

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