The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have undergone a major overhaul in the coaching staff this off season.
The Buccaneers promoted Raheem Morris to be the Head Coach and with him he brought in Jim Bates to run his defense and Jeff Jagodzinski to run his offense.
Jim Bates brings with him over 15 years of coaching experience with 7 of them coming as a Defensive Coordinator.
Known best for his stint as Defensive Coordinator of the Miami Dolphins, Bates’ defense starts with his mammoth tackles clogging up the middle that in turn allow his linebackers to flow freely and ends to speed rush off the edge while backed up by press coverage and two deep safeties.
With the drafting of rookie DT Roy Miller and the position switch of Jermaine Phillips, these moves show that the transition to this new defensive system is taking effect.
Roy Miller will rotate with Chris Hovan and Ryan Sims in stacking up blockers, while making life easier for Gaines Adams and Stylez G. White out on the edge.
Jermaine Phillips’ position switch does two things, brings speed to the flowing linebacker corps and allows Sabby Piscitelli to use his coverage range in the deep patrol.
Young vets such as DE Gaines Adams and CB Aquib Talib, should be the most thrilled about having a coach like Bates because of his experience of enhancing the careers of those in their respective positions.
In Miami he enhanced Jason Taylor and Sam Madison’s careers and in Green Bayhe enhanced Kabeer Gbaja Biamila and Al Harris’ careers, so this should be a promising trend for the Buccaneers.
On the offensive side of the football Jeff Jagodzinski is going to be asked to transform the offense from a dink and dunk methodical type of system, to one that is oriented around a strong running game and play action passing attack.
While the offenses are similar in scheme, they are completely different in philosophies.
In Gruden’s offense, plays were more predictable because he moved around key players to get them the football. Opposing teams focused on these key players every down no matter what position they lined up at because they knew those players would get the ball.
In Jagodzinski’s offense, the ball will be distributed more evenly and players will have prominent roles instead of multiple. This way it keeps the defense on their toes because with players lined up at the same spot every time, it makes the defense respect the threat of multiple players making a play out of the same formation.
The running game will be dominant behind a stellar offensive line that will be running Jagodzinski’s zone blocking scheme he learned from Alex Gibbs while in Atlanta a few years back.
Running backs with running styles such as Earnest Graham and Derrick Ward have proved to excel in the one cut and go system like Jagodzinski’s and there is no reason to not expect that same type of productivity.
With Leftwich’s arm strength, dominant running game, and trio of Bryant, Winslow, and Clayton; the play action passing game should prosper with a deep threat in Bryant, possession guy in Clayton, and seam stretcher in Winslow attacking all the levels of the secondary.
The vision has changed in Tampa Bay, so gone are the days of constant check down offenses and bend don’t break defenses. Incoming is the smash mouth offense and man to man defense that look to breed toughness and physicality.
The mind sets for both sides of the football have changed from one that reacts to the opponent to one that will dictate the attack, forcing the opponent to react to them.
This change in philosophy will greatly benefit the Buccaneers, this season and in future seasons.