By Tom Krasniqi
It’s been the biggest secret at One Buc Place. The players have been tight lipped. The coaches have been evasive. It’s been stealth mode at its finest.
What will the Bucs offense look like under new offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford?
It’s the $64,000 question. Very few clues have been given since Tedford was hired by new head coach Lovie Smith.
But on Tuesday, Tedford met with media and provided some hints as to what his new look offense will look like.
“I think it’s evolving all the time,” Tedford said after the final OTA practice on Tuesday. “There’s new things we’re putting in constantly— different situations.”
The term “uptempo” has been used often by the players to describe the offense. Like Lovie, Tedford was not coaching last year and he used that time to refine his offensive philosophy. One of the things he did during his last year at Cal was visit the Patriots to pick up a pointer or two. New England loves to utilize the two-tight end set.
“It’s a personnel group that allows you yo do a lot of things— a lot of flexibility,” Tedford said. He went on to say the tight end “is obviously a weapon in both the run game and the pass game.”
There’s another hint. The Bucs plan on using more multiple tight end sets. The team used their 2nd round pick on TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who’s big (6-5, 262) and has the ability to stretch the field down the middle. The Bucs also signed free agent Brandon Myers and they still have a terrific young talent in Tim Wright.
Tedford liked what he saw out of Chip Kelly’s offense last season with the Eagles. Tedford saw plenty of it while he was the head coach at the University of California from 2002 through 2012 and he’s intrigued about the pacing of their offense.
“I was not surprised of their efficiency and their success because he [Chip Kelly] does an excellent job of doing what they do,” Tedford explained. “I think you can see throughout the NFL that more and more teams are incorporating a little bit more of that.”
Kelly’s offense was predicated on creating matchup problems by getting the ball out in space to playmakers that can make something happen after the catch. The Bucs also plan on using their size advantage at wideout with Vincent Jackson and rookie Mike Evans.
“It’s gonna be our job to create match ups like that and take advantage of those,” Tedford opined. “But once you get on the field, things move very quick on this field. There are a lot of guys who can run on both sides of the ball. But if you can get a guy in space and you can make somebody miss, it’s going to be a big play.”
As far as the running game is concerned, the Bucs want to be able to pound it. Doug Martin is the starter, but Tedford believes in a rotation of backs. That could mean playing time for Mike James, Bobby Rainey and rookie Charlie Sims.
“I don’t believe that one back can carry the load—it’s just too physical,” Tedford said. “I think you probably need to have two to three guys that bring different things to the table. I think you at least need to have two, to be able to spell him here and there— and keep them healthy.”
Hmmmm. That’s valuable information for you fantasy football geeks out there.
The Bucs aren’t interested in providing fantasy fodder. They want to be able to move the ball effectively on offense to compliment what should be a stingy defense. That’s why Tedford is here. It should be an interesting to see how this offense evolves throughout training camp this summer.
What about the element of surprise?
“I think most teams are prepared for everything, to tell you the truth,” Tedford said. “I don’t know how much of a an element of surprise there will be. Like I said, there’s nothing earth-shattering about it.”
News & notes:
- Lovie said WRs Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans (hamstring) are improving but both did not practice on Tuesday again.
- Guard Carl Nicks (foot) is absent from OTAs again.
- With Nicks not present, Oniel Cousins lined up at left guard with Jamon Meredith getting snaps at right guard. The team has been looking at different combinations throughout the offseason. Nothing will be set in stone until the pads come on at training camp.
- Newly signed CB Quinton Pointer made a couple of nice interceptions today.
- The Bucs will hold their 3 day mandatory minicamp next week from June 10-12.