Tedford Channeling New England Model?March 15th, 2014
With an assist to Jeff Tedford’s former “Cal” players Joe chatted with at Super Bowl Media Day, Joe shared the little known fact that Tedford headed to New England to study with Bill Belicheat and Josh McDaniels a couple of years ago.
The Bucs’ offensive coordinator, Joe learned, took away a burning desire to incorporate multiple dangerous tight ends into his offense, like the Patriots were doing with Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski.
From 2010 to 2012, about a third of all Patriots receptions went to those tight ends, and their offense was very much built around them.
Tedford’s Buccaneers offense remains a mystery, though starting quarterback Josh McCown offered subtle clues when he referenced Chip Kelly and Tedford’s “fresh takes of the game” this week.
Regardless, Joe thinks the Bucs quickly targeting and signing a non-blocking tight end in free agency, Brandon Myers, is a tip-off that Tedford will be using Myers and Tim Wright together and in various ways. Myers as more of the underneath guy and Wright more to stretch the field.
It’s not only Joe saying Myers is not much of a blocker. Former Bucs tight end and current Buccaneers Radio Network analyst Anthony Becht said the same thing of Myers on WDAE-AM 620 on Thursday. Lovie Smith said Myers is a blocker, but Joe thinks he’s merely a small upgrade in that area over undersized Wright.
Last year, Myers told the Newark Star-Ledger his blocking is a work in progress.
“I’m just getting comfortable with (tight ends) coach (Michael) Pope and the way they want it,” Myers said. “[Blocking is] obviously technique and wanting to do it. But just because you want to do it doesn’t mean you’re always going to be able to do it. It is part of my game I’ve always had to keep working on.”
The Bucs have four other tight ends on the roster, all of them blockers: Tom Crabtree, Nate Byham, Luke Stocker and manbeast, 6-7, 280-pound newcomer Steve Maneri.
Joe’s pleased with the Bucs depth at the position, but they really need a speedy slot guy. Tedford has talked a lot about using “speed in space,” but that can’t just be Doug Martin and prayers that Mike Williams and/or Jeff Demps come back from surgery healthy end effective.