Pros And Cons Of Secretive OffenseApril 16th, 2014
Trying to find information about the new Jeff Tedford offense with the Bucs is a tougher riddle to solve than Rachel Watson’s cell phone number. Bucs coach Lovie Smith has thrown a shroud of secrecy on the offense that he recently bragged no one will find out about until the regular season begins.
There are scant clues, other than center Evan Dietrich-Smith and receiver Vincent Jackson both saying it will be an “up-tempo” offense and starting quarterback Josh McCown invoking Chip Kelly’s name.
McCown offered another clue yesterday when he admitted he is watching a lot of tape of Cal when Tedford was the Bears head coach. Members of the local pen and mic club asked McCown various questions about the offense, yet McCown was tight-lipped, admitting the CIA-like secrecy will give the Bucs “an edge.”
But there are also drawbacks to the secrecy. McCown confessed the confidential information would be “beneficial for the first game or so and then the cat is out of the bag.”
Then, McCown noted that keeping the offense under lock and key until the regular season begins could have some speed bumps involved.
“No question,” McCown said. “The flip side of that is, ‘Oh, you have an edge because no one has seen this before.’ But you have not done it altogether now before either. There is a balance. At the end of it, you are probably back to square one. So you are better off with everybody being on the same page in understanding what you are doing. We will see how it goes. For us, it is to learn it and do it very well and to spend time working at it so we can catch up with these other guys.”
The “other guys” McCown referred to are the offenses of Matty Ice, Drew Brees and Cam Newton.
So keeping mum about the offense isn’t just gamesmanship. But it sounds as if the offense is complex enough that the Bucs want to make sure everyone has a comfortable understanding of Tedford’s offense before breaking it out in a live regular season game, to lessen any mental mistakes.
That’s because mental mistakes often lead to costly turnovers.