“Pass To Win”May 22nd, 2014
Many folks have branded Bucs coach Lovie Smith as a stout disciple of Father Dungy: defenses win championships and a backup linebacker can play quarterback, as the quarterback is only good for handing the ball off and shot-putting passes when desperate, so a wide receiver can out volleyball a defensive back.
Well, Lovie put this notion to bed.
Lovie let it slip from his own mouth this week that a team must be proficient in passing to have a prayer.
In talking up tight end Tim Wright, Lovie may have exposed his poker hand by saying teams need to be able to pass the ball in the 21st Century and this notion that he is some neo-Woody Hayes is flat wrong.
“Tim is a guy I should have talked about more because he’s another guy that does something well it seems like every day,” Lovie said. “Nowadays, with the emergence of the passing game and you’ve got to be able to pass to win and this good stuff, the matchup, though, tight end versus safety, tight end versus linebacker – Tim, we have a good matchup with Tim Wright.
“He, of course, can do things in line, but he can split out. He can run all of the passing tree. He’s natural moving out and running routes, too. I’m very pleased with him and all he’s done since Day 1. He’s a guy that’s been here every day and we’ve seen him doing that.”
No, Joe doesn’t blame you if you do a double-take and have to read that second sentence again.
That doesn’t mean Lovie has turned into a second coming of Mike Martz, but it is clear Lovie understands an inability to throw the ball dooms an offense, making it too predictable and one-dimensional, which results in defensive coordinators drooling all over themselves.
This is the second prominent Bucs type that has sung the praises of Wright. Bucs general manager Jason Licht, during the NFL Scouting Combine, told Joe he thinks the Bucs may really have a prize in Wright and that Wright really showed a lot of promise playing tight end for the first time.
It wouldn’t shock Joe if the Bucs find a way to use Wright as sort of a hybrid tight end/wide receiver on obvious passing downs, in order to get the maximum reliable weapons on the field simultaneously.