Improving The Passing Game

July 1st, 2014
Too many Bucs fans believe Woody Hayes lives in the NFL and a team can win a championship without a quarterback to speak of. Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com believes Bucs OC Jeff Tedford will open people's eyes.

Too many Bucs fans believe Woody Hayes lives, and a team can win a championship without a quarterback to speak of. Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com believes Jeff Tedford will open eyes and right the pirate ship.

Joe gets a kick out of those who somehow embrace the corpse of Woody Hayes and have somehow convinced themselves that a team can win a Super Bowl with a lousy quarterback.

These people believe the Bucs could make the playoffs with the equivalent of Doug Martin starting at quarterback. How do people dream up this gibberish?

The naive and shallow thinkers point to the Seahawks and jump up and down screaming, “Defenses win championships!” Yet somehow they conveniently ignore the fact that without quarterback Russell Wilson, the Seahawks would never have made it to the Super Bowl; as if Wilson is somehow Kellen Clemens. Wilson is a damn fine quarterback.

Defensive teams with bad quarterbacks just don’t fare well in the playoffs, if they make the playoffs. Haven’t we learned that first-hand with Father Dungy?

Don’t believe Joe. Feel free to read the words from Buccaneers.com multimedia maven himself, Scott Smith, who types how the Bucs’ passing attack must turn things around for a postseason run this fall.

The Buccaneers ranked 29th in the NFL in completion percentage in 2013 (56.6 percent), ahead of only the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets. Of the bottom 15 teams in the NFL in that category last year, only one made the playoffs, and that was the San Francisco 49ers, a team that relied on great defense and a running threat at quarterback. That’s great work if you can get it, but for the most part you’re going to have to complete 60% of your passes to have a chance in the NFL.

Let’s be clear: This is not an indictment of Mike Glennon. Glennon completed 59.4% of his passes in his 13 starts, which isn’t great but is certainly respectable for a rookie thrown into a particularly difficult situation. Josh Freeman started the first three games and had a startling 45.7% completion rate, making it difficult for Glennon to get that team percentage up.

That said, 2013 was an extremely bad year for the Buccaneers in terms of completion percentage, when allowing for the ever-increasing prevalence of the passing game in the NFL. The Bucs’ 56.6% completion rate was the 14th best in team history, which doesn’t sound bad until one realizes that all 10 of the top spots on the list are occupied by teams since 1999. The game has changed significantly. In 1979, the Buccaneers won the NFC Central division and made it to the conference championship game while completing 42.2% of their passes. It’s true that this total was the league’s worst, but only 11 teams in the league completed even 55% of their passes that year. Only two of the top eight teams in completion percentage made the playoffs that year. Last year, the three top teams on that list made the playoffs.

And yes, the NFL is a different league than it was in 1979. A far cry in fact.

But Smith offered a salve to soothe the wounds of the miserable Bucs passing attack in 2013, and it’s the combination of Jeff Tedford and Josh McCown. Shoot, odds are good the Bucs improve at least a little in passing only because of so many upgrades in personnel and coaching (hopefully.) What we don’t know about Tedford is whether he can be the Bucs’ version of Marc Trestman, a quarterback/offensive guru, who brought a career best from McCown through five starts last year in Chicago.

The only thing we can pretend to know about the current Tedford offense is that it is supposed to be “up-tempo.” Only time will tell.

29 Responses to “Improving The Passing Game”

  1. Tnew Says:

    It is not that we believe a Super Bowl can be won with a lousy qb. I just don’t believe Glennon is a lousy qb.

  2. biff barker Says:

    “Josh Freeman started the first three games and had a startling 45.7% completion rate, making it difficult for Glennon to get that team percentage up.”

    The genesis of the MGM and now the McCown love Joe.

    Funny how so many who were beating the drum to resign the corpse of Freeman are now under deep cover.

  3. MadMax Says:

    “The Cleveland Browns have decided to part ways with QB Johnny Manziel, who is picked up by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”

    When the above occurs, then we may see something positive discussed about our qb’s…..until then, expect the same ole butt hurt nit picking daily slamarama…..smdh.

  4. The 300's Says:

    Who the hell is Woody Hayes? And why do you speak of the Big 10 in SEC country?

    Nobody here has said anything about winning with a lousy quarterback. Most have said you can win a championship with an average quarterback that does not turn the ball over.

    A lousy quarterback is what cost us a win against the Greatest Show on Turf in 1999 (back when they said the days of defense winning championships were over) when our defense was top 5.

    An average quarterback who didn’t turn the ball over allowed us to win a Super Bowl in 2002.

    I don’t know where you are coming from sometimes Joe. You obviously haven’t followed the Bucs long enough to understand we are a defensive football team, from DAY ONE (see Selmon, Leroy). Always have and always will be.

    You want offense go back to the midwest and get on the Browns bandwagon.

  5. d-money Says:

    “How do people dream up this gibberish?”

    Well for starters Lovie himself said that he could win 10 games with a great defense and special teams.

    … and, to complete the Lovie quote, little from the offense. However, a 10-win season doesn’t mean much. Just ask Lovie. –Joe

  6. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Love the photo of Woody (makes me want to find someone from Michigan and kick the snot out of them :)! Grew up in northwest Ohio and am still a huge Buckeyes fan! Think that era of five yards and a cloud of dust is mostly gone. I don’t think you need a 4,000 yd passer to win, if you have a strong run game and a great defense, but you do need at least a consistent passing game to take the pressure off and to take advantage of scoring opportunities when they come up!

  7. OB Says:

    Joe

    If you add in all the dropped passes by all of our stellar receivers, what would the completion percentage be? For any QB to be good, let alone great, he needs the receivers and game plan to go with it, of course block by the OL helps.

    Now somehow, must of those great receivers from last year are gone along with the OL and all of the coaches, which due to your perceptive reporting, leads me to believe that something was rotten in Tampa Bay last year.

    Joe, I know you have it in you, what do you really believe is going to happen to our passing game this year based on what you saw at the OTAs concerning the QBs throwing and the receiver catching? No quibbling please, not that you ever do.

    24 days.

    Bucs will run and pass. Joe :)

  8. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    Joe really likes Alex Tanney. His accuracy will take us to the Super Bowl…lol

    People need to stop drinking Redbull this early in the day…

  9. OB Says:

    Joe

    I am sorry but I left out that I was born by the Rose Bowl and grew up by USC and I remember the games with Woody Hayes and John McKay, of course the USC and Notre Dame games are still a must see. So my thoughts of Woody are not nice unless he lost to USC.

    I was lucky to see the New Year’s Day 1963 Rose Bowl in person with great seats and saw USC defeat Wisconsin lead by a QB named, if my memory serves me correctly, Ron Vander Kelen . It ended up 42 – 37 USC, but Vander Kelen put on one of the impressive passing games in football in the second half. I don’t know whatever happened to him since I was in the service and went overseas for a while. His receivers caught the ball and his line blocked. He was MVP of that game. He went on to lead the Collage All Stars, picked from the graduating seniors) that year in a defeat of the NFL Green Bay Packers, where he was MVP of that game also.

  10. Bucsfanman Says:

    Point taken Joe. However, if Wilson were on a team last year like, let’s say, the Bucs, would he have enjoyed the same team success? Doubtful.
    Because it is a team game, weaknesses in certain positions can be overcome by strengths in others. Trent Dilfer anyone?
    While having a good QB is preferable, a team that can run the ball effectively, eat up the clock, and play good defense and special teams can afford to have lesser skilled passers. This formula is not new and while you may scoff at the idea that “defense wins championships” it has played out and been proven time and time again.
    It would be great to have a Wilson or Brady but they are rare. For the rest of us without that uber-franchise guy, we must settle for hard-nosed D and a punishing run game to make up the difference. Sometimes you just have to play the cards you’re dealt.

  11. Orca Says:

    And in Johnny Football news:
    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/07/01/manziel-tones-it-down-by-hanging-out-with-justin-bieber/

    So glad we didn’t draft that jackwagon.

  12. Netwalker Says:

    Joe, why do you keep saying McCown and Glennon are lousy quarterbacks?

    Not saying that? Well no one is saying the Bucs can win with the equivalent of Doug Martin as quarterback either.

    No need to kill straw men to make an article.

  13. SAMCRO Says:

    Tnew nailed it for me. Matter of opinion, but of course I didn’t see any QB in the draft worthy of a first round selection, and would have been better than what we have now. So with that in mind, I hope one of our LOUSY QB’s (JOES description) takes us all the way. That thing I said about black birds in an earlier article fits here as well.

  14. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    2000 Baltimore Ravens (12-4)
    Scored 333 points (20.8/g), 14th of 31 in the NFL. Allowed 165 points (10.3/g), 1st.
    • Offensive Scheme: West Coast
    • Defensive Alignment : 4-3
    • Defensive Coordinator: Marvin Lewis
    • Jack Del Rio (Linebackers)
    • Mike Smith (Defensive Assistant/Defensive Line)
    • Rex Ryan (Defensive Line)

    2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-4)
    Scored 346 points (21.6/g), 18th of 32 in the NFL. Allowed 196 points (12.2/g), 1st.
    Offensive Scheme:West Coast
    Defensive Alignment: 4-3
    • Rod Marinelli (Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line )
    • Monte Kiffin (Defensive Coordinator
    • Mike Tomlin (Defensive Backs)
    • Raheem Morris (Defensive Quality Control)
    • Richard Bisaccia (Special Teams )

    2003 New England Patriots (14-2)
    Scored 348 points (21.8/g), 12th of 32 in the NFL. Allowed 238 points (14.9/g), 1st.
    Offensive Scheme: Erhardt-Perkins
    Defensive Alignment: 4-3
    • Romeo Crennel-(Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line)
    • Rob Ryan-(Outside Linebackers)
    • Pepper Johnson-(Inside Linebackers)
    • Eric Mangini-(Defensive Backs)
    • Josh McDaniels-(Coaching Assistant)

    2008 Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)
    Scored 347 points (21.7/g), 20th of 32 in the NFL. Allowed 223 points (13.9/g), 1st.
    Offensive Scheme: Air Coryell
    Defensive Alignment : 3-4
    • Dick LeBeau (Defensive Coordinator)
    • John Mitchell (Defensive Line)
    • Keith Butler (Linebackers)
    • Ray Horton(Defensive Backs)

    2013 Seattle Seahawks (13-3)
    Scored 417 points (26.1/g), 8th of 32 in the NFL. Allowed 231 points (14.4/g), 1st.
    Offensive Scheme: West Coast
    Defensive Alignment : 4-3
    • Dan Quinn (Defensive Coordinator)
    • Ken Norton Jr (Linebackers)
    • Kris Richards (Defensive Backs)

    “Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear.”
    -Edgar Allen Poe-

  15. Buccfan37 Says:

    Offense Defense, Now we’re here to play, Make the home schedule walk the plank, Throw em in Tampa Bay. Hey!

  16. Dewey Selmon Says:

    I think McCown is on a 6 week tryout with the week 7 bye. Lovie is probably hoping the defense hold us close enuff in games while the offense gels. if Josh is a disaster i look for glennon to start week 7, If he blows it look for a qb in the next draft.

  17. Dewey Selmon Says:

    week 8, or game 7, u guys know what I mean.

  18. tiny tim Says:

    @ joe…

    A ten win season can mean a Super Bowl berth and win, just ask the packers, giants. Oh and and ask the 9-7 giants if winning 9 games means anything.

  19. Bob Says:

    Who are these people Joe that say we can win with a QB equivalent to Doug Martin? I’ve never read that. Did 1 person send you an email?

  20. Joe Says:

    Who are these people Joe that say we can win with a QB equivalent to Doug Martin? I’ve never read that. Did 1 person send you an email?

    Go through Joe’s archives and look how many people completely freaked out when Joe suggested maybe the team could use a better quarterback than one who led the Bucs to the worst offense in the NFL.

    You would have thought Joe p!ssed in John Elway’s cereal bowl by the months-long reaction and the parroting of the wive’s tale that “defense wins championships.”

    Woody Hayes is dead.

  21. Joe Says:

    A ten win season can mean a Super Bowl berth and win, just ask the packers, giants. Oh and and ask the 9-7 giants if winning 9 games means anything.

    Joe will gladly take Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning at quarterback, thank you.

  22. Joe Says:

    300:

    You want offense go back to the midwest and get on the Browns bandwagon.

    Joe appreciates your knowledge of Bucs history and it fires up Joe to think of the defenses this franchise has produced.

    Yet, you seem to forget two little facts about Bucs history. The team won the Super Bowl with an offensive-minded coach and a Pro Bowl quarterback.

    Uh, oh (gulp). Now, who should move to the Midwest?

    Forgive Joe is he considers a Super Bowl title a loftier goal than a wild card berth and a one-and-done playoff appearance.

  23. Hawk Says:

    Joe said,
    “Joe gets a kick out of those who somehow embrace the corpse of Woody Hayes and have somehow convinced themselves that a team can win a Super Bowl with a lousy quarterback. These people believe the Bucs could make the playoffs with the equivalent of Doug Martin starting at quarterback.”
    Names? I’ve been on this site for a year and do not remember anyone saying that the Super Bowl can be won with a “lousy quarterback” OR that “the Bucs could make the playoffs with the equivalent of Doug Martin starting at quarterback”. Produce a post with either statement please. If someone has made either statement, then you really need to get a better class of readers.
    If you cannot find a quote, then made the ‘kick’ that Joe gets is what he deserves? :^)

  24. Joe Says:

    Hawk:

    Feel free to browse Joe’s archives since January.

  25. MadMax Says:

    Lol at the JoeButtHurt.com….stop grieving already man

  26. tickrdr Says:

    @LUVMYBUCS:
    Very nice list!

    Whatever happened to that guy who threw for 50 TD’s during the regular season this year? Wasn’t he one of those “franchise” QBs?

    tickrdr

  27. Hawk Says:

    That’s not how it works in the real world, Joe. If *I* say that someone said something that you thought was outlandish, *you* would make me prove the quote (source/name/date/etc). I would expect nothing less.
    *YOU* said “… those who somehow embrace the corpse of Woody Hayes and have somehow convinced themselves that a team can win a Super Bowl with a lousy quarterback.
    These people believe the Bucs could make the playoffs with the equivalent of Doug Martin starting at quarterback.”

    You know what’s been written here better than anyone else (I hope). *I* believe your statements are misleading, at best, and will continue to believe it unless you show sources. You do a very good job with this site. Let us see you continue that standard. If you cannot provide sources, I’ll assume you are still suffering from ‘Johnny Gazelle’ withdrawals. :^)

  28. Kevin Says:

    Eli manning has Two super bowl rings. But the Giants offense has been sputtering. Running plain vanilla predictable play calling which made Eli look like a QB last year that couldn’t take a team to being .500 EVER!!! What did they do….changed the offensive system. It will work and it will show in 2014. What did they do in San Diego when Rivers career was said to be over because he was getting old and washed up….changed the offense. Plain offenses will not put up points week in week out if the defense is sitting there starring at the sky waiting for you to hike the ball knowing what play you are about to run….even if your QB is drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers. We have had 0 creativity in our offense and it shows in the stat sheets. That is why I am hyped about Tedford. This guy is not going to try and impose his will and run it down your throat three times in a row. He wants to outsmart you, he’s gonna make defenses and coordinators second guess they’re selves. Thats just my take. I think Bucs offense has a very successful season in it’s first year and years after with this new coaching

  29. scubog Says:

    300: It’s Lee Roy, not Leroy as Hugh Culverhouse called him. And let’s not forget our first Pro Bowl player, Dave Pear.

 
 

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