Reading Into Jeff Tedford’s Past

March 30th, 2014
doug martin

If Jeff Tedford’s history is a barometer, Doug Martin won’t catch many passes this fall.

The great mystery of the 2014 Bucs offseason is the offense. Yes, the Bucs have a new offensive coordinator, Jeff Tedford. But how or if he will replicate his college offense in the NFL is anyone’s guess.

Tedford, who has zero NFL experience prior to this season, was a college quarterbacks guru who, while head coach at Cal, had some decent running backs as well.

Now the only hints of the offense the Bucs have offered, and they’re not much, are that new center Evan Dietrich-Smith called the offense “up tempo,” and that most of their offensive linemen are more adept at pass blocking than run blocking.

NFL analyst Evan Silva also is trying to dig into Tedford’s past for clues to the Bucs offense. The columnist believes if Tedford’s offense is anything like he had at Cal, then Doug Martin and other running backs won’t be catching many passes.

@evansilva: Concern for Doug Martin: New #Bucs OC Tedford had Jahvid Best, J Forsett & S Vereen at Cal. None of them ever topped 27 catches in a season. … Best, Forsett, Vereen = outstanding receiving RBs. Their talents were not maximized in college. This will be Tedford’s first-ever NFL stint.

So now we are starting to put the pieces of the puzzle together. The Bucs have pass-blocking specialists up front and Tedford believes in throwing the ball downfield, as opposed to Chucky-like dink-and-dunks.

Now Lovie Smith told Joe on the record at the NFL Scouting Combine how much he likes the stable of Bucs running backs and that Martin will be a bellcow. Thinking back to that interview, Lovie didn’t say anything about Martin, Mike James or Bobby Rainey catching passes.

33 Responses to “Reading Into Jeff Tedford’s Past”

  1. RustyRhino Says:

    I hope this is not true. We need to use more RB screen passes. We have good backs with good and better hands lets put their speed in space to use. I want to see Pryor get his share of touches this season. Be that a handoff or a pass. A good player imo.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I doub’t this is true….Up-tempo would include passes to backs….two back sets (including Demps)….speed in space etc. Mixing it up is the best strategy to keep defenses confused.

  3. DallasBuc Says:

    Rusty- who is this Pryor you refer to?
    I’ve said it before, as long as Mccown is our starting QB dont expect anything special from this offense. Now if a Desean Jackson was to get signed and we moved up to get Manziel the picture would look very different…

  4. bucsguy Says:

    I think this is a unreliable start to use the most receptions any of them had was 27 but when he was at cal they always had a loaded stable of backs and he played 3 or 4 guys regularly. So I think a better nine would be total number of rb receptions rather than an individual’s.

  5. Cody Says:

    Dallas Buc…

    With all do respect sir, we really don’t need our offense to be “any thing special” I’d be happy with consistency for 4 quarters for starters…Besides, based on Lovie track record you can expect the defense and special teams to be the identity of this football team; the offense is the icing on the cake…Tedfords a smart guy I fully expect him to utilize Doug Martin and every other resource available to him…

    Despite our record over the last 5 years or so our defense has been pretty good at taking the ball away; with Lovie in the fold you can expect the take aways to increase…Taking that into account Telford and the offense should have plenty opportunities to put points on the board…

  6. Brandon Says:

    DallasBuc Says:
    March 30th, 2014 at 9:20 am
    Rusty- who is this Pryor you refer to?

    He’s talking about the only FB on the roster, Lonnie Pryor, a former FSU player that sat around without a job for months last season after getting cut in training camp by the seriously RB needy Jag, and going undrafted…yet somehow he’s deserving of meaningful carries…oh yeah, he’s from FSU.

    Newsflash Rusty! Pryor has about a 10% chance of being on the opening day roster.

  7. Brandon Says:

    bucsguy Says:
    March 30th, 2014 at 9:38 am
    I think this is a unreliable start to use the most receptions any of them had was 27 but when he was at cal they always had a loaded stable of backs and he played 3 or 4 guys regularly. So I think a better nine would be total number of rb receptions rather than an individual’s.

    From what I recall, there were lots of touches to go around, there was always talent in the backfield. I don’t think the lack of receptions by ONE RB necessarily the RB doesn’t catch the ball…also 27 receptions in a 12 game college season equates to 36 receptions in a 16 game NFL season. Not exactly vintage Marshall Faulk numbers but not Cadillac 50/50 Williams’ rookie season either.

  8. Chef Paul Says:


    I thought you raised a good point, so I looked it up. I only checked the top 2 or 3 running backs from 2005 – 2011. Lazy Sunday. They varied from 14 to 54.

    In 2008 and 2009 when he had Vareen and Best it totaled 54 in ’08 and 47 in ’09.
    In 2005 and 2006 when he had Lynch and Forsett it totaled 23 in ’05 and 46 in ’06.
    But was only 14 in 2011.

    2005 = 23
    2006 = 46
    2007 = 35
    2008 = 54
    2009 = 47
    2010 = 27
    2011 = 14

    I hope this half assed research helps.

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Chef Paul

    Thanks for the numbers….

  10. Chef Paul Says:

    Evan Silva is mostly a Fantasy football guru, so I think he’s mostly just talking about Doug’s fantasy value, and not so much the Tedford offense as a whole.

    And in the fantasy world, even ball distribution is bad for fantasy.

  11. biff barkr Says:

    Things have a way of coming full circle.

    Father Dungy, fired for loyalty to Mike Shula and a decrepit offense. The impose your will mentality didn’t work then, nor will it work now.

    You take what defenses give you because the can and will take half of the offense away. If they game plan to stuff the box or want a QB to beat them with his arm, you need to counter quickly.

    Point is, if you want to score points in the NFL, you better have a flexible playbook. If Tedford wants to spread the field with speed in space, he’ll throw
    to a RB if the defense is soft there.

  12. Chef Paul Says:

    No problem TBBF,

    I dug deep and found my inner LUVMYBUCS, and found some stats.

  13. Mumbles Says:

    Anything new is worth waiting for! Like the new unis, there is much discussion about the new offense, but nothing said that is going to change anything. We’re talking to ourselves. Nobody is asking or listening!

  14. phattitudes Says:

    The other clue we have is his fascination with the NE two tight end approach. Most likely we will see two tight ends and no fullback. This adds the dimension of another receiver and yet provides blocking assistance on running plays. The 2nd tight end can be an H-Back or J-Back. It forces the defense to address one more threat and limits there ability to focus on shutting down the run. Can’t wait to see it in action, especially if they add a few burners to the receiving corps.

  15. Please Says:

    I wish they’d listen about the new unis.

  16. Buc the Haters Says:

    27 receptions in college is like 2-3 per game. So, if Martin, James, & Rainey get 32-48 receptions next year, that sounds pretty good to me.

  17. Buc the Haters Says:

    I love to see things like 25 of 35 passing with 9 different players who have receptions. A diverse offense and a well-distributed makes me smile. Usually means you’re keeping the defense on it’s heels and taking what is available

  18. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Chef Paul

    Yea….you know what they say about Stats?….if stats were correct, everyone would have one tit and one ball….

    Raheem….”Stats are for losers”…..oh was he so right about that…..

  19. $acbuc$ Says:

    If the Falcons get CJ2K we are in trouble!!!!!!!

  20. DallasBuc Says:

    Cody- if our offense isn’t anything special then we are no scoring points, not winning meaningful games and not trying to win a championship. You seem fine with that. I am not and I don’t think Lovie or the Glazers are either. Think about it…

  21. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Cody Says
    “we really don’t need our offense to be “any thing special” I’d be happy with consistency for 4 quarters for starters…
    …Despite our record over the last 5 years or so our defense has been pretty good at taking the ball away…”

    We do need special. What good is taking the ball away if you don’t have an offense that can score? Our offensive starters have been “consistently” bad for half a decade now. Truthfully, the defense hasn’t been good until last year.

    Even with the increase in take aways last year, the other teams got the ball back 4 plays later. As we saw, you do not win games that way.

    Everyone talks about how Seattle won a championhip with defense. Truth is they averaged 24-27 points on offense through the season. THAT’s what we need. At least 3 touchdowns per game on offense just to compete in this division.

  22. lurker Says:

    reminds me of lovie at his news conference after game 1:

    “We’re talking about offense, man. (laughter from the media crowd) We’re talking about offense. We’re talking about offense. We’re not talking about the game. We’re talking about offense. When you come to the arena, and you see me coach, you’ve seen me coach right, you’ve seen me give everything I’ve got, but we’re talking about offense right now.”

    (riff on allen iverson’s “we’re talkin about practice” news conference.)

  23. PanthersSuck! Says:

    I don’t care how we move the ball on offense as long as we are getting first downs and scoring TD’s.

  24. jdogg99 Says:

    If we can get DJax I think we should move up in get Khalil Mack

  25. owlykat Says:

    Williams is enough of a bad boy on our team without Lovie having to deal with the distractions of Djax too, especially now that we have our own deep threat with Louis Murphy who our great Coaches can also use as our Slot Receiver. You line up Martin and Demps in the backfield and Murphy in the slot you can scare any NFL Defense. If they try to load the box to stop Martin, Murphy and Demps can outrun the CBs and the one deep Safety is hung out to dry because he can’t cover both of them and Josh is accurate deep and can hit the burner who is the furtherest from the lone Safety. If they keep both safeties deep, just hand off to Martin to explode up the gap between Nix and our new Center. It is going to be fun!!! Lovie and Licht know what they are doing.

  26. zam Says:

    I’d think that an “up-tempo” offense would mean that there are lots of short passing plays. Long plays are going to be more 3 and out situations.

  27. unbelievable Says:

    Murphy has a fast 40 time but has never materialized into a real receiving threat. Maybe he will finally start to live up to the hype now that he’s returned home, but his NFL career so far has been lackluster at best.

    I hope L&L still have plans to bring more speed and athleticism to the WR and TE groups (Meyers is nothing special either). And, hopefully Tedford will prove me wrong about both these guys! Go Bucs.

  28. Jim Says:

    I don’t know why people even talk about Demps. He will be hurt by week 6.

  29. Patrick Says:

    People rave about Demps solely because he’s a Gator. Can’t let your fan bias get in the way guys.

  30. MR.T Says:

    I agree, Demps will have to show some production on the field before I can get excited about him. We won’t really know what this offense will be like until game 1.

  31. RustyRhinos Says:

    Yes DallasBuc
    Lonnie Pryor a FB/RB on our roster. At 6′ 225 he is our biggest running back, has good speed, with good hands, can block, good vision, team player. He made plays in college. In his 24 starts, recording 124 carries for 718 yards and 18 touchdowns. Also added 41 receptions for 379 yards and five touchdowns according to Buccaneer website. 124 carries and 18 touchdowns stands out to me. Every 7th time he got the ball he scored. A better then 5 yard average. Sounds like a good player to have on our team.

    Newsflash to you Brandon 10%…. SO your telling me there’s a chance?
    Like I said. IMO
    And exactly how do you really know what percentage any signed player on the Tampa Bay Buccaneer football roster has on making the team? Our RB Jeff Demps does get his name mentioned about future possible positive contributions in coach Tedford’s offense? What is his “Newsflash %” to make the team? Is he 100% back from his injury? Is he planning on running more track this spring/summer, does he know when the first team practices are? What percent chance can he make it?
    Just curious..

  32. Joe Says:

    Evan Silva is mostly a Fantasy football guru, so I think he’s mostly just talking about Doug’s fantasy value, and not so much the Tedford offense as a whole

    Good point Chef.

  33. mark sneed Says:

    Who cares how many catches a RB gets? Just create an offensive scheme that wins football games. Jahvid Best and Shane Vereen aren’t pro bowl RB’s anyway, are they? And I don’t even know who the other guy mentioned is. Maybe they weren’t good enough or experienced enough at that point for Tedford to have the confidence to throw to them.