Glimpse Into Woeful Passing

March 20th, 2015
josh mccown 0920

The spreadsheeters find an interesting nugget


There are only three things you need to know about the 2014 Bucs offense:

1. The starting quarterback was jettisoned well before the free agency dinner bell rang. Never made it to an OTA.

2. The Bucs will likely draft a quarterback first overall.

3. The Bucs finished 2-14 and won the Chase for Jameis awarded to the worst team in the NFL.

Enter the spreadsheeters. Sometimes they just like to play with numbers, like a baby with a rattle. Other times they dig up data that to help explain things..

A gentleman by the name of Graham Barfield decided to mine all NFL offensive plays last year to get a better look at offenses and quarterbacks. He unearthed a fascinating nugget on the Bucs posted on his website, Slant Routes.

Of the quarterbacks with the greatest percentage of deep passes attempted, two of the four quarterbacks atop this list played for the Bucs: Mike Glennon and turnover-prone Josh McCown. Glennon was No. 2 (behind Nick Foles) and McCown was No. 4 behind Charlie Whitehurst. Glennon’s percentage of passes threw about 19 percent of deep balls, and McCown was just under 16.

Let’s think this through: By any measurement, longer passes are often harder to complete than short ones, no? Of course, defenses often determine this outcome. They certainly influence the outcome.

Neither Glennon nor McCown will ever be confused with Ben Roethlisberger or Philip Rivers, who have cannons for arms and throw a great deep ball.

Did ill-suited acting offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo drew up offensive gameplans that doomed Glennon and McCown, or was it that defenses didn’t respect them, and thus played everything tight underneath and dared them to complete passes long?

Joe is not a big believer in coincidences. So one can guess this is a reason the Bucs offense was dismal last year. Joe can only speculate what caused Glennon and McCown to throw deep so often.

32 Responses to “Glimpse Into Woeful Passing”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    No running game….slot reciever….tight end injuries & desperation caused the need for long passes…..also, we had two pretty athletic & large WR…so confidence level was fairly high making attempts less risky.

  2. Chef Paul Says:

    I went to that website and snooped around. Found another interesting stat.

    Missed Tackles Per Touch Leaders: Running Backs

    The under-appreciated Bobby Rainey was 7th best in the league.

  3. The original "Kevin" Says:

    They stuck with mccown last year even though they knew glennon was better. They cut mccown but kept glennon. Glennon will be our starter

  4. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    “2. The Bucs will likely draft a quarterback first overall.”

    That’s actually the 2015 Offense.

  5. Bee Says:

    Glennon will be the starting backup.

  6. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    “1. The starting quarterback was jettisoned well before the free agency dinner bell rang. Never made it to an OTA.”

    And really, the 2014 starting QB was “jettisoned” before the 2015 free agency bell rang. So this is a 2015 point as well 😛

    So only #3 is about 2014.

  7. Skyline Crew Says:

    I could have told you that.…pass. They were always throwing on 3rd and long.

  8. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    @The original “Kevin”

    How is life in Neverland?

  9. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    If the Bucs don’t take a quarterback in round one this year, I am done. At least until the next head coach. You won’t see me anywhere until then.

  10. ChessMaster Says:

    That is a great site and shows what an amazing season #13 had.

  11. Zam Says:

    There’s pretty much no stat that explains the Bucs offensive woes. They were not good in any category, and not absolute worst. They were just consistently bad across the board, at every category. Pretty sad.

    Meanwhile related to this, haven’t the Patriots turned the passing game into the most boring part of football now? The short pass they’ve mastered is not exciting at all to watch.

  12. tmaxcon Says:

    Way over thinking this one… it’s simple both McCown and Glennon blow. You throw in the fact NO oline (lovie has never had a online and never will) plus no coordinator it’s a receipt for disaster. Regardless of all the excuses and the “he never got a fair shot” glennon is horrible. Life aint fair!!! The cream rises to the top

  13. tmaxcon Says:

    ^^^ recipe

  14. Aaron Says:

    Well Glennon either can’t read a defense or doesn’t know what “open” is in the NFL. So he either checked it down or threw a short deep jump ball and hoped Jackson or Evans bailed him out.

  15. bucgator Says:

    It is astounding that many of you think that ANY QB could have done well behind those turnstiles disguised as OLmen last yr.

  16. jfat Says:

    We didn’t really have an underneath receiver last year either. Evans and Vjax would be the guys you look for every play and they both usually run deep. If we had a solid slot WR and ASJ stayed healthy that % would likely have been lower. And the playcalling sucked.

  17. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Unfortunately we never really got to see enough of Glennon. He wasn’t a world beater but given the chaos around him I simply can’t bring myself to write him off yet. That’s not to say we shouldn’t take Fameis #1. It is to say we should keep Glennon and not necessarily freak if he starts over Fameis for awhile.

    Fill in the blank. _________ is the best teacher!!!

    As for why the Buc’s offense stunk. Start with an OC with no NFL experience who brought in a QB coach with even less credentials. That first goes down and the kid who probably wasn’t even qualified to coach our QB’s ends up as OC.

    THAT WAS A DISASTER. Offensive scheming and then game day play calling is an integral part of any offense. Our OC gets an F3…in my school you could not only you could fail miserably as in F1-2 or 3. Arroyo was the worst and there is not even ONE good thing you can say about him other than he’s probably a nice guy. That’s where it all started.

    Then they blow up our OL and built a swiss cheese OL. Dotson, EDS, and Mankins did not have good years but I give them slack because of the jokes beside them. OL is a team and 40% of that team get’s F3’s.
    Dotson gets a B…Mankins a C and EDS a D. All three can raise those grades with help from the other two spots.

    Our running backs were largely injured and playing hurt for the first 3/4 of the season. I give Sims and Martin I’s for incomplete. They deserve another look.

    Our QB selection was moronic. McCown was brought in for his “experience” and ability to protect the ball. There’s another freaking F3!!!
    McCown is a great guy but he CHOKED like a dog on a big bone last year and did the direct opposite of what he was brought in to do and became a turnover machine.

    ALL of these things can be fixed in one off season. Draft Fameis…some OL…scour the waiver wire…we pick first…and use our high draft picks on OL

    Yes I’m the guy with the rose colored homer glasses but I’ve just made a decent case for optimism. We simply are NOT that far away.

    The major weakness of the Bucs heading into 2015 will be a rookie QB and a lack of depth. That second part concerns me. The good teams are deep enough to handle injuries…we will not be. We’ll simply need some luck when it comes to injuries in the total absence of any depth.

  18. BuccoDav Says:

    Well, this can’t be true…
    According to the experts commenting on this site, Glennon can’t throw a deep pass. All he does is “dink and dunk”.
    Somebody’s research is flawed!

  19. Another J Says:

    The passing game was about as woeful as the offensive line, and the woeful offensive coordinator…

  20. Nick2 Says:

    Yes I think that stat tells a few stories. Since the Bucs were always woefully behind we constantly were throwing deep balls to catch up. Third and longs were the norm in 2014. Like I said I had glimpses of Jack Thomspon the Throwin Samoan last year.

  21. bucs4lyfe Says:

    maybe that stat would have mattered if we had a real offensive coordinator. the truth is stats will never tell the whole truth, is this the reason why both quarterbacks had the same 67% completion percentatage? teams dared us to throw deep because they knew we couldn’t run the ball and that we also didn’t have time to throw deep, the offensive coordinator draws up the play but it’s not like he tells the quarterback where to throw the ball. so what 19% of glennon passes went downfield compared to 16% of josh mccown lol maybe josh mccown was smart enough to know he didn’t have time to throw downfield which is why glennon was on the bench. yes he threw downfield more than mccown but what is that saying? there was no talk about how often he connected on those passes lol glennon is trash. glennon never had an accurate deep ball, if you think he does then you must have been mistaking the bucs and Atlanta falcons uniforms

  22. WS99 Says:

    Joe can only speculate what caused Glennon and McCown to throw deep so often.

    Oh oh I know pick me mr joe I know I know. “The Dunkaneers” remember? All the qbs had to do was throw it up and the 7ft rcvrs will catch it easily. The only probably with that is the rcvrs are only 6’6″ so all the balls flew over their heads. no no wait it’s all arroyos fault.

  23. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Last season was a perfect storm for the Bucs offense. 1. No offensive coordinator. 2. A terrible offensive line. 3. Josh McCown…nuff said. 4. Terrible coaching and play calling.

    So where does that leave us? #1 has been addressed…Dirk Koetter. #3 has also been addressed….but we still need work at QB, so let’s call this “incomplete”. #4….well let’s just say that the play calling will improve with our new OC…overall coaching…that is still yet to be seen. #2….besides getting rid of one guy so far, our Offensive line is still as crummy as it was before! There were a few guys out there in free agency…like MIke Iupati, etc…who would have instantly made us better, but Lovie/Licht decided to pass on them.

    So we have a new OC and no more Josh McCown on one side….but the same coaching and crappy offensive line! Is that enough to turn things around this season..I doubt it!

  24. ddneast Says:

    Do you mean that Arroyo’s play calling, something I have maintained for the last 6 months was the reason for the Bucs offensive woes.
    Longer passes also mean the QB’s have to hold on to the ball longer meaning more sacks.
    This team rarely attacked the middle of the field with slants which is strange since with two big physical WR’s they certainly have the structure to withstand the punishment.

  25. Buccfan37 Says:

    Give Glennon a little more protection and he will find the open man downfield and hit him squarely in the catch zone. I’m anxious to see him play again.

  26. Cobraboy Says:

    No OC with NFL experience and folks wonder what happened on offense?


    The Bucs O is already hugely better just by hiring an OC with long track rcord of NFL success.

  27. Mark Says:

    Easily explained. We were always down in games last year and really had nothing to lose by going bombs away.

  28. LargoBuc Says:

    If there is one reason to have hope this season it’s Dirk Koetter! For the first time in a long time we have an experienced play calling OC on our side! A guy who can take advantage of what the opposing defense is doing and force them to adjust. Imagine that AND Jameis Winston throwing to our play makers. Sure the oline is a work in progress but still it just looks so much better than Marcus Arroyo having no clue and Josh Mccown sucking and costing us game after game.
    It’s not going to cure everything but with a quality OC and a stud rookie QB it gives us SOMETHING!

  29. The original "Kevin" Says:

    BuccaneerBonzai Says:
    March 20th, 2015 at 8:26 am
    @The original “Kevin”

    How is life in Neverland?

    Loving it!!!

  30. The original "Kevin" Says:

    bucgator Says:
    March 20th, 2015 at 8:51 am
    It is astounding that many of you think that ANY QB could have done well behind those turnstiles disguised as OLmen last yr.

    I am right there with you. Every single day you see articles written about an O-line prospect, or how bad the O-line was, or moving someone on the line, or where are the O-line free agents. Why????? Because the line SUCKED!!!!!!!!

    I’m not screaming for them to pass on Winston. I just think that is what is going to happen. Lovie knows he needs pass rushers and O-lineman and Kotter knows he can re-shape Mike Glennon just like he did Matt Ryan. So it’s not un-realistic to think it may happen.

    I would love to see Glennon prove everyone wrong. He’s not a head case and wants to win for the team. He wasn’t even given a fair shot last season and good thing because he had no OC. I would like to see his fair shot this season no excuses. If he sucks then pull him. But I think Koetter will know how to mold him into a quality starter along with our three monster targets on offense and Simms in the backfield.

  31. The original "Kevin" Says:

    I also think the O-line will perform better than expected with a good quality OC running things

  32. Sarcastro Says:

    Hmmm, let’s see: If you were a D-coordinator game planning for the Bucs offense, how would YOU defend a bunch of tall guys in a receiving corps with absolutely zero speedsters?

    Kind of a no-brainer.