Back To The Future

August 19th, 2019

Play to your strength.

Since this is Bucco Bruce Arians’ first season with the Bucs, to sort of get an idea of what to expect from Arians, we have to look to the past.

And that’s just what jet-flyin’, kiss–stealin‘, data-analyzin’, Bucs-film-studyin’, limousine-ridin’ Thomas Bassinger did typing for “Football Outsiders 2019 Almanac.”

In researching his piece for the august football annual, Bassinger found Arians isn’t blowing smoke when he preaches “no risk-it; no biscuit.”

One thing to watch for with the new offense: the Arizona Cardinals ranked first or second in use of empty backfields for all five years of the Bruce Arians regime.

Of course, a cynic, after glancing at the Tampa Bay roster, would suggest the Bucs already have an empty backfield even before the kickoff.


(Yeah, Joe knows. Too easy.)

Here is the thing: few teams, maybe no team, have the combinations of receivers and tight ends the Bucs can put on the field at the same time. Why not play to your strength? Running back clearly isn’t a strength for the Bucs.

As the current roster is constructed, running a lot of empty backfields actually makes sense for the Bucs.

It reminds Joe of an old John Madden line. He spoke once of how he was criticized for always running to his left. Madden pointed out how he had future Hall of Fame offensive linemen at left tackle, left guard and center. So Madden asked while holding back a laugh, “Why wouldn’t I run to the left?”

20 Responses to “Back To The Future”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    Rimshot? That was an uncontested layup. Much too easy. Can say one thing for empty backfields: it sure will motivate Jameis to speed up his decision-making & ball release.

  2. Bucsfanman Says:

    Coaching, coaching, coaching! It’s why (probably?) they’re not as worried about RB as some think they should. A short-passing/screen game can be just as effective as running the ball. It can also mitigate a pass-rush by having the defense deploy more DBs.

  3. TDTB Says:

    No o-line help with an empty backfield.

  4. JA Says:

    I just hope BA is around to see his empty backfield come to fruition in a real game. When he was hired with a clean bill of health I didn’t think his 66 years was an issue. But after watching him incessantly explode at the officials Friday night, I thought he was going to have a stroke. Veins were popping out of his neck and his face was as red as a beet as he paraded back and forth screaming expletives like a madman on ten shots of adrenaline. He even made Chucky’s behavior appear sloth-like. And this was a pre-season game!
    Don’t know the full details of his ticker problem, but I think he needs to calm down a bit. It’s a long season.

  5. geno711 Says:

    At least we did not waste our 3rd round pick and take Darrell Henderson like some at Joe Buc’s fan wanted in their pursuit of a “better” runner (not pass receiver).

    It’s early yet but Jamel Dean and Mike Edwards looks way better than a guy (Henderson) who only carries the ball in his left arm and is averaging a robust 2.4 yards per carry.

  6. Leighroy Says:

    Why run so many empty backfield sets, when Dirk Koetter ensures that blocking was our RB’s top attribute?! Hello, play to our strengths! Lol….

  7. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    And with that, now many will obviously question the wisdom of Arians. And we should, because keeping Licht is at best questionable.

  8. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    oops, wrong thread……apologies

  9. Bob in Valrico Says:

    We have one thing going for us. Since our running are not known as a position of strength, at least they should be hungry to prove themselves,unlike Dallas and the Rams whose backs are in contract squabbles. If Arians can squeeze a hundred yards a game out of the backs through runs and screens it will help the offense.

  10. geno711 Says:

    How about trading one of our TE’s to Jacksonville for some OL depth?

  11. Joe Says:

    How about trading one of our TE’s to Jacksonville for some OL depth?

    Because Jacksonville knows there is a chance the Bucs may release a tight end, though Arians talked about keeping four tight ends yesterday.

  12. Pittsshore Says:

    We are just a few players away: 3 OLine, 2 RB, and 1 QB.

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    An empty backfield would give us:

    Evans, Godwin, Perriman, Brate & Howard on the field at the same time…..

    Cover that!!1

  14. RustyRhinos Says:

    Won’t a empty backfield make it more difficult for Winston to throw to all those WR when there is no RB to come up and take on the DL who has broken thru the line and is in the backfield alone with Winston. That sounds like a bad play design. If we had a top 10 Oline then yeah that might work and work well but at best our Oline is in the top 25 if that. Sounds like we might see our QB #2 on the field if we do much of this type of play calling.
    SHOW ME it can work here. Don’t tell me SHOW ME!!!
    GO BUCS!!

  15. Joe Says:

    Won’t a empty backfield make it more difficult for Winston to throw to all those WR when there is no RB to come up and take on the DL who has broken thru the line and is in the backfield alone with Winston. That sounds like a bad play design.

    This same offensive people are screaming about as if it is five-turnstiles also started every game last year for an offense that led the NFL in passing.

    Repeat: Led the NFL in passing. As in no other team was better.

    If this ($%^&*&^%$) offensive line was as bad as people want you to think it is, then how the hell did Bucs quarterbacks ever complete a pass last year without getting crippled and maimed much less lead the NFL in passing?

    Every NFL team should have such a horrible offensive line if it results in the best passing offense in the league.

    People need to come up with better talking points. Please!

  16. Buczilla Says:

    Closet eagle’s fan Tom Bassinger’s opinion is less than worthless to me (unless he gets over John Lynch not signing his lunchbox back in the day), but what are ya gonna do when he gets mentioned on your favorite website? Pretend he’s that cousin that you despise and ignore during family get togethers. 😀

    P.S. I know that he is not obligated to support our players for the hall of fame, but damn, did he have to support a gosh darn eagle over one of our guys? If I could capture the feeling that Buc’s fans had when we shut down the vet and put it on a card, I would mail it to this dude every Christmas.

  17. Go Bucs 72 Says:

    At least we don’t have to see Jacquizz Rodgers on third downs anymore.

  18. BA FAN Says:

    There wouldn’t be many DEs in the backfield if we had an empty backfield with Howard and Auclair as our two TEs because they would chip block the DEs before running. And I think Marpet Jensen and Cappa could stop the two DTs. With so many receivers if there was a blitz just throw to the receiver in the area the blitzes came from. That would stop the blitzes. D. Smith with a chip block on a speed rusher could crush that wimp into the ground on every play, with his full 340 pounds and they would have to pull the crushed wimp or watch him carried away on a gurney.

  19. Cobraboy Says:

    An empty backfield with (as TBBF said) Evans, Godwin, Perriman, Brate, Howard in the pattern means no worse than 5 DL-on-5 OL pass protection, maybe 4-on-5.

    I’ll take those odds every play with Benenoch not at G.

  20. Cobraboy Says:

    @Joe: few complain about the OL pass blocking (except for Benenoch). It was the running game where they suffered, and hopefully, that has changed.