Tipping Off The Defense

August 26th, 2019

Interesting data unearthed.

Joe could only imagine what a coach would do if he heard a player holler to a defender across the line of scrimmage, “Ball is coming your way.”

Yet, per jet-flyin’, kiss–stealin‘, data-analyzin’, Bucs-film-studyin’, limousine-ridin’ Thomas Bassinger typing for “Football Outsiders 2019 Almanac,” when Bucco Bruce Arians breaks out into a shotgun, he is essentially telegraphing defenses that a pass is coming.

Yes, Joe fully understands that a shotgun is primarily a passing formation. Duly noted. But from data Bassinger analyzed, Arians has a special aversion to running out of a shotgun.

Another similarity between the old Tampa Bay offense and the Arians offense: they don’t run much from shotgun. Tampa Bay ran on 12.6 percent of shotgun snaps, 29th in the league. When Tampa Bay ranked 31st in this stat in 2016 and 2017, Arians’ Arizona offense was ranked 32nd.

Again, Joe understands shotgun formation is primarily a passing formation. But you’d think an offensive coach like Arians would want to mix things up once in a while to at least try to make the defense guess a little bit.

Fans used to kvetch about former Bucs coach Dirk Koetter being too predictable. Bassinger’s info suggests Arians is even more predictable.

Will this change with Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich?

17 Responses to “Tipping Off The Defense”

  1. Youngbucs Says:

    Telegraphing is fine when you have the kind of players that can impose they’re will on you. I don’t think we do yet.

  2. James Price Says:

    Yawn! Snore!!!!!

  3. Sport Says:

    We were predictable mostly due to being down multiple scores and not enough clock left to.run the ball. Jamies has prolific numbers due to that same issue.

    Poor defense
    Poor redone
    Poor ball protection
    Poor field goal kicking

    There’s your reason for lack of play calling imagination.

    With our weapons on the passing game, and screen passes looking like the preferred way to get the ball in the RB hands outside of under center hand offs. Who cares if runs out of the shotgun

    Its called situational football. Lets hope this.year we are dictating rather than being dictated to.

    In BA I Trust!

  4. THETRUTH Says:

    I trust Arians formation decisions over people and media critique that are not in coaching ranks and has his resume.

    Not sure why people talk bad about past offense didnt we break all records last year and have tops in the league..

    if you dont have the horses to run the ball than you get creative on how to move the ball through short passes as other teams also do.

  5. Sport Says:

    Truth – our offense was…
    1st in passing yds per game and avg per game
    3rd in total yds
    12 in total points and per game avg

    It sure felt like we racked up alot of yes because we were down early and often. No other team was better at confusing opposing D Coordinators as to how early they should go to a prevent defense. Its usually saved for the last few minutes of a game, we forced them to think about using it before the half.

    But that’s history!

    Go Bucs!

    In BA I Trust!

  6. Todd Says:

    What a POS this two-time coach of the year is Joe. What did you do? Wake up and say, “Hmmmm, I want to write another negative story related to the Bucs…let me scout the internets for ANY fodder that might help my negativity.”

    “BINGO! Found it! E-boner!”

    Type type type type type.

  7. Rob Tanner Says:

    lol ^^^

  8. Bucsfanman Says:

    Preseason shell-game, perhaps?! I don’t know how much should be read into it.

  9. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Offense will be fine this year if we have no to little injury on the offensive line. Our passing attack was one of the best last year – no reason to believe it won’t be as potent this year.

    As for the defense, there is nowhere to go but up. They have already proven that they are much improved this year. Sophomore improve or coaches? Seems to be a little of both.

  10. LargoBuc Says:

    We could barely run out of a I formation, yet alone shotgun.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Joe…..the question then is:

    Do the Bucs run more often out when the QB is under center?…..I suspect they do…..so telegraphing the run could be a bigger part of our problem.

  12. Hodad Says:

    When in the shot gun what’s the down, and distance? If it’s third, and long, yeah most likely a pass play. My problem with the Bucs so far this preseason is we’ve run to much right up the gut on short yardage plays to no avail. I would’ve liked to to some more toss sweeps to Jones, or Dare in those situations. Maybe they’re saving that for the regular season. It’s concerning we couldn’t score on the ground inside the five at all running the ball.

  13. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Funny how the article doesn’t mention how unsuccessful we were while running out of the shotgun…

  14. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    Why would it change when Leftwich is trained by Arians?

  15. BigMacAttack Says:

    Shotgun is fine, Jameis just needs to move back 10 more yards to have more time to pass…. because no one is getting blocked 😂

  16. Says:

    Oline tips off more. RT in particular. You can tell when pass or run. And when run you can tell left or right based on RT’s feet and spacing. I clearly recall a play where RT lined up a foot off the LOS, legs cocked ready to try to reach the end. Sure enough, stretch run off right tackle…

  17. D1 Says:


    655yds, 4.9yds/avg per attempt.


    I forgot the total but it’s considerably less and 3.4yds/avg per attempt.