Calling Out Play-action Claim

March 28th, 2020

Was Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians on the level in a recent radio interview about new Bucs quarterback Tom Brady? A local football numberscruncher is calling foul.

Recently, as Joe brought to his loyal readers, Arians was on “Tiki and Tierney” heard and seen on CBS Sports Radio and CBS Sports Network. Arians was talking his newest catch, Brady.

There, Arians suggested Brady’s knack of strong execution of the play-action pass melds just fine with the Bucs’ offense (read: Arians’ offense).

“I’m not afraid to throw the deep ball, if it’s the right matchup. But let’s continue to move the chains, also. You know, he and I have had some great conversations about that already. He’s a really good play-action and he’s gotten really good in the last three or four years at play-action, which is one of our staples.”

This is downright baloney, noted jet-flyin’, kiss–stealin‘, data-analyzin’, Bucs-film-studyin’, limousine-ridin’ Thomas Bassinger of the Tampa Bay Times. Bassinger pointed out Arians rarely uses play-action passes.

Well, here’s the thing about a play-action pass. Doesn’t an offense have to have a halfway decent threat at running back to make a defense fully bite on the bait of a handoff?

Are we to really believe a well-coached defense would jump at an attempted handoff to Dare Ogunbowale and allow Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard and/or Cam Brate to get an extra step or two?

That seems to be a reach if not wishful thinking.

Joe just cannot believe the Bucs think they have enough firepower in the backfield to go to battle with Ronald Jones and Ogunbowale.

38 Responses to “Calling Out Play-action Claim”

  1. 941bucsfan Says:

    Rojo trash

  2. Pryda...Sec147 Says:

    Get Swift, Dobbins, Taylor , or Akers pair them up with RoJo watch out everyone

  3. Ed Kerber Says:

    He’s not lying.

    Play action is a big part of his offense. Unfortunately l, it was the i use/unsuccessful part. ROJO looked much better in the last two games. I bet Arians WILL. one out of the Draft/Rookie Free agent period with TWO running Backs. Also, second (right after draft), third (right before camp) and fourth (right before the season) periods of free agency will produce one more veteran to help at a bargain price.

  4. Formally Tampa2 Says:

    Give ROJO a chance in 2020. He had some really nice runs last year, that were unfortunately called back for holding on the right side. Nor was there much run blocking last year.

  5. El Buco Realisto Says:

    This is par for the course for ols stale biscuit!!!!!!!!! Just go back to this time last year and see all the lies and bullspit that he had already put out!!!!!!!!!!!! But the sheep love nothing more than a tough talking coach in the media who never backs it up, and landing the biggest name in free-agency no matter at what stage in their career!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Buc50 Says:

    Can’t have play action if you’re playing from behind because of turnovers. Everyone knows you have to throw to catchup.

  7. Steven007 Says:

    Buc50, not only that but there’s not a defender on Earth that’s going to bite on play action when there isn’t a threat at RB. This isn’t calculus guys.

  8. Robert Says:

    You could see the other guy PA from the west coast. Horrible technique.

  9. Bird Says:


    Just a thought.
    You dont think that defenses stacked the box…pressure…focus to stop the run…attack qb to make jameis beat you?

  10. stpetebucsfan Says:


    I hope you are correct and I’ve been thinking along the same lines.

    Assuming Taylor and Dobbins are gone I’d love to see Akers/Edwards-Helaire taken and then later augmented with the Alstott wannabe Dillon. Don’t know that he’ll ever be Mike but that’s way too much to expect…but he does bring a very similar style and size and catches great out of the backfield. At 250 lbs he’s big and mean enough to be a decent blocker.

  11. SOEbuc Says:

    Blinded by the cigar smoke coming out of OBP. Love it.

  12. Swampbuc Says:

    In theory the play action game is a staple of Arians offense, that’s what he means.

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Why would you use Dare as an example?

    Rojo 172
    Barber 154
    Dare 11

    Dare had exactly 3% of the rushing attempts between the three & you use Dare?

    Why……you simply like picking on the guy…..BS

  14. Ed Says:

    What the devil is this old senile coach talking about. When your quarterback drops
    and pass 50 plus time a game,what play action pass.

  15. Architek Says:

    Joe you guys probably shouldn’t source a troll for analysis or a quote.

    That guy is the ultimate credentialed troll.

    You can’t PA with subpar backs, see the Rams offense demise last year.

  16. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Formally Tampa2 Says:
    “Give ROJO a chance in 2020. He had some really nice runs last year, that were unfortunately called back for holding on the right side. Nor was there much run blocking last year.”


    AGREED on all counts.

  17. james west Says:

    i personally would love to see AJ Dillon in the backfield, 6′ 250 one hell of a load to bring down, he could be brady’s blount, or our henry, he out weighs henry, got good hands, for catching passes, he does not shy away from contact, does not need a gaping 3 foot hole to run thru, now couple him with rojo, maybe we get back to thunder and lightning, or the new version of WD40, that’s if rojo could put it together, but i have my doubts

  18. geno711 Says:

    Pro Football reference has us in the lower half of Play action attempts last year but not as bad as Bassinger’s numbers.

    Further, Pro Football reference says we got 1133 yards off of play action passing which was 7th best in the league last year according to them. 21 teams were below 1000 yards with the Steelers the worst at 289 yards passing from play action.

    There seems to be some correlation between rushing ability and play action as Pittsburgh and Miami were horrible at rushing last year and had the least amount of yards on the play action pass.

    Also, Baltimore and Tennessee were great at both running the ball and play action.

    However, there were real outliers there as well. The Ram were at running the ball than the Buc’s last year but had the most amount of play action completions and 2nd most amount of play action yards.

  19. geno711 Says:

    The Rams were worse at running the ball last year than the Bucs.
    Total of 1499 rush yards for the Rams and total of 1521 rush yards for Bucs.

  20. ClodHopper Says:

    You know how blushing brides look in mirror practicing saying their new name? That’s me with “Bucs quarterback Tom Brady”

  21. SufferingSince76 Says:

    You can’t have much of a running game when there are no holes opened to run through!!! I’m surprised they had as many rushing yards as indicated.

  22. rrsrq Says:

    in the early games against the Giants and Rams, ROjO could’ve easily eclipsed 100 yards, but remember that go with the hot hand talk in preseason, never came to pass on the season

  23. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    After signing our defensive lineman, BA has hinted that the two biggest needs is Offensive line depth and a pass catching running back.

    While BA and Licht would like to see Joe Haeg fill the role of RT, I doubt they will give it to him without any competition, His signing to a one year contract confirms this.

  24. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    Every analyst who looks at the data to determine if running game/success impacts the success of play action pass comes to the same conclusion: play action works regardless of running game.

    Here is a recent study:

    The numbers don’t lie. We should have used it more with Winston, and we definitely need to use it more with Brady.

  25. JimmyJack Says:

    Why does everything I ever hear from this Bassinger guy seek to she’d a negative spin on the Bucs? And I’ll admitt I don’t give a crap about reading this guy so I’m just going on what gets brought up by others I actually pay attention to.

    Look guys most of our media’s are not fans of this team. They don’t care about things that you or I do. They only cover this team as their job and on Sunday their heart belongs elsewhere.

    That’s why I read Joe because he is a real Bucs fan. This guy above is not.

  26. Kobe Faker Says:

    “History repeats itself

    You do know TB12 past history?

    TB doesnt go to the HC but straight to the owner

    Will TB clash with BA?

    Not if but when”

    Kobe Faker

  27. Ndog Says:

    More fabrication, finally someone is calling him out besides me.

  28. Ndog Says:

    It’s funny JimmyJack when Bassinger did that every day to a certain ex QB here everyone seemed to be onboard but now that’s it’s not what you want to hear he’s being negative. Very interesting…

  29. Bucs Guy Says:

    FA RB and AJ Dillon. Don’t waste an early pick on a RB,

  30. Ndog Says:

    Just for FACTS sake last year Tom Brady threw 126 play action passes for 980 yards with the 18th most rushing yards in the NFL.

    Jameis Winston in our offense, threw 107 play action passes
    (which for those of you that are number challenged is less than Brady) for 1133 yards (which is more than Brady) with the 24th most rushing yards in the NFL.

    So let me get this straight coach the guy that threw more times and for less yards than a guy that threw less times and for more yards should get more of a opportunity to use play action. Well yeah that does sound like a coach that thinks moving a kicker farther away to make a game winning FG easier.

  31. Hodad Says:

    Ndog, he throw’s to the other team to much. He’s gone, no one else wants him. Give up dude. The only numbers that matter with Winston are turnovers. Every team in the league knows your boy turns the ball over to much to win. Face the real facts.

  32. Ndog Says:

    You missed the point Hodad I’m simply saying if we were going to use play action why didn’t we use it last year when our QB was actually better at play action than the guy we are bringing in.

  33. Clean House Says:


  34. Sport Says:

    I think it ‘WAS’ a big part of the game plan, but once your down 14, the original game plan often goes out the window.

    Defense is improving.
    QB is vastly improved

    Play action will become a big part of the plan again.

    In BA I Trust!

  35. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Think you might be making a snap decision…or that perhaps stats just seem to reflect negatively on us because we put up so many negative stats.

    I read Bassenger in the paper. He really doesn’t have an axe to grind. He’s certainly geeky but not prejudiced.

    He’s not perfect though and sometimes you can over analyze a situation as Jeebs post seems to indicate.

  36. Ndog Says:

    Clean House Says:
    March 28th, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    This guy ⬆️ gets it.

  37. sincethebeginning Says:

    BA used a ton of play action when he had the backs to do it, that’s not in question. BUT he hasn’t used much of it so far in Tampa. He’s right about his play-calling mindset but wrong to imply he’s done a lot of play action emphasis recently with Lefty and the personnel he’s had to work with.

    Joe is right. We dont have the talent in the backfield to do it. Neither of our current backs is going to scare a defense.

    But Brady will have a new RB or two come Game 1, imo. RoJo will be traded for future pick(s) and we’ll have at least one veteran 3-down back come in, maybe two, and Licht will draft a rookie RB that ticks whatever boxes BA and TB agree upon.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d really love to see RoJo be “that guy” but BA *never* seems to sound like he believes RoJo can do what he needs done. I think last year was a “prove-it” year for Jones as much as it was for Jameis. But they’re going to keep RoJo around for now because his contract allows us to, at least until he’s valuable trade bait. Like if he has a fantastic pre-season….

    Letting Barber walk either gives RoJo that bump of confidence or makes him afraid some competition is about to walk in the door. Hopefully he’s finally up to the 3-down task. Dude needs to work with some wideouts, just sayin….. but even if he does that, I still don’t think he has enough pop in the running game to scare anybody. I never expect him to get more than a couple yards. He gets more than 5 yards and I’m hollering like a fool every time.

    And I don’t put that on our line. I think it’s on our backs and the total lack of pop they’ve had. Plus we became *SO* predictable with our personnel so often last year because our backs were such a joke. Running plays were painfully obvious all last year.

  38. Alanbucsfan Says:

    When will you ever get it ?
    No QB is more talented than Jameis, that is “Fact” as you say
    His inconsistency and turnovers are his problem and the reason he will not have a starting job this year.
    Even the Bears took a chance on Nick Foles over Jameis.
    He will be a backup If he accepts a lower salary and hopefully he will learn how to play winning NFL football.
    NOBODY in the NFL is going to pay him starting QB pay.