Status Quo On Tight End Usage?

July 1st, 2020

The numbers don’t lie when it comes to the Buccaneers’ running game.

Tampa Bay only ran well last season out of one personnel grouping.

That would be “11 personnel,” also known as three receivers, a tight end and one running back to complement the O-line and quarterback.

Former Bucs scout and Jets personnel chief and linebackers coach Pat Kirwan spit out the numbers yesterday during an analysis of the Bucs running game on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

In 11 personnel, the Bucs ran 221 times, the majority of their carries, for an average of 4.4 yards per carry and six touchdowns.

That three-receiver grouping suits Tom Brady perfectly, Kirwan explained, “right up his alley.” And Kirwan believes the presence of Rob Gronkowski can jack that average up to 4.6 yards per carry in 11 personnel.

In every other grouping the Bucs were meh or much worse, Kirwan shared, though they did rush for 7 TDs in two-tight-end sets (12 personnel).

Bucco Bruce Arians is allergic to fullbacks, as Bucs fans know well. Brady likes fullbacks but Kirwan isn’t concerned because he’s very high on third-round pick running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn, calling the Bucs “lucky” to get him at that spot in the draft.

Kirwan also commended Arians for reviving Ronald Jones last season and said he proved “fairly explosive” based on the data.

Joe can’t wait to see Vaughn, and how the Bucs improve on first down after ranking 27th last season in first-down runs. \

Joe hates to type it, but while some of that first-round failure is talent, some is a product of a collective mentality.

As for using tight ends a lot more, Kirwan wasn’t feeling a lot of that. Of course, that could depend a lot on how the Bucs feel about whoever becomes their No. 3 receiver. Since Chris Godwin is a ferocious blocker, often at the line of scrimmage in Arians’ system, Joe highly doubts the Bucs want to change his role significantly.

17 Responses to “Status Quo On Tight End Usage?”

  1. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    Less predictable playcalling = better effectiveness. Run more out of shotgun and 3 or 4 WR sets, pass more out of 12 personnel.

  2. El Buco Realisto Says:

    To answer the sheep’s question of why this is not called “status woe”!!!!!!!!! Ole stale biscuit will obviously be exempt if he drinks and/or is drunk, curses all the time, and lies and/or is a huge BS artist with tough talk that leads to nothing!!!!!!!!!!

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

  3. Cobraboy Says:

    You are tiring Realisto.

  4. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Cobraboy: I think you hit the nail on the head with El Buco Fake-A-Leasto. It’s good for this person to get a dose of humility, can you imagine if he/she ran their mouth out in public like they do when they’re hiding behind their keyboard?

  5. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Kirwan doesn’t think we’ll use the TE’s a lot more? Didn’t Arians say that the 2 TE, 12 personnel would be the base offense? It would be insanity to not use the TE’s more this year, with the talent at the position.

  6. Lamarcus Says:

    Didn’t Ira just wrote about fake news?

  7. Clw JB Says:

    Yeah, the personnel makes it a 12 base O – the third TE, Brate is a far better 3 than as a talent/production comparison to any other receiver on the roster south of Evans/Godwin

    Miller is the speed guy, pick your spots with him – the new Minn kid is a possession #2 long term, #4 today – he is here to replace/challenge Watson, who hasn’t showed much yet IMO

  8. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Realisto… have truly turned into Tmax. Why do you continue to post on this site!!!!!!!!!!! What do you like about the Bucs????????!!!!!!!!!!! Do you make sure you have the same number of exclamation points in each post?????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you this negative in real life??????!!!!!!!!!! Do you have a wife or husband???????!!!!!!!!
    Most importantly, are the sheep all back in the pen???????!!!!!!!!

  9. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “Bucco Bruce Arians is allergic to fullbacks” – J0E

    That’s been the case since Alstott left. Every year I keep hoping, only to be disappointed. Kind of like you with first round RBs.

    On a side note, am I remembering right? Did Rojo have a 40 yard catch and run in last years Giants game?

  10. Joe in Michigan Says:

    They used Vita Vea and Earl Watford at fullback a few times last year. I like the creativity, rather than carry a FB on the roster.

  11. Craig Says:

    Two other things with the 11 formation.

    1) Defenses have to have four to five guys back with the 11. The three receivers tend to keep defenses honest.

    The 12 formation allows for another blitzer, as LBs tend to pick up TEs at the line.

    2) Brady is the master of going through his progression and seeing what will work best. Our last QB wasn’t very good at it, so many possible runs never went anywhere. Runs had to be called.

    This year runs will be more spontaneous, they will happen when they have a chance to work and not just on every first down of the second half.

  12. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Great point, Craig. The audibles are going to work this year.

  13. 541BucsFan Says:

    Did everyone already forget about our brand new 6’5, 330lbs, ultra strong, super freak at RT? Run right. There will be hole.

  14. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Vea clearly has that talent. I do not know the logic other than perhaps they feel he’s too valuable at DL to risk running the ball or catching it. Talent is not the issue however. He has soft hands and decent moves for a big guy and of course the power.

    I’ll bring back an oldie but goodie…I loved watching this again…the YouTube video compilation of Vea star RB. Of course none of the high school kids wanted any part of beastly Vea…but one run near the goal line watch the other defense load up..stop him…only to have him keep running into the end zone.–ZYUOc2I

  15. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Oops directed that at Joe in Michigan…see if that auto moderates

  16. Joe in Michigan Says:

    SPBF: Honestly, I’d rather have someone else in there at FB than Vea, he means so much to our defense. Me personally, I’d use the talent at TE to be the FB/HB catching passes out of the backfield. Vea did look good on offense, though.

  17. Cobraboy Says:

    Don’t forget the Bucs ran another very valuable DT as FB a few times: Warren Sapp.

    In a way it’s rewarding a Big Ugly for a Job well done: Give the trench war nasties some O sunshine…