No Identity

September 16th, 2020

Michael Lombardi.

Joe doesn’t know of a football coach that doesn’t want to try to be everything on offense. But a former NFL suit believes that is a recipe for disaster.

When watching the Bucs-Saints game Sunday, Michael Lombardi, the former coffee fetcher for Bill Walsh, Al Davis and Bill Belicheat, thought to himself that park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring Bucs quarterback Tom Brady just looked all out of sorts.

That’s because, Lombardi explained, Brady didn’t know if the Bucs wanted to run the ball or pass.

“I thought he was uncomfortable,” Lombardi said on his podcast “GM Shuffle.” “I think he is not sure about who they are and what they want to do.”

Lombardi watched Brady up close after leaving the Cleveland general manager post returned to work with Belicheat as a staffer in New England. Lombardi didn’t see that player Sunday.

He also seems to think an offense should either keep pounding the ball and win with the run, or go full-blown Air Coryell and throw constantly. He said the Bucs didn’t know what they wanted and that confused Brady.

“I had the impression that Tampa was searching, was playing ‘Battleship.’ ‘How about K5? Let’s go with G6… ‘ You know, that kind of sh!t. I just never felt like he was comfortable with what he was doing.

“He didn’t look like the Tom Brady I know.”

Until the Bucs decide they either want to be a running team or a passing team, they will just spin their wheels and waste Brady’s final years, Lombardi said.

“They bring Leonard Fournette in and he gets five carries for five yards,” Lombardi noted. “Who do you want to be? You see, here is the problem: When you want to be everything, you end up getting nothing.”

Simply put, Lombardi believes the loss to the Saints was a giant failure in preparation. “When you break it all down, I don’t think Tampa was very well-coached,” Lombardi said.

Lombardi did give props to defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and felt awful for how a good defensive effort was spoiled.

“When you force this may third downs, when you allow a team to convert five out of 15, you are playing pretty good. You are playing pretty damn good. And you lose?”

32 Responses to “No Identity”

  1. TheBucsAnthem Says:


    The national media is ripping Brady & the bucs.

    The Bucs aren’t used to being in the spotlight 24/7…….

    ……this team better growup quick!!!!!

  2. Bucsfanman Says:

    I kind of agree with this take. It did not look like we were committing one way or the other.
    I do know this: If Brady is to survive the season, the Bucs better get the run-game going, and fast.
    If you watched Monday night, Ben struggled until they started reeling off chunks in the running game.
    A run-game, despite the “passing league” detractors, has ALWAYS been a QB’s best friend.
    Lastly, where’s the creativity in this offense? Is it just too early? How do we have so many offensive weapons that can’t get open?

  3. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    Agree with Lombardi. It just didn’t feel like the Bucs had any offensive rythm except for maybe two drives. My bet is there will be a whole lot of correcting this week and a different Bucs team this Sunday.

  4. Destinjohnny Says:

    It always gets back to lichts drafting of offensives and defensive lines
    Also I would have found a way to keep Nassib

  5. Mike Johnson Says:

    Time for Arians to let cart coaching go and do some hands on. Besides, he has the biggest coaching staff in the NFL. The Biggest. Nothing is ever easy with the Bucs. Never has been. After all that hype. We looked terrible. Panthers will be more prepared than you think. Bucs better be ready. 0-2 guarantees the boo birds coming on strong.

  6. adam from ny Says:

    the more you mull over this game the worse the loss was…

    it’s like they sorta slowly unravelled from beginning to end…

    it got worse slowly as the game progressed…

    even bunting, who had a good game, slowly faded off…

    it was like that as a team effort…

    it was a really confusing and disappointing performance…

    tom looked a little bewildered out there on a couple occasions too, when the camera cut to him…

    many will say it’s safe to chalk it up as “oh it’s only week one”…

    but i as well as most thought we’d be further along than this…

    one can only hope week 2 offers a different synopsis

  7. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Nothing on Joe here, but this is stupid talk by Lombardi. They have re-tooled key parts of the offense, had no pre-season…not even scrimmages, and opened up on the road against a team that is clearly Top 5 of not Top 3 on both offense and defense. Is Tom Brady a miracle worker? YES HE IS! But even miracles take time. No, I’m not saying half a season. Better not. The GOAT always been one to self correct. I’m not worried. We’ll talk again Monday morning.

    Now: No identity? Don’t know whether they are a passing team or a running team? Dumb. One game so far. Not even a valid question yet really. I think they are still a passing team based off of last year, but they are trying to get their run game going given the weapons brought in. I’ll say the play calling stunk last weekend, just like it did for much of last year. While some are talking/wriging of Leftwich being a HC I still that is waaaayyyyy to early. But BL and play calling is a different issue. But “identity” issue? Jeeze…let them play a couple of games here!

  8. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Very insightful article. I think Lombardi hit the nail on the head. Don’t know we had to pound the ball so much in the first half when the Saints DL was clearly beating the our OL. We have a great set of WR and pass catching TE. This was our mismatch.

  9. Roy T. Buford Says:

    @Adam…some things got worse, some got better. Some stunk the whole game. I don’t disagree it was disappointing and confusing…but they played the Saints.

    The offense started out great (canned plays for the first drive). The next few drives were awful, from play calling to execution. Like last year. Fixable, fast. Again, I don’t like the play calling so far (and didn’t last year).

    Special teams found a way to flub things most of the day. Missed kicks (though 54 yarders are 50/50 anyway), bad punt coverage, terrible KRs, and then the pooch kick. Fixable, fast.

    Vita Vea’s offside and some bad DPIs…mostly fixable. But the D looked pretty good. This WAS Drew Brees and the Saints.

    If they look like this again at home this weekend, I’ll happily abandon my current position!

  10. Clean House Says:

    Arians is a fraud with the strategy of a dimentia patient

  11. Richard Dickson Says:

    What happened to balance? I’m sure if we came out winging the ball all over the place, they’d be saying “Can’t win without a running game!”

  12. adam from ny Says:


    i hear ya…i watched the full game sunday, re-watched in full monday, then actually watched the condensed 45 min version yesterday…i probably shouldn’t have done that…lol

    it sorta got worse each time i watched…as more things revealed themselves…

    i’m just like most bucs fans…i want it to come together fast…but i understand with all the new parts it’s a work in progress…

    everyone involved with the bucs needs a win this weekend…we all do…everyoneand anything nfl is completely hyper focused on the bucs…i know it’s early but time to step up…

    no room for mccafferey and carolina to leave out house with a win…


  13. adam from ny Says:

    oh geez so many typos ^^^

    joe ya gotta give us a way to revise comments broski

  14. Here we go again Says:

    New QB = same results. Some teams set up the run with the pass. Look at the receiving weapons the Bucs have. Time to look at the play calling!

  15. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    So what happened to the It’s Only one Game” mantra? It is now Wednesday and everyone is still talking about the dumpster dive of a team in TOMPA!

  16. Smashsquatch Says:

    Of course they have no identity. It’s to be expected when you bring in a QB like Tom Brady and try to blend your system with his talents. He admitted as much before the game saying we have to learn about what we’re good at. Tough matchup week one. Expect progress each week. We only have to peak late, just like we did in 2003 when we won the SB.

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    What happened to the short passes to the RBs & TEs…….it seems we’ve been using the TEs to help the Oline in the run game & it’s not working well.

    Dink & dunk….with an occasional run & long pass….

  18. gotbbucs Says:

    It’s not just running the ball. It’s running the ball out of formations that aren’t short yardage formations.
    These idiots continue to think everything is predicated off of the deep passing game and it’s just the opposite. They think if they throw a deep pass everyone will back up on defense. Everyone is already playing us deep, the short to intermediate throws are what’s going to open up the deep stuff. Motioning receivers into the box and ramming them up into the pile only creates more bodies to run around.

    Leftwich isn’t an NFL offensive coordinator, thats the cold hard truth. No matter how hard they try to shove that down our throats, it isn’t happening. His play calling does nothing to get a QB comfortable and theres no rhyme or reason to what he’s calling.

  19. Bucsfan81 Says:

    We can’t run block. That’s nothing new as we haven’t had a 1,000 yard rusher since Doug Martin. Go max protection in shot gun and start throwing 75 percent of the time. The WR position is the strength of this team anyways.

  20. Hodad Says:

    Watching the Patriot game before the Bucs was very telling. The Pats came out and ran the Cam Newton offense. They played to his talents. Cam did his damage more with his legs then with his arm. He obviously wasn’t running Tom’s offense from last year. Then you watch the Bucs, and see Tom was in the Arains offense. Miss communication with Evans on a pass that was picked, sideline pass for another pick, with six, Jenkins said he knew it was coming. The Patriots adapted to Cams talents, the Bucs are not playing to what Tom does best. If this staff this year fails with Brady, it’s the staff, not the QB.

  21. Georger Says:

    It’s called a balanced offence. It wasn’t like we were playing the Giants. We played the Saints, what were they 13-3 last year. The Bucs lost to a good team, that happens. I won’t worry till we lose to a bad team.

  22. adam from ny Says:

    also shaq has been shut down completely if i’m correct the last 3 times they’ve played the saints…(including yesterday)…

    you would think after 2 times completely taking him out of the game, bowles and company would tweak and reinvent shaq’s game to at least throw the saints off and make him more of a menace…

    i saw nothing different with shaq, or adjustments, so he’d be more productive vs. the saints through the bowles defense…

    that in a nutshell is a bit disappointing

  23. HeyItsAdam Says:

    If you have all these weapons and Tom Brady and your RB gets clogged up in the lanes, go Fun and Gun. Run a single back with 4 or 5 WRs and clear out the box.

    What? Tom Brady can’t read a blitz?

  24. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    Bucsfanman Says:
    “Lastly, where’s the creativity in this offense?”

    We asked that question all season last year. I just don’t think it’s going to happen.

  25. Big_Buc$ Says:

    I have said that all along that the Bucs would look like they did Sunday because no identity has been established on offense. I think we will see week to week a different offensive game plan. Meaning one week they will go all out and try to run the ball and the next week a full blown passing attack. So I also think they will shuffle the running backs but I still feel like the best option at this point is Ronald Jones. I think him and Fournette can be a good 1 2 punch if use correctly. I just do think the offense should be dink and donk like Brady played in New England. He will need to take some risk and throw deep more. I also notice that Brady has a time clock in his head that triggers he needs to throw the ball quick instead of holding a second longer for a long developing route to come open.

  26. 813bucboi Says:

    Simply put, Lombardi believes the loss to the Saints was a giant failure in preparation. “When you break it all down, I don’t think Tampa was very well-coached,” Lombardi said.


    regarding the play calling, ITS 1 GAME with a new QB….im sure BL is breaking down film, looking at what they did well on sunday, what they need to improve on, and what brady is comfortable with….

    we did some good things on offense but we couldnt get into a groove because of the TOs and penalties….

    im cool with BA delegating the duties but if thats the case, he has to make sure bucs dont beat bucs with poor ST play and penalties….thats not being well coached which falls on his shoulders….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  27. Roy T. Buford Says:

    @Adam, yeah, I agree we need to get the win for all. Admittedly, I have avoided watching it on NFL rewind or elsewhere. It’s been a lousy week as is!

  28. Roy T. Buford Says:

    @BucBoi? You mean they weren’t “Tenessee Ready?”

    LOL. I hope it’s just a prep issue, belive it is that, and think it’s all fixable.

    At least Arians Tenessee Ready is not as bad as Lovie’s.

  29. 813bucboi Says:


    dont matter if its as bad….with TOs, poor ST play and penalties, the results were the same…”L”

    lets hope its fixable in a couple days….

    on to CAR!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  30. Steven Says:

    This is what happens when you have a coach who rides around on a golf cart during training camp. He seems to be about 50% involved and is giving Byron Leftwich way too much control. He’s not ready for it and the Bucs will suffer because of it.

  31. Steven Says:

    It looked like what it was. A second-year offensive coordinator running someone else’s offense. He is trying to sprinkle in his own ideals trying to sprinkle in what Brady wants and still trying to run Bruce’s offense. That’s a mess.

  32. Show Me the TDs Says:

    Isn’t this the opposite of a balanced offense?


Leave a Reply