Bucs Are “Not Peaking Yet”

October 6th, 2020

Film study.

Bucs fans have heard it will take time for the Bucs to mesh with a new quarterback (even though a pair of rookie QBs have been humming the ball with lesser receivers from the moment they stepped on the field this fall).

And a former Bucs quarterback likes what he is beginning to see with his old team.

Chris Simms, now a professional talking head after spending a year as an offensive assistant with the Belicheats, said each week he sees big improvements in the Bucs – enough that Simms said the rest of the NFC should be scared as hell.

“Tom Brady, the Bucs, Byron Leftwich, Bruce Arians they’ve got something going here,” Simms said of the offense. “I mean on both sides of the ball to where I’m starting to go, ‘Woo, watch out.’

“They’ve got a chance to be the best team in the NFC, I really do believe that. Yeah. They have a chance. They really do. … Everything is there and it is going in the right trajectory offensively and defensively.”

Simms offered his comments on his podcast “Unbuttoned” yesterday. He had a “deep dive” on the Bucs’ win over the Chargers and spent 20 minutes breaking it down

Here are some of Simms’ thoughts:

* There’s a pattern in the Bucs offense (and if Simms sees this, one would think savvy defensive coaches will notice as well). Simms said in shotgun, the Bucs are running a Patriots-like offense prone to throwing short passes. When the Bucs go to a two-tight end formation, Brady is going deep. Joe isn’t sure if this will change with tight end O.J. Howard on the shelf for the season.

* Bucco Bruce Arians has a trick up his sleeve as to why he runs multiple-set tight ends and it isn’t because the Bucs have so many good tight ends. Simms said an advantage of having a two- or three-tight end sets is defenses are less likely to use exotic blitzes.

* Simms loves how Arians is staying patient with the run despite limited success.

* Brady is “killing people right now” with play-action passes.

* Anthony Lynn allowing his offense to run a read-option late in the first half in which Bucs defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh jarred the ball loose from Chargers running back Joshua Kelley “was f@cking stupid!” That play, Simms said, unlocked the door for the Bucs to make a comeback.

* Simms said a reason Brady is throwing deep was the Chargers were daring Brady to do so, “compressing” the box.

* By adding effective screen passes, the Bucs are “getting scary good” at making defenses cover every inch of the field. “They are going to be tough to f@cking stop. They have some talent on that side of the ball.”

* The Bucs’ offensive line “is really pass protecting well. We didn’t hear Joey Bosa’s name. Tristan Wirfs has been a pleasant surprise at right tackle. I really questioned his foot-quickness coming out in the draft. He’s been really good. Both tackles have been really good.”

* On Brady’s pick-six, Simms fingered Justin Watson, who was targeted with the throw. “That was a sh!tty route. You have to attack a guy’s leverage. … [not] run an out-route just straight.”

* “That d-line in Tampa is for real. I mean they are for real. They are scary good.” Simms also referred to the Bucs’ defensive line as “ferocious.” Additionally, Simms added, “The Bucs have an elite front-seven. An out-of-this-world front-seven. It can be overwhelming at times and truly dominate a football game.”

* Simms believed the deep passes the Bucs defense gave up were a combination of safeties misjudging receivers’ speed and the Bucs not expecting the Chargers to attempt deep passes. Simms didn’t discount that at times Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles may have been too aggressive. (Joe noted in Ira Kaufman’s podcast that, based on stats, Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert has a history dating back to his college days at Oregon of burning defenses that blitz.)

* Based on film study, Simms said you can tell Bowles is starting to trust cornerback Carlton Davis more and more as if he is a lockdown corner. Simms also said Antoine Winfield and Sean Murphy-Bunting “pop” on film.

* Simms noted the Bucs have not yet reached their summit. “It’s not peaking yet but every week, I start to say, ‘Whoo, that’s looking good.'”

28 Responses to “Bucs Are “Not Peaking Yet””

  1. Casual Observer Says:

    I think he is right about not expecting those deep passes. Usually the Bucs have gotten beat with the short quick tosses. A good lesson.

  2. Cannon Says:

    Live by the blitz, die by the blitz.

    I, for one, would prefer us to keep attacking with blitzes.

  3. Bobby M. Says:

    Good stuff. I like hearing from guys that hung around the league for several years. Even if they weren’t great players, they still have really good insight and perspective on how things work at the pro level.

    I thought the comment about Watson’s route was dead on. Go back and watch it, he runs with his head down, didn’t sell the route to the CB. That’s two of the same route returned for pick 6s when targeting Watson. Scratch that one from the arsenal.

  4. bojim Says:

    Some peaking Thursday night would be a good thing.

  5. David Says:

    I agree except he said both tackles are playing well…. they are but Smith has to stop holding! He’s got to be amongst the OL league leaders

  6. mark2001 Says:

    David…don’t think we have to be peaking to beat the Bears…just need to play sound defense and consistent Offense.

    I think peaking against the Packers…or KC…would be a better indication of what this team is really capable of.

  7. BringBucsBack Says:

    Ya, I’ve (we’ve) also noticed an offensive trend that is even easier to identify: the Bucs run on 1st down 80+% of the time. No one telegraphs the run quite like our Buccos; (ie.: tight formation, multiple TEs, Brady under center, WR in motion). They should simply announce it verbally to the defense.

    I’d be happy to help them create a few “misdirection” run plays for a few tickets and a Bucs face cover. It is the job of the offensive co-ordinator, after all.

  8. David Says:

    Mark- I agree. The bears should not be an issue as long as there are some WRs to throw to

  9. Casual Observer Says:

    BBBack – Agree. Need to be less predictable.

  10. Lamarcus Says:

    How about just throwing away that out pattern? Its responsible for like 10 pick 6s

  11. 813bucboi Says:

    BL doesnt have to “trick” defenses….lol…

    yeah we’re running on 1st down now come stop it….

    BL trust his players to win their one on one match ups…..and thats exactly what we’re doing on offense….

    when you gain positive yards even though the defense knows whats coming you’re imposing your will….

    we’re not being predictable, we’re staying true to our identity…..

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  12. 813bucboi Says:



    we improved by just throwing away JW….

    JW IS A BUST!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  13. ClodHopper Says:

    I was just listening to this. This is such an underrated podcast. Only ScuttleBucs and Ira have a better podcast.

  14. Bird Says:

    The short out route to long side of field …should be a non starter

    And if Justin watson Involved …then Thats just stupidity.

  15. SlyPirate541 Says:

    I just read the Bucs have +80% chance of making the playoffs.

    Let’s improve those odds. Let’s get to 4-1. Let’s win TNF!!!

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We should use more play action on 1st downs…….we used it on the Scotty TD……a thing of beauty…

    Opposing defenses are expecting us to run on 1st down…..we could use play action many, many times before defenses would catch on.

  17. BillyBucFan Says:

    We just need 1 of those 10 receivers BA talked about to step up.
    Tyler Johnson doesn’t even have a catch this year I don’t think.

    Lights can’t be too big for these guys.

    I’ve seen Brady struggle in the past against good defenses that bring pressure so the O Line playing good is negating a ton.

    Last week I noticed there wasn’t much separation for the WRs.
    I expect that to continue this week.

  18. Bird Says:


    Lamarcus calls everyone garbage. Thats all he can say. Negative nancy. Winfield and brady garbage. White. Even lavonte.

    Yet jameis is HOFer

    I mean what is wrong with lamarcus
    He never answers When i ask if he ate paint chips as a kid?

  19. Buc Bro Says:

    Simms wishes he had blocking like that. Watching old Bucs games it just blows me away how awful the talent on offense was here for years and years

  20. Jonathan Limpchimpi Says:

    Did Simms rupture anything climbing on the Buc bandwagon after declaring “not a playoff team”.

  21. SmoothBayRider Says:

    NDog loves to go to the Panamanian petting zoo !

  22. Phred Says:

    The goal is to be peaking in the playoffs. As we say in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU): “It’s all about the trend line.”

    As long as the Bucs improve week-to-week, they’ll make the playoffs. Winning the SB involves the additional variable of avoiding injury to key players.

  23. Craig Says:

    Yes, the Bucs offense has a way to go, it is already pretty damned good. They will also get better, I hope. Leftwich keeps tossing in plays that don’t need to be used, like that out route.

    If they get a little more each week, until late in the season, this will be awesome.

    Defense, Bowles needs to keep his blitz enthusiasm in check a bit. Quit blitzing the house, Trubisky has a long arm.

  24. Pigsueybucsfan Says:

    Trubisky is not the QB Folks is. Gotta be careful with him he can get sneaky good at times

  25. SOEbuc Says:

    Deep darts over the middle to Evans finally getting YAC has arrived. Where are you Chris?!!! Vaughn gonna show up in the RB receiving hopefully to make up for stone hands RoJo. Be sweet if Vaughn can get his run game going.

  26. lambchop Says:

    I initially thought the Bears game was a gimme even with our WR/TE injuries, but the Bears are actually stout on pass defense. So, it’s not the gimme I thought it was going to be. That D has to show up and show out. We need TOs this game to dominate the field position game. If we gotta drive 80 yards to TDs, it’s going to be a bit dicey. We need some shorter fields and scores from the D.

    I expect the Bears to focus on shutting down the run game, knowing we may not have our starters at WR. It’s up to Brady and the guys catching his balls to make good cuz the Bears are going to challenge us to beat them in the air.

    This might be the first sub-30 point game of the season.

  27. tickrdr Says:

    I’ll probably jinx the Bucs, but I just want to point out that the combined records of the Bears’ opponents in their three wins is ……………. 1 – 11.


  28. Brandon Says:

    Why do people keep saying Anthony Lynn ran a read option play? It was clearly a draw play. No element of read option was there. Are these analysts getting their bad info from the same place.