Balance Of A Different Sort

July 1st, 2021

Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians

Some sports axioms make no sense yet people still parrot them. You know, because.

In baseball it drives Joe wild hearing the chants of “a walk is as good as a hit.” No it is not! You cannot circle the bases on a walk. You can’t drive in a run from second (or first) on a walk (short of a complete fluke of a wild pitch or passed ball).

In football, you still hear people holler “Balanced attack.”


You don’t run just to run. If a team cannot stop a pass, running is actually hurting your offense, not helping. That is, unless you are Lovie Smith and don’t want to score points.

And vice-versa. If a defense cannot stop a run you are hurting your team by not continuing to go to the well until the defense proves it can.

So balanced attack is ca-ca.

However, there is good balance in the NFL. It’s when your defense continues to give the ball back to your offense when the offense is humming.

Take last year. Through 20 games played, no one scored more points than the Bucs. They averaged over 30 a game. That’s cool but the defense helped the Bucs offense score. How?

The Bucs led the NFL in takeaways through the regular season and postseason. So not only was the offense scoring, the defense kept feeding them it the ball.

Now that, friends, is good balance. Strong defense and excellent offense.

13 Responses to “Balance Of A Different Sort”

  1. Medicated Pete Says:

    No one could run the ball vs Bucs. Probably one of the underrated aspects of this team

  2. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    Actually the run defense is all that anyone talked about but they still gave up 3.6 yards per carry and 5.1 yards per play. It was the pass defense that was hurting us at times. They gave up 69% pass completion. In the playoffs they struggled at times to get teams off the field though they did become more opportunistic and when they did the offense took advantage. This year I think the offense is what will really carry this team and what Arians needs to do is if ROJO and the run game are doing really good to stick with it a little more.

  3. Lou. Says:

    Wow. A year ago one player had 30 turnovers by himself — by the pass. Plus the fumbles. So #1 in turnovers one year and #1 in takeaways the next — a real turnaround.

  4. OHBucFan Says:

    Disagree with Joe’s takes on axioms in both sports. Your take is a tactical view but not strategic. A team that takes a ‘walk is as good as a hit’ gets to the bullpen much quicker in this day of pitch counts. That’s where runs are scored. Not to mention using that discipline means better pitches in which to swing for the fences.
    In football the axiom of balanced makes sense at the team level. Joe is looking at it from game day. Correct in that you make the defense stop either attack that you’re having success with but first your playbook has to have both run and pass options in addition to your team having a balance of run and pass talent. That’s a balanced attack and that’s also what will have your opponent’s coaching staff up all night trying to cover their weaknesses and perhaps ignoring their strengths.

  5. Alanbucsfan Says:

    And those takeaways happened because the Bucs’D took away the opponents’ run game and forced them to pass – causing the opponents offense to become unbalanced and more predictably pass oriented.- as a result, Bucs front 6 put alot more pressure on QB’s.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Agree with OHBucFan but I’d take it a bit further: I think you’re playing word games Joe. BALANCED ATTACK (as I’ve always understood it at least) always refers to the offensive side of the ball, but has never meant that you run the ball as many times as you pass the ball in every game. If that’s the basis of your assertion that ‘a balanced attack is ca-ca’ then I’d agree. Might be wrong, but I don’t think most fans think of BALANCED ATTACK in that way.

    I personally like the way that coach Mike Leach defines ‘balance’: “Balance should mean having the ability to present enough credible threats on the field to prevent defenses from effectively defending all of them at the same time.”

    It could mean that if your opponent’s defense effectively stops your passing game, you eat them alive with your running game (and maybe open up your passing game in the process?). Or vice versa. OR … maybe BALANCE could mean that if an opponent effectively stops your intermediate/deep passing game, you nickel & dime them with your short stuff to force them to adapt (and then maybe open up the deeper stuff?).

    In any event, BALANCE between our offense & defense CAPABILITIES has become more & more critical in modern-day NFL IMO and each hopefully will certainly COMPLEMENT the other, but having a balanced ATTACK I think refers to the offensive component in that equation.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Most baseball announcers/analysts say a walk is as good as a hit only in those circumstances…..for example…..when a team is in it’s last at bat and down by two and nobody on…..a walk is as good as a hit….when the bases are loaded and you are tied in the bottom of the ninth….a walk wins the game, so it’s as good as a hit. and so on…..
    Of course a walk isn’t as good as a hit in many, many other circumstances.

  8. PassingThru Says:

    Shaking my head….

    A balanced attack is essential to winning football, or just about any other sport or competition you can think of. It’s called game theory.

    Let’s use poker as an analogy: If you play poker, you should bluff, but to maximize success you don’t bluff either all the time. Sure, you can win a hand at poker by bluffing or by not bluffing, but that’s just a hand. Poker isn’t a hand, it’s a continuous series of games with all the previous hands influencing the way your opponents are playing and reading your intentions. You mix bluffing up, even randomizing it to keep everyone guessing as to what you’ll do next.

    It’s the same way with football. Sure, with a really great QB you can get a first down with passing plays, but football isn’t about getting a first down, just like poker isn’t about winning a hand. In football you have to score via a series of first downs for four quarters. If the defense knows you’ll play the pass, you increase their likelihood of them stopping a long drive as it only takes one unsuccessful series of downs to stop your progress. That’s the essence of a balanced attack, the defense is kept honest. They cannot throw 7 defensive backs onto the field; if they did, you could run at them and pick up 5 to 6+ safe yards per carry. Mixing up your offensive attack means the defense is forced to compromise with heavier personnel packages and run defensive formations, which leads to easier, higher percentage passing plays.

  9. Joe Says:

    And those takeaways happened because the Bucs’D took away the opponents’ run game and forced them to pass

    Good point!

  10. Cobraboy Says:

    “Balance” to Arians is equal number of long “riskits” to shorter “biscuits.”

  11. Chesapeake Bay Bucco Says:

    Amen what OHBucFan said!

  12. Oneilbuc Says:

    Cobraboy . I thought he didn’t change the offense for Brady?? Lol 😆🤣 so now you are saying it was a different offense from 2019 right?? I told yall it was a different offense after the by week and it should have been . That was a good idea and good coaching. You finally telling the truth !! Lol 😆🤣 you just killed your own narrative 🤣 . Thank you for telling the truth now you understand what I’ve been saying about BA . So now this needs to be the offense that Kyle Trask needs to be learning the Brady offense wich includes a running game for the young quarterback to develop!!!

  13. Oneilbuc Says:

    Now yall have killed yall narrative I was told by all yall that a running game was not important it was just a excuse for Jamies lol 😂🤣😆 . I’m done talking to yall now lol 😆😂🤣 !! Yall killed yall own narrative lol 😆😂 !! Yall told me that it’s all about the quarterback now it’s about having a balance offense wich I’ve been saying !! Lol 😆🤣 !!