Lean On Your Strength

July 22nd, 2021


Regular listeners of the “Ira Kaufman Podcast” are aware Joe and Ira butt heads regularly on this subject.

Joe is of the mind that the Bucs should pass and pass and pass some more. Why? The Bucs have one of the most loaded wide receiver corps in NFL history with the greatest quarterback in NFL history.

Why would you want to run a lot? Or worse, throw short passes to backup running backs?

Ira is of the mind the Bucs need to target a backup running back with screens and short passes in the flat.

Why would a coach want to run or throw short passes? Not leaning on your strength is cheating your team. Put the ball in the hands of your best players and let them win games for you.

Joe is not suggesting the Bucs fully abandon the run. But seriously, what defense is going to shut down this passing attack?

Remember, the Bucs averaged over 30 points a game with a 43-year old quarterback who didn’t know the playbook until the end of November and was playing on one leg.

Joe recently saw a short YouTube video with famed basketball coaches Mike Krzyzewski and Bobby Knight. Krzyzewski said when in doubt, he’s a big believer in putting his best five players on the court, regardless of position, and letting them take over.

“You put the ball in the hands of your best players and good things happen,” Krzyzewski said.

To which, Knight quickly responded, “Right!”

Same in the NFL.

The Bucs’ best players are in the passing game. Down the field.

18 Responses to “Lean On Your Strength”

  1. Casual Observer Says:

    But – You don’t want to be too predictable with your play calling. The opponent’s D will adjust.

  2. Kentucky Buc Says:

    It’s pretty simple. A good running game and the occasional screen pulls the DBs up, opening up the downfield ball. Play action pass doesn’t work if your run game is nonexistent. The check down saves Brady when pass pro breaks down.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Gio will not be a backup running back….he’s a starting 3rd down back….and, I believe he will prove the value of passing to RBs…

    I do agree that this constant running up the gut on 1st down is unproductive and unnecessary……teams expect us to run so we should use play action there….it will be a long time before teams start to ignore our 1st down running….when they finally do….then it’s time to run.

  4. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    Lets see, Coach K’s best 5 versus any team in the NCAA? No wonder everyone thinks he is so smart. Just common sense.

    I think a couple of runs up the middle keeps the safeties honest. It helps set up the Bucs arsenal of weapons at WR and TE. Yea, Lefty gets too cute and carried away at times

  5. Hodad Says:

    All of it, then more all of it. You can’t do enough of everything. Deep shots, play action, you do have to run up the gut, ask Allstott, screens, wheel routes to the backs, reverses. Every offense leans on it’s strength, but it wouldn’t be an offense at all if it didn’t everything else.

  6. PSK Bucs Fan Says:

    We ran the ball way too much on 1st down with unimpressive success. With our WRs and TEs we should always be looking to throw, if it’s not there TB12 knows how to check down. ….. and then we we do decide to run the defense is focused on defending the pass and we bust through with more big run plays.

  7. Show Me the TDs Says:

    How many Superbowls did Dan Fouts win while running the Air Coryell offense? Zero. How many Superbowls did New England win while using a very balanced, adaptable attack. 6. It’s common sense. Football is a team sport. The offense helps the defense and vice versa. It’s called ‘complimentary football”.

  8. Alanbucsfan Says:

    One could argue that the blocking of Wirfs, Gronk ,Cappa/ Stinnie is the “best” part of the offense and all the great skill players compliment the offense.

  9. The Graham Tram Says:

    I think Ira understands the philosophy of the offense. We nickle and dime you and then Scotty Miller walks out the backdoor with your TV

  10. Bird Says:

    Of course we should pass

    But cmon. Whether you have the greatest receiving / tight end group in nfl
    So many things can go wrong in a pass:
    Qb hit when throwing so int / ball tipped at scrimmage so int / receiver falls down so int/ defender holds so able to catch up and get int/ bad weather affect ball so int

    Compared to softly handing it off to a running back or throwing a 7 yard lofted screen to running back

    Things dont usually turn out good when you throw 40-50 times a game

    Luckily brady knows where to go presnap best matchup and go thru progressions from there

  11. alton d green Says:

    I see several comments about running up the gut. for the first few games I thought my head would explode. OF COURSE you have to keep the defense honest but COME ON MAN!!!!! Really reminds me of a comment by the comedian Groucho Marx about having a gang of kids. And I quote “I love a good cigar but i take it out of my mouth sometimes” I said for a few games that we were basically playing with 3 downs. Thank God we have the GOAT. I agree that teams sometimes use trial and error but when the Cheetah got 200 yds in the first quarter. He should have been double teamed as soon as he got off the plane. I wondered if BL has ever watched the Chiefs before

  12. biff batker Says:

    Keep the D off balance. Mix it up. I think we will see more blitzing this season. Brady will kill any defense if he gets time to throw.
    We’ve got all the tools so lets use them all!

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “Remember, the Bucs averaged over 30 points a game with a 43-year old quarterback who didn’t know the playbook until the end of November and was playing on one leg.”

    Joe I think you’ve gotten about as much traction out of that one as you’re gonna get. Seriously, you expect Bucs’ fans to believe that Tom Brady, the GOAT, ‘didn’t know the playbook until the end of November’? And even more incredulous, you expect everyone to believe that his knee was so beaten up that he was ‘playing on one leg’? We both watched every game Joe; Brady wasn’t even limping going back to the huddles. And as far as not knowing the playbook goes, Tom Brady IS the playbook.

    Kentucky Buc … GRRREAT comments, but you’re wasting them on Joe. He’s of the mindset that offense wins championships, and that our offense IS Tom Brady. He doesn’t need a defense; he doesn’t need running backs. Heck he only needs 1 TE, Gronk. Running game? Bucs don’t need no stinkin running game (according to Joe of course).

    Joe, the one game last year where the Bucs threw the ball almost all game (the second Saints game), the Bucs only ran the ball FIVE times all game (for 8 yards). Brady went 22-for-38 (58%) for 209 yds and THREE INTs. Bucs were 1-for 12 in terms of 3rd & 4th down conversions and we amassed a grand total of slight less than 20 minutes of TOP.

    Did I mention that we got slaughtered 38-10? Oh, must’ve forgot that. My bad. (Any offense that relies solely on the passing game is destined for the scrap-heap; there needs to be enough BALANCE to at least defenses honest; and that BALANCE needs to exist also between the offense & the defense).

    Listen to Ira more.

  14. Alanbucsfan Says:

    By the way…
    The Bucs ranked 31st in the NFL last year in terms of running plays on 1st down
    And they actually started running more on 1st down towards the end of the year-hmmm …8 straight wins , just a coincidence?

  15. Irishmist Says:

    Running the ball helps shorten the game and reduces the injury risk to Brady and our receivers, who will be needed against the good teams in the playoffs.

  16. 941Boltsfan Says:

    This doesn’t even deserve a response beyond being a take with little football IQ.

  17. German Buc Says:

    More running -> more time of posession -> more time to rest for the D -> better D -> more options for the O.
    More running -> opposing safeties closer to LOS -> more room for passing options -> more success while passing, especially with play action.
    It’s not rocket science, it’s a team game.

  18. Pickgrin Says:

    Gio is going to make ‘this Joe’ change his mind quickly after he breaks a couple screen/dump off passes for 20+ yard gains in the first game or two…..

    Bucs now have one of the league’s premier pass catchers out of the back field.

    Didn’t have anyone like that on the roster last year.

    Gio will be utilized heavily in the passing game on 3rd down this year – BOOK IT!