Bucs Passing = Bucs Scoring

October 30th, 2021

Ian Beckles.

Is Ian Beckles having a football epiphany?

Beckles, a former Bucs guard and current popular local sports radio personality, for years used to bang the drum that a good offense must have a good ground attack.

As recently this month Beckles nodded his head in appreciation for the way Playoff Lenny ran the ball. But now it seems Beckles is turning into Mike Leach.

The pass-happy Mississippi State coach once famously said that “50 percent running and 50 percent passing is 50 percent stupid.” Instead, Leach said, you get the ball to your best players no matter the position and let them gain yards and score touchdowns.

Joe became that way with the Bucs. Joe has gotten into screaming matches with the Sage of Tampa Bay sports, Ira Kaufman, demanding the Bucs need to pass early and often because that is clearly would use their best players. For every snap the ball is not in the hands of Antonio Brown, Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski, Chris Godwin, Cam Brate, Scotty Miller or O.J. Howard is basically a wasted snap (with all due respect to Playoff Lenny and Ronald Jones).

It’s just a matter of using your strength. If the Bucs had the second coming of Earl Campbell, Tony Dorsett or LaDainian Tomlinson in the backfield and average receivers, Joe would be stomping his feet for the Bucs to run the ball 40-50 times a game.

In the recent edition of Beckles’ podcast “In the Trenches,” Beckles was saying the Bucs shouldn’t fool around with the run game as much as he previously wanted.

“As the [Bears] game went on, and I’m always the guy always preaching, ‘We need balance’ and blah, blah, I’m going to stop saying that. The Buccaneers are in a position now where I believe they think balance is just wasting their time.

“Because they are scoring anyways. And that’s the thing that doesn’t trip me out. A lot of times teams — throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball — and they get pass-happy and when it is time to run the football, they can’t.

“The Buccaneers can run the football. They ran the ball very effectively [against the Bears]. But they don’t want to waste their time spending that much time to score, it seems like. They don’t want to run the ball twice in a row. They feel like it’s taking away from Tom and what he can accomplish.”

And that is exactly what Joe is getting at.

Hey, Joe is all about killing the clock with a 20-point lead with Playoff Lenny, OK. The danger there is if you have a 20-point lead by way of the pass, aren’t you then taking your foot off the pedal and setting the table for your opponent to make a comeback? Why not polish them off for good with a 35-point lead by passing?

In spurts this year the Bucs went full-blown Air Coryell and the results were breathtaking. That’s Joe’s kind of football: Pummel your opponent so badly that when they do hit the mat, they won’t be able to get back up and throw a lucky punch.

Other Bucs thoughts from Beckles:

On Richard Sherman:

“I really love to hear that because Richard Sherman is out because of a hamstring, and [defensive back coach Kevin Ross was out with The Sickness], Richard Sherman stepped in as the coach. Now, I have never heard that. But that is a beautiful thing. Do we have anybody on our roster who could have stepped in as a coach? Other than Richard Sherman? Richard Sherman saved our @ss playing almost every snap for three straight games. And then helped our @ss again by helping our coach when [Ross was out]. Richard Sherman, is he the player he used to be? Nope. Is he a frickin’ valuable piece of this defense? Absolutely!”

On Khalil Mack vs. Tristan Wirfs:

I thought people made such a big deal over 1.5 plays a first-ballot Hall of Famer made on a rookie last year. Khalil Mack made 1.5 plays on a rookie right tackle last year. The whole game. And people talked about it for a whole year. It was Tristan Wirf’s only bad play. Stop it! Tristan Wirfs is fantastic. Tristan Wirfs is better than Khalil Mack. How about that?”

Beckles added that if the Bucs continue to play the way they did against the Bears, they will run the table in the NFC South.

“Our Buccaneers are good, people.”

What’s going on here?

It’s another can’t-miss TAMPA TWO episode with Buccaneers legend Derrick Brooks and The Sage of Tampa Bay Sports, Ira Kaufman. All the fun is courtesy of The Identity Tampa Bay and Joe.

14 Responses to “Bucs Passing = Bucs Scoring”

  1. Georger Says:

    Joe I understand your opinion with not running the ball, but we are going get in a game where the weather is bad, windy raining, snowing and you going to have to run the ball and run it effectively to win.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    Nope, still on Ira’s side to the degree that your run-pass ratio will depend on a number of different factors in each game, such as your opponent’s strengths & weaknesses, injuries, how good your QB is performing in a particular game, etc. Whole idea in a game should be to MAXIMIZE YOUR STRENGTHS and CAPITALIZE ON YOUR OPPONENT’S WEAKNESSES.

    Rams did that very nicely in the 1 game that we lost, and beat the snot out of us. Bucs ran very little (only 13 times) and passed a LOT & very effectively (Brady was 41-of-55 (74.5%) for 432 passing yards; we were 7-of-15 on 3rd/4th down conversions, plus we had zero turnovers. We almost broke even on TOP (29:50 minutes). So what went wrong? Rams had close to the same stats we did, EXCEPT that they ran more (24 rushes vs 38 passes) even though they didn’t get any TDs rushing (and we got 2).

    But what they did do was play a much more physical game overall than we did AND they capitalized on our weakness: we were very ineffective stopping the short pass. They capitalized on our weakness by keeping us off-balance. Stafford kept going deep but had trouble connecting early (he was 1-for-7 deep in the 1st half and 3-for-6 deep in the 2nd half). Take those deep balls away from Stafford’s passing on the day (he was 27-of-38 for 71.1% with 4 passing TDs) and his short passing was 21-of-25 for 84.0%. Quite effective.

    Rams combination of rushes & deep passes kept our defense off-balance so that we couldn’t exclusively focus on stopping the short pass. Great game plan, and we got whooped soundly IMO. Next time we play them (in the playoffs?) I bet we run the ball more to do a better job of keeping THEM off-balance.

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Math isn’t as good as it used to be. Stafford was actually 23-of-25 on short passes in that game … 92%. Set up by keeping us off-balance with the run & deep pass (even though neither of them was especially effective in that game).

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Of course you run the ball on occasion……it’s all a matter of proportion…..when weapons were mentioned…..many of them were injured……Miller, AB, Gronk, OJ……
    And….we pass to backs…..
    Do you need a run game?…….Yep….sometimes.

  5. Bucschamp Says:

    Football is situational. Strictly following 50/50 is dumb

  6. mark2001 Says:

    It isn’t a 50/50 or an “either or”. You adjust the O based upon where you are in the game and whatever most effectively allows you to score effectively, keep the d fresh, shorten the game when you have a big lead or lengthen it if you are behind. It can adjust based upon the opponents strengths and weaknesses as the game develops. It might be mixing in a few more runs… changing the mix. But I think just trying to make carte blanche statements is overly simplistic.

  7. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Ira is partially wrong. You have to mix it up. Sometimes giving the ball NOT to your best player but to who they don’t EXPECT you to give it to, on a play don’t EXPECT you to use is more effective. The most glaring example is the pass to Scotty Miller in the playoffs last year near half time when no one expected it. You have to spread the ball and the plays around, expecting of course, that all are able to make plays when called upon.

  8. Cobraboy Says:

    You run when LBs line up out of the box, and pass when LBs stack the box. A shrewd QB can tell the difference in fake alignments.

  9. Jmarkbuc Says:

    A good running game demoralizes a defense, and eats clock when necessary. Most importantly it helps TB12’s play action game.

  10. Alanbucsfan Says:

    When Gronkowski and Brown and Miller are injured and not on the field ,it kinda affects your game plan- eh, Joe?

  11. DungyDance Says:

    Agree with Roy. If you keep passing down after down, the defense will adjust to put more players in coverage. You take what the defense gives you, situational. If they don’t at least have some fear of being exploited on the ground, then the air game will not work.

  12. Swampbuc Says:

    Brady probably won’t even eclipse 200 yards passing tomorrow. That’s how good the Saints defense is. So the Bucs better be able to run the ball effectively to have any chance of beating the Saints defense.

  13. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Saint weakness is their rookie cornerback Adebo

    Adebo will be defending Godwin

    Godwin, Godwin and some more Godwin for the win”

    Kobe Faker

  14. Rod Munch Says:

    Why would you willingly take the ball out of Brady’s hands? It’s just stupid.

    Also it’s 2021, you run through the passing game. Meaning short passes are your running game, in addition to that, when teams are trying to stop you passing on every play, it opens the run game.

    All you have to do to run the football successfully, when you have a good line like the Bucs do, is just not be ultra predictable. That’s literally all you need to do. Don’t just run up the gut on every first down on a series. They’ve gotten away from that a bit this year, but still, once the have a lead in the 2nd half, the Bucs go back into that ultra predictable shell of just giving up downs by bringing everyone in close then running up the gut. Also, it’s not an issue of running clock or trying to save wear and tear on Brady since they’re then always throwing on 2nd and long. Just mix it up, throw every once in a while on 1st down, now you can run on 2nd down. It’s amazing how well that will work if they were just not as predictable as they currently are.