Different Offense For Todd Bowles?

July 24th, 2022

As recently as yesterday, Joe took to his pulpit and preached how football teams are committing a cardinal sin by not playing to their strengths. Don’t fix what is not broken.

Joe still stands by that with every fiber of his soul. However, last night doing more research with Football Outsiders 2022 Almanac, it’s fair to wonder if the Bucs will have the same offense as the 2021 edition. Why is that? Well, the Bucs will start the season with a major chunk of their 2021 offense gone.

Bryan Knowles, typing for Football Outsiders, maintains the lack of depth at receiver dragged the Bucs down late in the season and specifically in the playoff loss to the Rams. Knowles noted that as good as Mike Evans is, the Bucs simply cannot bank on him to carry the team in the passing game week after week.

What jumped out at Joe was how many targets the Bucs will be missing from last season until Chris Godwin returns. How many? Knowles points out the Bucs have lost over half of their team targets if somehow Godwin needs all season to rehab.

With Godwin out, [Antonio] Brown long gone, and Rob Gronkowski deciding to retire right as we were going to press (thanks, Gronk), the Buccaneers are missing 300 of their 578 wide receiver or tight end targets from 2021. Mike Evans is great, but he can’t be a whole passing offense by himself.

That blew Joe away. That 300 is a sh!tload that has evaporated.

Knowles went on to type that Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson are nice part-time players but if the Bucs bank on them as starters, they both need to raise their games a step or two. No argument from Joe.

Yeah, Tom Brady always makes receivers look better. There is that to lean on. But Joe thinks Knowles may be onto something. Perhaps, until the Bucs demonstrate that Russell Gage and Kyle Rudolph can replace Godwin and Gronk, maybe it’s not such crazy thing to wonder if new coach Todd Bowles will have a different offense, until Godwin returns?

Simply put, without Godwin and Gronk, this isn’t the same offense.

32 Responses to “Different Offense For Todd Bowles?”

  1. Hodad Says:

    Against the Saints, and N.O. I still think the Bucs would be wise to run the ball more. Both teams have good secondaries, and great pass rushers. Wouldn’t hurt to run more against both. I did like what bowles said when hired. If we need to pass fifty times to win we will, if we ave to run the ball fifty times to win we will. Run that ball against those two teams more.

  2. Mike Says:

    Brady will make due with who he’s got. This offense will stay on point.

  3. Buc50 Says:

    Everyone likes to say run the ball more until we are down 2 or 3 scores.

  4. PassingThru Says:

    The late season and postseason problems on offense point to the need for two quality WRs, and after Gronk’s retirement, a TE. Gage and Randolph might prove to be decent, but no one sane considers them near the level of either AB or Gronk. The Bucs need one more quality WR to make up for the “missing” TDs and yards.

  5. Beeej Says:

    The only failing I can see in our offense is we won 13 games, scored a TON of points, while scarcely holding the ball for 30 minutes per game. Of course that would mean more running and dink/dunk plays, which most of us don’t like to watch with the GOAT at qb

  6. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Running the ball, further integrating the short pass game, and play action will be the Bucs bread and butter this season.

  7. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    No mention how Brady can make a mediocre offense into a respectable offense. This in no means is saying the Bucs have a mediocre offense but how much value Brady adds to any offense.

  8. Cover deuce Says:

    “Knowles points out the Bucs have lost over half of their team targets if somehow Godwin needs all season to rehab.“ – Nice try. We already know he’s crushing his rehab. This isn’t the 80s or 90s, medicine has come a long way and this ACL stuff just isn’t career ending any more. He didn’t damage his achilles. He’s not going to miss all season.

  9. David Says:

    Still not concerned about it. They have a decent TE room now that can make up for Gronk.
    Godwin will be back and they added Russell Gage.
    The other factor is all the other receivers are in the system a year longer and more familiar with Brady.

    If the rookie running back can do his share along with Vaughn to relieve Lenny, I honestly think the O is better.

    Only question is left guard. They have some good talent there but it might be a downgrade from Marpet. Right guard is an upgrade.

    To me this season comes down to two things. Pass rush and health

  10. AbucAway Says:

    If Ol Lefty doesn’t call for a run up the middle on the first play of the regular season, I might be disappointed.

  11. Goatfarmer Says:

    Lenny might have 1000 yards rushing and 1000 yards receiving.

    Also , Knowles failed to mention the extrene speed of Grayson and Perriman to go along with Scooter and TJ.

    Dardung has already developed a Canadian accent.

  12. PSL Bob Says:

    Of course it won’t be the same. Rarely does a team have the same exact complement of receivers three years running. But it doesn’t mean it can’t be as good, or nearly as good, as the previous year. You’ve posted articles on how good Gage is in getting separation when playing in the slot, and what a beast Kyle Rudolph is. Throw in Scotty, Brate, and Johnson. I’m confident that with Brady at the helm, that group can get 17 targets a week. That’s exactly half of the times the WRs and TEs were targeted per game. It will be different than what we saw last year sure, but there’s no reason it has to be less potent.

  13. unbelievable Says:

    Okay, but Godwin will be back, so there’s prob 70 – 120 targets right there, depending on when he comes back. Then add in another 50 – 80 targets for Gage, another 50 for Rudolph, and it’s not as dire as that quote sounds.

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    What is all this “replace Godwin” BS………”rehab the entire year”……..what BS…..
    Sure, Rudolph is not Gronk…..and Gage is not AB…..but Gronk & AB missed games last year…..
    I feel quite certain that between Perriman, Miller, Johnson, Grayson & Darden, we will find a competent 4th WR….

    The sky is not falling.

  15. sasquatch Says:

    I’m confident they’ll adjust and there’s no need to panic. They won plenty of games with Gronk out with injury and AB out with injury or kicked out… So, it can be done, and we added Gage and Rashaad White. Good teams adjust. We’ll see. Godwin will be back early in the season… And they will gear up to pound the rock a little more when necessary. They certainly have the beef up front to do that.

  16. Bojim Says:

    Let BL and Brady run the offense

  17. SufferingSince76 Says:

    A good running game should not be underrated. Just because it’s supposedly a passing league now doesn’t mean you should not have a balanced running attack. It keeps the other teams guessing. At least it should if BL mixes it up.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    Mike … You’re spot on with ‘Brady will make due with who he’s got.’ He always has.

    If folks go back & look at Brady’s 21 years as a starter, you see that he’s NEVER thrown for less than a 60% completion rate or more than a 68.9% (way back in 2007 when the Pats went 16-0 in the regular season but lost the Super Bowl 17-14 to the Giants). His career average is 64.2% and he’s almost always right around that. MR. CONSISTENCY.

    Funny thing is that over those 21 years he’s thrown to a huge number of different receivers (WRs, TEs & RBs). He’s thrown the ball well over 11,000 times in his 318 games, giving him an average of over 35 passes per game over his entire career. His average with the Bucs is just a hair above 40 passes per game, but his completion percentage has actually IMPROVED to 66.7% (from the 63.8% he had with the Pats).

    This year he’ll have Mike Evans, Cam Brate & Lenny Fournette back from these past 2 years, plus several others (like Scotty, Grayson, Perriman & Tyler Johnson) who he’s had quite a bit of experience throwing to. Russell Gage will come along quickly I’m sure (we didn’t pay him $10 mil a year for nothing), as will Kyle Rudolph. Personally I’m expecting our youngsters (Rachaad White, Cade Otten & Ko Kieft) to do fairly well in this offense with Tom Brady throwing to them (expectations are high). We’ve got plenty of weapons; we just need to let Tom Brady ‘do his thing’ and let this thing play out.

  19. geno711 Says:

    Lots of ways to win in the NFL.

    If we can have a balanced running team as well as one of the top 3 or 4 passing teams in the NFL, then fine.

    But many of the best teams are winning in this passing league without much of a rushing game. Let’s not fix a TB/BL offense that is outstanding.

    Let Army and Navy run the ball 50 times a game. I am ok with the Bucs running the ball 23 times a game.

  20. Jeff Says:

    Beat the blitz and everything will be OK.

  21. PassingThru Says:

    Geno is right, this isn’t the 1990s. Teams get to the Super Bowl and win the Super Bowl on the arm of the QB, not on the legs of a RB. Could Fournette carry the rock more? Sure, but it won’t move the needle in the right direction. Much of that is on the run blocking, but clearly Fournette is a durable but rather average starting RB.

    Quick question: When was the last time a RB made a sizeable contribution to a Super Bowl win? Answer: James White and most of his yards were receptions, not rushing.

    And before that, when did a rushing RB win a Super Bowl? The only one that springs to mind is Terrell Davis carrying an over-the-hill John Elway to a Super Bowl win over 20 years ago.

  22. rrsrq Says:

    Jamie’s make receivers look better, anyone heard from Adam Humphries, Breshard Perriman, Cam Brate, Desean Jackson, just kidding, I believe Brady will get the ball to the open man, those 260-300 balls have to go somewhere, maybe to the guys running the ball or we get a surprise out of TJ, Scottie, Darden – Gage and Mike will get theirs

  23. Dooley Says:

    We can do a better job establishing our run game week to week and showing the willingness to lean on it when it plays to our advantage. We averaged 5 yards a rush on 35 attempts against the Saints defense last year in both games. Not saying increasing the volume of attempts would sustain that average, but that’s a pretty good indicator that maybe we should be more aware of when and what opponents we can lean on our rushing attack more and how that compliments what we do in the pass game.

  24. Colin in Canada Says:

    The real question I have… is Ko KIEFT a fullback? Are the bucs finally getting a Fullback again? Can we run some I formation with Lenny like he did at LSU? Brady always had a fullback but BA is not a fullback guy. 2022 is the year of the Fullback.

  25. JimmyJack Says:

    The key to the biscuit offense is slot…..Chris Godwin.

    Having an elite weapon destroying the middle of the defense makes us a nightmare to defend.

    If we dont have that threat we will struggle finding big plays on the outside. You cant just replace Chis with a warm body, gotta have a playmaker, thats why we moved Mike Evans inside when push came to shove.

    Thats where Russel Gage signing is critical. I doubt we play any reciever 10M if he cant work in the slot. We might see a 2headed monster rotating in that position if we can get both Gage and Chris healthy. Thats exicting to think about. But for right now, with no Chris Godwin, we need Gage to be our playmaker inside.

    Tyler Johnson will most likely get a lot of reps at slot too. Its possible he could have a breakout year. Just seems like a long shot after last year. Rooting for him but expecting Gage to be the guy to get it done.

  26. BelleGladeBuc Says:

    This for anyone who says RB’s have not played a significant part in helping a team win a Super Bowl and that being balanced and running the ball at least 20-25 times a game at minimum does not result in Super Bowl victories.

    It’s especially hilarious that there are people on a Bucs site claiming such things.

    I can remember way, way back, in that far history of time, it was the year 2020.

    The Bucs were playing in the Super Bowl vs the Chiefs.

    The Bucs RB’s Playoff Lenny and ROJO ran the ball 28 times against the Chiefs for a combined 150 yards and 1 TD.

    But wait, there’s more.

    Against the WFT Playoff Game in 2020 the Bucs RB’s ran the ball 25 times for 145 yards and 1 TD.

    Against the Saints in the 2020 Playoff Game the Bucs RB’s ran the ball 30 times for 125 combined yards.

    Against the Packers in the 2020 Playoff Game the Bucs RB’s ran the ball 23 times for 77 yards and 1 TD.

    The Bucs OLINE paving the road for the Bucs RB rushing attack led by Pro Bowl nail chewers Jensen and Marpet, as well as Playoff Lenny and ROJO, were every bit as critical to the Bucs Super Bowl Championship as the GOAT TB12 and the passing attack with ME13, Godwin, AB and Gronk.

    The facts/data prove that the Bucs Super Bowl Championship Run was because there offense was balanced.

  27. PassingThru Says:


    OK, if you want to cherry pick the Super Bowl against the Chiefs, how many scoring drives did RoJo contribute to? Out of 61 yards total, he contributed to exactly 1 field goal out of all the times he was out on the field.

    Fournette did more, his TD run was exactly why I mentioned that the O Line has to do a better job blocking. His big TD run wasn’t created by the O Line; despite their talent, they failed. Fournette ran wide to the outside and scored on a broken play.

    The Buc O Line had talent, but they were not good at creating opportunities. The right side might be better this season as Mason is one of the best run blockers in the league. But then they need to work better as a unit if they’re going to create opportunities for Fournette or anyone else in the backfield.

    Last, as much as Fournette’s TD helped, it was the first three TDs in that game that biased KC’s defense into playing pass defense rather than run defense. Why were they forced into going pass defense early? Because the first three TDs were the result of passes to Gronk (gone) and AB (gone). That is why the Bucs need to add one more quality receiver.

  28. Power of Pewter Says:

    Well, unless the Defense is lights out I don’t see them winning games by running Fournette 35 times a game. Fournette might take on a few more passes that once were targeting Gronk. But the WRs are just going to have to step up.

  29. richbucsfan Says:

    Seems like much of preseason reports is borrowing trouble and worries. I have full confidence that the huge coaching staff is well aware of all issues and have worked to remedy the problems. Worry if you must. No worries here.

  30. BelleGladeBuc Says:

    @Passing Thru

    Did you watch the Bucs Super Bowl vs the Chiefs?

    On the VERY 1ST Bucs TD against the Chiefs in the Super Bowl Playoff Lenny ran the ball 4 times for 26 yards, picking up 3 first downs for the Bucs on that TD drive.

    Moving the chains and averaging over 6 yards per carry on a TD drive is huge.

    Please tell me that you understand this. Please tell me that you aren’t that ignorant?

    Secondly, Playoff Lenny’s TD run wasn’t a broken play as you stated. Again, did you watch the game?

    The Bucs were in 13 personal on that play. 3 TE’s, 1 RB and 1 WR.

    It was a counter run play to the 3 TE side. Gronk and the Bucs TE’s and OLINE destroyed the Chiefs defense. Ali Marpet pulled right with Playoff Lenny following him, blocking the first man #35 and Playoff Lenny ran untouched into the end zone for a 27 yard TD run.

    You can’t be this ignorant @Passing Thru. Please tell me your not.

  31. Alvafan Says:

    You’re absolutely right Belle Glade. that play was effective the first time they ran it in the SB but the corner was unblocked and Lenny couldn’t get past him. It was Mr biscuit himself who tweaked the play by having Marpet pull and screen the corner paving the way to Lenny’s untouched sprint to the end zone. Designed play, in game adjustment, proving again the importance of a competent running game to complement an explosive passing attack. GO BUCS!!!

  32. Beeej Says:

    If the defense has equal respect for pass AND run, you can have your way with them