Starting Drives Deep In Bucs Real Estate

June 10th, 2024

Bucs special teams coach Thomas McGaughey.

Maybe this will improve with the new kick return rules.

Last year the Bucs were just not good at starting drives deep in their own territory, and Tampa Bay had the 10th-most drives in the NFL starting inside their 15-yard line. Joe isn’t sure what the cause of that was.

Saying the Bucs didn’t have a decent return game may be too simplistic. Was it because the Bucs’ defense forced opponents’ drives to stall at midfield, thus they were able to pin the Bucs back with punts in the corners?

Were opponents able to get gunners downfield successfully, preventing the Bucs from returning punts?

It could be a lot of things. Joe hopes this will be a puzzle that new special teams coach Thomas McGaughey can solve.

12 Responses to “Starting Drives Deep In Bucs Real Estate”

  1. J Says:

    There are15 teams that were in the top 20 on this list that all had at least 23 drives start at or inside their own 15 yard line. And, 6 teams that were in the top 10 from last year had the most drives start within their own 15.

  2. J Says:

    *15 teams had top 20 defense with 23 or more drives
    *6 of the 10 top defenses from last year make up the top 10 on that list.

  3. garro Says:

    Special teams was not the issue you and stat boy think Joe. Armstrong should have been gone long long ago, but not just for lack of a punt returner. Can you say coverage units and blocks?

    Go Bucs!

  4. TampabayDJ Says:

    I was going to say pretty much the same as you , J .. It’s overwhelming obvious that the defenses of said teams were really good.
    But , I think we definitely needed a change with our Bucs ST coach. How did that guy have a job for us as long as he did ? We should have tried to get our greatest ST coach ever back . The guy who was ST coach for our first Super Bowl team for years . He should have gotten the head coach job after they fired Gruden and promoted Raheem Morris. I know his name , but for some reason I can’t remember at the moment. He was with the Raiders, and a few other teams after he left here. … I’ll remember.. Go Bucs

  5. bob in valrico Says:

    DJ, That would be Rich Bissacia. Spelling might not be correct, but I think he is special teams and assistant head coach at Green Bay. IMO, he is more deserving of a Head coaching job than some of the candidates pulled from college
    or another NFL coaching tree that lacked a quality NFL coaching resume.

  6. D Cone Says:

    Don’t see how the new kick off rules will have any change on the times a team gets pinned inside their 15. With more kick offs getting returned there might be more holds to try to spring the returner and could end up with more drives starting inside the 15. Have to wait and see on that one.

    I would think that the driving factor of the lack of long drives starting inside the 15 is how willing is the OC to risk turning it over on that end of the field.

  7. Hodad Says:

    Not surprising, punters, and coverage players are very good at what they do in the NFL.

  8. heyjude Says:

    Thomas McGaughey was the special teams coordinator for the Giants for six seasons and I think he got a bum wrap from them at the end. I doubt the Giants will do much better this year, but we will. Also, this is the Giants coach 2nd year and could be his last. They have had five coaches since 2016. In the end, the problems in NY were not all Thomas fault. I think he will do well here.

    Sterling Shepard spent eight seasons with the Giants. There is a lot of history there and better for us. It is all going to come together.

  9. JimBobBuc Says:

    It’s the defense. The Bucs were #7 in scoring defense in the regular season with 19.1 pts/game. However the Bucs were 23rd in yards allowed – ouch!

    My view is that the pass rush from the front 4 was lacking, and Neal was bad. Bowles played his Charmin soft zone in the middle of the field to prevent big plays but giving up lots of yardage. With teams moving the ball in the middle of the field, the Bucs were pinned back inside the 20. Also, I felt Thompkins took too many fair catches when he could have fielded the punt.

  10. Dave Pear Says:

    Bucs were probably in the bottom 10 or even bottom 5 for forcing 3 and outs. Todd’s soft zone bust coverages allow a lot of yards. If he doesn’t adjust and evolve, a lot of points are soon to follow. You can’t keep giving up the third most passing yards in the NFL, in a passing league, and expect to have a good scoring defense.

  11. PSK Bucs Fan Says:

    The issue was then we’d run up the middle for no gain on 1st down, run up the middle for 1 yard, pressure on 3rd down is incomplete, then punt…..

  12. unbelievable Says:

    Special Teams (outside our kickers) was absolutely atrocious under Keith Armstrong. TURRIBLE!!!!

    Nowhere to go but up now.


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