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February 12, 2011 @ 6:37 pm
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Bucs Offense Dramatically Increased The Number Of Big Plays In 2010

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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Tampa Bay's offense produced more 29 more big plays on the ground and through the air than it did the previous year, which is a sign of vast improvement and promise considering how young the Bucs' skill players are. Pewter Report breaks down the team's runs over 10 yards and passes over 20 yards from 2010.

One of the things that Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Greg Olson wanted to accomplish in his second year as the Bucs' playcaller was to increase the number of big plays on the ground and through the air. A look back at all of the team's runs over 10 yards and passes over 20 yards shows reveals that it was a mission accomplished in Tampa Bay.

In 2009, the Bucs totaled only 42 long runs, which are classified as being 10 yards or more. Thirty-two of those runs were from 10-19 yards, while nine runs were 20 yards or longer. However, Tampa Bay had just one run over 30 yards in 2009, which was a 35-yarder by Cadillac Williams on opening day against Dallas, and the team had just two touchdown runs of 10 yards or more.

Last year with rookie LeGarrette Blount emerging as the leading halfback after the first third of the season had passed, the Bucs produced 61 runs of 10 yards or more – an increase of 19 over 2009. Forty-six were runs of 10 yards or more, an increase of 14 over the previous year, and 15 were over 20 yards or more. But the biggest gain came from the amount of runs of 30 yards or more where Tampa Bay generated seven runs of 30 yards or more compared to one from 2009.

Blount had runs of 53 and 48 yards against Seattle, 48 yards at Arizona, and a 39-yard touchdown run against Detroit, while Williams had a 45-yard touchdown run against Carolina. Yet it was Earnest Graham’s 61-yard run on a fullback dive at Cincinnati proved to be the longest jaunt of the season.

Those big-play runs provided the Bucs with an additional 294 yards and two touchdowns that the team did not have in 2009.

In the passing game in 2009, Tampa Bay’s offense only generated 39 long pass plays, which are defined as being 20 yards or more. The Bucs, which used three different starting quarterbacks in Byron Leftwich, Josh Johnson and Josh Freeman, had 25 passes between 20-29 yards, 10 passes between 30-39 yards, four passes between 40-49 yards and zero passes that covered 50 yards or more.

But with nine games as a starter and a full offseason under his belt, Freeman showed immense signs of progress in 2010 as the passing game took off and he became a big-play quarterback with his strong right arm. Tampa Bay only produced 10 more long pass plays (49) in 2010 than it did the previous season, but like the running game, the difference came in the number of deep plays.

The Bucs had 32 pass plays between 20-29 yards and seven passes between 30-39 yards, which were close to the results in 2009. But Freeman completed six passes between 40-49, an improvement over four from the previous year, in addition to four passes over 50 yards.

With a 53-yard reception at Arizona and catches of 43 and 64 yards at Washington, rookie receiver Arrelious Benn proved to be the deep-ball threat on the Bucs roster last year. Rookie wideout Mike Williams had a 58-yard touchdown catch at Atlanta, and fellow rookie Dezmon Briscoe had a 54-yard reception at New Orleans. Veteran tight end Kellen Winslow had a 41-yard touchdown catch at Washington.

The Bucs didn’t have any pass plays over 50 yards in 2009, but the four completions over 50 yards gave Tampa Bay an additional 229 yards and a touchdown that they didn’t have last year.

Keep in mind that these big plays were largely generated by Freeman, a second-year quarterback, and a handful of rookies in Blount, Benn, Williams and Briscoe. It’s hard not to believe that Tampa Bay will continue to see an increase in the number of big plays its offense generates next year with a year’s worth of experience to build on.

Last modified on Tuesday, 15 March 2011 10:09

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  • avatar

    If the DEs in the 1st aren't worth the pick I say they go LB and if thats not good either then trade back to get some extra higher round picks. I believe some of these DEs are just victims of the numbers game.....just because somebody has better numbers they are rated higher which doesn't necessarily make the higher rated player better. It all depends on the teams they played and the competition they faced. I'd rather have a DE who played in a tougher conference and competition with decent production than one who faced mediocre competion and put up huge numbers.
  • avatar

    Thank you Scott, I'm glad I emailed you to write this article. It was a great read. Funny how most of the posts are about the draft instead of talking about what this team has, a possible top 10 offense. I wish there was a dvd with all these big plays I could watch that every day. Did anybody tape the games??? Why would we pick up rb in the first when rb is not a weakness? Next season(if there is one) Blount will have a killer season starting all 18 games. If the DEs in the first aren't worth starting then I see the Bucs moving back to get an extra 2nd and 3rd rounder for DE's who can start in the near future. I see RB as viable pick in the 4th. If they have two 3rds then pick a RB then, not in the first.
  • avatar

    You lost me when you mentioned in your suggestion when you mentioned Pouncey as a G/C. As a G yes, as a C, I don't see it at all. Everything I have read about Pouncey re: @ C, is not at all favorable. Really believe Zuttah is a better C.
  • avatar

    It's real simple regarding picking for "need" vs "best player". The Bucs aren't so strong that they don't have multiple needs, just some greater than others. But I know this, teams picking 20th that draft the 40th ranked player on their board because he's the last DE and they need one badly and in doing so pass on the 15th graded player who is a C/G who they need a little, will soon have a very weak roster. Some of you are assuming that the 8th ranked DE in this draft is still better than what is already on the roster so draft him while passing on a C/G that is superior to an always injured Faine and the O-line version of the 6th man in Zuttah. If you want that 40th ranked player, try trading down, but don't take him at 20. If you take the philosophy "Defensive End or Bust" you just might get both.
  • avatar

    scubog, right with you on this one.
  • avatar

    Anybody agree that if BPA is our team philosophy that it should also pertain to Free Agency. Since we need to spend more to reach the CAP floor then why not pair FA Nnamdi Asomugha with Aqib Talib? Just saying considering the head coaches specialty this could be a great pick up!
  • avatar

    That would be a great option for real! Then we can let Elbert 'I get macked' Mack walk and Lewis and Biggers can fight it out for nickel and dime corner.
  • avatar

    Football is no longer Lombardi's game, it's all about the Benjamins. Witness what is going on with the CBA. The Bucs read our posts and are sensitive to public opinion. They are as interested in filling seats at CITS as they are in winning games. Drafting BPA is what lombardi would do. If we can't stop the run or get pressure on the QB this year, you (me too) will be merciless in your criticism of Morris/Dominik. They will draft a DE in round 1 even if he is on crutches and blind in one eye!!
  • avatar

    macabee, you are so wrong on this analysis. Yes maybe the Bucs will pick a DE and state that he was our BPA; and infact, he was out 10-15 best player availailble. None of us can refute that; we have to believe what they are telling us. Just like if McCoy doesn't get the sacks that we over paid him for and then if they can justify that he put so much pressure on the QB that it wasn't necessary to sack the QB or tackle the RB that just got by for a 7-10 yard gain, then okay. Me, I am going for BPA and it will not be the 5thDE BPA, but a guy like Pouncey or Ingram. We have to be realistic here.
  • avatar

    Thanks Scott for the info. This confinces me more that we need to take BPA less QB, DT, WR; every other position is up for that No. 20 spot. Please, lets don't reach again because of need. I think we have proven that we can draft at lower ranks and still come up with good people. Pouncey is the guy to take if he can last that long. Taking the 5th best dE is silly. Just my opinion.
  • avatar

    After DE there isn't even a close 2nd this year in the draft in terms of a postion that is talented at the top and has good depth. QB and OT are deep, but Cam Newton represents the only real talent at the top of the pile. There is a sharp drop off after that. The OT postion doesn't even have a "best" player. WR is another postion that has 1 or 2 elite players (Green and Jones) and the rest are mediocre. I'm thankful we've already built the core of our team because teams like Buffalo, Washington and the 49ers are going to have to build their team with scraps if they plan to build it through this draft.
  • avatar

    Pinkstop, I agree with you about Cam Newton. Somebody in the top 10 will pick him up. I think he is one of the very few players worth a shot "as a reach". He has a lot of up side. I do disagree about not much talent other than DE. There are many players other than DE's that we could choose at the 2oth spot. BPA all the way less QB, DT, WR. Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    Now, as for the draft there may not be a bigger booster than me for taking the best player available. However, the 5th best DE will be as good as the best pass rusher in most years. This draft is busting at the seams with DE's and pass rushing OLB's. We can have our cake and eat it too this year. We can take the best player available and it will still be at DE, a position of need.
  • avatar

    First off I can't help but say I am absolutely giddy about the current state of this franchise. We are good and we're only going to get a lot better. If we can find a couple more pass rushers at either at DE or OLB, a stout MLB and if we can stay healthy we are going to win the Super Bowl within the next 3 seasons. I didn't see Green Bay do anything we aren't capable of during the Super Bowl. Our depth and talent is as good as theirs. There, I said it.
  • avatar

    I can think of a player at every position that was a low round/FA pick that has been to a probowl and a player at every position drafted high that hasn't worked. BPA is not only at position of need, its at every position. Now having said that, I agree that RB is something that can be found later than 20. Ingram body type Delone Carter the RB from Syracuse, had a great East West game, can hide behind the OL, has power and a second gear. If he runs great he could be as high as 2nd round, but will probably last until the 3rd with his medical. The over all point on this board that, "passing on very good talent for a 5th best DE because of need sounds like a bad idea," is spot on my belief.
  • avatar

    DE is the deepest position in this years draft. So when you take into consideration that teams will not only look at how good a player is but they also keep in mind what sceem a player is coming out of. For example any team running a 3-4 defense most likely wont be looking for the same 4-3 style DE we NEED and will be looking for. So the 5th picked DE isn't necessarily the 5th best.
  • avatar

    The Bucs run a lot of 3-4 and 3-3-5 though.
  • avatar

    Big plays are going to happen when you havea Trifecta on offense. Top 5 QB, top 5 receiver, top 5 running back, and a very good TE to boot. This offense is going to tear it up this yr, if we have a season.
  • avatar

    I agree with BPA but only at a position of value. RB is not a 1st round value anymore. Players like Blount and Tony Starks can be found late and be very productive. First round value is QB, DE, OT, CB, LB. We have a QB so I'd take the BPA at one of those positions at 20.
  • avatar

    rofl, Tony Starks? Thats ironman. Its james starks. That was the laugh of the day.
  • avatar

    I agree with Bucwild02. How can you pass on the best RB in the draft for the 5th rated DE. I know we need DE help drastically but maybe try to address issue in FA. We need to draft best player avaliable and not needed position. Drafting needed position is how you end up with busts.
  • avatar

    Love the hat BucWild02. I hope I don't have to sit behind you at the game. It reminded me of "The Big Hat Brothers" who used to go to all of the Bucs game at the Sombrero wearing these giant orange cowboy hats. While I'd love to pair Blount with Ingram; I doubt he'll make it to the 20th selection. However, as much as fans seem to want a DE at all cost, it would be tough to pass on the RB from 'Bama.
  • avatar

    First! I would love to see the offense continue to grow. While the receivers seem to be set with Williams, Benn, Stroughter, Briscoe, and Stovall, it's the RB's that will need to be addressed in the draft. LeGarrett Blount is an upright runner that got results last year, but I suspect that he may have durability issues with that rushing style. Also he was ineffective in short yardage. "Huggy" seems explosive at times but too inexperienced and inconsistent. Caddy is a great story, but unfortunately will never reach his expected potential and is a free agent this year. Earnest Graham is over the hill. The Bucs need a RB and a TE on the offensive side of the ball. I hope they can land Ingram at 20, instead of the 5th best DE.
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