The Bucs offense averaged 30.8 points per game last season, which was good for second in the NFL. Despite those high numbers, Tampa Bay didn’t really hit its’ stride until after the bye week, and some of that improvement can be credited to implementing more play action and pre-snap motion into their system.
Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich spoke to the media following practice on Tuesday and said the offense will be the same as last year. Leftwich also down played the idea that the Bucs will use more pre-snap motion and shifts compared to a year ago.
“We’re doing the same stuff,” Leftwich said. “I know this has been talked about and everything, but the offense is based on the quarterback. That’s what I believe in as a coach, it’s always been that way. It just took us time to have an opportunity to practice so we can try to figure things out on Sunday. We’re not doing all this motion stuff. I don’t know where you all get that stuff. We put our quarterback in the best position to have success all the time.
“That’s how we do it. We won it last year. Did we do a better job of it? We may have as we learned each other, me and Tom. As we learned from each other I did a better job of putting him in position. But we didn’t go in and start doing all this different stuff. We really honed in on what we thought we were as a team after the bye, just tried to do that. But it’s the same concept, same things we do.”
Whether Leftwich is telling the truth or not, it does contradict a statement made by Bruce Arians five days ago. The Bucs’ focus that day was on offensively and defensively communicating through different offensive movement before the snap.
“Today’s emphasis was on communication,” Arians said last Thursday. “A lot of shifts, a lot of motions, defensively making adjustments, offensively obviously executing those shifts and motions. I was really pleased with it.”
Regardless of if the motion increases, decreases or stays the same, the Bucs’ offense is in a good spot. Leftwich is now a Super Bowl winning offensive coordinator, and any time you have Tom Brady as your quarterback with the weapons the Bucs have, your chances of winning are higher than most. Leftwich loves to be opaque with the media, while Arians is more of an open book. If you’re betting on which coach is telling the truth here, the smart money is on Arians.