Each week I’ll be taking a closer look at the snap count distribution for the Bucs offense and defense, assessing what we can learn from who played the most and who played the least on game day.
Here’s a look at which Bucs played the most – and the least – in the team’s 38-3 victory over the Chicago Bears in Week 7.
Bucs Offensive Snap Counts
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What a huge vote of confidence by the Bucs coaching staff in Tyler Johnson on Sunday. Despite just two catches for 16 yards, Johnson played 67 percent of the Bucs’ offensive snaps. That’s a higher percentage than Antonio Brown has played in any game this season. Jaelon Darden and Cyril Grayson also saw a healthy amount of action, with 13 snaps apiece. Brady never targeted either player.
At tight end, Cam Brate paced the group with 40 snaps. O.J. Howard managed 37 reps despite being questionable before the game, and Deon Yelder played his first reps of the season. So did Ke’Shawn Vaughn, who looked good in his eight snaps. Vaughn carried the ball five times for 27 yards, including a 15-yard run.
Even in a game where Ronald Jones played well, the Bucs still leaned heavily on Leonard Fournette. Jones received just 14 snaps on the day, carrying the ball on ten of them. Fournette continued in his role as the Bucs’ feature back, rushing for over 80 yards for the third time in four games.
Defensive Snap Counts
Devin White finally got to come off the field for a few snaps in Sunday’s blowout, as K.J. Britt and Grant Stuard saw their first defensive action of the season. The Bucs hope to get Lavonte David back this week against the Saints, which will obviously shelve Kevin Minter’s reps. The veteran performed well enough while carrying a big workload for Tampa Bay, but getting David back will be key.
On the defensive line, the Bucs finally did the right thing and evened out the reps between Jason Pierre-Paul and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka. The result was a fresher Pierre-Paul and an effective Tryon-Shoyinka for more snaps. The blowout likely contributed, but Tryon-Shoyinka was a big part of the game plan for Week 7. He should be in Week 8, too. Shaq Barrett also got some much needed rest on Sunday.
A week after Ndamukong Suh doubled up Will Gholston in snap counts, Gholston surpassed him for the first time this season. Getting Suh some much-needed time off in a blowout was a good call by the Bucs coaching staff. Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Pat O’Connor picked up the reps from Steve McLendon being inactive. O’Connor had played just one defensive snap this season until Sunday.
In the secondary, the Bucs relied heavily on Jamel Dean, Ross Cockrell and Dee Delaney at cornerback. Dean was banged up twice, and Delaney left the game in the second half with an ankle injury. He was replaced by Pierre Desir for the remaining 22 snaps. Mike Edwards’ role diminished to eight snaps, the least he has played in any game this season.
Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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