February 2, 2023

Bucs Life

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Buccaneers: Play Calling vs Cohesion

2 min read

Bucs quarterback Tom Brady (12), left, quarterback Blaine Gabbert (11) and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich sit together on the bench during the recent Monday night game against the Giants at Raymond James Stadium. The Jaguars have sought permission to intervew Leftwich for their head coaching vacancy. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

Let’s start this off by thinking back to the good old days when we flipped on the television and heard those infamous words, “Tom Brady is going to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneer.” We all rejoiced because the time had come to hoist that Lombardi in Tampa, once again, or at least that was the expectation. Sorry to say those days may be over for us in Tampa.

Brady has made his living by having strenuous offseasons where he is throwing with his receivers. He has always worked in the offseason, especially when it comes to new receivers. This offseason was different, though. Brady revealed that he was retiring and never put in the time with his receivers, which included Julio Jones and Russell Gage. The Buccaneers would also lose Rob Gronkowski, yet Brady wasn’t there to work with the newly drafted Cade Otton. It was a weird offseason that left most of us wondering what this year’s Buccaneers would look like. Well, it hasn’t been good!

Is it the play calling? Is it the cohesion of new and former players? Is it Brady or Leftwich? It is clear that something is wrong when the Buccaneers take the field on Sundays, Thursdays, and Mondays. Brady has always been a dink-and-dunk guy. He will check the ball down the field and take whatever the defense gives him. He loves to use the play-action pass, but that was also when he had guys he could trust would be in the right place at the right time (cough, cough, Rob Gronkowski). To me, it looks like Leftwich has a game plan that the players are not fully committing, too. I don’t know why they don’t buy into his play calling, but Brady and Leftwich do not see the game the same way. This doesn’t make a ton of sense, with both being quarterbacks.

Let’s not act like cohesion doesn’t play a factor in this season, as well. Cappa, Jensen, and Marpet, all being lost due to retirement, free agency, and injury has been an absolute killer. They supplemented the offensive line when they traded for former New England Patriots: Shaq Mason, but it just hasn’t been enough. Donovan Smith went from a top-10 left tackle to almost the worst in the NFL overnight. The new receivers haven’t been consistent with route running and making catches for Brady. We are entering Week 13, and Tom Brady is still trying to lure Gronkowski out of retirement. That tells me everything I need to know about the current roster. The men on this team need to begin trusting each other because the playcalling isn’t changing any time soon. Our defense has kept the Buccaneers in nearly every game, but the offense continues to sputter. The time is NOW to figure it out.