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4 Weeks Into Season, Buccaneers’ Offense Taking On Water

Most people who follow the NFL and specifically the Tampa Bay Buccaneers might think that with the team’s signings of quarterback Byron Leftwich, running back Derrick Ward and tight end Kellen Winslow, the team upgraded offensively. They also re-signed wide receivers Michael Clayton and Antonio Bryant along with tight end Jerramy Stevens and got back running back Cadillac Williams, removed from a second knee surgery.

Interestingly enough, the team is winless despite all of this activity. And the offense has to shoulder at least a part of the blame. There is a reason the Bucs’ offense is ranked 27th in the NFL, averaging an underwhelming 279.5 yards per game.

Could it be the personnel’s skill sets? Possibly, although to be fair here, Josh Freeman is currently the team’s #1 QB (although that is subject to change).Yet Leftwich has been relegated to third-string status,which tells me that the Jacksonville Jaguars and Pittsburgh Steelers knew something.

The Buccaneers canned offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski 10 days before the reguar season, which seems to perhaps be the core reason for the team’s lack of offense: continuity. Who in their right mind would fire their OC less than 2 weeks before the regular season starts? Al Davis, maybe – but I digress.

All the good teams have an offense who happen to be on the same page – this is the continuity I’m speaking of, folks – so upper management dropped the ball on this one. And the funny thing about the Bucs’ lack of overall success is that their offense isn’t nearly as bad as one may think.

At quarterback you have Freeman, for better or worse; he is a “work-in-progress”, so to speak. Then there is the running attack of Williams, Ward and Earnest Graham – not too shabby. And I’ve seen worse starting wideouts than the Bucs’ Bryant and Clayton in the league. Yet this all goes back to the continuity issue.

At some point of time, this offense will click, or at least they should be able to click within the next week or two as it seems to me that they should be on the same page after a month’s worth of games. So while head coach Raheem Morris tries to cure the malaise that is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the offense needs to get their act together and get cohesive as soon as possible.

And their schedule for the next month or so isn’t exactly kind to them as they have to face Philadelphia Sunday, followed by Carolina (a game they should be able to win), New England and Green Bay. Suffice it to say, the next two weeks will determine whether the Bucs make the playoffs or not. Personally, I don’t like their chances as the firing of Jagodzinski kind of ensured the team’s fate.


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