TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 27: Coach Greg Schiano of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers speaks to the media at an introduction press conference at the team training facility January 27, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Well, it's been a nice decade of West Coast Offense in Tampa Bay, but it looks like we're done now. No more dink-and-dunking down the field. No more Benn'd around, a receiver tackled for a loss, followed by a sack. No more quick slants, hitch routes and quick out routes. All of that is gone, if we can believe new Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano.
Instead, we will see physical offensive football and shots down the field. That's Schiano's offensive philosophy, and it's one we've heard before. That's basically what Jeff Jagodzinski said he would bring to Tampa. And then he got fired before coaching even one regular season game. Oops?
But Schiano does seem committed to this philosophy. He noted that it's hard to move down the field on long drives, the kind of thing the West Coast Offense is built around. Instead he wants to manufacture big plays - and that's something I saw in the few Rutgers games I've watched so far. The Rutgers offense tried to be aggressive down the field, although the actual results were mixed. This isn't just talk: he tried to do the same thing before.
The Bucs will have to change their personnel to fit this offense, however. Josh Freeman should have little trouble throwing down the field, as he has a cannon for an arm, but the Buccaneers do not have the personnel at wide receiver or tight end to consistently produce big plays.
Unless Arrelious Benn looks like a different receiver this season, which is possible considering he was coming off an ACL tear last season, the Bucs need to find a deep threat at wide receiver. The draft has a few undersized deep receivers, but no complete deep threat. In free agency, DeSean Jackson and Vincent Jackson could be legitimate deep threats.
More importantly perhaps, the Buccaneers will need to find the right coach to run this offense. While Schiano has worked with a number of coaches in his career, few of them have proven themselves at the NFL experience. Of the available coaches who have experience at the NFL level only Hue Jackson fits the profile of the kind of offense Schiano wants to build.
The Bucs will try to transform their offense, and they will have some building to do to get there. Will they be able to make the right moves this offseason?