Return of the Power Running Game?

Blount is about to get blasted

Last season the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed a new offensive line coach. After dumping Pete Mangurian, they brought in veteran coach Pat Morris ostensibly to install a new power running game. After all, the Bucs' offensive line is much more suited to power/counter runs than it is to zone runs. But when the season started we saw very little of that, and as the season progressed the power running game fell to the wayside more and more.

The difference between a zone running scheme and a power running scheme is fairly simple: with zone runs you're trying to move a defense sideways, stretching them out to create holes. With a power running scheme you're trying to push the defense back, and usually you're trying overload a specific point on the line with blockers. Tampa Bay has done an excellent job of collecting players who can excel in a power scheme, and then not actually running that scheme.

Instead, the Bucs have generally stuck to a zone scheme, with little success. Davin Joseph in particular struggles in that scheme, while he's an excellent blocker in power schemes. The reason for that as far as I can gather is that the Bucs based their play-action passing game on zone running looks. That's all well and good, but it really hurt their running game, and that's a shame.

But when the Bucs had to establish the run, when they had to have success on the ground, they went back to the power game and had success with it. When they had to run out the clock, they brought it out. When they were down in the second quarter and couldn't set up play-action passes, they returned to the power running game. They never committed to that style of running, however.

But, in comes Mike Sullivan, the new offensive coordinator and hopefully some salvation. The New York Giants still run a power running game, and it's likely that Sullivan will bring that kind of running game to the Bucs as well. Power O, Power O, Power O. That's what I want to see out of the Bucs' running game. Will we finally get to see it?

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