Sean Payton praises 2013 Buccaneers offense

Al Messerschmidt

Sean Payton thinks last year's Tampa Bay Buccaneers was...good? What?

So, remember when the Buccaneers went 4-12 in large part because their offense was horrible? Remember when they then fired everyone, and the new regime replaced basically everyone on offense except for the right tackle and one wide receiver? Apparently, Sean Payton doesn't.

"The last half of the season, they ran the ball as well as anybody in the NFL," Sean Payton told the media. "And I don't know statistically what their numbers were, but we felt like we put their offensive tape on, we saw a quarterback that was getting better, an offensive line and a fullback." (h/t JoeBucsFan)

I'm not entirely sure what Sean Payton was watching, but that doesn't sound at all like the Bucs I remember watching last year. The Bucs that ranked dead last in total yards, managed an abysmal 4.5 yards per play and ran for just 3.8 yards per carry. An offense that ranked 26th in run efficiency, according to Football Outsiders. An offense that, quite simply, was not actually any good. And if it had been any good, the Bucs would have won a few games.

There were individual games where Payton's statements make sense, though. There was a three-game stretch against the Seahawks, Dolphins and Falcons where the Bucs ran the ball very, very well. That didn't last, and they failed to get anything in four of the last five games, but from week nine to eleven, you could probably say that the Bucs ran the ball very well.

Similarly, Mike Glennon did appear to get better for part of that stretch, too. Probably not entirely unrelated to the success of the running game, but there appeared to some steady progress -- which then disappeared over the final few weeks, sadly.

We can say quite confidently that the Bucs don't exactly agree with Sean Payton's assessments, because every aspect he mentioned has been overhauled. Fullback? Gone. Offensive line? Total makeover. Quarterback? Relegated to backup. Running game? Drafted a third-round back and added two tight ends who can actually block a little.

I guess we can't entirely discount Payton's opinions. He is an offensive genius, after all, and  he has no need to be needlessly complimentary of Tampa Bay's offense. But this is still pretty ridiculous.

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