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Bucs Offensive Coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski Speaks to the Media

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Posted on behalf of JScott.

Buccaneers new Offensive Coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski took a break from the film room yesterday to discuss his Offensive Philosophy, Coaching Style, and Personnel packages with the Tampa Media. Jags final statement pretty much sums up the type of Coach fans and players can expect to see throughout the coming months:

"A players' coach is one that is not an accommodator, but is a communicator. Guys will know exactly where I am coming from. One thing that my high school coach [said], 'Don't draw attention to yourself, because if you are, you aren't making enough plays.' I always thought that was pretty profound. If you have to draw attention to yourself to show everybody that you made a play, you aren't making enough of them." - Pewter Report

Jagodzinski appears to be exactly what Raheem needed on offense. The folks that have criticized Morris as a Head Coach thought he might struggle due to being too much of a Player’s Coach. That he lacked the mentor approach the Steelers Mike Tomlin has because he tends to treat the players as friends more than his pupils, so to speak. Jeff brings that ‘stern’ type of personality to the offense. It’s a characteristic that demands respect. Couple that with his ability to listen to the players and ‘communicate’ with them and this appears to be a nice situation for the offensive side of the ball.

As to what type of offense he intends to implement:

"What I've tried to do is limit the terminology. You can say the same things without saying them with a lot of words. I think it's going to be a lot more player friendly in terms of learning. I don't think it's going to take three years to learn the system. This will be a Tampa Bay offense. You'll see it all. I don't think you can lock in on one thing. I think you need to be diverse and find a way to attack the defense. I don't coach not to lose the game, I coach to win it."

"Our running game is going to be a downhill and physical [group]. We will run the lead zone, both strong and weak, inside and out, and we'll also run some gap schemes because of the personnel we have. We will run some power gap schemes; the zone scheme is dependent on the whole unit, not just one guy. [With this] scheme you really limit negative yardage plays. Even if you get back to the line of scrimmage and its second-and-10, that's okay. If it's second-and-16 because a guy misses a back block that's not okay." - Pewter Report

I love that Jags hasn’t committed himself to running this style of offense (West Coast) over another (the Spread). He’s basically saying you can’t pigeon hold his offense, it adapts as the defense adjusts and that’s exactly what we need. We should also see a vastly improved running game thanks to the Zone packages Jags will install. The Panthers recently switched to the zone scheme and we all know how that worked out (over 300 yards from their two headed monster in Week 13, ugh).

Is the current Player Personnel capable of fitting into his system:

The Offensive Line? "I think they are. It's not so much the scheme, it's how you teach it and drill it that is going to be the difference on how we do it. I have a lot of confidence in doing it because we've been able to do it. It's a good, solid scheme. It's not exclusive. We're still going to have some man schemes and some schemes where we're pulling the guard on power-type stuff, but that will be the emphasis to begin with on how we're going to run the football." - Pewter Report

If anything is currently right with our Offense, it’s our offensive line. Sure Trueblood goes off the handle more than you would like, and Donald Penn isn’t a big name Left Tackle, but the unit is stout and cohesive already. A Zone Offensive line needs to be athletic and agile and our unit is certainly that. Joseph, Sears, and Faine are a very athletic bunch. Sprinkle Zuttah into that bunch and you’ve got all of the pieces in place already. Trueblood and Penn play a bit stiff, but they hold their own for the most part.

The Running Backs? "[Graham] can do it. He's shown he can do it. I've always seen him when he runs the ball he's always going downhill and gaining yards. You rarely see him get knocked back. He's always going forward. I think that's a good trait for a running back. I'm excited about him. I'd obviously love to have Cadillac back, but the knee injuries? I don't know. I'll have to wait to get out there and see him on the field. He's a special one." - Pewter Report

The more I think about our personnel the more I think a Coaching change was all we needed. Our Running back corps despite being banged up is formidable. All four of the guys on the roster are downhill runners. I know you’re thinking ‘Dunn isnt’, but the guy always tries to fall forward, hence the spin moves at the end of every run. He’s not your conventional downhill runner that’s for sure.

The Quarterbacks? "Yeah, I believe they do. I like Luke, the way he moves around. He hasn't played. [Brian] Griese is a very smart guy. He's been in the league a long time. He ran this system in Denver. In terms of decision making, he's been around the block. Changing protections at the line of scrimmage, he can do that. Josh, I just don't know about him. I don't know these guys personally yet, so all I can tell you is what I've seen on film." - Pewter Report

Clearly he knows what he has in Griese and has no idea what he has in McCown/Johnson so there’s really not much to go on here, other than he wants a Quarterback that can change protections at the line. You would think that would be a pretty simple prerequisite for the QB position.

The Wide Receivers? "We have some talent here. I think Antonio is a very good football player. The guys I've seen on film, they've got some guys that can make some plays here. I just got the chance to evaluate all the film - all the games. I watched every single one of them. We charted things. This guy does this ... I'm not going to ask somebody to work on [their] weakness. I think that when you get to that point, [you say] what is their strength? This is the position we're going to put you in with a match-up. That's how we do it." - Pewter Report

This is the position I’m most intrigued by. He’s not going to force players to perfect weaknesses, he wants them to hone their specific craft. Therefore Dexter Jackson should never see the return game again. He was a slot receiver in College and should be used as such in the NFL. Jags biggest test will come with Bryant and Galloway. Is Galloway unwilling to move to the other side of the formation? I know Jags has no reservations about putting them on the field at the same time. I can’t wait to see how he manages the Receiving Corps. Especially in the Red Zone.

More Jagodzinski Philosophy:

Play Calling? "As far as play calling is concerned, are you calling the plays at the right time and in the right situation? If you have a strong running game, you're going to get eight guys in the box and you're going to have your opportunity to make some plays downfield. When that happens and the ball is up in the air and it's a 50-50 ball, our guys have to come down with it or nobody. That's just the way we're going to coach that." - Pewter Report

If I were a receiver or a tight end I would take that as a challenge. Basically he’s going to give them opportunities regardless of the coverage’s and it’s on them to make the best of them. I know Antonio Bryant will thrive in an offense like that as he’s a ball hawk. Galloway can be the same type of player when pushed.

Red Zone Philosophy? "My idea of a good offensive day is score one more point than we give up. I'm not going to get caught up in stats. My red zone philosophy is 'touchdown, check down.' When you get to that point, I think you need to throw it into the end zone. Whatever that is going to take. If it's not there, check it down. Check downs are okay." - Pewter Report

The previous regime seemed to have the opposite philosophy when it came to the red zone. They would live on the check down rather than go for it all and throw the ball into the end zone. This mindset alone will be refreshing come game day.