By Tom Krasniqi
One of the more intriguing story lines surrounding Bucs camp is the offense. What will it look like? Are the players grasping the system of new offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford?
Throughout the offseason, the media has seen a few glimpses of the offense and Tedford has given a few clues— uptempo is a phrase that comes up often.
There will be multiple tight end sets. The wideouts— namely starters Vincent Jackson and rookie Mike Evans— are huge and will be asked to block in the running game. And the lineman have to be athletic.
Tedford spoke with the media after Monday’s practice and he likes what he sees so far.
"I think we're showing signs of being a really good football team,” Tedford said.
Camp has lasted about 10 days and Tedford says the players are starting to get a firm grasp of the offense. I asked him about how much of the offense has been installed.
“Pretty much all of it,” Tedford answered. He went on to say that about 15-20% of the “gameplan oriented” offense has yet to be incorporated.
The orchestrator of the offense will be veteran quarterback Josh McCown, whom Tedford had high praise for.
"There's nothing that doesn't impress me about him. He's a great leader, he's very intelligent,” Tedford gushed. He especially likes the way McCown delivers the football—he knows when to use touch and when to drive it in.
The Bucs had an all-offensive draft. Outside of Evans, the Bucs are looking for major contributions from running back Charles Sims and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
"He's a big guy, very elusive, has great feet. Really good skills at catching the football,” Tedford said of Sims. The rookie out of West Virginia caught more than 200 passes in college. The Bucs like his skill set.
Speaking of which, the talent that Seferian-Jenkins— or ASJ— can bring to the table is certainly tantalizing.
“It really is,” Tedford said. “Big guy who can run, who has excellent hands and has done a really nice job at the line of scrimmage blocking as well.”
The pieces of the offense seem to be in place. Now, it’s time to see what they can do in a game situation. The first test for Tedford and company will come on Friday night in Jacksonville.
“Yeah, it was very evident today that guys [our defense] have seen our stuff a lot. We’ve had a really good camp and have been very, very efficient – defense got the better of it today. You’re right, they have seen our stuff over and over again. It will be nice to just go in and it always is to just go in and hit new bodies and execute against different people. It will be exciting,” Tedford said.
Bucs fans want to see what thise mysterious new offense is made of. They’ll get their first glimpse on Friday night.
News & notes:
- CBs Alterraun Verner (hamstring) and Mike Jenkins (leg) did not practice again. Lovie Smith says Verner has resumed running but is not ready to return yet
- DE Da’Quan Bowers and TE Luke Stocker sat out for general soreness. Lovie says both should be able to play in the preseason opener Friday night in Jacksonville.
- Battle of the Guards update: Oniel Cousins lined up with the 1st team at LG with Patrick Omameh at RG.
- WR Vincent Jackson had a stellar day and is having a terrific camp. He made catch after catch in red zone drills, including a diving catch for a score against CB Anthony Gaitor. No defensive back has been able to contain him.
- MLB Mason Foster had a nice INT of QB Josh McCown in team drills.
- The team continues to search for a viable punt returner. On Monday, they had 4 players returning punts— Eric Page, Bobby Rainey, Robert Herron and yes, even Jeff Demps.
- DT Gerald McCoy recorded a “sack” of McCown in 11 on 11 drill.
- DE/DT Ronald Talley beats G Oniel Cousins in 1 on 1 pass rush drill. Talley was just activated off NFI list over the weekend.
- Bucs rookie TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins is modest when it comes to his potential: “I think you guys have got to wait and see that. I don’t really like to talk about it – I like to do it.”
- Bucs signed former USF safety Mark Joyce and waive WR David Gettis with an injury settlement.
- The Bucs will practice again at One Buc Place on Tuesday from 4:30pm to 7pm. For more details on practice times, check out 620wdae.com and buccaneers.com.
- Keep it locked on 620am WDAE and 95.3FM as well as the Bucs blog at 620wdae.com for the best Bucs coverage.