These are not Father Dungy's Buccaneers
They run the ball just as much, so its not the philosophy. Tony Dungy was every bit as adamant about putting the ball in the hands of your running back and eating up the clock. But the Bucs rarely ate up niine minutes on one drive in the fourth quarter. Those Bucs would get the ball back at the 50-yard like thanks to the defense, and score five minutes later.
Today's Bucs went out and got a top flight receiver from free agency, but Bert Emanuel he is not! Vincent Jackson has opened up the field for Mike Williams, who has turned into the hands the Bucs have always wanted. Where this team is so different is in the diverse running styles between its two top backs. LeGarrette Blount is a force when he runs.
But backs tend to be moody creatures of ebbs and flows. Blount hasnt really gotten going this year, and rookie Doug Martin shined on the national stage Thursday like Warrick Dunn did to announce his presence to the NFL. The problem is that Blount is no Mike Alstott, and that is what this team is missing, a dynamic goal line back.
You get the feeling Martin hasnt even hit his stride yet...and that better things are to come. Imagine with a year under his belt, and Davin Joseph in front of him. And while were at it, the offensive line is probably the closest thing to Dungy's Bucs teams if anything. While were celebrating Paul Gruber's induction in Bucs history, Donald Penn anchors the Schiano version quite well.
But for the first time since Doug Williams led the Bucs into the playoffs, Tampa Bay is led by a more than capable, improving Quarterback that can hit the long ball with the best of them. In his 4th season, Freeman is coming into his own, where as Trent Dilfer was becoming apparently less and less the answer for those Dungy Bucs.
So maybe after 37 seasons, the Bucs are shedding their defense only mantra, and going with a new look in time for Halloween... an offensive football team.