NFL News: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jeff Tedford’s departure from the Bucs Friday officially marks the second time in five years the team’s offensive coordinator leaves before calling a play the regular season.
Jeff Jagodzinski was hired as offensive coordinator when Raheem Morris was hired in 2009. Despite prior stints with the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons, Jagodzinski was fired September 3 before the final preseason game. The reasoning was his capacity to call plays in a timely manner. He was offered his replacement, Greg Olson’s former position of quarterbacks coach but he declined.
Olson’s prior experience included running the Detroit Lions and St. Louis Rams offenses.
Under Olson, the Bucs finished 2009 ranking 28th in offense averaging 287.5 yards a game. The team had the 24th best passing attack with 185 yards a game and 23rd best rushing attack with 101.7 yards a game. Olson helped develop Josh Freeman as one of the most productive quarterbacks in franchise history.
Freeman’s first full season as starter in 2010 netted some impressive stats: a very productive 95.9 passer rating with 3,451 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Tedford didn’t have such an experienced coordinator under his wing this year. Marcus Arroyo, the team’s current quarterbacks coach, took over the reins from Tedford when he had to undergo a heart procedure during the preseason. All of Arroyo’s experience prior to the Bucs was at the college level.
Under Arroyo, the Bucs currently have the 26th ranked offense averaging 313.6 yards a game. The team has the 17th ranked passing attack averaging 230.3 yards a game and the 29th ranked rushing attack averaging 83.2 yards a game.
Granted it’s more of a passing league, but the Bucs don’t exactly have a lot to build on at 2-10. Inexperience on the playcalling is very evident on the field and neither Josh McCown nor Mike Glennon have shown to take enough initiative and charge of the offense to lead effectively. As the losses mount, pressure becomes evident to see new blood at the QB position. Uncertainly festers as questions will be raised on who will be running the offense next season.
While it’s an understatement to say Arroyo’s done the best he could with what he’s got, you can say the same for any struggling team. Whatever blame Arroyo is not responsible for, it was Tedford and head coach Lovie Smith who put him there.
Trusting the inexperienced Arroyo next season will be much more of a leap of faith than it was for the experienced Olson.