The struggles started with a new interior offensive line that isn't opening holes or protecting Tom Brady. In 2021, the Bucs led the league in explosive big plays. Game changing plays that are virtually nonexistent this season.
"I think they’ve keyed in on some of the things. We may have to change some things up here and there," said Bucs Head Coach Todd Bowles. "Sometimes it’s the [offensive line], sometimes it’s the route progression, sometimes it’s the quarterback, but we’re changing some things around, and we’ll adjust to it. It’s not about the explosive plays, it’s about sustaining drives. You want the explosive plays, but you also want longevity of the drive and then finish it off at the end."
With Tom Brady still at the helm, and his two top targets Mike Evans and Chris Godwin to throw to, what is the key ingredient that's missing from the Bucs offense?
"No Gronk," said Evans. "No Gronk."
While the Bucs try to figure out how to fix their offense from being stagnant, one of the new guys to the wide receiver group sees a couple elements missing: Fun and energy.
"I think there’s a lot of times when we’re kind of dead, even when we’re making good plays," said wide receiver Russell Gage. "Energy and having fun. This game is supposed to be fun. I love this game, and I know everyone here loves this game. Sometimes we just get caught up doing our job that we're not really having that fun and bringing that energy."
In three seasons as the Bucs head coach, Bruce Arians offense's have ranked no worse than seventh in yardage. Right now, the Bucs are 21st, so should Arians be consulted to aid in jump-starting this team?
"Well, this is my team, not Bruce’s team, but we talk all the time," said Bowles. "You don’t jump-start by asking a former coach what to do. We have our own things to deal with, and we understand that. We’ve been with Bruce long enough to know what he wants, but they’ve been with me to know what I want. We’re working towards that, and we’ll get through it."