What Does Cole Beasley Bring To The Bucs’ Offense

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With the report of the Buccaneers signing receiver Cole Beasley a flurry of questions has come about. First, should fans be more concerned about Chris Godwin’s injury? Second, is Julio Jones’ injury significant as well? Now, these questions will be answered soon enough but the important one right now is what does Beasley bring to this offense that it’s been missing?

Slow Start

It’s important to understand where we are in order to validate the thought process that went into the Beasley signing decision. The Buccaneers’ offense at this point, two weeks in, is anemic. They currently sit 24th in total yards, 23rd in passing yards, and 13th in rushing yards. It’s clear that even with balanced play calling the passing game is not getting things done.

Currently standing 29th in passing first downs and 26th in touchdowns is a far cry from the offense we have seen the past two seasons. Part of the problem stems from injuries. Godwin’s had been less involved in preseason and training camp, Evans had hamstring issues, and Jones missed week two. Moreover, with Mike Evans being suspended the only thing consistent about the wide receivers is the inconsistency. So in order to get something going Beasley has been signed to provide a boost in the wide receiver room until consistency can be reestablished.

What Going Wrong

Currently the Bucs are using two players to substitute where they should not. Scotty Miller and Breshad Perriman’s route tress are suited for stretching the field. The should be split out wide and running routes such as fades, posts, corners and dig routes. Their speed is their weapon. Instead they are running across the line of scrimmage in flat, drive route, or dig. They are not well suited for this style of play. These are routes Godwin can run because his route tree is so extensive and he’s an amazing route runner. Asking Miller and Perriman to do it does not work.

Enter Beasley

Beasley will step in right away and become the underneath receiver. Well suited for short to intermediate routes, digs and sitting in holes in zone coverage. He has some dependable hands and protects the ball well. He’s willing to sacrifice over the middle in congestion and will be the safety valve when the deep threat is not open. His average depth of target will be between the 5 to 7.5 yard mark. This has been his niche his entire career. His yards after catch (4.05 yards average for his career) is where he can make his mark. He’ll be a Julian Edelman style receiver.

Final Thought

If Beasley can come in and be the underneath receiver, Miller and Perriman can stretch the field. Russel Gage then can play his role as the possession receiver used at the intermediate level and anywhere else. This keeps defenses honest and keeps them from compressing the field.

Finally, I like this signing. It tells me the staff know their deficiencies and and working to correct them. Additionally, it brings a wrinkle to the offense and allows other players to get back to their strengths being utilized. Subsequently, if it gets the passing game back on track it will open up the entire offense.

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