Several outlets have tied the recent offensive staff hires of the Buccaneers to them drafting Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. They have pointed to the pasts of offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian as reasons for linking Mariota to the Bucs on draft night. But the past of a coach doesn’t necessarily mean they will draft said quarterback.
What sparked up the recent debate was ESPN’s Adam Schefter suggesting that there is “a real sense” the Bucs draft Mariota. Schefter doesn’t provide any reason for this so we have to go by what is written. Could he be another media member trying to tie a read-option or spread style of offense to the two new Buc hires and the Oregon product? Perhaps. Though that angle is a common misconception.
Many assume that because Bajakian (briefly) ran a spread with read-option offense at the University of Tennessee and that Koetter had current Oregon coach Mark Helfrich as his assistant before Helfrich went to Oregon that the offensive philosophies are identical. However, both have stated their idea of an offense is to match that of the personnel on the team.
Another misconception is if the Bucs do install a spread attack they need to draft Mariota. That is also false. How so? There is a team playing in the Super Bowl this Sunday that runs the spread and runs it good when they do and their quarterback is not mobile at all. The New England Patriots run a spread offense under offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. The fact is, many -- if not almost all -- teams in the NFL incorporate a spread concept into their playbook and call it occasionally.
Schefter isn’t the only one to tie Mariota to the Bucs. He certainly is not the only one to suggest it based off of what the Bucs may appear to be preparing for on offense. But for now, we’ll stick with what’s been reported right here on BucsBlitz.com and that is that Tampa Bay is not sold on Mariota.
It's draft season and these types of things will start popping up everywhere. Last season, many tried to tie quarterback Derek Carr to the Buccaneers as well as suggest Johnny Manziel was going to be their selection. That was not the case as they went with wide receiver Mike Evans.
Of course things can change in the coming months. But as of this very moment, they have not.
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