2009 Tampa Bay Offensive Recap

With the NFL Combine and Draft right around the corner, the time has come to revisit the Buccaneers 2009 offensive season. Whether it was the development of rookie Josh Freeman, the breakout of Kellen Winslow or the arrival of Sammie Stroughter, there was plenty of good and bad things to talk about from this season.

QUARTERBACKS:

Josh Freeman (Starter) 159-of-291, 1857 yards, 54.6%, 10 TDs, 18 Ints, 59.9 Rating, 30 rushing attempts, 161 yards

Josh Johnson (Backup) 63-125, 685 yards, 50.4%, 4 TDs, 8 Ints, 50.9 Rating, 22 rushing attempts, 148 yards

Byron Leftwich (Backup) 58-107, 594 yards, 54.2%, 4 TDs, 3 Ints, 71.2 Rating

Analysis: Freeman made great strides during his nine starts as a rookie, winning three games by coming from behind in the fourth quarter or overtime and losing two others in the final seconds after posting a lead. Accuracy is an issue after he threw 18 interceptions and just 10 touchdown passes. Leftwich, who was 0-3 as a starter, likely will be released. A key for next season is building the offense around Freeman, whom Raheem Morris has referred to as the No. 1 offseason priority.

Unrestricted Free Agents – None

Restricted Free Agents - None

RUNNING BACKS:

Cadillac Williams (Starting RB) 210 carries, 821 yards, 3.9 AVG, 4 TDs

Earnest Graham (Starting FB) 14 carries, 66 yards, 4.7 AVG

Derrick Ward (Backup) 114 carries, 409 yards, 3.6 AVG, 1 TD

Clifton Smith (Backup) 4 rushes, 7 yards, 1.8 AVG

Chris Pressley (Backup) 1 rush, 0 yards

Analysis: Williams was one of the most inspirational players in the NFL, finishing second to Tom Brady in Comeback Player of the Year voting. Despite tearing the patellar tendon in both knees the past two seasons, Williams led the Bucs in rushing, compiling 823 yards and four TDs. Graham was miscast as a fullback after a season-ending injury to fullback B.J. Askew. Ward, who signed a four-year, $17 million contract, was ineffective. Smith was never really involved on offense.

Unrestricted Free Agents – None

Restricted Free Agents – RB Cadillac Williams, FB Byron Storer (Injured for 2009 season)

WIDE RECEIVERS:

Antonio Bryant (Starter) 39 receptions, 600 yards, 15.4 AVG, 5 TDs

Michael Clayton (Starter) 16 receptions, 230 yards, 14.4 AVG, 1 TD

Sammie Stroughter (Backup) 31 receptions, 334 yards, 10.8 AVG, 1 TD

Maurice Stoval (Backup) 24 receptions, 366 yards, 15.3 AVG, 1 TD

Brian Clark (Backup) 6 receptions, 65 yards, 10.8 AVG

Analysis: Bryant was hobbled by knee surgery for a torn meniscus in preseason and started just 11 games. The Bucs' franchise player, who earned $9.8 million, started only 11 games and caught 39 passes for 600 yards and four touchdowns. Clayton, who re-signed with the Bucs for $10 million guaranteed, caught just 16 passes all season. Stroughter was a nice find in the draft and a valuable third down receiver and special teams player.

Unrestricted Free Agents – Antonio Bryant

Restricted Free AgentsMaurice Stovall

TIGHT ENDS:

Kellen Winslow (Starter) 77 receptions, 84 yards, 11.5 AVG, 5 TDs

Jerramy Stevens (Backup) 15 receptions, 130 yards, 1 TD

John Gilmore (Backup) 3 receptions, 23 yards, 0 TDs

Analysis: The Bucs traded two draft picks to Cleveland for Winslow, who managed to stay healthy and start all 16 games. He led the Bucs in catches (77), receiving yards (884) and touchdowns (five). He was a tough matchup for any defense. Stevens was another receiving tight end. Gilmore specialized in run-blocking.

Unrestricted Free Agents – None

Restricted Free Agents - None

OFFENSIVE LINE:

LT Donald Penn (Starter)

LG Jeremy Zuttah (Starter)

C Jeff Faine (Starter)

RG Davin Joseph (Starter)

RT Jeremy Trueblood (Starter)

C Jonathan Compass (Backup)

T Demar Dotson (Backup)

T James Lee (Backup)

G Sean Murphy (Backup)

G Arron Sears (Backup)


Analysis:
This was one of the most underachieving units in the NFL. The Bucs invested high draft picks and made Faine the league's highest-paid center but were among the worst rushing teams. Penn ballooned to 360 pounds during the season. Zuttah was a poor replacement for Sears, who had an illness. It didn't help that the players spent the offseason learning a zone-blocking scheme, only to have the team blow out offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski 10 days before the season opener.


Unrestricted Free Agents
– None

Restricted Free Agents – Donald Penn, Jeremy Trueblood

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