Photo by Keith Allison / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)
TAMPA- If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looked like they were done making splash moves this off-season, last Thursday evening proved that general manager Jason Licht is continuing to look for ways to upgrade on offense.
In a surprising move, the Buccaneers signed free agent running back LeSean McCoy to a 1-year deal per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. McCoy joins an already loaded backfield with third-year pro Ronald Jones along with rookie tailback Ke’Shawn Vaughn. McCoy gives Tampa Bay another pass-catching option out of the backfield for Tom Brady.
Brady, who signed with Tampa Bay over the off-season as a free agent, has always been known for checking down to his running backs out of the backfield, with players like Dion Lewis and James White becoming household names. Now the expectations rise in the backfield as McCoy will battle for time against Jones and Vaughn, who is currently on the reserve list due to the novel coronavirus.
Brady has run practices with skilled players at Berkeley Prep School in Tampa during the off-season and wanted to develop timing with some of Tampa Bay’s receivers, including Mike Evans and Cameron Brate. Now comes the next big step for Brady and the Buccaneers and that’s bringing all 80 players together into camp, which remains the biggest challenge to date with every NFL club.
The current off-season has been like no other for all of the professional sports and especially for the Buccaneers, who made some blockbuster type moves ahead of the 2020 season. Tampa Bay signed 6-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady and decided to move on from 5-year starter Jameis Winston, who has since signed with the New Orleans Saints.
The Buccaneers also added one of Brady’s most trusted pass catchers in tight end Rob Gronkowski, who steps into a crowded position that already features Brady and OJ Howard. Now with the addition of LeSean McCoy into the equation, Tampa Bay’s offense becomes that much more dangerous.
McCoy has been a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles, and the latter club is where he found his most success. The former Pittsburgh Panthers alum has rushed for over 11,000 yards in his NFL career, scored 73 touchdowns and McCoy’s best season came in 2013 when he rushed for 1,607 yards on 314 carries and scored nine touchdowns. Chip Kelly was the head coach of the Eagles at the time.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.