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#pounditThursday, October 29, 2020

Bruce Arians: Buccaneers are planning to use tight end-heavy formations

Bruce Arians

Bruce Arians is planning to make use of the team’s surplus of tight ends.

Arians spoke with The Athletic’s Greg Auman for an interview and shared that the team plans to run tight end-heavy formations on offense this year.

“We’ve always been a huge 12-personnel team, ever since Pittsburgh,” Arians said, via Auman. “That’s our base offense. If those are the best matchups, then that’s where we’re headed. Each week is finding out the best matchups. I love ’13’ and love three tight ends out there. We have a package, and if you don’t know how to stop it, it can hurt you.”

“12” personnel refers to a formation that includes one running back and two tight ends. “13” personnel is a formation of one running back and three tight ends. The most commonly used formation in the NFL these days is “11” personnel, which is one running back and one tight end, with three receivers on the field. That is what Tampa Bay used most often last season.

The Bucs already had Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard, and then they acquired Rob Gronkowski in a trade with New England, giving them three capable tight ends. Arians notoriously has not run offenses that favor tight ends, but with Tom Brady at quarterback, things may be different this year.

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