Bucs will use the shotgun
Jon Gruden finally is going to pull the trigger on using the shotgun formation next season.
The Bucs coach hinted about implementing the formation, which is rarely used in the west coast offense but is an effective tool to help provide protection for the quarterback.
Chris Simms said Tuesday following two days of meetings with Gruden that it appears the shotgun will be a go in 2007. The Bucs are believed to be the only team not to utilize that formation in some capacity.
Both Simms and second-year pro Bruce Gradkowski played extensively in the shotgun formation during their college careers.
"I think it is going to come true, yes,'' Simms said. "Coach has been talking about it and I think he's pretty serious about it. We'll see when that first practice rolls around. But as of right now, I think we're going to have the shotgun and I'm extremely excited about that.''
No one stands to benefit more than Simms. Even at 6-foot-4, he struggled last season with having passes batted down, particularly on three-step drops. The shotgun also will help the Bucs offensive line, which struggled in pass protection last season.
"I'm a big believer in it,'' Simms said. "You know, it's a good wrinkle to put in the offense for protection purposes, so the quarterback can step back and look at the defense as a whole. I'm excited for it.''