The Buccaneers have a new offensive coordinator, they’ll have a new quarterback, and they’re planning on a new role for wide receiver Chris Godwin.
Godwin lined up on the outside of the offense about a quarter of the time during the 2022 season, but offensive coordinator Dave Canales and wide receivers coach Brad Idzik see him differently than Byron Leftwich and others saw him last season. Idzik said on Wednesday that the coaching staff believes “we can use him in a lot of different ways right off the bat.”
“You’ll see a little bit of everything,” Idzik said, via the team’s website. “And I know that sounds like coach speak, right? ‘Oh, I don’t want to give away our trade secrets.’ Chris [has shown] early on that he can stretch the field and that’s what I want to remind him of. He can stretch the field. I know he is coming off of the knee injury from last year, but he has already shown it out there. When you put him outside, this guy is a problem one-on-one. . . . I gave him the example of Larry Fitzgerald. Towards the end of his career, when he started to lose some of his explosion, his downfield ability, then he was limited to the slot. Chris is not there yet. Chris still has that ability to win outside, so we don’t need him banging every play. And when we ask him to do it, he’ll do it, willingly, and we love that about him. But we do want to preserve him, too. We want him playing here for a long time.”
Godwin tore his ACL in 2021 and missed two of the first three games last season after hurting his hamstring, but still caught 104 passes in his 15 appearances. He averaged 9.8 yards per catch on those receptions, so the team is likely hoping to see him boost that number even if moving him around results in fewer catches on a weekly basis.