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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

WR Chris Godwin Sets the Standard as "Mr. Consistency"

Head Coach Todd Bowles and General Manager Jason Licht discuss Chris Godwin’s revised role in 2024 and his unrivaled work ethic from the NFL Combine


With the introduction of new offensive coordinator Liam Coen, change is imminent. Each offseason ushers in change and this one is no different for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Bucs' wide receiver Chris Godwin, who has established himself as one of the best contested catchers in the NFL, will revert back to his primary role in the slot in 2024 in Tampa Bay's retooled offense.

"Chris is a very physical player," said General Manager Jason Licht at the NFL Scouting Combine. "He's not afraid to work the middle. He's not intimidated and that's a that's a skill in itself. He's got fantastic hands. [He is] a very instinctive player. It's just [that] he can play both spots, but he just seems to excel inside, and you that saw at the end of the year. Towards the end of the year, [he] started to make more plays for us. It's hard to find those guys and Chris is a good one… He's a phenomenal person, a phenomenal player, [and] a great example to this entire team. You know, you just you almost take him for granted, he's there every day working his [butt] off. He came back from a brutal injury and came back faster than everybody expected. You know, he's just Mr. Consistency."

In his first press conference at the AdventHealth Training Center, Coen disclosed that he envisions Godwin taking a prominent role in the slot, playing the 'F' position similar to Rams' Cooper Kupp. Coen served as the Rams' assistant wide receivers coach in 2019 when Kupp had his first breakout year with 94 catches for 1,161 yards and 10 touchdowns. Kupp is a nuanced route runner who utilizes a feel for coverages and balance on short-to-intermediate routes to gain separation and generate space. The Rams' place an emphasis on angles of cuts and ways to exploit defensive backs. Godwin will likely be exposed to a similar iteration in Tampa Bay under the tutelage of Coen.

Godwin played 51% of his snaps in 2020 from the slot, including 53% in 2021 and 60% in 2022. During those three seasons, Godwin ranked fifth in the NFL in receptions per game (6.5) and ninth in receiving yards per game (72.3). The Bucs used a different approach with Godwin in 2023, utilizing him in the slot only 32% of the time, splitting his services on the outside. However, Godwin still eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving marker with 1,024 receiving yards. Godwin, the team's run-after-catch artist, wins at the catch point with physicality. He excels at catching the ball in traffic and using his frame to box out defenders before churning upfield.

The Penn State product is adept at elevating the offense through out-breaking routes, crossers, comebacks, jet sweeps and end-arounds. With a less restricted release from the slot, Godwin takes advantage. He leverages more space of operation from two-way go's (can go inside or outside upon release) and plays with outstanding body control. He works the boundary and the middle of the field with surgical precision and Godwin will look to capitalize off of last year's production. Godwin fits the prototypical mold and will play an integral role in the Bucs' aerial attack come fall.

"Chris Godwin has meant everything to this franchise from a leadership standpoint, from a work ethic standpoint, from a making plays standpoint, just from a culture standpoint," stated Head Coach Todd Bowles. "He does everything the right way. His work ethic is unquestioned and unrivaled, great toughness, [and] extremely smart player. He can go in there and mix it up, can go outside and make plays, has great hands, very unselfish, can block as well, as well as run with the football on some jet sweeps. So, everything Chris has done to this date, he's been a marvelous example of what a Tampa Bay Buccaneer is."

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