The QB Blast: Invest In Receivers ImmediatelyFebruary 11th, 2010
By JEFF CARLSON
Former Bucs quarterback Jeff Carlson (1990 & 1991) writes the weekly QB Blast column here at JoeBucsFan.com. Joe is ecstatic to have him firing away. Carlson has TV gigs in the Bay area and trains quarterbacks of all ages via his company, America’s Best Quarterback.
A cold Brees blew through the NFL’s biggest game Sunday, as Drew’s Saints topped the league MVP for the title. This game took two dome teams with great passers and made it the QB Bowl.
The team model to win in January has been to have a run-dominated team, matched with a stellar defense (Ravens 2000, Bucs 2002, Steelers 2005 & 2008), but I think the NFL has officially shifted to a pass-dominated league. Sure, there will always be teams dominated by the run and tough defense, but wide-open, attacking offenses are going to be the most common model moving forward.
If you model your team to be a running team, then you must have one of the best defenses in the league, because these offenses are built to score plenty of points and also to come back from deficits, as the Saints did after falling behind by 10 in the first quarter. Yes, they held Peyton Manning to 17 total points, with a total team effort that took in special teams, defense and sustained offense.
The Bucs gave the Saints a 17-point cushion to start their late season game and overcame it for the win, but let’s not argue about where each team was in the season and their motivations.
Let’s agree that if the Buccaneers don’t become a better defensive team week in and week out, the current offensive model will not keep up with the Saints, Cardinals, Vikings or Cowboys in the NFC playoffs. The Jets and Ravens weren’t bad on the AFC side, but even with top rated defenses they were underdogs throughout.
So, the Bucs would do well to invest in their receiving corps immediately.
Even with the acquisition of K2 last year and Antonio Bryant’s franchise tag, there is a gaping talent difference in playmaking ability. I’m not a big fan of either of the aforementioned receiver’s body language, which I think is important for team morale. And if I were choosing, I would go in search of hungrier talent and let A.B. go find greener pastures elsewhere.
One thing I am pretty happy about for the Bucs, as the NFL officially turns its eyes to 2010, is their starting quarterback in this QB-driven league. He got some experience, which puts him light-years ahead for all off-season activities and I like the hire of position coaches Alex Van Pelt and Eric Yarber.
Young players, like the Bucs roster is full of, appreciate coaches that have “been there” when being told to work harder and fix this or that.
Now with the head coach and general manager getting the kinks out of their first year in their respective jobs and a QB with oodles of potential, it’s full steam ahead to finding some guys that can turn a short throw into an 80 yard TD. That’s something Yarber actually knows something about (he is a couple years older, but he was a very good threat at Idaho, while I was at Weber State in the same conference).