The QB Blast: Invest In Receivers Immediately

February 11th, 2010

Former Bucs QB Jeff Carlson


Former Bucs quarterback Jeff Carlson (1990 & 1991) writes the weekly QB Blast column here at 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).

10 Responses to “The QB Blast: Invest In Receivers Immediately”

  1. jvato24 Says:

    “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. ”

    I dont buy it! .. There were no truly dominant Defenses this year .. and both of these teams are dome driven .. Take away home field advantage and stick both these teams Outside in the cold and weather and lets see the results ..

    This has been said many times over the past few years of the league becoming All Offense .. Especially after 2006 when the Colts won the SB .. Then the next 2 years it was the Giants and Steelers winning with Defense while still having Good offense . but not great .. Take away these teams Dome shelter and Im not so sure that Running the ball and playing Defense is dead quite yet

  2. jvato24 Says:

    But I do agreee .. Receivers needed!!!!

  3. Jameson Says:

    I agree. The Bucs at this point are essentially a blank slate. The talent we do have are a franchise QB and a solid OL. Tampa’s never been an explosive offense, so go out and make it one. There’s like twenty solid WRs available this offseason.

  4. Jeff Carlson Says:

    If not for a heroic OFFENSIVE FINAL DRIVE by the most recent Steelers champs, and the best play in football history (James Harrison’s 100 yard return before halftime), the defensive minded Steelers didn’t slow the pass-happy Cardinals much. That 14 point swing won the game, not a great defense.
    Also, those dome-driven teams get to play most of their games inside and if good enough, get home-field advantage, so they never have to be tested in the weather.
    Point was, though, that either Bucs must get their defense back to dominant, not just good, or else they must start to compete with an offense that can generate points week in and week or out or the other teams will just outscore them if they cannot make big plays on offense and with their personnel right now, they cannot.

  5. BBQBill Says:

    Have to agree with Carlson. The model has changed. You have to score points. The Dungy Bucs and the Ravens model is already old.

  6. Mike J Says:

    Question is, where do you get instant receivers?? Free agency will be a fizzle this year. Walter looks to be on the market, but is not really an impact guy. Marshall & Boldin will cost picks.With all 32 teams running three & four wideout sets,the competition for what IS available will be fierce.

  7. Tristan Says:

    Well, as much as I’d like to deal with what ‘should be’, I have to deal with what ‘is’. I miss strong defenses. I miss typical football scores being 13-10. I hate the way that the rules have been altered over the years with the spoken intention being to skew the game in favor of the offense. Sure, scoring is exciting; but how much more exciting does a touchdown become when touchdowns come at a premium, hmmm?

    But all that aside, this is the game we have and this is how they line up and square off now. So, we need to make sure of these things, as I see it:

    A) Ensure that our transition back to a Tampa-2-based defense is solid to keep pressure off the offense so they don’t have to worry about scoring on every possession.

    B) Ensure that our OL backslide last year really was a fluke, that it really was the result of trying to force a power run-oriented OL to zone-block. I really want to believe that, but this year will tell us the truth.

    C) Make sure that the running game can really shine. We have the backs. We supposedly have the O-line. So let’s make sure we have the right scheme. Don’t let Freeman feel like it’s all on his shoulders alone.

    D) Yes, get GREAT receivers! K2 can be great. But as great as he is, if your best receiving threat is your TE, it doesn’t matter how good he is – that’s not a great situation. K2 will REALLY hurt opposing defenses and seem like almost a bargain when they have to worry about covering a great WR or two at the same time.

    My $00.02

  8. RustyRhino Says:

    Hey Jeff, I’m wondering, What would you rather have in your arsenal possession receivers, blocking receivers, or fast receivers? And do you see these types in our arsenal now? If so can you break down what you see, so that we might also have some incite as to what we might or might not need to be looking for this off season. Thanks
    Appreciate your input in our QB situation.

  9. Jeff Carlson Says:

    I have written this before, but for the running game to shine, Greg Olson is going to have to incorporate some kind of deception or else the most dominant line in the league will leave you with alot of 4th and 1’s and punting situations. Deception will help create a few more blocking angles for the line and a couple extra creases a game can be the difference between a “W” and an “L”.
    I absolutely hate the term “Blocking receiver”. It is an oxymoron and we have had the King in Michael Clayton for years. Yes, downfield blocks by receivers spring bigger runs now and then, but we have had so few potential big runs recently that there isn’t much opportunity and besides, running the guy off or a basketball style screen many times can get the job done for a good RB.
    Of course speed is great, but I think most QB’s would rather have dependable, smart, hard-working possession type guys than flat out speed with less dependability.
    I would really like to have a Riley Cooper (Florida Gators WR in 2010 draft) on my team. He has size, speed and works hard for the ball. If I saw more “fight” in Maurice Stovall, he would be a good prototype as well.
    I do like Sammy Stroughter for the reasons I stated above. He has a great attitude and work ethic that rubs off on others better than how a more talented guy with a bad attitude can rub off on others.

  10. Mike J Says:

    I second that thought about WRs & blocking–it’s nice if they can, sorta like a LB who can deep-snap, but that’s not the job description.I was really annoyed last year that the Bucs didn’t even give a sniff after Devery Henderson, who signed with N.O. again for less money than Tampa wasted on Clayton.
    I also like your thought about WRs & speed; Jerry rice ran a 4.6 or something like that IIRC pre-draft. Many great NFL receivers haven’t been speed burners, & the reverse is also true: many burners have been mediocre or worse as pass-catchers.