Despite Success, Bucs Struggled Early

June 6th, 2011

The Bucs wowed the NFL last year when the team, which some expected only to win two games, ran off 10 wins with both a young and injury-riddled roster, narrowly missing the playoffs.

But eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune has pulled back some of the onion skins and found a disturbing concern: The Bucs were one of the worst first-quarter offenses in the NFL last season.

The Bucs were outscored 73-43 in the opening quarter, and only the Panthers (35), Jets (36) and Bills (40) registered fewer points in the first 15 minutes of games than Tampa Bay.

Of the four touchdowns the Bucs scored in the first quarter, one came on a 41-yard interception return by linebacker Geno Hayes at Arizona.

That leaves three offensive touchdowns in 16 opening quarters, giving coordinator Greg Olson a troubling issue to address this summer in trying to initiate more productive starts.

Well, there’s two ways of looking at this. While eye-RAH’s information is indeed troubling, Joe sort of senses that Olson is pretty adept at changing on the fly and adjusting, which is a very key thing. It also could mean Olson is playing possum in the first quarter, keeping a keen eye at what the defensive tendencies are before he pulls the trigger.

Whether Olson is preparing his offense adequately, well, this season will prove telling.

6 Responses to “Despite Success, Bucs Struggled Early”

  1. Gary Says:

    This has to change. Its squarely on Olsen to fix it. Now we have enough confidence in Josh to let it fly from the start.

    I think our 1st quarter problems will be fixed this year.

  2. Brad Says:

    And that slow start really hurt the Jets. Let’s not forget this was Freemans first full year as the starter.. Leave it too Ira to find the negative stats.. This in no way a concern. Considering we had a handful of plays that could have easily resulted in 12 wins.. Why not look at the results of the 4th quarter when the game is on the line. I’m positive that Freeman will improve in starting faster but more important finishing stronger. I do believe there is merit to Olson feeling out the defense and adjusting as the game progresses.

  3. Gringo Dave Says:

    I think its totally on Olsen, it’s only when we’re down by 13 points that Olsen takes the reins off Freeman. I noticed in Josh’s first year, there were flashes of brilliance when he was allowed to stretch the limits of the offense.

  4. Bucnjim Says:

    This also has to do with the Defense getting killed in the first half of games! The D was giving up so many long sustained drives in the first half; that the Offense was very limited in how many chances they had especially in the first quarter.

  5. Joe Says:

    VVVEEERRRYYY good point Bucnjim!

  6. espo Says:

    Yes I agree with BucnJim. Raheem proved to be excellent at 2nd half adjustments. This directly effects time of possession and starting field position. Better 1st half defense and a decent punter, plus Freeman’s continued mastery of this offense will make this team complete. The only down side is he won’t get as many 4th quarter comebacks.

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