Staggering Bucs Statistic

June 1st, 2012

Keen readers of Joe know how, though he is also a baseball fan, Joe has nearly been driven away from the sport by the stat geeks.

Stats, when used with reason, can sometimes be enlightening. But the glut of made-up acronyms — all borne out of fantasy baseball — is mind-numbing if not distracting. The nonsense a couple of Sundays ago on a Rays TV broadcast where viewers were hit over the head with this statistical graffiti was worse than nuns belting students over the head with a pointer over an algebra lesson.

Joe had to turn the sound down and turn the radio on for relief.

Joe learned a long time ago, in high school in fact, that anyone can concoct any statistic they wanted to prove just about any premise.

Again, a stat can shed light on a subject when used correctly. This brings Joe to Greg Olson.

Joe had railed all last season, and still pounds his fist on the bar, about how underutilized LeGarrette Blount was last year. Yeah, Olson came up with all sorts of excuses not to give him the ball short of Mars is behind the moon.

But it wasn’t just Blount, it was the entire rushing attack. In a story on how the Bucs want to really run the ball this season, eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune unearthed a statistic so unnerving to Joe, he almost spit his coffee on his keyboard.

Schiano’s predecessor, Raheem Morris, also stressed physicality, but the Bucs ran the ball only 346 times in 2011, the fewest rushing attempts in franchise history during a non-strike season.


This little nugget right there may have been a major cause of why the Bucs tailspinned into their grotesque 10-game losing streak.

Josh Freeman was struggling. Mike Williams was struggling. Kellen Winslow was struggling. You had a guy in the backfield who averaged five yards a carry the previous season and a line built for run-blocking, but damn the torpedoes, we’re throwing the ball, boys!

Sure, the Bucs were behind often so they had to throw the ball, Joe gets that. Notice this record was not set in 2009 when the Bucs won a grand total of three games, were behind terribly in most of those games, and had no rushing attack to speak of.

And people wonder why Olson was fired?

30 Responses to “Staggering Bucs Statistic”

  1. Shannon "Chief" Cherry Says:

    I think we had the fewest rushing attempts in history because we were behind by more than any club in Bucs history all season! But I agree, we NEED to run a lot more for Freeman to be successful!

  2. Brad Says:

    Who is wondering why Olson was fired?

  3. Aceofaerospace Says:

    I’m shocked that Olsen is not still unemployed.

  4. Meh Says:

    The reason stats are so popular in baseball is because dry, boring numbers are still more interesting than actually watching a baseball game.

  5. ClayBURN94 Says:

    Stats are for losers…

  6. Buxter Says:

    The worst offensive coordinator in the NFL was forced to pass early and often because of the worst defensive coordinator in the NFL.

    The Bucs have done an admirable job this offseason to address our offensive woes. Too bad it took the new salary cap and lot’s of empty seats to get this done.

  7. [email protected] Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    They tried to run, but were always stopped.
    Plus, we were always so far behind in games, that running was futile.

  8. Snook Says:

    “The worst offensive coordinator in the NFL was forced to pass early and often because of the worst defensive coordinator in the NFL.”

    That’s somewhat true but Olson didn’t help himself out either. I’d love to see the % of games where the Bucs got the ball 1st and went 3 and out on their first (and second) possessions.

  9. HFXBUC Says:

    I found it interesting that Blount was selected as the team model for the unveiling of the new Nike jersey’s. Not Josh. Note Mike Williams, Not GMC, Not Clayborn. Blount was selected to be the face of the franchise along with guys like Suh, Urlacher, Wes Welker, Marshawn Lynch, Ben Rothelisburger. Odd pick if he is indeed being phased out and marginalized by the team…

  10. BigBear Says:

    Agreed, and if he couldn’t pick up the play book last year why would they have sent him away during a time where he could be learning? Seems to go against logic if he really wasn’t grasping it, which I am of the belief that he is a smart enough player and it was a coaching problem last year that held him back.

  11. Thomas2.2 Says:

    Joe you are better than this.

    They were playing from significant deficits in the first half almost every one of Rah’s 48 horrible games. They went heavily pass in the second quarter on to extend the game by clock stoppage for incompletion (40%+ of pass plays).

    This also speaks to rah (and Dom with his headset) not trusting Blount – if those two dolts wanted to go to Blount (and not Free) they would have so. Olson was following the script.

    To blame Olson more than the head coach is just plain foolish. Have you ever once hear Bellichick or Coughlin blame an OC for play calling being too heavily weighted one way? He’ll no.

    These decision are made by real coaches before the game starts. If we get down by more than 8 – what plays are we going to run in given situations – Dom, Rah and Olson decided to go to Josh – Olson was not operating alone as you stubbornly suggest.

  12. b.u.c.s.19999 Says:

    good point HFXBUC

  13. Thomas2.2 Says:

    The NFL picked Blount before the draft, it has nothing to do with how Schiano will use him as Martin’s backup.

  14. OAR Says:

    I thought the NFL not the team picked those players to show off the new uniforms? If so, then why is “Odd pick if he is indeed being phased out and marginalized by the team…”?

  15. OAR Says:

    Is this the same Greg Olsen that litfed the offense up 10 spots in rankings and to a 10-6 record in 2010? Hmmm….interesting and no offseason to boot. Hard to progress without it!

  16. OAR Says:

    BTW didnt Blount have his most yards and carries under Olsen? But, yet he is the one to blame for the PITTIFUL play by the PLAYERS, both on offense and defense, last year?
    Not a huge Olsen fan by any means, but why all the hate?

  17. thibs5599 Says:

    What boggles my mind is how Olson lasted as long as he did, someone needed to be fired before the season ended and Olson should have been shown the door a long time before that. As Joe always says, Blount carried the ball 5 times in the season opener against Detroit, 5 TIMES!!!! Should have been shown the door shortly after that.

  18. Thomas2.2 Says:

    What boggles my mind is that RahRah was our pevious head coach ?

    Do you think if Olson was the OC under Bellichick that his team’s would be 17-31? Of course not.

    Incompetence originates from the top, don’t forget that.

    Dungy rotated OC’s like tube socks and the offense rarely changed bcbthe tram philosophy and game planning stayed the same.

  19. eric Says:

    Olson has to be blamed to maintain dominik’s rock star status.

    U know all the great players he drafted only failed due to coaching.

  20. BigBear Says:

    @Thomas2.2 “The NFL picked Blount before the draft, it has nothing to do with how Schiano will use him as Martin’s backup.” If this is true then my point goes out the window…

  21. Adam Says:

    It bears repeating. Raheem Morris was the worst coach in Buccaneers’ history.

  22. Drew Says:

    Morris and Olsen were two turds in a pot.

  23. Drew Says:

    LMAO… Joe is censoring my comment about this article being boring.

    Drew, don’t assume Joe is censoring any comments. There can be computer glitches on either end.–Joe

  24. Coburn Says:

    I too often hear the common excuse of being behind. The problem with that is part of the reason we got so far behind in the first place is because we wouldn’t run the ball. So you don’t run the ball, start out predictable, fall behind because you refused to run it, then say you can’t run the ball because you fell behind? Or even if they do start out with some runs they give up as soon as they fall behind by 1 or 2 TDs with still more than half the game left.

  25. ATLBUC40 Says:

    I always wondered if the firing of OLC Pete Mangurian was a mistake, for what was it… difference in philosophy. “Pete’s demanding and disciplined” was the quote from Dominik explaining the firing. Hmmm

  26. Drew Says:

    Please accept my apology Joe.

  27. Kyle Says:

    I disagree on the baseball stats, if you actually learn about WAR it can tell you a hell of a lot about a certain players worth and if they are over paid its kind of how Thomas rates bucs players but uses a statistical equation rather than mouth diarrhea

  28. BamBamBuc Says:

    If memory serves, we were behind quite often in 2010 as well and Josh Freeman was being hailed the “Comeback Kid” while leading to many come from behind victories. So, if being behind in games is reason to not run the ball, then logic dictates that Blount wouldn’t get many touches in 2010 either. Admittedly, the games were closer, and within reach in 2010, but we were behind in many and throwing the ball to play catch up.

    The other thing to point out is that we weren’t being blown out in the first game last year against the Lions. We actually led the game 10-6 after the 1st quarter, and only down 7 at the half. Yet Blount only touched the ball 5 times. So, the “we were behind and had to throw” argument doesn’t apply there.

    The Minnesota game (which we won), Blount only had 13 carries. That game we were behind 17-0 at the half. Yet they gave the ball to Blount in the second half, he scored twice, we came back and won. That included handing the ball off to the “fumble prone” back with less than a minute in the game, down only 3 points, from the 4 yard line (no brainer FG to tie instead of risk the fumble, right?). Again, being down doesn’t always mean abandon the run.

    To compare big backs, Alstott’s best average yards per carry was 4.1 for a season. His Best. In two years, Blount hasn’t been below 4.2 and as high as 5.0. But…. Alstott could catch passes. Well, other than his rookie year (an aberration with 65 catches), he was really around 24 or so per year average. Not much higher than the 15 Blount had and still early in his career. Alstott was never known for his blocking, ever. He was, however, known for his fumbling. He fumbled 9 times his first two seasons (sound familiar?) and another 11 times over the next two seasons. Alstott never topped 1000 yards in a season rushing.

    Now, don’t get all over me here…. I loved Alstott. One of the all-time great Bucs. He was fun to watch. I still remember a game against the Redskins inside the 5 where he must have changed direction 3 or 4 times before finally pushing it across the goal line (not really a “power” play for the big guy). Blount is much the same with better results. I would no more want to see Blount on the bench than I would have wanted to see Alstott get pushed to the curb by the “all-purpose” back Warrick Dunn.

    Martin and Blount should do great things as teammates. Both should be used in the best possible fashion for the team to win. To me, that means both need to be on the field for significant amounts of time.

  29. Lion Says:

    Doesn’t matter how many points we were behind last year, if you realized opposing defenses knew what play the Bucs were running on offense last year about 90% of the time. It goes to show you how predictable Greg Olsen’s offense was. It seemed every play that was ran the the opposing defense was set up and in perfect position to make a play. That’s why Olsen is despised by Bucs fans.

  30. Thomas2.2 Says:


    The plays are scripted before the game, usually with a egenral idea of what they are by Tuesday’s practice. Typically the first 15 fall in close to the predicted sequence, of course with slight adjustments for down and distance.

    The head coach and in the Bucs case, Dom last year (bc everyone knew rah was lost) participated in those planning meetings. Dom, Rah, Olson, Free etc all have a voice in what plays will be charted for specific situations.

    Both Rah and Dom wore headsets so that they could participate in approving the play chosen by Olson and Free.

    To try and blame it on Olson is too foolish. Offensively, they were not nearly as bad as they were defensively, if the defense stopped anyone – it would have assisted the offense in being balanced.