Bucs Rethinking Offense

September 27th, 2012

A mystery typist for TBO.com believes the Bucs are rethinking their offensive strategy based on their inability to ram the ball down opponents’ throats.

It’s always good for a coach to say, “We are going to do… X.” Whether that’s passing the ball or running the ball, it is good to have an identity.

That’s what Bucs coach Greg Schiano (man, Joe damned near typed “Olson”) is trying to do with the Bucs. From the first day he appeared at his introductory press conference, Schiano has made it clear he wants the Bucs to run the ball.

Problem is, when a team cannot run the ball, what next? This is the current predicament the Bucs find themselves in. An anonymous typist on TBO.com believes the Bucs may be looking at other ways to move the ball down the field, not just on the ground.

Q: Why is the offensive coach not allowing the quarterback to throw the ball? Every play was the same, give the ball to Martin (who is a great player) but everyone knew the play before it was executed, every PLAY!

Then the coach decides to play speed up football the last 3 minutes of the game! Really!!!! The problem is not the players, but the bad coaching. Sorry, I don’t want to be mean, but everyone had the Bucs’ number yesterday. Why are they not mixing it up? Thanks!

— Ilene,

A: The Bucs are clearly trying to establish themselves as a run-oriented team. That’s why they’re not leaning too much on Josh Freeman and the passing game. It’s all part of their ball-control approach, which is what Coach Greg Schiano prefers. He wants to win the time of possession battle, but they’re going to have to come up with a more imaginative way of doing that. They were thinking they could outmuscle teams with their big offensive line and a back like Doug Martin who’s good at hitting holes and breaking tackles, but Martin isn’t breaking tackles and he’s not getting much help from his line or the play-callers.

Yeah, it’s kind of hard to run the ball when the blocking isn’t the greatest — as Schiano has suggested — and your breakaway first round running back can’t break away.

Can Josh Freeman pass the Bucs to a win? So far this season, it’s as if the Bucs are scared to let him throw much less run outside and throw.

No one will truly know the answer that question until the Bucs take the shackles off of Freeman.

22 Responses to “Bucs Rethinking Offense”

  1. raphael Says:

    Free just needs to run when he gets a chance .that will open up things.

  2. Macabee Says:

    Bucs offense = Army intelligence = oxymoron!

    (currently taking Eric’s correspondence course on Internet Cynicism)

  3. 1976Buc Says:

    Great to hear they are rethinking things if that’s true. I’m still not sure why you would seem to place things squarely on the shoulders of a untested rookie RB when you have a 4 year veteran QB, the Jackson/Williams combo and a former 1000 yd rusher? Seems like a little too much responsibility to me.

  4. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I can’t think of a better team to break out a real offense on than the Redskins. They are the worst defense in the league, and they are incredibly banged up. I don’t think it’s a big deal that we lost the last 2 games, but it is a catastrophe if we lose to the Skins.

    This is the perfect game to open up the offense and let Freeman regain some much needed confidence. I would go deep on the very first play, and keep throwing all game long, at least until they stop stacking the box. This will also give our future opponents something to fear, because they damn sure don’t fear anything about our offense now. Maybe we should take advantage of that $55 Million receiver we got and throw him the ball, instead of using him as a blocker. Hell, we could bring back Michael Clayton if that’s all we are going to need for our WR’s.

  5. Peking Buc Says:

    Anyone paying attention to how good Rutgers looks this year!! Gary Nova threw for almost 400 yards last week!! When did Rutgers ever throw that much under NSO? Rutgers is like a man getting out of prison. They are an explosive offense now!!

    NSO is going to have to change their ways and fast, or it’s going to be a Long season. Wish our offense looked like Rutgers O!!

  6. Have A Nice Day Says:

    Highest paid offensive line in the league, yet they still aren’t blocking well.

  7. Bricen Says:

    You can still be a run-oriented, hard-nosed football team, just don’t do power all. game. long.

  8. Miguel Grande Says:


    “Rutgers is like a man getting out of prison. They are an explosive offense now!!”

    Had me rolling on the floor with that comment!

    True that!!

  9. lurker Says:

    you can roll on the floor when your ribs hurt to breathe?

  10. Dale Says:

    Why did you call all those running plays when you are down by two scores?

  11. bucfanjeff Says:

    I’m telling you….4 or 5 WR sets once in a while.
    I find it hard to believe there is a team that can successfully cover vjax, Williams, benn, tiq, and Clark.

  12. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “Anyone paying attention to how good Rutgers looks this year”



  13. Gus Says:

    ^ HA! thats exactly what I thought.

  14. Facts Matter Says:

    I guarantee none of the posters above commenting on the Rutgers offense this year have ever really followed the team – and what it is doing with players recruited by Schiano.
    High powered offenses is nothing new.
    Rutgers was the only school in college football history to have a 3,000 yard passer (Mike Teel), 2,000 yard rusher (Ray Rice), and TWO 1,000 yard recievers (Kenny Britt and Tiquan Underwood) in the same season (2007).

    I swear you and the majority of Tampa fans are now expecting a top-level playoff-caliber team right off the bat. Losing by a touchdown on the road to the Giants and Cowboys – and being in the games till the very end is
    Tampa experiencing growing pains. From the roster, to roles, to understanding how to play.
    You need to look at the Giants to understand what Sullivan is doing with Tampa. It’s the most complicated offense in the NFL. There are pre- and post-snap reads and adjustments. It is not the Dallas “Run exactly 7 yards then turn” timing style offense. The QB and receivers have to be on the exact same page with how they are seeing the defense and make the same decisions.
    It can take receivers on the Giants two or more years to understand it.

    Eli is given several plays, and based on what he sees the defense doing, will choose one of them. Obviously, Freeman is not comfortable yet in his newest offense. At Dallas, with headset problems and in a time crunch he called a run play while the game was on the line on a 3rd and long. Hopefully he learns from that and starts thinking about what plays to call on his own if he has to do it again.
    Another thing the Giants do is on run plays, the QB reads the defensive alignments, identifies the Mike, makes run checks, etc. It’s not “hand the ball off and let the rb make a play”.
    Freeman is having to handle more responsibility than he had in previous seasons. It takes time to be completely comfortable.

    What will happen is suddenly everything will CLICK, and you’ll be writing how everything was changed to produce the result when it was nothing but repitition until it was done right.

  15. SteveK Says:

    @Facts Matter,

    Freeman needs to perform better, period.

    We would’ve won those games if our offense was in 2010 form to say the least.

  16. MadMax Says:

    Man, SCREW winning time of possession….win the PLAY, win the SERIES, thats how you win close games! This is the NFL! Trying to win time of possession means getting complacent which leads to contempt. I can understand using it if near the end of a game, but at any other time HELL NO!!! WIN THE GAME!! DESIGN SOME PLAYS AND UNLEASH OUR TALENT!

  17. The Dutcher Journal (Pete Dutcher) Says:

    Both Have a Nice Day and Facts Matter are spot on.

    This is why I said earlier this week that I’m not worried. I KNOW this offense will start to “click” at some point. Offense is more complicated to learn than defense.

    Both Schiano and Sullivan said they were going to rebuild from the ground up. It’s not their fault the “win now” fans chose to ignore that warning.

  18. sneedy16 Says:

    Before complaining I’ll wait until the season is over before I pass judgement on Freeman. If he improves then that’s great if he stays bad then future backup and draft a QB in the first round.

  19. james Says:

    yea just win baby, one superbowl since 76. all the aquisitions on offense the great draft and we get this! sorry time is not on their side. sullivans playcalling is atrocious, and i know schiano’s got his thumbprint on that as well. after 4 years of playing QB in the NFL, diffrent system, give me a break.its a new system for quite a few QBs this year out of collage. just look at his numbers and other quarterbacks with the same amount of time in this game or less.get my point? if the offense continues to struggle and blackouts at home are the norm i am afraid we will lose our team and they will be sold eventually.

  20. BucFan20 Says:

    It’s a real shame some of you never get to hear the interviews done with the Players, Coach and Freeman done on local TV here in Tampa.
    1. Coach Says ( paraphrase) Freeman can run. He has no problem as long as he slides the proper way. Ie no hurdle. slide feet first not head first. other wise he has a problem.
    2. We must do better to win during the learning curve.
    3. Freeman Says “The terminology, hicups” and things like that are worked out in OTA’s, Training Camp and Preseason. It’s just like some passes may be a little longer than others..
    4. Williams. It’s not the system. It’s just we need to get open for him.
    I think Benn made comments last week too but I don’t remember.
    That’s just a little a lot of you never hear.

    So we have a QB that can change plays. Can run. And has the brains to call a run play on 3rd and long. I really don’t think any other QB in the NFL would have called that play.

  21. 1976Buc Says:

    Let’s see…down 2 scores…3rd and long…and you don’t think any other QB in the league would have called that play? On that my friend we agree!

  22. Facts Matter Says:

    “2010 form” would have won those games?! Tampa showed that year that luck and a last place schedule can get a lot of cheap meaningless wins.
    Week 1 Beat Cleveland 17-14. Bucs offense – 49 yrd FG. Short field TD after a Barber 64 INT return to the Cleveland 3 yard line. The other TD the drive started at the Cleveland 47 after a punt return. Cleveland was a 5-11 team that year. In other words, the Tampa offense traveled 50 yards combined for its 2 TDs.
    Week 2 Beat the Panthers 20-7. The 2-14 Panthers.
    Week 3 Got stomped by the Steelers 38-13. The 12-4 Steelers.

    Which offense was better through 3 games?
    Tampa beat only 1 team with a winning record – and that was because the Saints in the last game of the season decided to pull Brees and sent Chase Daniels in while at the Tampa 37 after a fumble recovery. Something that would never happen if the game was important.
    Beating bottom of the draft order teams – with injured QBs or backup QBs or getting a 1pt win because of a missed extra point does not scream a GOOD OFFENSE.
    The proof the “2010 form” wasn’t ever good – 2009 and 2011. Don’t be blinded by cheap Wins.