Third Down Pass Routes Too ShortDecember 15th, 2013
Look, Joe knows the fundamental strategy of football is to take what the defense gives you. While that sounds great, in practice, it’s not so great.
If a team does that, then that means the defense is dictating what the offense calls. Only teams with defenses like the old Bucs, the 1985 Bears or the 2000 Ravens can overcome such limp offenses, which bow to whatever the defense gives.
This came to mind while Joe was watching the Bucs struggle so much and so often on third downs. How many times on third down have you seen the Bucs call pass plays where the receiver is a good four yards shy of the first down marker?
This infuriates Joe to know end. Look, the 49ers can get away with this because a receiver like Anquan Boldin will flat out run you over. Tight end Vernon Davis is a monster.
The Bucs don’t have guys like that. Oh, Vincent Jackson is a stud, no doubt. But when your secondary receivers are Tiquan Underwood and Chris Owusu, running routes well short of the first down marker is irresponsible.
Calling plays like that is selling out your receivers. To run routes like that, a receiver has to break two or three tackles to make the first down. When is the last time you noticed Underwood breaking a tackle? Or Owusu?
Having your offense run pass patterns that require receivers to run through concrete walls in order to gain a first down is basically handing the quarterback a bullet for his pistol so he can shoot himself in the foot.