Where Was The Offense?August 9th, 2014
Since Lovie Smith began adding offensive pieces to the Bucs rebuilding puzzle, expectations if not mysteries were aroused. There was the Jeff Tedford offense that fans were told over and over again would be “up-tempo.”
Then there was the “Duncaneers,” where NBA-sized wide receivers would catch virtually any ball not intended for Andre the Giant and turn it into six points. Oh, and the running backs, the many, many, many quality running backs were too numerous to name.
Well, after yesterday’s debacle by the first-team offense in Jacksonville, Tampa Bay fans are still waiting, and veteran columnist Gary Shelton of the Tampa Bay Times wonders if Bucs fans will still be waiting months from now?
To be fair, it wasn’t all McCown’s fault. The new offensive line needs a lot more chemistry — and maybe a couple more guards — before McCown no longer looks like a man trying to play the piano in a buffalo stampede. McCown might have scared you, but this line is Nightmare on Elm Street stuff. Children should not watch it. Adults, either.
But the real concern is the quarterback. Of course it is. In four series, there should have been a play, maybe two, where you could have seen a glimpse of explosiveness. There should have been a slant to a wide receiver. There should have been a near-miss downfield. There should have been efficiency you could project into games against the Panthers, or Saints, or Falcons.
That’s the problem here. The expectations are so low. Few people outside of the Bucs’ training facility expect McCown to be anything other than the fourth-best quarterback in the division. No one seems to think he’ll be in the top three-quarters of quarterbacks. In other words, if people act as if the sky is falling today, it’s because they’ve never seen a complete sky under McCown.
Shelton went on to document that it was backup quarterback Mike Glennon who outplayed McCown in just about every way.
Look, Joe’s old man many, many years ago noted that a quarterback can’t do much while he is on his arse. The Bucs’ offensive line was so porous that McCown didn’t have a prayer.
Until or unless the offensive line improves, there’s not much of a way that McCown can improve. Not when he is running for his life. And it doesn’t matter how tall the receivers are if McCown can’t get off a pass. And it doesn’t matter if you have Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Franco Harris and Barry Sanders on your roster if multiple defensive linemen blow up plays your jailbreak O-line.
Yes, it was just the first quarter of the first preseason game. Just for a quick reminder, anyone remember how the offensive line did last year in the preseason opener?