By JEFF CARLSON
Former Bucs quarterback Jeff Carlson (1990 & 1991) writes the weekly QB Blast column here at JoeBucsFan.com. Joe is ecstatic to have him firing away. Carlson has TV gigs in the Bay area and trains quarterbacks of all ages via his company, America’s Best Quarterback.
Watching the Cardinals and Packers toss the ball around the yard last weekend was magnificent to watch, if you are a fan of the forward pass. I don’t think a Buccaneers’ game will ever resemble that and that is OK, because there is more than one way to win in the NFL.
But, as I watched that game, I reminisced the events of the lost season of 2009 in Tampa Bay and am looking for the break in the clouds to get interested for next year.
Sure the Bucs won two games in December, even beating the top seed in the NFC, but I didn’t think that Saints team from December would be the same one we saw this weekend. And it surely wasn’t.
To get my bearings, I went back to January of ’09 when someone realized that Jon Gruden’s 9-7 team, his offense and Monte Kiffin’s defense weren’t good enough to bring back. The thought was that the Tampa 2 was a relic and Monte’s monster of the past wasn’t going to get it done in the future and needed to be changed to Jim Bates’ pressured bump and run.
The offense was again led by an aging QB that struggled with his health from the first days of training camp. This too had to change.
The team’s management went with the young-and-excited approach and reached for the inexperienced and inexpensive option. About a week before the first game, the new head coach sacked the new offensive coordinator for the QB coach, who sacked the new offense for Gruden’s old offense to be run by a new QB who had never been in Gruden’s offense before.
By midseason, the new head coach had decided that the new defensive coordinator’s schemes didn’t work and went back to Monte’s old defense to find that old spark that didn’t work and was outdated in ’08.
So,, for 2010 the team is back running Gruden’s old offense (and still paying Gruden for not coaching it) and running Monte’s old defense as it tries to regain the magic that Gruden and Kiffin once shared.
The only real difference now is the Bucs are married to their quarterback instead of just dating.