The QB Blasts: Morris Must Improve ImmediatelyJanuary 6th, 2010
By JEFF CARLSON
Former Bucs quarterback Jeff Carlson 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.
Before we look forward to 2010 and a Buccaneers “future so bright you gotta wear shades” (thank you Jon Gruden), let’s look back on 2009 and see what can be improved upon — hopefully.
This year’s team finished 2-2 in the final four games, while Gruden’s team in ’08 finished 0-4. That’s a positive trend, but the defense looked exactly like the Monte Kiffin defense of a year ago and couldn’t stop the run to save their lives in the season finale against an average Atlanta Falcons program that finished five games better than the Bucs, good enough for second in the NFC South.
The offense sputtered in that finale, not capitalizing on an opening kickoff turnover in the red zone and only scoring 10 points on the day.
At this writing Raheem Morris is the coach for 2010, but it seems like that could still change at any moment. I for one believe that one year is not sufficient for anyone to be given a fair chance at success, even though egregious errors were made throughout this season.
Hiring two coordinators and firing two coordinators, one before the season began, are blunders beyond explanation, and expensive ones at that. But only the Glazers have to worry those kind of wasted funds. Or does that come directly out of the free-agent budget?
The Byron Leftwich experiment was another obvious and expensive waste of everyone’s time and energy and was chronicled by me in the spring. The Luke McCown trade took his salary off the books, but not his multi-million dollar signing bonus. So, our rookie quarterback (who came out of college a year early) and savior-in-training learned from veteran Leftwich for three games and second-year man (with zero experience) Josh Johnson for four games before taking the reins.
As I said in June after hearing Raheem Morris talk about potentially speeding up Freeman’s development, what would keep you from wanting to maximize any player’s development at the fastest rate? Shouldn’t every player be on the fastest track possible to be ready if needed? Nonsensical.
I can’t remember a special teams coach being given a chance to jump to NFL Head Coach, but Rich Bissacia’s name has been thrown out there and he should be the league’s assistant coach of the year. Without the special teams’ performance, this Buccaneer team would have surely matched the Detroit Lions record for futility.
Mark Dominik and Raheem Morris made a bold move in the spring and let Jeff Garcia, Derrick Brooks and Joey Galloway find greener pastures and only Galloway and Garcia saw limited action. I had no problem with the unexpected exodus, but it seemed that the Bucs move to youth from top to bottom left a vacuum of leadership that was sorely needed.
And finally, while Morris may never stop chest-bumping (he has a very nice vertical don’t you think?) and coaching with an unmatched energy from the sideline, he turned off the music at practice and may even stop taking time-outs before his offense makes critical 3rd-and-1 conversions.
Here’s to a new year of growing up, learning from the past and improving in the immediate future.