The QB Blast: Johnson, Open Offense Can ShineJune 6th, 2010
By JEFF CARLSON
Former Bucs quarterback Jeff Carlson (1990 & 1991) writes The QB Blast column here at JoeBucsFan.com. Joe is ecstatic to have him firing away. Carlson is often seen as a color analyst on Bright House Sports Network, and he trains quarterbacks of all ages and writes a quarterbacks blog via his company, America’s Best Quarterback.
OTA news is usually reserved for disgruntled veteran “no-shows” looking for a new contract, as Barrett Ruud was last year and Donald Penn is currently. Not many revelations come out of these offseason practices, but they are very important for getting the team prepared overall and certainly more than glorified flag football, as I read some believe.
The biggest news of the offseason was revealed by Raheem this week when referring to quarterbacks Josh Freeman and Josh Johnson, “Don’t be surprised if you see them out there playing together.”
After I suggested this very scenario in early November of last season, detailing how best to use the two QBs at the same time, the conversation on this website got mired in trying to figure out the definition of the “Wildcat” and not debating the merits of Johnson’s athletic ability and affect on the defense, if used as an updated and more effective “slash” player than Kordell Stewart was a decade ago.
The reason this Josh-a-licious concept is so intriguing, and a better option for these Buccaneers, is because the “smash-mouth” style of offense that they had intended to transition into was never a very good idea from the get-go. A more wide-open or spread-out offense can better compete with lesser players than trying to out-physical the other team at the NFL level.
That can still be done in college and high school with bigger, stronger players than the opponents, but the NFL is a different animal. Over recent years we have even seen in college where more, and more lower-level teams (Boise State, Utah, TCU, USF, Appalachian State), can compete with the “big boys” when they spread out the defense properly.
Having Freeman at QB full-time — both under center and in shotgun — and bringing Johnson behind the formation quickly, will make the defense react just enough to create the blocking angles and holes for the running game. Plus it equally will give Freeman bigger holes to throw into in the regular passing game, and it should also slow the pass rush enough to make the offensive line look like Pro Bowlers.
Since we are a bit over six months since I suggested getting this to happen, if anyone (at One Buc Place) wants to know how to make this work really well, I am easy to find (AmericasBestQB.com) and have just enough time to input my ideas before mid-season.
I have put some real time into this concept, as I am hard at work designing a unique offense with many of these characteristics right now for my son’s youth league team. I know the Bucs are a young team and not a youth team, but that is exactly why they need to make this an integral part of the 2010 offense.