The QB Blast: Too Much Shotgun Hurting BucsNovember 12th, 2011
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 locally via his company, America’s Best Quarterback. Plus, he’s a really cool dude.
By JEFF CARLSON
As the Bucs added a new “character” to their roster this week, I wanted to let you know that I had the distinct pleasure of spending Thursday evening with three players of great character (Corey Lynch, Adam Hayward and Mike Koenen) while emceeing a charity event promoting character development and mentoring of both professional athletes and at-risk youth (www.idolsaside.com).
Much attention is given to the negative headlines generated by athletes and celebrities and much less to those striving to improve our community!
Now that the Bucs are 4-4 and really didn’t look good last week or particularly good in many of their games this year, Sunday’s game against a very dangerous Houston Texans team is the most important of the season, not because it is their next game, but because they have been able to fall back on their overall winning record while not playing disciplined football.
I was watching my 9 year old son play Madden 12 when he was in a mode where computer was picking the plays while he controlled the running back. On 3rd-and-1, the computer put him in “shotgun” and he whispered under his breath, “What? Why I am in shotgun on third and one–it’s so stupid!”
I had the same outrage last Sunday when after Josh Freeman missed a wide open fullback for a touchdown on 3rd-and-1, Greg Olson called for a shotgun play on FOURTH-and-one with a 250+ pound QB and matching running back. Thank goodness the Bucs went offsides and made it 4th and 6, so they could throw a slant to Williams for the first down (heavy sarcasm there).
Then later the Bucs had 1st-and-goal from the seven yard line and went shotgun on three plays in a row and kicked a field goal. The shotgun formation is a great weapon in certain situations, but short-yardage and goal line plays are not on that list.
These types of plays take away the downhill run threat and take too long to develop because the QB cannot get the ball out of his hands fast enough for the slants and fades to be effective. I feel for Olson when his players don’t execute his great calls, like the “wheel” to the fullback, but can’t believe other calls that have little chance for success even before the team lines up.
The defensive side of the ball has its own issues and maybe, just maybe, Albert Haynesworth will help fix them, but this is his fourth team (in a very short time) for what recently was one of the most highly paid players in the entire league. Let’s all hope that those character guys that I mentioned at the beginning of this article can influence the new character in the locker room to improved performance of for himself and the team!