The QB Blast: Continue The AttackNovember 24th, 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
For the first time in a long time the Buccaneers’ offense finally gave its players the opportunities to make plays — and the players did make plays.
Josh Freeman mentioned a couple of weeks ago how they did pretty well against zone last year, but against much more man-to-man this year they have struggled. It isn’t that they have struggled, as much as they hadn’t even given their big, physical receivers a chance to win one-on-one battles.
In Green Bay, Josh Freeman got the ball out quickly and threw down the sidelines, allowing Mike Williams and Arrellious Benn to use their bigger bodies and fight for balls. They also threw back-shoulder, which is key to taking advantage of man-to-man. Williams and Benn aren’t going to create much separation or beat very many down the sidelines in foot races (unless they employ a Jordy Nelson-like move, which opened him up for the put-away touchdown), but the way they did it last Sunday can be successful week-in and week-out. They just have to be willing to put it out there.
I don’t think it was a coincidence that the LeGarrette Blount TD run came immediately after a long throw down the left sideline. Blount made a great run, but when you make a defense defend more of the field, more space is created for everyone. The offense “attacked” more than they have all season and they need to continue the concept.
Like its offensive counterpart, the defense gave Rogers more to think about than in any of their previous games. Most of the season, the Bucs defense has been very static, giving the opposing QBs a pretty simple pre-snap read. Not that they haven’t brought linebackers from different launching points, but far enough away to allow the QB, linemen and backs to adjust and pick them up.
Expecting our banged up secondary (many nickel and dime packages) to play “man” against the talented WR’s of the Packers all night and hold up without a number of big plays was totally unrealistic, so Nelson’s late score was a disappointment, but certainly not a surprise.
While Aqub Talib quipped, “There ain’t no moral victories”, I actually think in this case there definitely was one.
A team reeling with a lack of confidence played quite well and gave the defending Super Bowl champions and only undefeated team this season a good run, and the kick in the pants they needed to get back on track. The Tennessee Titans — and possibly Jake Locker — come at just the right time.