Carlson: ‘Fans Need To Be Concerned’

September 13th, 2008

With all the controversy surrounding Jeff Garcia and Brian Griese, Joe asked former Bucs QB Jeff Carlson to analyze the situation. And Carlson responded in a big way. This is a must read, Bucs fans.

Former Bucs QB Jeff Carlson Says Bucs Fans Should Be Concerned About The Future Of The Organization

Former Bucs QB Jeff Carlson Says Bucs Fans Should Be Concerned About The Future Of The Organization

Carlson was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in 1989 out of Weber State.  He played for the Bucs in 1990 and 1991.  In 1992, he played for the New England Patriots and retired in 1994 while under contract with the Broncos.

Catch Carlson every week on ESPN 1470 AM. He hosts the Monday Morning Quarterback Show from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., and a Bucs tailgate show Sundays at 11 a.m. For home games, the tailgate show is live on Himes Ave. behind RJS. It’s hard to miss, and there’s free food.

Carlson also trains aspiring quarterbacks through his company, America’s Best Quarterback. The firm also manages football- and golf-themed charity events.

Q. What concerned you most about Jeff Garcia’s play against the Saints? And do you think his play was cause for such dramatic concern by fans and coaches? 

Garcia’s play didn’t concern me that much at all.  He certainly wasn’t at his best, but he missed some passes on Sunday and he missed some last year, too.  I felt like his biggest problem on Sunday was his movement in the pocket.  A couple of times he seemed to move into a rusher and his poor mechanics (they’ve always been poor, but he has made the Pro Bowl with them) caught up with him.  The crossing route that was behind Joey Galloway–Garcia had his feet backwards, with his right foot in front of his left and couldn’t get any juice on the ball with Joey crossing his face.

Steve Kyler asked me on The Monday Morning QB Show when Garcia would get the hook this year.  My answer:  He wouldn’t.  He would play average to good most of the season, just enough to not get replaced, but obviously there is more to the Gruden/Garcia marriage than I thought.  There is no way that he should have been pulled as the starter this week!! 
Fans need to be concerned for the future of this franchise.  Gruden has had six years to get a legitimate starter or star QB to solidify the position and the team.  Griese didn’t want to come back, Simms was begging to get out.  What star quarterback wants to come to Tampa and be disrespected like the long list of QB’s starting to pile up?

Garcia unquestionably was the team leader in 2007. How might his benching affect the team, if at all?

I don’t think the benching affects the team in a measurable way because there are too many moving parts.  Some players will react be playing harder, knowing they could be next. 
Does Griese press his play, knowing he is only a bad pass away from Luke McCown?  Or does poor play by Griese mean they were right in letting him get away to Chicago a few years ago?  Again, the effect of this benching is on the good free agents that will not come here because of lack of respect for the coach’s philosophy and style.  Many coaches demote and fire players to show who’s boss, others work with players to motivate.  Guess which one players like?

Brian Griese had a near flawless preseason. How did you assess his play in August, and do you think that is any indicator of what we’ll see Sunday? 

I disagree with the question.  I thought all three QB’s (Garcia, Griese, McCown) played horribly in the third pre-season game (the one people say is the most important of the pre-season). 
I have been pulling for McCown to win the starting job for a couple years.  He has as much athletic ability and throws the ball as well or better than most in the league.  That said, I remember watching Griese in that third game and saying to myself, “Now is McCown’s time to win the #2 spot”.  Unfortunately, he played just as bad as the others.
Just as I thought Garcia would generally play well this season, I would expect Griese to play relatively well and manage Gruden’s offense quite nicely (he did have a pretty good record in it before his knee injury in ’05).  But as was his moniker even then, he will probably play just well enough to get us beat.  Let’s hope I’m wrong on that one, too.

Griese has a history of throwing picks. At 33 years old, does he correct that at this stage of his career?

This question is what I’m referencing in the previous question.  No, he isn’t doing much correcting of his old habits.  I don’t have his stats from Chicago, but in his part time status up there, I think he continued to throw inopportune interceptions. 
Expect Gruden’s game plan to be exactly the same for any QB that plays for him and when you see crossing routes late in the game, don’t be surprised if a linebacker does some crossing in front of the ball and goes the other way!

What’s your prediction for this week? And what has to happen for Garcia to return to the field this season?

I don’t think any of us should be surprised that the Bucs lost on the road at New Orleans, and I said that on our pre-game show.  That is also why I am surprised at the QB change. 
That said, I’ll take the home team for the same reason I thought the Bucs might come up a bit short last week.
I only saw some of the highlights from the Falcons game and they look pretty scary, but it was one game (see above reference for Garcia–it’s only one game).  The Bucs have a long history of putting young QB’s in bad positions and I think they have the personnel to do the same to Matt Ryan.
Chalk up an offensive touchdown and two field goals for Gruden’s offense (13 points–again) and hopefully Talib or Barber will add one from the defensive side and hope 20 points holds up at RJS!!
Catch Jeff Carlson every week on ESPN 1470 AM in Tampa Bay. He hosts the Monday Morning Quarterback Show from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., and a Bucs tailgate show Sunday’s at 11 a.m. For home games, the tailgate show is live on Himes Ave. behind RJS. It’s hard to miss, and there’s free food.

One Response to “Carlson: ‘Fans Need To Be Concerned’”

  1. crackerick Says:

    The concern for the organization is justified. I think it’s that Gruden wants to win so badly that he can’t keep anything in perspective. Running a team is not just about winning the next game. See Tony Dungy, Bill Parcells, etc. Guys who keep an eye on the future.