Johnson Taking Over Line Calls, Faine Phased Out

October 15th, 2009

Months ago center Jeff Faine voiced his displeasure with the Bucs’ plan to hand over line call duties to the quarterback.

But that never materialized, Faine said later, as Byron Leftwich wasn’t well enough versed in the offense to call out the protections and other line calls.

Now an extremely confident Josh Johnson will take on those duties, offensive coordinator Greg Olson explained during his Wednesday news conference. 

Faine, who returns to the lineup this week, will serve as an override if Faine believes Johnson’s call is in error, Olson said.

Olson explained that having the quarterback make line calls is critical in this era of zone bliztes and that the great QBs of the game make their teams’ line calls.

“We often, even a year ago with Jeff Garcia when he was the starter, there was a big difference when [Garcia] was in and when Brian [Griese] was in. [Garcia] felt much more comfortable with Jeff Faine making the calls. [Garcia] had never done that in his career and he wasn’t real interested in that. And it wasn’t an issue but somewhat it is. Our quarterback has to get guys in the right places,” Olson said. “And so we ask [Josh Johnson and Josh Freeman] to do that and that’s a big part of the quarterback development. I think if the great ones, if you watch, especially nowawdays with all the zone blitzes, it’s important that the quarterbacks understand the protection part of it. …Josh Johnson is very confident in his ability, and I’m very confident in him to getting us to the right points in the protections.

“If there’s an issue, defer it to Faine. If you made [a call] and Faine says, ‘Uh, uh. Uh, uh. We’re going here with it.’ Understand that we’ll defer to Faine because of his experience right now as a veteran player. That’s what we did last year with Brian Griese. And so that will help both the Josh’s right now.”

Olson went on to explain that “Josh Freeman may not be as confident in setting the protections right now.”

Reading between the lines, Joe wonders whether the Bucs might have made the move to start Freeman, rather than Johnson, if Faine hadn’t been sidelined with a tricep tear.

After hearing Olson, Joe suspects the Bucs will start Freeman after the bye week , unless Faine is hurt or Josh Johnson beats the Patriots in England.

3 Responses to “Johnson Taking Over Line Calls, Faine Phased Out”

  1. SanDiegoScott Says:

    JJ has done nothing but improve with every opportunity he’s been given this year, starting with preseason. Lets face it, one of the huge upsides for JJ is his intellect for the game, coming up in college under Harbaugh and spending time learning Gruden’s system. This is just another step up for Josh in becoming a competent NFL starting QB.

    I live in San Diego and went to every USD home game for Josh’s last two years and as a consequence of being so impressed, have followed his NFL career ever since (Thank you Joe for making that a bit easier to do from afar!). I know Freeman is your QB of the future until he proves otherwise (see Quinn, Russel, etc) so I’m kinda hoping your post yesterday about Josh getting traded comes true.

    This kid has the brains and the ability to stay calm that are so important to making it in this league. And most importantly, he is improving each game. I can’ wait to watch Sunday’s game and see what happens this week!!

  2. Tye Says:

    Well this is another reason that he should be a major recipient of the blame if they lose against the Panthers. The QB and Coach both should be held accountable for their failures.

  3. leningan Says:

    i wouldn’t deem countless dropped passes (on 3rd and 4th downs!) as JJ’s failure… I also wouldn’t hang the general lack of blocking or an effective gameplan/adjustment on JJ… Olson? sure. Raheem? sure. JJ? let’s see what he can do when he a) has a second to look around and b) can throw to people who can catch (regardless of what they are paid for)