The QB Blast: Morris Failing At Decision-Making

December 9th, 2009

Former Bucs QB Jeff Carlson


Former Bucs quarterback Jeff Carlson writes the weekly QB Blast column here at Joe is ecstatic to have him firing away. Carlson has TV gigs in the Bay area and trains quarterbacks of all ages via his company, America’s Best Quarterback.

Josh Freeman had his worst day as a pro Sunday. The other rookie QB’s this year have also had similar days, so it’s just a bump in the road on Freeman’s journey to reach his vast potential.

Most seem to be enamored with his “unflappable” demeanor, handling things in a very even-keeled manner as he grows up as a quarterback and begins to define his career path.

Raheem Morris’ career path is tied tightly to his big, young “gun,” but also to his defense’s performance and most importantly to his decision-making as head coach.

These decisions include coaching staff management, roster management, in-game decisions (e.g. challenges, time-outs, fourth-down calls, going for field goals vs. touchdowns or point-differential decisions). At this point in his first season, Morris has a failing grade on all of the above and doesn’t seem to be getting much better as the season progresses.

Sunday against Carolina, the Bucs were goal-to-go on third down from the 5-yard line. This is an obvious passing situation or possibly a QB draw. But the Bucs ran off-tackle from a standard two-back set and got a yard.

On fourth down from the 4-yard line (with nearly 10 minutes left in the game and a chance to cut the lead to one score) Morris chose to “go for it,” which he usually does. That was a point-differential decision that I didn’t like and that goes against traditional NFL decision-making.

With that much time on the clock, making it a one-score game was more important than the TD. The fourth down try didn’t work and kept the Bucs two scores away the rest of the day. If they had kicked the field goal, any single play could have tied the game or given Morris the chance to be “GoForIt” Raheem and go for the win with a two-point try. He never got that chance because of the earlier choice.

There are plenty of other examples of decisions, management issues, roster issues (where is Byron Leftwich, the season’s starter? Did he really hurt his elbow?), challenges, etc., that bring a cloud of questions to his abilities, but we can all make a full season evaluation in just a few short weeks.

Gruden was 0-4 last December with Derrick Brooks and others, so let’s just focus on decisions and managment issues vs. wins after this season.

6 Responses to “The QB Blast: Morris Failing At Decision-Making”

  1. nick Says:

    This guy must be a history major

  2. Tye Says:

    Morris Failing At Decision-Making……..YES! It’s Atrocious!!!

  3. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Jeff wrote, “so let’s just focus on decisions and managment issues vs. wins after this season.”


    In face that should have been the Bucs focus once they put Freeman into the mix. Instead they (Bucs coaches) have acted like it’s the rookie’s turn to win games. It isn’t.

    Couple that with the fact that you’re trashing the Bates style defense and trying to win goes out the window. This is a rebuilding year but we still haven’t got a blueprint for the next few years.

    Instead the Bucs are slogging around in the mire and quicksand.

  4. Jello Says:

    MOst sende Carlson has made in weeks

  5. Al Says:

    Can you break down more of the highlights and mistakes of freeman from X’s and O’s standpoint in your next article, would help to know what he may have been possibly been thinking from a quarterbacks POV.

  6. BigMacAttack Says:

    Good job Jeff. More common Sense Theory from a former Buc. Why is it that you guys get it yet no one at 1 Buc does? It is almost to the point where the players might be better off coaching themselves. I love how fans try to compare Raheem to some of the great Coaches who started off with winning records, but I don’t see it. Like you said, Raheem doesn’t seem to get any better as time goes on. If anything he has digressed and that is not a sign of an NFL Coach period, much less a great one. It’s time to start interviewing Coaches now. The longer they wait to cut off the Snake’s head the more they will get bit. I can’t understand for the life of me why people can’t just admit when they are in over their head. It’s not really a case of pride but more one of stupidity and having the audacity to go out there and embarrass yourself week in and week out. Then after the fact, he further humiliates himself and players with his bogus ramblings at his press conferences. They really could not have found a worse person to lead the team. The Glazers have to know that this will only hurt Ticket Sales and Merchandise more and more to the point that there will be nothing left. If that is their goal, they are doing a pretty good job.