Arrelious Benn Not Part Of Three-Receiver Set

October 27th, 2011

Joe may have been first Sunday — even before Bucs players had a chance to wash the stain of the loss to the Bears away — to notice one glaring void.

Where was Arrelious Benn?

The Bucs had to play catch-up, after yet again hitting the snooze bar too many times before they finally rolled out of the rack and realized it was the fourth quarter.

In this catch-up, hurry-up, gotta-score-points offense, perhaps the Bucs most dynamic receiver this side of Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn, was nowhere to be found.

Actually, that last sentence is inaccurate. Benn could be found on the Bucs bench.

Joe asked right away why Benn, a second-round pick last year who has made the biggest plays on offense this season, was standing along the sidelines watching the game just like the blokes in the English crowd paid to watch?

It seems we have an answer, by way of Stephen Holder of the St. Petersburg Times. It seems when the Bucs go to a base three-receiver set, Benn is not part of such a package.

“When Earnest (Graham) went down, we only had one back,” he said. “Then (fullback Erik) Lorig got hurt. So, then our base personnel was kind of out of the question. We had to go with our three-wide receiver set. Briscoe is the starting Z (that’s the flanker) in that (lineup). You put the best guys on the field and try to come away with the win. We left a couple of plays out there on the field. But we have to regroup and take this bye week to take a rest and start all over again.”

That was pretty much all he had to say on the subject, so I’ll take it from here. The Bucs, like every team, use a number of different personnel groupings on offense and defense. When the defense, for example, goes to a nickel package, its defensive-line combination is different than the lineup used in the base defense.

The same concept applies here. The Bucs, when using a three-wide receiver set, use Briscoe as the starting flanker. When they’re in their base package, which they use most often, it’s Benn. As Benn said, however, Sunday’s injuries forced the Bucs to move away from their base personnel because they did not have the ability to use their two-back sets.

Now the question needs to be asked: Why exactly is Benn not part of this package? Does he lack the skills to be in such an offense, is he not running crisp routes? Does offensive coordinator Greg Olson believe Benn isn’t one of the better receivers on the team?

Numbers show that Benn is a dangerous weapon. He’s averaging 16 yards a catch and nine yards after a catch, which is damned good.

Nothing against Preston Parker or Dezmon Briscoe, but what’s the deal with Rejus on the sidelines?

16 Responses to “Arrelious Benn Not Part Of Three-Receiver Set”

  1. Mauha Deeb Says:

    Very good questions, Joe. Please fill us in if you get any sort of an answer out of the team. This is all so confusing.

  2. slipp Says:

    Was Benn the emergency RB after Graham went down on Sunday? Could that have anything to do with this?

  3. Paul W. Says:

    Maybe its design is to give Benn a rest or Benn doesn’t feel comfortable yet in that formation? Just taking stabs.

  4. Nick Says:

    Olson has no idea how to use the weapons he has. Benn showed to be a powerful, Hines Ward type of runner after the catch. Problem is we don’t have anyone to stretch the field to open up bubble screens or plays that get him in space. Why don’t we run pick plays like the rest of the NFL? Reggie Wayne has made a living off that.

  5. Say What Says:

    Don’t these coaches know who the best players are, get them ready and call plays that utilize their skills. Stop being cute. Blount and Benn shouldn’t leave the field

  6. pkpaa696 Says:

    It has nothing to do with skill. Benn just wasn’t in the package prior to that game probably just to give him a rest and let the other guys play – a change of pace. Olsen can’t just replace a WR in a package in the middle of the game because they don’t know the plays. There will be changes before next game, but if Blount returns, probably not in this package. It’s really not that big of a deal

  7. Nick2 Says:

    Joe you know Olson was a Gruden disciple. Yes the Jon Gruden who drove me nuts because he coudn’t find a way to get Joey Galloway and Antonio Bryant on the field together. This makes no sense to me!!! If you have a weapon and your a good offensive coordinator you find a way to get Benn on the field. Give me a brake Benn is catching a higher percentage of passes thrown his way than Willams and definitely more downfield. Get the man on the field Olson make it happen!!!!

  8. Eric Says:

    Two step proces. Have him on the field is step one. Throwing to the man step two.

    Lots of touchdowns or big plays as a result, IMO. Would even loosen things up for the running game and help Williams and Josh.


  9. Rip Tide Offense Says:

    I thank until we replace Olson and Gruden’s play book we will continue too have situations when talent and logic means nothing. The Offensive play calling has been very bad for years and yes the faces have changed but the play book remains the same.

  10. IMHO... Says:

    Benn should play tha slot in 3 and 4 WR sets 2 eat up opposing teams nickel and dime DB’s. Keep Brisco and Williams outside and leave Parker inside also.

  11. Jimmy Says:

    Someone should send ths video to Greg Olson. Couldn’t hurt.

  12. KD Says:

    Another reason Olson needs to go.

    Benn is the most athletic, physically gifted receiver on the roster. He’s always been a freak athlete going back to high school. We basically spent a late first round pick on him, even giving up picks to trade up to the 39 spot. So we have a very early 2nd round receiver from one of the deepest drafts in recent memory and Olson isn’t even attempting to get him the ball? IT’S HIS JOB. After all that crap last week “oh Rejus has had an excellent week in practice” I expected him to have a breakout game. Then Olson doesn’t even put him on the field.

    I like Briscoe, Parker, and Williams, but Benn has all the tools to be a number one receiver. Olson HAS to develop him. He is our only playmaker on offense. Then again even if he was in he would only be wasted on 5 yard crossing routes all damn day. Fire Olson.

  13. Joke Says:

    I would assume pkpaa696 has it right — I bet Benn’s not in the 3 WR package so that he can get some rest.

    Remember that he’s just 9 months from major knee surgery; it makes sense to keep his load a bit lighter than it would be otherwise. Plus, Briscoe and Parker are quality receivers who have made plays, so that makes it less painful to keep Benn out of one of your secondary WR packages.

    Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were planning on adding him to the 3 WR set in place of Briscoe after the bye week (after they got to see how he responded to playing weekly for the first half of the season).

  14. FreemanBomb5 Says:

    I agree about firing Olson. I even started a petition and a poll and only two of about 70 voters didn’t want him fired.

  15. BigMacAttack Says:

    Olson has pretty much gone from Hero to Zero. He truly needs to wake up because his play calling last week made him look very unprepared. And the explanation Holder gave is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard since Tony Romo is a top 5 QB in the NFL.

  16. Matt Says:

    You guys are all ignoring one big thing: Briscoe wasn’t the problem. In fact, Freeman looked great throwing to Briscoe. Even Parker in the slot has been pretty good.

    The problem all year, for whatever reason, is that when Freeman looks to Williams or Winslow things go downhill.

    Yes, when Benn goes out we lose some big play ability, but we’re not losing production because of that. We’re not moving the chains because Freeman can’t seem to get in sync with his top two guys.