Questioning Playcalls “Absolutely Ridiculous”

November 11th, 2011

Josh Freeman says doubting Greg Olson is ridiculous

One of the great NFL fan pastimes is questioning playcalling — during a game, after a game, and for days beyond.

Run or throw on first down? Take a shot deep on 2nd-and-short? Draw or throw on 3rd-and-long? The list is endless and complex.

Inevitably, when teams lose three out of four games like the Bucs have, playcalling comes under fire. Joe’s picked his spots to question Greg Olson, and Joe hears the cries of fans.

Josh Freeman, however, emphatically says fans shouldn’t go there.

“To question the playcalling is absolutely ridiculous,” Freeman said Wednesday night on The Josh Freeman Show on WDAE-AM 620.

Freeman went on to give an example of Kellen Winslow and others initially from outside the Bucs organization raving about the Bucs’ level of preparation for blitzes, route combinations, their manipulation of defenses, and more.

“It’s just really execution. It really is,” Freeman said. “That’s the thing about football. It’s the ultimate team sport. If one guy is a little bit off, it can be a negative play for everbody else.”

Joe appreciates Freeman’s confidence in his coaching staff. Without that, he and the Bucs are in trouble. They need that. But Joe still thinks it’s fair to question some playcalling over 50 or 60 offensive snaps. The continuous sluggish starts on their own justify that.

The chatter about execution flashed Joe back to the Father Dungy days when “execution” was his buzz word to the media when questioned about his sputtering offense. Execution is vital, but surely not everything.

25 Responses to “Questioning Playcalls “Absolutely Ridiculous””

  1. Meh Says:

    Critical 3rd down, Freeman pulled out, Johnson put in, Don’t get the first.

    A bomb on a critical 4th and 1? More than once?

    The failure to pound Blount?

    No, it is not ‘ridiculous’ to question the playcalling. Olsen’s playcalling has been suspect for a long time.

  2. Mauha Deeb Says:

    There is, without a doubt, some awful play calling. Not always, but when it is bad it is obvious. Execution is lacking as well. This leads to a uneventful offense.

    This isn’t the first season Olen’s playcalling has been questioned. I questioned it often last year regardless of the “future HC Greg Olsen/best year of play calling” BS Pat Yastinkas was trying to feed people. His playcalling has been overwhelmingly bad since he was hired.

  3. Meh Says:

    Oh, and the Benn-around they run once a game? I hope I never see that play again.

  4. OAR Says:

    Look, Im not saying its totally execution either, but if we get the proper blocking Johnson gets first down or if Freeman makes some better throws and/or recievers catch some balls, then this is a non-existent post!
    Bad execution does tend to be mistaken for bad playcalling.

  5. AtlBucsFan Says:

    @Meh – I’m with you. I hate that play. Waste of a down and for this team, each down is important.

    While I agree with Josh in his point on execution, what about the defense that’s set up to defend against a well executed play! What about better talent on the defense for where the play is intended to go. It’s not just execution, it knowing your opponent and that’s coaching.

  6. Eric Says:

    Not sure, but havent scored an offensive td in first quarter all season. Gotta be somewhat reflective of a poor game plan.

    Some ignorant/rediculous people believe taking the lead in the NFl is important.

    But, in defense of Greg, Management hasnt exactly equiped him with playmakers. To a certain extent our personnel ties his hands. No speedy back for screens/dump offs(sproles type), or an experienced wide out for third down(Boldin type), etc, etc.

    Given the hand he has been dealt he has a passing grade IMO. He is a much better OC than Rah is a DC. His work with Josh has been pretty damn good.

    The drafting focus has been primarily defense, and Rah has yet to do squat with it.

  7. macabee Says:

    Photo: Looking out for America’s youth. ” Hey, listen kid, when you graduate college in the year 2024 and you’re the #1 WR pick in the draft, don’t come anywhere near this team if I’m still coaching here!” There is always some truth in jest.

  8. Fish Says:

    Execution may not be everything, but it sure does represent the majority of your success. The slow starts are definitely represented by poor execution.

  9. Nick Says:

    I have to believe that when Olson yanked Josh last weekend on that 4th down and sent in Josh Johnson to run the wildcat Freeman had a little question in his mind on the play calling.

  10. BKNYfootballhead Says:

    Freeman has been full of excuses all year long, his poise in the pocket is where the execution has mostly gone wrong. He’s had better pass protection this year than he did last, yet he can’t muster the balls to tuck the football and use his feet to create plays. I’m under the impression he’s suffering from either an unknown injury that’s preventing him from being the mobile QB he’s capable of being, or Olsen is demanding him to stay in the pocket at all costs to further his development. The extra chub he’s sporting this year is perhaps telling to this mystery. He needs to toughen up and spring for the extra yards that he’s routinely leaving on the field. Freeman was the #2 rushing QB in the league last year, I’d doubt he’s even in the top half this year.

  11. McBuc Says:

    I have to agree with OAR. If the plays are executed properly no one says it is a bad call. A bomb on 4th and 1 that works is called ballsy and the coach is praised for tricking the d into giving up a big play. The Wild Cat crap is tired at this point, so they should simply stop using it. Same with the Benn around, but the plays fail due to lack of execution. That being said, maybe the coach need to instal plays this team can execute.

    Eric, you do not need a Sproles like runner for a screen to work, the line has to execute as well as the QB and the back. I would love to see a few screens to Blount and let hm run over some DBs. K2 is an experienced vet for third downs, but the plays have not been executed as well as last year.

  12. Nick Says:

    Ok we won’t question the play calling. How about the entire play book? And I will never question the hair of Greg Olson

  13. McBuc Says:

    @Nick…LOL, someone should question the hair! I think Bay News Nine does it for him.

  14. RichinNC Says:

    Maybe they mean the execution by the other team. Corner falls down, d-lineman misses a sure tackle, lb is frozen at the sight of a wr end-around. Maybe they just won’t have a play for a Josh Johnson qb run on third and short. Could happen.

  15. OAR Says:

    Its like the old Lombardi Packers, they ran that “Lombardi power sweep” all the time, because they executed it perfectly. Hell, even when questioned, why they continuly ran that play, Lombardi would reply “When they stop it, we will!” You think, if their execution wasn’t the key to that play, they would have ever ran that play.
    Execution is a huge part of any play!

  16. bucfanjeff Says:

    I disagree. In comparison, tell me how Carolina with a rookie QB, new system and coaching staff, can do what they do downfield. The do not have a better collection of talent than us.

    I’ll tell you why, they take plenty of shots down the field. We do not.
    It may be execution to some degree, but playcalling in large part.

  17. OAR Says:

    You dont think we’d take more shots if we had a Steve Smith type WR?
    I also think they are talented at RB (Stewart and Williams). Williams is averaging 4.8/carry and Stewart is averaging 4.6/carry. That helps to have a talented backfield.

  18. OAR Says:

    Forgot about thier very talented TE Greg Olsen.
    Those are the reasons the do what they do downfield.

  19. Meh Says:

    We should trade our Greg Olsen for their Greg Olsen.

  20. FlBoy84 Says:

    Can’t have this conversation without thinking of John McKay’s comment, one of the great lines in all of sports. For those in the younger crowd, when he was asked after a game what he thought about his offense’s execution, he replied “I’m all for it”. Classic.

  21. shortybuc Says:

    Love the Olson trade Meh…How bout we trade him for the Olsen Twins? At least they put out (something)

  22. Pete Dutcher Says:

    It always comes down to execution.

    You can have one of the most vanilla offensive playcalling, and if your players execute the plays the way they’re supposed to, the plays will succeed more times than not.

    Yes, there are times when a team can be out-coached…but those are actually uncommon (not rare but uncommon).

    Even in those cases, if players didn’t let the other team get into their heads and focused on proper execution, they would have a good chance of winning.

    As to the playcalling…I’m only seeing maybe 2-3 bad play calls per game…out of how many? Poor execution makes a play seem like a bad call, when in truth it all comes down to how the players execute a play.

    Even last week, if not for the penalties we stood a very good chance of winning the game.

    Now, you can blame the coaches for penalties, but that’s bull. These players are professionals being paid to do their jobs right. If it isn’t their fault, why even punish them in practice? Why? Because it IS their fault.

    But they can turn it around.

  23. Pete Dutcher Says:

    bucfanjeff Says:

    November 11th, 2011 at 1:50 pm
    I disagree. In comparison, tell me how Carolina with a rookie QB, new system and coaching staff, can do what they do downfield. The do not have a better collection of talent than us.

    I’ll tell you why, they take plenty of shots down the field. We do not.
    It may be execution to some degree, but playcalling in large part.

    NOT SO.

    The Panthers are doing well because there isn’t enough tape on their “rookie” QB. That’s the plain and simple explanation as to why he is doing okay and ours is not.

    Well, with ours we could fix a few things too (so could they).

    BTW, what is the panthers record so far this year?

  24. Meh Says:

    2-3 bad calls a game? They only ran Blount 13 times when he was averaging 5.5 ypc against the Saints. That’s 10 bad play calls right there before we even look at the bad and bizarre ones.

  25. BigMacAttack Says:

    My current favorite is line up 3 TE’s right and then run left for a 2 yard loss. They watched how the 49’rs ran on them but decided to go one better and run where no one is blocking. It might work if they had some speed back there. As much as I like Josh, I can’t agree with him. Sure execution needs to improve but when the defense knows your each and every move, you’re screwed, glued and about to be tattooed.

    I’m also in agreement with no more Benn Around either. I seriously think the Glazers are starting to rethink the no free agents thing and what their reluctance is now costing them. Like Kirwan says, Sproles or Bush could have been huge.