THE QB BLAST: The Ifs And Buts Of 2011

December 10th, 2011
Former Bucs QB Jeff Carlson identifies areas where the Bucs missed the boat. 

Former Bucs quarterback Jeff Carlson (1990 & 1991) writes The QB Blast column here at Joe is ecstatic to have him firing away. Carlson is often seen as a color analyst on Bright House Sports Network, and he trains quarterbacks of all ages locally via his company, America’s Best Quarterback. Plus, he’s a really cool dude


Since this is the season of candy and nuts, let me give you a series of “ifs and buts” that could have kept the Bucs from their abysmal rut.

IF Raheem Morris would have started with the tough love in 2009, like we saw with Brian Price this past Sunday, this team would be a much more disciplined team in 2011. BUT instead we watched Aqib Talib, Tanard Jackson, Kellen Winslow, Jeremy Trueblood and others do the selfish things he said about Price without repercussion. Like enabling parents allowing their children to run wild without consequences, it doesn’t usually work out well in the long run.

IF the Bucs would have read this column in 2010 and inserted Josh Johnson in as a third wide receiver and used him in motion to create a multi-dimensional offense with multiple attack points and run/pass options, they would be one of the toughest offenses to defend in the entire NFL. They’d be unpredictable and exciting, selling out their stadium and fighting for a playoff spot. BUT, they have gone with a standard pro-style that lacks creativity and has offered questionable play-calling in many different situations, especially short-yardage (shotgun on 4th-and-1 and reverses on 3rd-and-2, e.g.).

IF they go back to a base “Pro 4-3/Soft Cover 2” (Pro 4-3 means the strong LB — Quincy Black — plays on the line of scrimmage over the tight end, not five yards back), they will reduce their exposure to the gashing that they have been enduring and make teams earn their points.

Chucky offers counter philosophy

Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski have made enlightening comments on the last two Monday Night Football games. When watching the Green Bay Packers shred a defense, Gruden said something like, “You can’t play man-to-man against a team with talented receivers like the Packers.” The Bucs fall into this category and simply don’t have the personnel to match-up across the board play after play for 60 minutes.

Sooner or later the opposition will win the singled-up situations and beat you quickly (Jordy Nelson). The good QB’s may “carve up” zones according to Morris, but the bend-but-don’t-break concept allows for fumbles, interceptions, penalties, etc., while man-to-man is a fast death more often than not.

After watching Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew take a screen 50+ yards, Jaworski said, “When you don’t have speedy wide receivers or big play guys, you need some deception in your offense like that.”  Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn fit that definition and Greg Olson is not doing the job in creating deception to help his receivers get space and give his offense better success overall, especially in the red zone.

BUT, there has been no indication that either the defense will change its philosophy or that the offense will add any punch through deception, so unfortunately I won’t be expecting much to change in the final quarter of the season.

I will, however, enjoy some candy and nuts, so it will be a Merry Christmas!

9 Responses to “THE QB BLAST: The Ifs And Buts Of 2011”

  1. Brad Says:

    More proof Olson has been the biggest failure of the three units. This bum should have been fired already. I don’t believe this offense is without talent and certaintly lacks creativity. If 5 is the franchise, Olson needs to be sent packing sooner rather than later. Hopefully the damage he’s done to Freeman and his confidence is fixable. Waiting will only hinder the process.

  2. FlBoy84 Says:

    Enjoyed the article Jeff. Agree with a poster over on PR, “Olson needs to be thrown off the team plane on the way to Jacksonville, hopefully in mid-flight.” Though I would probably do it before departure…. maybe.

  3. FlBoy84 Says:

    Rah can follow him with the parachute.

  4. 2goodbucs Says:

    The talent is there on offense to score points, but the discipline and Olson’s play calling is crippling the Bucs. I still don’t know why Raheem hasn’t let Olson go yet…….

  5. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    If coordinators continue to get scapegoated and the team’s play doesnt change – maybe the problem isnt the coordinators?

  6. Benton Says:

    Agree with Jeff except on the knock on Williams and Benn. THink they have enough speed, Benn especially. YOu can see it on the field and him flying down on special teams.

  7. gotbbucs Says:

    very true, thomas.

  8. BigMacAttack Says:

    When grown men act like kids, you have treat them as such. And when they start to whine, give them something to really whine about.

  9. BigEl Says:

    Responce to 2goodbucs, in reading the last sentence of your comment. ” I still don’t know why Raheem hasn’t let Olsen go yet ” I got to thinking about what you said. We’re assuming that Raheem has the authority let Olsen go; that may not be the case. Even if he does have the authority, the defense has been as bad as the offense. If he lets Olsen go, it stands to reason that he should also let Raheem go as dc. Don’t think he’s going to do that.