Ditch The Fullback; Help Martin, Freeman

December 31st, 2012

Former Bucs quarterback Jeff Carlson wants to the see the Bucs bring in a beast of a big slot receiver and use him on every offensive snap next season.

Essentially, the Bucs should ditch the fullback, Carson said on 98.7 FM this morning, and spread open defenses with a third receiver. That would give Josh Freeman more angles and openings but, more importantly, let Doug Martin run from a single-back set against more spread out defenses, ala Marshall Faulk or Thurman Thomas.

It’s an intriguing change of approach, especially if Davin Joseph and Carl Nicks return healthy. Joe’s unsure how much of a philosphical stretch this would be for Mike Sullivan, as the Bucs offense does use the fullback more than most teams.

Joe likes the idea as it would force the Bucs to upgrade at receiver, which would give them more depth at the position. Tiquan Underwood had a career year and did some great things, but his hands proved questionable and his desire over the middle seemed to have been affected by getting his clock cleaned in Carolina. Arrelious Benn? Well, he’s a project at this point.

33 Responses to “Ditch The Fullback; Help Martin, Freeman”

  1. Charlie B Says:

    Lorig really stepped up as the lead blocker for Martin and proved to be a pretty effective dump off target for Freeman. I don’t know nearly as much as Carlson does about football, but from my point of view the FB isn’t really the problem. Honestly, players have looked open consistently enough and Freeman has just missed them.

  2. RastaMon Says:

    I heard Jeff…..and liked his insight….especially Freemans lazy 3/4 release point

  3. bucfanjeff Says:

    I wonder if Benn could transform into a TE?

    What is Benn’s issue anyway? He has the physical tools, does he lack the smarts?

  4. Drew Says:


    This off the topic, but Lovie Smith was fired. Any chance he comes to TB as the DC?

  5. Ian's Gay Lisp & Ron's Drinking Problem Says:

    Even though Jeffy is a little too FRUITY for me….i agree with him here

  6. Brain Says:

    Whether we drop the fullback or not, we need at upgrade at slot. Slot receivers need to be quicker, stronger, tougher guys that can get open on 3rd downs vs. press man coverage. They also need to be smart enough to read coverage and run proper option routes. Underwood is the opposite: not very quick, lanky, misses reads and lacks toughness. He’s a decent X or Z receiver but he’s an awful slot. We haven’t had a good slot receiver since Ike Hilliard and it’s very frustrating since plenty of other teams have 3-4 good ones stockpiled on the roster and practice squad.

  7. Stranger Says:

    That depends on the job offers Lovie gets.

  8. RastaMon Says:

    Forget Lovie….no sooner would he get here than …he’d be a top canidate for the following seasons HC job……he is a NFL/College HC…….

  9. Mr. Patrick Says:

    Agree with Jeff 100%. Bucs are playing cold weather offense in Fla.

  10. Bucky23 Says:

    Danny amendola should be signed. Would push our offensive weapons over the top.

  11. tampabaybucfan Says:

    Teams are using TEs to accomplish this set…we could do the same if a WR doesn’t come our way. I like the one back set. If we stick with the FB we need to let them run occaisionally and use them more often in the passing game.

  12. Have A Nice Day Says:

    Getting rid of the FB will hurt the run game unless the OL can start playing consistently on its own.

  13. buccanay Says:

    Besides not being able to stay healthy …its always been, pardon pun, that he’s slow to pickup offenses. With all the option routes, in this “difficult” offense, especially for slot rec., seems a long shot….maybe with all offseason they can find something he can specialize in…possible slot, he’s got talent

  14. Mr Lucky Says:

    There’s ONE MAJOR problem with this assessment:

    The Bucs have to GET a QB who can ACCURATELY throw, without staring down, a receiver.

    With Freeman as the Bucs QB this is silly; why would you want to rely MORE on Freeman than on Martin?

    Honestly people…

  15. mark2001 Says:

    Greg Jennings….fine slot receiver. Big and can block. Expensive, yes but well worth it. And add VJ’s work ethic to GJ’s and the young guys, and you have not a good, but great group of receivers.

  16. mark2001 Says:

    Joe…come on now.

    He would be expensive, but Jennings will likely be out there in FA this year, and you know the guy knows how to create space. He is a big guy. What do you think? Give him that Wright money or some of the space created by Nicks and Jackson restructuring.

  17. NJBucsFan Says:

    We can’t get rid of the FB…..what will I do with my Lorig jersey?

  18. Miguel El Magnifico Says:

    I like Jeff Carlson, the Bucs ought to hire him as the QB coach. Wait one more year and draft Colt Lyerla from Oregon. He’ll play in the slot, in the backfield and TE at an All Pro level.

  19. Marques Says:

    I can see the bucs signing John McNulty to be added to the coahing staff.

  20. mark2001 Says:

    Man…the Tony Dungy Coaching Tree is getting pretty sparse. Only one limb left on the tree…Mike Tomlin. Lovie, Herm, Rod…..all former HC’s with little chance of being a HC elsewhere. Odd that Tony might eventually be the only one to retire as a HC before suffering a demotion.

  21. st. louis Bucs fan Says:

    Amendola would be a steal, but i dont see the Rams letting him go. Bradford goes as Amendola goes, hes Bradofrds safety net. i would love to him in the Pewter and Red but no way he leaves the Rams. BUC IT IM OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Patrick Says:

    I would love to have Lovie or Monte back here coaching the defense.

    Is Marinelli still in Chicago or did he get fired along with Lovie?

  23. SteveK Says:

    Bring in a Gronk and a smurf.

    Production from the slot and TE would help out Freeman, hopefully allow his development to unleash.

  24. Brain Says:

    The Tony Dungy coaching tree is dying because the Tampa 2 is dead. Tomlin is the only one left because he lets LeBeau run his zone blitzing 3-4. The Tampa 2 can’t defend more spread-oriented offenses OR physical run teams.

    I’m all for drafting an elite TE like Tyler Eifert as opposed to acquiring a slot receiver. Two TE sets make more sense for our offense because it’s easier to run and pass out of them. New England is obviously the prototype but our WRs are good enough that Stocker is fine as a substitute for Gronk. Eifert is every bit as dangerous as Hernandez, and ND flexes him all over the formation.

  25. Big Marlon B Says:

    Anyone who thinks the Bucs will sign Greg Jennings needs to put down the crack pipe. There are plenty of teams DESPERATE for a top receiver, and he will command a contract similar to what VJax got. We have 2 proven WRs, there’s no way that much money will be tied up in one position when there are several other needs that are far more significant. It’s really pretty simple if you get your head out of the clouds and just allow yourself to look at things from a logical, reality based perspective.

  26. Patrick Says:

    We’ve already got a very fine group of receivers. Having Jennings would definitely be nice, but Big Marlon is right he’ll demand top dollar, and that money needs to go towards the defense and we also need better depth along the O-line this offseason.

  27. FloridaGirl Says:

    Bring Spurlock back to be the kick returner and 4th WR….he ran back another kick for a TD this weekend and could offer competition for the other guys…also need to get a solid #3 receiver

  28. Legarrettes Blunt Says:

    This is what I have been saying all year. I would love to see someone like Percy Harvin working in the slot for us, can you imagine that? Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams, and Percy Harvin rotating each receiver position

  29. BamBamBuc Says:

    And this is so funny because during the offensive breakout month in October it was stated that the Bucs were actually running better, gaining more yards per attempt, in the two back set than the single back set. When Martin was running roughshod over defenses… it was a two back set. But hey, why not ditch what worked then for what didn’t? Why even look at what worked vs what didn’t? Let’s just throw things out there…. Now, maybe the information I got was incorrect back in early November, when the offense was rolling, and maybe they weren’t better in 2 back sets… but I think the coaching staff should look it over and the fans should be happy when they see the coaches do the right things and call the right plays/formations because we should be winning games like we did in October. Just my 2 cents.

  30. mark2001 Says:

    When Harvin can play he is great. But having some experience with Migraines myself, and hearing of his inability to control them sufficiently to be healthy on game day, I’d have to say that his is a luxury for a team that can use him when he is OK, but won’t miss him much at all when he can’t. That isn’t the Buccaneers. When those kick in, it is over.

  31. BucFan20 Says:

    Let’s just make another excuse for Freeman. This is just more of the same old he needs help again! Always an excuse. With 5 100 yard games. Ran over a lot more teams Martin did just fine. Secondary was a problem, No pressure on QB’s was a problem and Freeman being Freeman was a problem.
    Now If stories are true and Sully should leave it will just start all over. Only difference will be “but he’s only 25”. Now we can add this. He would need to be able to hit the target. Just how often do you think he could anyway?

  32. Brent Says:

    Lets resign Bennett and bring in his brother as TE from the Giants…

  33. Greg Says:

    So did Benn even finish the year playing, or did he get put on IR at some point? Dude’s a waste of roster spot, another failure of the rock star.