Offensive Implosion

September 24th, 2013

josh freeman 0816

For Joe, watching the Bucs offense is akin to swimming up stream. It’s a struggle.

This was on display Sunday when the Bucs tanked against the Patriots.

The Bucs moved the ball OK, until they started to smell the end zone, and ka-POW! Implosion.

The stat geeks at noticed the same thing and typed this nugget up.

Offensive Inconsistency

The three points on the scoreboard might lead you to believe it was a disastrous performance for Freeman (+0.6), but it wasn’t the worst we’ve seen from him, and there were in fact some positives. He threw a beautiful deep route to Mike Williams on his first pass of the game, but of course followed it up with an overthrow just three plays later. After Tampa Bay’s first drive ended in a missed field goal, their second drive was going well until Freeman forced a throw into the end zone that was nearly picked off by free safety Devin McCourty. He bounced back on the very next pass, however, to drop a corner route where only tight end Timothy Wright could catch it, but Wright was unable to haul it in and the Bucs settled for yet another field goal attempt, this time with the 3 points tacked on. Those sequences represent the day in a nutshell for the Bucs, as Freeman and his teammates worked to undo their good with just enough bad to keep them out of the end zone.

Ah, yes. The drops. As if no other NFL quarterback has to deal with receivers dropping passes. If you are bored, look at how many receivers Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have that are putting the ball on the ground. Don’t hear too many folks crying for them, do you?

Only with Josh Freeman does it seem that his 10 offensive teammates have to play perfect ball for the quarterback to have a solid day.

To be honest, Joe will take the Freeman of Week One and Week Two, who didn’t have a good game at all against the Jets or Saints, but when his team needed him the most, he put the Bucs in position to win the game with solid drives in the final minutes.

Give Joe clutch over numbers any day.

40 Responses to “Offensive Implosion”

  1. Walter Says:

    Freeman may be the biggest problem, but this team has a lot of problems. All 3 games so far, any positive play the offense makes is followed by a stupid penalty, or a horrid overthrow, or a horribly timed 3rd down drop. Nothing goes smoothly on offense for the Bucs this year.

  2. Splengo Says:

    I got a GED, but I think that’s “implosion”.

  3. mark Says:

    Joe…is there any correlation between our Offensive woes and the Giants problems? After all, we know where this system comes from and the Giants Offense has been impotent as well. I know we don’t have Eli in the huddle, but just as the D coordinators have seemed to solve the 49ers, you have to wonder if there is something they have “figured out” about this Defense….sometimes I don’t think we give the Defense minds in the league enough credit.

  4. RichinNC Says:

    The reason drops are bad for Freeman is his accuracy. If the ball actually makes it to the receiver they HAVE to catch it because the next two will be way off.

  5. Splengo Says:

    You may be on to something Mark, but how do account for the 38 points allowed by the Giant defense?

  6. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ mark

    We’ve got different problems from the Giants…actually completely opposite. We can’t throw because we don’t/can’t attack the middle of the field and they can’t run because they can’t block.

  7. Lev Says:

    We need another 6-5 receiver to complement Vjax

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    How about a 6’11 reciever for the high passes & a 5’3 reciever for the low passes….
    Yes, Josh plays somewhat well in the clutch…but that’s after 3 1/2 quarters of stink!!!

  9. T_Buc40 Says:

    I know all QB’s have to worry about drops and they are considered part of their stats, but didn’t we hear all last week about Brady’s completion % being because of his receivers? Freeman has played terribly this year, but so has the entire offense and that shouldn’t be ignored.

  10. SensibleBuc Says:

    “Only with Josh Freeman does it seem that his 10 offensive teammates have to play perfect ball for the quarterback to have a solid day.”

    Ding Ding Ding. That’s the problem. Not sure what happened to Freeman mentally but this pretty much sums up the losing streak. I was at the Panthers game up here in Charlotte last year and he was gunning the ball down the middle of the field with no fear…now he’s just a shell of himself.

    I’ll assign 50% of the blame to Freeman and 25% to Schiano and Dom a piece. Josh was at 63% passer prior to the NSO coming on board and now he’s fallen off a cliff despite having better weapons. That’s unacceptable. His mechanics are still bad and he still falls apart under pressure. I’ve never heard of him working with a guy like George Whitfield to get his physical issues taken care of. Now we’re seeing the results.

    Schiano & Dom’s job is to tailor the offense to the QB they have. Josh isn’t accurate or consistent but he was serviceable when he could spread the ball around to a bunch of different weapons. Josh was at his best (mediocre) with a security blanket TE (K2 or Dallas Clark) or even an OK #3 WR (Preston Parker/Sammie Stroughter/Underwood). We needed more balance in our attack offensively to keep defenses honest because Freeman can’t beat people consistently with accurate, chain-moving throws…instead we got less balanced and more predictable.

  11. Walter Says:

    Hell, all I want is some type of 3rd option to step up in the passing game. Probably not gonna happen. :/

  12. Captain Stagger Says:

    “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills”

    If we are up 3-0 and we have the ball at the end of the game, are we still going to pat Josh on the back for putting us in a position to win despite his 40% comp and 2 int’s?

    This argument is getting stale. Your QB is not putting you in a position to win when he leads you to an average of 10 points a game.

    Warren Sapp, the leader of one if the all time greatest defenses in the NFL said: “just get us 17” ….we can’t even do that….

  13. tiny tim Says:

    I saw the saints and pats game and brees and Brady both made multiple bad passes. Does that mean the saints and pats need the other ten men to play perfectly? It means all qbs throw bad passes. The difference is how well your coach coaches his team. Are they playing zone when they should be in man to man. Is the offense creative or has an identity. You can throw multiple bad passes in a game and still win just like brees and Brady did the past two weeks.

  14. Ricardo Esteban Says:

    I gotta give fro some slack this week. he started the game pretty damn good and they dropped some major passes. by mid 3rd qtr the whole team had given up.

  15. Mr. Patrick Says:

    It wasn’t Freeman who had the team in position to win, it was the Defense. Also, agree with Mark, there are 3 teams in the NFL right now that run this 1970’s old style slow motion cold weather offense, the Bucs, Giants and Steelers who are a combined 0-9 right now

  16. lightningbuc Says:

    Bad news for the Freemanites! The Bucs have lost their grip as the most penalized team in the NFL. And, the most penalized team, the New York Jets, are 2-1. One less excuse!

  17. Dave Says:

    I have been a big supporter ever since he beat GB in his first game wearing Bucco Bruce. Josh showed a swagger and a calmness in the pocket and a sense of when to scramble.
    He seems to have lost ALL that and has never increased his accuracy.

    I am done with him as I believe theBucs are too. They have ALOT of great pieces right now, playoff caliber, all they needed was Josh to play well, he has not. Blame the defense all you want for the first 2 losses but if the offense had any flow and Josh could complete anything approaching 60% (which seems easy in todays NFL), they would have won those games easily.

    I do not know if Glennon wil be good, but they need someone else fast! I say rade him and go with Glennon the rest of the way for a trial by fire

  18. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Such a shame what is happening to this team. Shows you just how much the play of the quarterback either covers up or highlights the weaknesses of every team.

    Something that got me thinking – Browns are continuing to submarine their season by putting Josh Gordon on the block. 2nd year guy with a troubled past, not necessarily a Buccaneer Man. But a serious downfield threat and with Mike Williams and VJax getting banged up there is ZERO talent on the outside. Reports are there has been at least one team to make an offer and I believe the Bucs are in enough of a panic mode to be that very team. Thoughts?

  19. Harry Says:

    @SensibleBuc – totally agree.

    I am not part of the Glennon Mob. In fact, I just don’t see him as “the future”. But at some point, don’t we have to give him time to make that evaluation? I have come to the conclusion that if they don’t start him after the break, someone is just covering his Shiano a$$ to have a fall guy.

    Joe, you have suggested that no way Glennon starts until sometime late in the season. But if Shiano does that, how do we know what we have in Glennon as a franchise QB? Starting after the break only gives the coaches 12 games to coach Glennon up and evaluate him. 4 to 6 games is NOT enough. We have to KNOW come the 2014 draft if we need to spend a high 1st round pick on a QB or a pass rusher or a 3rd receiver or a TE or …. (I think you get the idea). The most important of those is obviously a QB, so please, lets see what Glennon has so we know if he has the tools or we need to move on.

  20. lightningbuc Says:

    “Browns are continuing to submarine their season”

    Yeah, by winning. Maybe the Bucs should “submarine” the season?

  21. Couch Fan Says:

    Only with Josh Freeman does it seem that his 10 offensive teammates have to play perfect ball for the quarterback to have a solid day.


    According to the Freemanites not only does Josh need all other 10 players to play perfect, he also needs all 11 Defensive starters to shut out the opposing team every game, and hold them to under 20 total yards or they didn’t do there job either.

  22. Free's a Boob Says:

    As anyone noticed the long snapper has been here as long as Josh? Maybe it’s his fault too? Certainly can’t be Freeman…lol

  23. Couch Fan Says:

    To be honest, Joe will take the Freeman of Week One and Week Two, who didn’t have a good game at all against the Jets or Saints, but when his team needed him the most, he put the Bucs in position to win the game with solid drives in the final minutes.


    This whole idea of when we “need him the most” is rather silly Joe. We need Josh the most from the beginning of the game… Case in point. Last Sunday when we are down by 20 and the final drive was meaningless, even if we scored we had no chance to win because Freeman and the offense couldn’t do anything the previous 55+ minutes.

    If Josh did his Job from the start there would be no “needing him the most” at the end of the game a good majority of the time.

  24. BigMacAttack Says:

    Economos was brought in by Gruden long before Josh came to town.

    Schiano basically said in his presser that they will continue to do the same thing, just need to do a better job of it. I gues that means we can expect 9 points this Sunday. If that isn’t the definition of insanity, really, what is?

    I feel the problem is that he has such a closed mind and doesn’t know any different.

  25. Joe Says:


    Joe, you have suggested that no way Glennon starts until sometime late in the season. But if Shiano does that, how do we know what we have in Glennon as a franchise QB?

    How do you look guys, vets, who you brought in expecting to win now and say, “Look man, we’re going with a rookie third round pick.” You think there was an insurrection before the season? Wait till you drop that on them.

    Besides, Schiano is fighting for his job. Losses mean better chance he is fired. Glennon likely means more losses because he is learning on the fly.

  26. BigMacAttack Says:

    Coach Napoleano needs to be exiled to Cuba.

  27. BigMacAttack Says:

    Joe, uh yeah, ooh, I’m going to have go ahead and a yeah, disagree with you here on Glennon. Coach Napoleano has been really flaky lately and Josh has been having a real problem with his TPS reports.

    I think Freeman generally comes in about 15 minutes late every day, then sits at his desk and spaces out for about an hour. In a given week he only does about 15 minutes of real work.

  28. NJBucFan Says:

    I feel like that last statement is a little erroneous. Choosing clutch over stats. I agree that “clutch” is important.

    But if you ask me, I’ll take a QB who drives down the field ALL game anyday so the NEED for him to be “clutch” in the last minute isn’t as dire.

    If we had offensive success all game, we wouldn’t be in nail biters. right?
    I understand that you’re gonna run into close games no matter whom the opponent, but if we had a QB who averaged atleast 1-2 TD passes a game and over 200yds passing a game, we probably wouldn’t need him to be so “clutch” in the final 2 minutes.

  29. BigMacAttack Says:

    I’m not part of the Glennon mob either, but at what point do you stop wasting time with Freeman. I understand you can’t trade him after you bench him, sort of, but Dom should be burning up phones trying to get a deal for Josh ASAP, or when the first NFL starter goes down.

  30. CC Says:

    Its real simple. No team is going to sustain a drive with under 50% accuracy passing the ball. It is a passing league. The rules today make it easier to throw the ball. The teams with the league leading rushers are in last place and teams with the league leading passers are in first.

  31. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    There’s no rule that he has to stick with Glennon for the entire season. If Freeman continues as he has, see what the rookie has got. If he flounders, maybe the benching will motivate Freeman, when and if they put him back in. Then again, I assumed a contract year would do that.

    If you think the vets will revolt against a rookie, how do you think they will deal with zero wins as the we get into October, etc?

  32. Bobby Says:

    @BigMacAttack…you used to be able to have a coherent point of view. Now you’re starting to sound like Couch Fan. There are two people here who are on extremes. You have Raphael who refused to see any fault in Freeman and Couch Fan who refuses to see any fault in anyone BUT Freeman. Most others are pissed but still look at things somewhat objectively. It’s difficult because feelings are such a big part of rooting for your football team.

    If you get rid of Schiano your are throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Schiano is the defensive mind, not the offensive mind. He has done wonders with this defense in the span of 19 games. I see a huge upside for this defense. Offensively….that is Sullivan and I agree that he has shown no creativity at all. This offense has become entirely predictable. There is no team in football that has the personnel to say “We are going to run the ball on 1st down every time and you can’t stop us.” Well….yes they can stop you. There really aren’t any ‘dominant’ teams anymore. The best way to win is to have a creative scheme on both sides of the ball and keep the other team off balance. If you become predictable you are doomed. Sullivan seems to think that our O-line can just open holes at will…even if the other team knows it’s a hand off to Martin.

    Freeman is gone. Everyone can agree on that. Whether or not we get a QB in the draft or Glennon is the answer remains to be seen. What we do NOT want to do is completely start over again with a new coaching staff. I think a new OC is in order but other than that I’m OK with the defensive side of things. I don’t want to toy with that.

    I don’t blame Schiano for the offensive woes. Who would have guessed that a top 10 offense could regress THAT badly?? I said before the season that if we just had the same Freeman from last year and we could avg 24 points a game we would win most of our games. Well….not only is that Freeman gone but our receivers have turned into Michael Clayton in critical situations. I don’t know if it’s fixable without a new OC and new QB.

    If Schiano can’t adapt he’ll be gone anyway but I think we need at least 1 more year with him at the helm. See if a new OC and QB can cure our offensive woes and get this team in the playoffs.

  33. Rick Says:

    for various reasons I can’t post much, but I am here on JBF everyday. I agree with sensiblebuc and harry 100%. If Glennon is not the long term answer, I think it torpedoes next season if we wait till week one and find that he is not. This offense has a good enough O-line to protect him, and enough weapons to find out the second half of this season to see what we have in him. On a final and much different note (and since the comments are turned off by Joe at the post) I got to meet coach Schiano’s father a couple times the saints weekend. the 2nd he clearly remembered who I was and went out of his way to come over and say hello and shake my hand. Truly a very genuine and kind man. absolute best wishes for him and their family.

  34. Couch Fan Says:


    Please stop speaking for me as if you have any clue what you are talking about.

    I put most of the blame on Freeman yes. I also blame Sully more than Schiano but some of the fault lies with Schiano as well..

    I have said this much a few times if you would bother to shut ya pie hole and read a little bit.

  35. Couch Fan Says:

    Oh and having a non “I am holier than thou attitude” would help also.

  36. MakaveliTheDon Says:

    I saw something on Michael Bennett, how he’s already got 2.5 sacks in 3 games and 7 tackles. And his Seahawks are 3-0. Well I did some fckin around on Google, and came up with this GEM of an article from non other than……JoeBucsFan:

    Bennett explained why he’s skeptical of New Schiano Order tactics and said he doesn’t believe it’s an ideal method for grown men

    “The coaches are very different. You know, Coach Schiano is more hard-nosed, military-type guy. And Coach Carroll is so laid back, it gives the guys chances to not be on their back but still coach them at the same time,” Bennett said. “Because I think a lot of players, they’re adults, too, and when you treat them like kids they get offended by that. You know what I mean? Because players, you know, they got their mortgages, they got their kids, they got wives, they got family, they got things they can do.

    “So they know it’s their job and they know when they make mistakes. But it’s a coach’s job to keep them honest, you know what I mean. But when a coach is just too much on them, I think the players rebel. Because, you know, they’re going to be like, ’Why is he on me like this? It’s my fifth year in the league. I know more than him.’ Guys are just like, you know, it just becomes a big conflict, I think.”

    None of this surprises Joe. However, Joe is troubled hearing it come from Bennett, who is a very level-headed guy. Bennett also appeared to be the textbook Buccaneer Man under Schiano. He was hard-working, versatile and he played through an injury and took on a tremendous number of snaps.

    Current Buccaneers surely share Bennett’s attitude. But Joe has no problem with that. You don’t have to love your boss. Numerous hard-nosed NFL coaches have achieved greatness, including Tom Coughlin winning two Super Bowls recently. Schiano’s tactics can work. Joe’s more skeptical of Schiano’s ability as a game-day coach. (You can hear the Bennett audio below.)

  37. MakaveliTheDon Says:

    I get that Freeman’s been playing some bad football lately. Some of it due to bad luck (penalties, drops), and other times making those “WTF” throws.

    But in the end, we win as a team, and we lose as a team. The defense of weeks 1 & 2 disappeared at NE. I wonder if the D is starting to show some early quit. The NE game was their perfect opprotunity to make Brady look mortal.

  38. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Joe, please stop comparing freeman to Brady and Peyton manning… I mean it’s one thing to expect your qb to play well, it’s another to expect him to be hall of farmer. Compare freeman to his echelon of qb. The ponders and Brandon weedens of today’s game.

  39. Pete I Says:

    Joe will take “clutch” over numbers any day.

    Freeman is like a clutch on an old edsel…or a 83 Camaro, push it in to change gears and it stays to the floor.

    Another pointless freeman defense. Legally when you have no defense claim insanity…it rarely wins in court but at least the lawyer has something to say.

    Joe seems to be claiming insanity.

    Has the Zona game been blcked out yet?

  40. Harry Says:

    “How do you look guys, vets, who you brought in expecting to win now and say,
    Look man, we’re going with a rookie third round pick.” You think there was an
    insurrection before the season? Wait till you drop that on them.

    Besides, Schiano is fighting for his job. Losses mean better chance he is fired.
    Glennon likely means more losses because he is learning on the fly.”

    I get what you are saying, and you no doubt make a good point. But if Free continues to play like he has, continues to throw 45% completions, and plays so erratically, I think the vets would beg Schiano to try anything else, don’t you? I mean if you are in that situation, don’t you say we have “been there, done that” and we MUST try anything we can. Besides, I think it could even be a rallying point for the team: “rally around Glennon” (they already did it with Josh, so there is no guilt there as he crashed and burned).

    As far as Schiano’s job security. If Josh keeps this up, Schiano is walking the plank anyway, so what does he have to loose?

    Love your work Joe, thanks for always providing us with current info.