Gregg Olson wasn't all that bad last year. Many people thought he would be packing his bags to pick up a head coach position by now. So what could he do to restore some of that confidence--and hold onto his job?
For now, it starts and ends with Blount. Blount, like every other player, Blount wants the ball more, but it's been tough to stick to the game plan when the offense can't get a rhythm in the first quarter and the team ends up playing catch-up the whole game. The solution: Use Blount the way the Falcons used Michael Turner last week in the no huddle offense. They played Turner, three wide receivers and a tight end. That's an offense no defense wants to defend. We saw the way the Green Bay defense flinched when the Bucs ran a hard play action last week. It was a glorious thing. Make defenses game plan for Blount. When he's in, there's always a run threat and defenses know this.
Last year, Olson used the defense's expectations against them. When Blount was out, it was a passing play...right? But of course, the Bucs had Cadillac Williams who still had a good burst when he got the ball. Late in the games, Olson would call running plays with Cadillac and defenses were noticeably caught off guard. If Blount is in more, it bodes well for the Bucs.
Another way he should be using Blount is by working the screen passes. Blount has shown he can catch the ball and he's devastating anytime he gets past the defensive line. He's a play maker. It's a no-brainer to try and get him the ball more. If you can do that without giving up a balanced offense, why wouldn't you?
Blount can't shoulder the burden alone though. The Bucs needs a true change of pace back. Put Josh Johnson in when Freeman is in if that is the best option, but do something soon. If the Bucs had a fast, nimble back to compliment Blount--think Darren Sproles or a young Cadillac--the Bucs offense wouldn't sputter nearly as much it has this year.
Finally, take a look at the tapes from the San Francisco game. Take a good hard look, because I swear the Niners took a good hard look at the Bucs' tapes before the game. They knew all of the, what, twelve plays Olson calls and quickly diagnosed each and every one of them. The year the Saints won the Super Bowl, they ran up to four plays out of the same formation. And they had a bunch of different looks. The Bucs need to get a little more clever and copy their opponents. The players have the iPads, there is no excuse. Dig deep into the playbook and make defenses guess.
Finally, get the plays called quickly so that Freeman can't loaf around on the field. I'm so tired of watching the team swagger around for 28 seconds between every single play, even when they're behind and they need the time to catch up. Even when they're in their two minute offense.