Mr. Olson, I have watched every offensive snap for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year. I consider that to be a bad thing at this point. I have watched the offense spin it's wheels to get nowhere. I have seen two different quarterbacks take a beating, several receivers drop passes and more turnovers than I'd like to see. What I haven't seen is a running game. This may come as a surprise to you, but it is permissible to run the ball more than 15 times a game. I know it's boring and it doesn't seem as exciting as a 5 step drop that leads to a wild 3 yard scramble, but there is value in running the ball.
What you may not have noticed when you took Leftwich out and put Johnson in is the difference in experience. I do not have a football background other than being a fan but I feel like I should state the obvious here, as it appears to be a fact that you have missed. A young quarterback needs more help, needs to be game planned for rather than using the same plan. Screens do exist as part of the modern NFL playbook, please find that page and use it.
More importantly we have running backs that can carry the ball and help out a young QB. I'm sure you've read my obvious bias towards Cadillac Williams, but lets put that aside for now. Here is a running back who is getting an average of 10.7 carries a game, and is averaging 4.3 yards per carry. This puts him at 27th in the NFL in yards and he is getting about half the carries of any other starting running back.
To speak in a language you might understand, try this.
See those ranks in the high teens? That's good. His DVOA places him in the high teens again. Please use him more. He's gaining yards over an average back adjusted for defense and his value over average is almost 7%. He can carry the load. We're 6 games in with him averaging over 4 yards a carry. It's ok to feed him the ball. And if he gets tired, we also have Derrick Ward. Remember him? The guy we paid a lot of money to come here? Well, he is averaging 6.6 carries a game. I'd like a little more return on our investment, so please find a way to get him the ball also.
I've taken the liberty of going to Football Outsiders and pulling some info for you. You see, when we run the ball, we need to have a plan of attack. We have strong points, and weak points in our line. While this doesn't account for pulling guards, fullbacks and other scenarios, it gives us a little insight. I'd also like to remind you that ALY stands for Adjusted Line Yards, or Yards per carry that the line creates.
||LEFT END||LEFT TACKLE||MID/GUARD||RIGHT TACKLE||RIGHT END|
You see, we seem to run better off tackle on either side. When we run those stretch plays that require Winslow or Stevens to block someone, it just doesn't work well. Our offensive line is absolutely destroying other teams when we go off tackle. Ranked 1st and 3rd respectively. How about you throw them a bone and run those directions a bit more, make their hard work pay off.
I'd like to caution you a bit and say the runs up the middle are a bit misleading. When Sean Mahan came in for Faine, we basically announced that we were giving up at center. I'd be willing to bet that Faine is a bit more productive than Mahan. In case you can't decipher what these figures and numbers mean, allow me to spell it out. Run on the interior of the line. Stop the stretches and toss plays. We are getting killed. Penn, Zuttah, Joseph and Trueblood are mauling people as shown by their ALY. If that is the strength of our running game, please use it.
By the way, can I call you Greg? Greg, I know you were thrown into the fire and are still attempting to handle QB duties and OC duties. But I haven't seen much progress from our QBs in terms of preparation or skill level. I can only hope you are giving Freeman what he needs to be successful. But for the time being, please put Johnson and the rest of our offense in position to succeed. Run the ball, if a team (hello Philly) gets blitz happy, make them pay. Don't continue to call 5 step drops, mix it up. Go with a hard count, create winning situations for a young quarterback.
I know you are getting ready to leave for London, but please be sure to print out this article and take it with you. In fact, you could laminate it and put it in the playbook if it will help you call plays. The players must execute, but it's your job to put them in position to be successful. Thus far, you haven't done that.
Thanks for your time and good luck on Sunday. I'll be watching.
P.S. Stop using Gruden's playbook. It didn't work for 7 years, why would it work now? You were brought in to bring the vertical threat to the passing game. Vertical means up the field. Just a quick reminder.