Inside the mind of Greg Olson
After the 2010 draft came to an end and Greg Olson must have sat down at his desk a happy bunny. He'd just been given two top receivers, one had an attitude problem but both seemed very talented. He already had a top notch NFL tight end and the franchise QB that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had been eternally searching for.
With a good O-Line with a couple of Pro Bowlers in the line up and a decent rushing attack with Earnest Graham and former first round pick Cadillac Williams, Olson must have been feeling pretty happy about life in the Tampa Bay Offensive Coordinator's chair.
Through the 2010 season that receiver who had an attitude problem? He became a star, and probably one of the best receivers in the league. Olson was also given a big, nasty, bruising back the like of which had not been seen on Raymond James' hallowed turf since the A-Train was full steaming ahead. Things were looking good.
With a relatively easy schedule Olson called some plays the players made some catches, broke some runs and scored some TDs just as Greg had drawn it up on his whiteboard. Not to mention your new Franchise QB turned the ball over only six times in the whole season...THE WHOLE SEASON! Life was pretty rosey.
So then we come to the 2011 season. You're given no help through the draft except a backup Tight End. You've lost one of your running backs and didn't replace him and were you allowed to have any experienced Pros from the free agency pool? Sidney Rice maybe? Mike Sims-Walker would be a nice addition? Or how about some running back help with Ahmad Bradshaw or DeAngelo Williams?
Well you can't have any of those Greg but we've found some backups for you on someone's practice squad. So with all this in mind you have to change your gameplan from the exciting big play gameplan of 2010 to the more conservative 2011 gameplan. The play-action deep crossing route is gone. The Mike Williams bomb down the sideline, that's in the bin.
But there is a plan...
1. If your star running back doesn't have over 70 yards in the first quarter, bench him. It's clearly not working and we should go with passing and letting your backup backs fall onto the pile for a three yard loss.
2. It's 3rd down. Pass to #82.
3. On anything shorter than one yard to go, whatever you do, don't use your 6-5 250 QB. Make sure we pass or better still have any of our backs fail to esentially fall over for the necessary gain.
4. Every now and again (just for a laugh), let's put our very talented backup QB in to run for his life. But make it as obvious as possible that he'll be running it and for the love of god don't let him pass the ball!
5. At least twice a game hand off to a receiver on a reverse. It won't achieve anything and we'll lose a ton of yardage but one day...
6. On 3rd and a lot only ever throw passes to heavily covered receivers 15 yards short of the 1st down marker.
7. We won't be using any trick plays from the playbook, even though some of have worked in games, and a lot of which we run everyday in practice.
As we sit with the season dead in the water, jobs on the line around the franchise and the NFL laughing at the Buccaneers fall from grace the game plan hasn't worked. Maybe Greg Olson won't get a chance to write the 2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offensive Playbook. He shouldn't do that's for sure.