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Raheem Morris shrugs off questions about Bucs’ play calling

Raheem Morris AP

The Buccaneers’ current two-game losing streak is raising plenty of questions in Tampa Bay, and the coaching staff is facing particular scrutiny about the sputtering offense. But Bucs head coach Raheem Morris says he’s not worried about anyone second-guessing his decisions.

A headline in the St. Petersburg Times laments the “Buccaneers’ terrible playcalling,” specifically as it relates to the decision to pull starting quarterback Josh Freeman in favor of backup Josh Johnson for one play, a third-and-4 on which Johnson ran for just one yard.

Taking the starting quarterback off the field for a crucial play seems like a mistake, but Morris says people are only saying that because it didn’t work.

“It didn’t work, so it was a bad idea,” Morris said. “If it had worked, it would have been great.”

There’s some truth in what Morris is saying — when the media question coaches’ play calling, it’s with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight — but the whole point is that it didn’t work. And the coaching staff’s job is to dial up plays that will work.

Bucs offensive coordinator Greg Olson offered a similar sentiment to Morris, saying that it was a good play call that didn’t work out.

“We just didn’t execute it,” Olson said. “We had practiced it all week. We want to get Josh Johnson more involved with our offense.”

It’s easy to see why the Bucs want Johnson to get more involved: Johnson is a talented runner, and Freeman has struggled this season. If the Bucs think taking Freeman out and putting Johnson in from time to time can give the offense a spark, they’re going to do it.

But until Johnson actually provides that spark, it’s reasonable for the coaching staff to be questioned about it. Morris should be ready for those questions to keep coming.

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25 Responses to “Raheem Morris shrugs off questions about Bucs’ play calling”
  1. smarterthantheaveragebearfan says: Nov 7, 2011 11:56 AM

    I am sure the Saints had it figured out too.

    You don’t send a new guy in to replace the QB on 3rd and 4 to go and not expect everyone in the stadium to know that he isn’t coming in just to be a decoy.

    This “in and out” QB thing never ever works out in the NFL. See Vick/Kolb, Smith/Sanchez, etc.

  2. ken0west says: Nov 7, 2011 11:57 AM

    Al Michaels did it during the game last night when it suited him. He brought up this BS about Bmore going for a FG on 4th down from the 1. He danced around saying they should have gone for the TD and they would end up regretting it, as if he could not have said the same thing about the 3 points if they went for it and got stuffed. It turns out they “needed” the 3 to win the game, unless they did not score the TD and they needed the 4 plus a FG to win the game.

    At least writers wait tell after the game to start second guessing. Like most always Michaels was off base, BMORE had to kick a FG it was the only option, it was early, 0-0 in a DIV road game. Only the Cheaticheick does not kick it in that situation.

  3. avanderlay says: Nov 7, 2011 11:59 AM

    getting JJ involved is fine – the problem was this was 3rd and 4 in the RED ZONE. How you pull your franchise quarterback for that one play I’ll never understand. When JJ comes in, everyone knows it’s going to be some stupid spread option. If everyone watching from home knows what the play is going to be, obviously the opponent knows.

    Morris & Olsen get an F the last 3 weeks of roster management, play calling and game management.

    – 1 other RB active when Graham went down in the 1st qtr in London
    – no one who can play undertackle after McCoy goes out in first half.
    – musical chairs in the LB corps for no real reason
    – still can’t manage to coach/teach Blount to run forward on 4th & 1 – or get him to a level where he can be trusted to be in the game on 3rd down
    – SSSSSLOPPY penalties, route running, substitutions
    – AWFUL play-calling in the red zone

    need a new OC and DC, keep Radio as the HC/motivator.

  4. gen8510 says: Nov 7, 2011 12:00 PM

    As a Bucs fan, I would support a change in OC! If it doesn’t happen, then I will be in favor of changing the HC!

  5. canadianvikingfaniii says: Nov 7, 2011 12:01 PM

    He also shrugs off concerns about gun wielding cornerbacks.

  6. crashdog says: Nov 7, 2011 12:11 PM


    Typical Tampa sports fan. Let’s not show up to the game and run the coach out of town after every loss. As a Dolphan that lives in the Tampa area and follows the Bucs, I would support a Raheem to Miami move if you are done with him

  7. trnsprt says: Nov 7, 2011 12:14 PM

    Maybe they will start running this play EVERY game instead of that STOOPID end around to Arrelious Benn? Both plays are just as useless. And it’s time to mix up one crappy play for another. The Bucs play calling seems poor! If the best you have on 3rd and 4 is a Wildcat that doesn’t seem to have any “distraction” factor to it you are hurting. If I remember the play correctly the ENTIRE formation took off to the right. THE WHOLE formation. That might be useful if the running back was a 280lb bulldozer and not a 170lb feather weight dragster.

  8. murphintampa says: Nov 7, 2011 12:17 PM

    Guys, it’s the Bucs. Nobody cares.

  9. tbtrojan says: Nov 7, 2011 12:36 PM

    As a Bucs fan it feels like we are the focus of some sort of practical joke where we’re given the most clueless & useless coaching staff.

    The ONLY play they ever run when Johnson comes in is the one they ran against the Saints which got stuffed.
    Does Benn ever break one for longer than 2 yards on the end around they call every game?
    Are they making a point of attacking the record for most penalties, I can’t see any other reason why a coaching staff wouldn’t be on this.

    Forget “youngry” (young + hungry) because it’s more a case of the team being undisciplid (undisciplined + stupid) undisciplid

    I gave them time before making a judgment but after 2.5 seasons it’s obvious that this coaching staff is in over their heads and refuses to admit it. While I hope the team does well the rest of the year I pray we dump these clowns in the off season.

  10. howiefeltersnatch says: Nov 7, 2011 12:37 PM

    While we’re questioning NFL head coaches on their questionable play calling, can you please drop a line to Berea, OH and get Pat Shurmur’s thoughts ,too?

  11. peed1 says: Nov 7, 2011 12:42 PM

    Coach Mckay said it best when asked about the Bucs’ players offensive execution.

    “I am all for it”

  12. southbeachnorth says: Nov 7, 2011 12:44 PM

    murphintampa says:
    Nov 7, 2011 12:17 PM
    Guys, it’s the Bucs. Nobody cares.

    If that’s how you feel, why click on and subsequently read an article about the Bucs? Get out of here with your brainless comments.

  13. trnsprt says: Nov 7, 2011 12:44 PM

    Undisciplid… I’m stealing that. LOL

  14. selmonfan63 says: Nov 7, 2011 12:55 PM

    It was a great call. Having the backup QB run is always a better call than having your 250lb RB run.

  15. Patskrieg dot com says: Nov 7, 2011 12:59 PM

    50 plays offensively for the Bucs. 15 were handoffs to their running backs. Blount managed 72 yards were the paltry 13 carries he actually got.

    Maybe mix it up a little next time instead of going into panic mode every time your team is down 10 points in the 2nd quarter.

  16. ruggyup says: Nov 7, 2011 1:08 PM

    Never, ever, underestimate the Bucs’ capacity to disappoint. But, they are in good company, Cubs, Magic, Vandy. Those 4 make a good four card flush.

  17. flyeaglefly says: Nov 7, 2011 1:12 PM

    repeat after me Raheem, what you, me and the whole football world knows since they spread it across the TV all week in every pregame show…When Legarette Blount gets 18 touchs a game, the Bucs are 17-1…again, when Blount gets 18 touches a game, the Bucs are 17-1…total touches yesterday = 13 = LOSS…

  18. slammincamnewton says: Nov 7, 2011 2:38 PM

    The bucs skated by with an extremely easy schedule last year. Not so much this year. Cam Newton be seein u soon.

  19. ilovefoolsball says: Nov 7, 2011 2:50 PM

    Youngry = dumb

  20. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins says: Nov 7, 2011 2:51 PM

    What Olson doesn’t get (and maybe Raheem, although I get the feeling that he’s just covering for his guys as usual) is that there is a time and a place to get Johnson more involved. That time is not a 3rd and 5 in the opponents redzone when you’re down by 14 and desperately need a td. Olson has no sense whatsoever of situational playcalling. 99% of his calls are vanilla as you can get, and when he does do anything creative it’s always at the wrong time, which implies that he’s probably just doing it so he can say he “isn’t afraid to mix things up.”

    Worst of all, it’s predictable as hell. If you MUST bring in Johnson there (hint: you don’t), let him pass the ball and maybe actually catch someone off guard rather than just running the same silly option/draw that happens to be the ONLY PLAY WE EVER RUN WITH JOHNSON.

    And it isn’t just this game, either. 9 of Freeman’s 10 picks are on throws up the middle, because Olson continues to call the same plays that not only leave him with no out route options, but also always involve Williams and Winslow intersecting in the area of about 6 defenders. I’m not saying that none of the picks are on Freeman, but there’s no question that Olson is putting these players in a position to fail.

  21. my84cj7 says: Nov 7, 2011 2:52 PM

    But Radio Raheem is a players coach…..

  22. gen8510 says: Nov 7, 2011 2:58 PM

    I am a season ticket holder so I have a right to b*tch. I like Rah too but if he can’t recognize a mediocre OC then has failed and he should be released too. See you in section 149 this week douche.

  23. schmitty2 says: Nov 7, 2011 3:12 PM

    I can’t figure out why they don’t try and get Benn more involved in the PASSING game and quit doing the useless end around run for no gain or a loss

  24. tbf22 says: Nov 8, 2011 9:17 PM

    Umm NO… The second I saw JJ on the field I said. “WTF ARE THEY DOING” as I pulled out my hair. Then I said. “They better at least throw the ball, cuz running the wildcat is F’ing stupid”

    I would have hated that play even if it resulted in a TD. It makes no sense to pull your Franchise QB in a clutch situation with 2 minutes left in the half, and it was your first real chance at scoring some points.

  25. tbf22 says: Nov 8, 2011 9:20 PM

    flyeaglefly says: Nov 7, 2011 1:12 PM

    repeat after me Raheem, what you, me and the whole football world knows since they spread it across the TV all week in every pregame show…When Legarette Blount gets 18 touchs a game, the Bucs are 17-1…again, when Blount gets 18 touches a game, the Bucs are 17-1…total touches yesterday = 13 = LOSS…


    uh…. you better look at that stat again… Blount has only played in 19 games. and I’m pretty sure we haven’t won nearly every game he has ever played in.

    the stat you are looking for is 7-1. NOT 17-1. lol

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