Well, so much for being optimistic! The Bucs continued their losing ways last night, allowing Tony Romo 249 yards passing with 3 touchdowns. Felix Jones decided to get in on the act as well, rushing for 108 yards and catching 3 balls for 23 yards. While the stats implicate the defense, it was the offense which struggled most and caused the disparity in score. Josh Freeman had only 4 yards passing in the first half and the Bucs were able to muster only one first down. While Freeman did eventually get back on track (148 yards and 1 TD) watching last night’s game should have shifted the attention from Morris to Greg Olson, the Bucs Offensive Coordinator.
Anyone who has watched the Bucs throughout the season knows that this has been the Buccaneers type of play game after game. An interesting stat thrown out last night was how the Bucs have trailed 64.9 percent of the time this year. The Bucs have been notoriously slow starters, anemic in the first half of games and displaying their talent in the second halves. Problem is, they are usually trailing and are forced to abandon the run game. Once that happens, Freeman and the offense are one dimensional and predictable. We even heard the boo-birds last night, fed up with extremely conservative play calling despite being down by 21 points early. Olson was choosing to run the ball on both first and second downs instead of airing the ball out.
The poor play calling offensively and track record of slow starts should shift the focus to Greg Olson instead of Morris. Being head coach, Morris gets final blame but he has not been the one calling the offense. Though Olson is respected and considered one of the brightest coordinators, his track record and vanilla offense need to come under fire. Outside of the poor secondary play by Biggers and Mack, Raheem’s defensive unit played well. We’ve seen the defense make adjustments all season and get better despite being riddled by injuries most the year. While I am far from a Morris apologist, it’s Olson who needs to at minimum share the blame for the Bucs continued woes.