Flynn's Focus

October 21 – Tampa Bay's offensive line has been woeful this season and they haven't given people reason to believe they're going to get better anytime soon. While the news of quarterback Brad Johnson's rib injury wasn't good, perhaps the Bucs' offense will benefit with Rob Johnson as its starting quarterback. Read why in this installment of Flynn's Focus.

Flynn's Focus usually appears weekly on PewterReport.com
Copyright 2002 Pewter Report/PewterReport.com This story is intended to be read only by PewterReport.com Club Insiders only and TheInsiders.com. Sharing of the Club content with non-subscribers of this service can result in cancellation of your subscription to the service and/or further actions by the publishers.

It was just a matter of time before Tampa Bay starting quarterback Brad Johnson went down with an injury behind the team's pathetic offensive line. Well, with the news of Brad Johnson's rib injury Monday morning, that time has apparently come. But perhaps Brad Johnson's injury will prove to be a blessing in disguise for Tampa Bay's offense.

It's painfully obvious that Bucs head coach Jon Gruden's offense is designed for a quarterback other than Brad Johnson. Maybe that quarterback is Rob Johnson or maybe it's not. But the truth is Gruden's offense was so successful in Oakland because of Raiders QB Rich Gannon's ability to make plays with his mobility. Gannon rushed for 1,058 (5.3 avg.) yards during his three seasons with Gruden in Oakland.

Brad Johnson, who has rushed for 459 yards (2.5 avg.) in nine seasons, can't make plays with his feet, let alone avoid the pass rush of professional football teams' defenses. Brad Johnson needs time to throw because he's not a mobile quarterback and he can't throw the ball on the run. So why has Gruden continued to roll Brad Johnson out of the pocket to make throws? It's one of the most frightening things I've ever seen and it makes absolutely no sense.

It's obvious that Gruden is calling plays for the quarterback he wishes was running his offense. But with Brad Johnson now sidelined with a broken rib, perhaps Gruden will have the quarterback with the tools to run his offense.

That's not to say Rob Johnson will be the answer to Tampa Bay's inconsistent offense. After all, Rob Johnson won't be able to help his offensive line block, but he might be able to buy himself time to throw and avoid sacks with his mobility. He has rushed for 783 yards and has averaged 6.4 yards per attempt during his eight-year career. But the knock on Rob Johnson is that he tends to hold onto the football too long, which has translated into too many sacks over the years.

One of the reasons Brad Johnson was able to keep his starting job going into this season was because he wasn't turning the ball over. But Brad Johnson has thrown seven touchdowns and five interceptions in seven games and the team's offense has sputtered.

Yes, Tampa Bay will probably continue to beat teams like Baltimore, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Atlanta, even with an inconsistent offense. But Tampa Bay's offense will continue to be exposed when they face teams that can get to the quarterback, like New Orleans and Philadelphia.

This is the perfect opportunity for the Bucs to see what Rob Johnson can bring to the table without creating a quarterback controversy. If Rob Johnson doesn't fare well, Brad Johnson will simply take his spot in the starting lineup once he's healthy again. But if Rob Johnson proves to be a better fit in Gruden's offense, the team will obviously benefit.

Rob Johnson isn't a better quarterback than Brad Johnson, but he might be a better fit for Gruden's offense.


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All PewterReport.com photos are courtesy of Pewter Report director of photography Cliff Welch unless otherwise noted.


Copyright 2002 Pewter Report/PewterReport.com

This story is intended to be read only by PewterReport.com Club Insiders only and TheInsiders.com. Sharing of the Club content with non-subscribers of this service can result in cancellation of your subscription to the service and/or further actions by the publishers.

Get more analysis, inside information and expert commentary by subscribing to Pewter Report or by calling 1-800-881-BUCS(2827).

Looking for the largest selection of Bucs merchandise on the internet? Check out BucGear.com.


Click here to discuss this topic and more with other PewterReport.com Club Insiders on the Pewter Message Boards.

Click here to ask one of the Pewter Report editors about this topic on the "Ask The Insiders" Message Boards.

All PewterReport.com photos are courtesy of Pewter Report director of photography Cliff Welch unless otherwise noted.


Copyright 2002 Pewter Report/PewterReport.com

This story is intended to be read only by PewterReport.com Club Insiders only and TheInsiders.com. Sharing of the Club content with non-subscribers of this service can result in cancellation of your subscription to the service and/or further actions by the publishers.

Get more analysis, inside information and expert commentary by subscribing to Pewter Report or by calling 1-800-881-BUCS(2827).

Looking for the largest selection of Bucs merchandise on the internet? Check out BucGear.com.


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