Bucs struggle with no-huddle offense

The Bucs tried to get their offense going Sunday with a no-huddle version, but not everyone was happy with the results. Players and coaches explained the downside, but the Vikings will have to be prepared for the possibilities.

The NFL is a quarterback league and the Bucs would love to keep the football in Josh Freeman's hands as much as possible.

But running the no-huddle offense is not going to be what Tampa Bay is about.

Coach Raheem Morris went to the no-huddle in the second half of Sunday's 27-20 loss to the Detroit Lions. The Bucs went three-and-out in their first two possessions of the second half. They did have some success, driving 81 yards before being stopped on downs in the fourth quarter. On the next possession, the Bucs scored their only offensive touchdown on a pass from Freeman to Mike Williams.

The idea behind going to the no-huddle was to get Freeman in a rhythm and make some first downs. But failure in the no-huddle has the opposite effect.

"We started the second half and (had) two three-and-outs," said center Jeff Faine. "That's putting our defense on the field for an extended amount of time. Not necessarily clock time, but real time. Then (the offense) is going out there for 30 seconds and (the defense) is out there for another five minutes, six minutes. If you don't convert, it's quick.

"Then those guys are right back on the field during a hot game. That starts to mount. When it's working, of course (you say) let's start the game off like that and play two-minute all the time. But when it's not working, a lot of things can go bad, and it's not just the offense. It affects a lot of people."

Case in point: the Bucs defense was on the field for 11:42 of the first 13:14 of the second half.

The other factor is that running back LeGarrette Blount does not play in the no-huddle because the Bucs don't trust him as a pass protector. Morris has said he regrets getting away from the game plan against the Lions.

"That's not how we want to win games," Morris said. "We want to win games with (LeGarrette) Blount bludgeoning you for 130 yards and having a couple of play-action bombs and being efficient with (Josh Freeman). When we go to that two-minute offense like that, we kind of take Blount out of the game. That's something we don't want to do.

"I'm not going to sit here and tell you we're going to be a spread (team), New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts. That's not who we are. We got LeGarrette Blount, big bludgeoning back you've seen run for a 1,000 yards in this league. We want him to get to that again if not improve on it."

The Bucs' offense runs through Blount, the 248-pound running back. But after rushing only five times for 15 yards in Sunday's 27-21 loss to the Detroit Lions, Blount said he deserves to be on the football field more.

"I feel like ... I'm a play-maker on this team also, so I feel like I should be on the football field more," Blount said.

"We got away from our game plan. We got away from getting me the football, we got away from giving Mike (Williams) opportunity balls. It was just things like that ... I don't know if we panicked, but we kind of got away from that really early."

Coach Raheem Morris took responsibility for that. Blount is replaced at tailback in the two-minute package by veteran Earnest Graham. The Bucs compiled 185 of their 313 total yards and their only offensive touchdown utilizing the hurry-up offense in the fourth quarter.

"That's not how we want to win games," Morris said. "We want to win games with Blount bludgeoning you for 130 yards and us having a couple of play-action bombs and being efficient with (quarterback Josh Freeman).

"When we go to that two-minute offense like that, we kind of take Blount out of the game. That's something we don't want to do. We have a weapon in Blount. We want to run the ball with him."

In fact, Morris said he deserves blame for straying too early from the Bucs' game-plan.

"Maybe we went to it too early," Morris said. "That's something for me to second-guess, that's something for me to improve, that's something for me to get better at.

"You can blame me for that, you guys can write coach stuck to the two-minute offense too early. But I was giving our offense a chance to get going and we got it going in that two minute at the end (of the first half) and got the three.

"I should've given us another chance back to our game plan."

NOTES

  • After reports on Sunday revealed the NFL is considering levying a fine against the Bucs for contact with players during the lockout, coach Raheem Morris owned up today, admitting to calling players during the work stoppage. "I called Aqib (Talib) when he got (arrested)," Morris said. "I called Kellen (Winslow) when he had a baby."

    Morris said he has not been notified by the league of a specific punishment, if any. He did say the league checked his phone records to establish whether violations had taken place. "I heard the rumors about the fine and all that type of stuff, but I haven't gotten anything from anybody," Morris said.

  • Offensive coordinator Greg Olson indicated quarterback Josh Freeman and others lost their "swagger." Whatever the reason, the Bucs did not look like a confident team in Sunday's 27-20 loss to the Detroit Lions.

    "There was just a different feeling on the sideline a little bit," Olson said Monday. "That's why I come back to that swagger. There's no reason for this team to blink, you guys are a good football team and believe that. That's what our message is for our players. There's no reason for anyone on this team to blink. You were a 10-6 football team, you won a lot of big games last year. You're playing against a good football team, certainly, the Lions, but you're a good football team yourself so there's no reason for anybody on this team to blink and be in an 'Oh, no,' mode. We'll be fine. Just settle down, take a deep breath and play football."


  • Viking Update Top Stories

    \r\n\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":" The NFL is a quarterback league and the Bucs would love to keep the football in Josh Freeman's hands as much as possible. But running the no-huddle offense is not going to be what Tampa Bay is about. Coach Raheem Morris went to the no-huddle in the second half of Sunday's 27-20 loss to the Detroit Lions. The Bucs went three-and-out in their first two possessions of the second half. They did have some success, driving 81 yards before being stopped on downs in the fourth quarter. On the next possession, the Bucs scored their only offensive touchdown on a pass from Freeman to Mike Williams. The idea behind going to the no-huddle was to get Freeman in a rhythm and make some first downs. But failure in the no-huddle has the opposite effect. \"We started the second half and (had) two three-and-outs,\" said center Jeff Faine. \"That's putting our defense on the field for an extended amount of time. Not necessarily clock time, but real time. Then (the offense) is going out there for 30 seconds and (the defense) is out there for another five minutes, six minutes. If you don't convert, it's quick. \"Then those guys are right back on the field during a hot game. That starts to mount. When it's working, of course (you say) let's start the game off like that and play two-minute all the time. But when it's not working, a lot of things can go bad, and it's not just the offense. It affects a lot of people.\" Case in point: the Bucs defense was on the field for 11:42 of the first 13:14 of the second half. The other factor is that running back LeGarrette Blount does not play in the no-huddle because the Bucs don't trust him as a pass protector. Morris has said he regrets getting away from the game plan against the Lions. \"That's not how we want to win games,\" Morris said. \"We want to win games with (LeGarrette) Blount bludgeoning you for 130 yards and having a couple of play-action bombs and being efficient with (Josh Freeman). When we go to that two-minute offense like that, we kind of take Blount out of the game. That's something we don't want to do. \"I'm not going to sit here and tell you we're going to be a spread (team), New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts. That's not who we are. We got LeGarrette Blount, big bludgeoning back you've seen run for a 1,000 yards in this league. We want him to get to that again if not improve on it.\" The Bucs' offense runs through Blount, the 248-pound running back. But after rushing only five times for 15 yards in Sunday's 27-21 loss to the Detroit Lions, Blount said he deserves to be on the football field more. \"I feel like ... I'm a play-maker on this team also, so I feel like I should be on the football field more,\" Blount said. \"We got away from our game plan. We got away from getting me the football, we got away from giving Mike (Williams) opportunity balls. It was just things like that ... I don't know if we panicked, but we kind of got away from that really early.\" Coach Raheem Morris took responsibility for that. Blount is replaced at tailback in the two-minute package by veteran Earnest Graham. The Bucs compiled 185 of their 313 total yards and their only offensive touchdown utilizing the hurry-up offense in the fourth quarter. \"That's not how we want to win games,\" Morris said. \"We want to win games with Blount bludgeoning you for 130 yards and us having a couple of play-action bombs and being efficient with (quarterback Josh Freeman). \"When we go to that two-minute offense like that, we kind of take Blount out of the game. That's something we don't want to do. We have a weapon in Blount. We want to run the ball with him.\" In fact, Morris said he deserves blame for straying too early from the Bucs' game-plan. \"Maybe we went to it too early,\" Morris said. \"That's something for me to second-guess, that's something for me to improve, that's something for me to get better at. \"You can blame me for that, you guys can write coach stuck to the two-minute offense too early. But I was giving our offense a chance to get going and we got it going in that two minute at the end (of the first half) and got the three. \"I should've given us another chance back to our game plan.\"
  • After reports on Sunday revealed the NFL is considering levying a fine against the Bucs for contact with players during the lockout, coach Raheem Morris owned up today, admitting to calling players during the work stoppage. \"I called Aqib (Talib) when he got (arrested),\" Morris said. \"I called Kellen (Winslow) when he had a baby.\" Morris said he has not been notified by the league of a specific punishment, if any. He did say the league checked his phone records to establish whether violations had taken place. \"I heard the rumors about the fine and all that type of stuff, but I haven't gotten anything from anybody,\" Morris said.
  • Offensive coordinator Greg Olson indicated quarterback Josh Freeman and others lost their \"swagger.\" Whatever the reason, the Bucs did not look like a confident team in Sunday's 27-20 loss to the Detroit Lions. \"There was just a different feeling on the sideline a little bit,\" Olson said Monday. \"That's why I come back to that swagger. There's no reason for this team to blink, you guys are a good football team and believe that. That's what our message is for our players. There's no reason for anyone on this team to blink. You were a 10-6 football team, you won a lot of big games last year. You're playing against a good football team, certainly, the Lions, but you're a good football team yourself so there's no reason for anybody on this team to blink and be in an 'Oh, no,' mode. We'll be fine. Just settle down, take a deep breath and play football.\"
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