Miscommunications Continue: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Need To Clean It Up

Aug 24, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams (19) and Miami Dolphins cornerback Jamar Taylor (22) both bobble a pass intended for Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams during the second half at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Three preseason games are down, and still not yet have we been able to say the offense looked sharp, or in sync, or any other cliché that gets thrown around when talking about good offenses.

Josh Freeman has been the scape goat thus far, and as the leader of the offense it’s only fair. However, being outsiders looking in, it’s always difficult to tell what’s actually going on and more importantly, who’s at fault.

As Leo pointed out in his Game 3 dropback report, there were numerous occasions in which Freeman and Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams, or Kevin Ogletree were not on the same page. But no matter who deserves to shoulder the blame, the fact remains, it has to be cleaned up within the next 14 days.

Aug 8, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) throws over Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs (55) during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

I’ll start by pointing out the obvious. Doug Martin has played in an incredibly limited number of snaps, the first team offense has missed a couple of rocks along the offense line, and the game plans have been prepared for exhibition games.

All this being said, there are certain things that are simply not acceptable. The key is option routes. When a WR runs a route that is to be dictated by the coverage he sees in front of him. What’s important is that the WR and the QB see the same coverage, make the same decision, and chose the same option.

The Buccaneers simply haven’t been doing it enough. When you watch Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, or Aaron Rodgers, they’re always on the same page as their receivers, Freeman simply is not.

The good news is, this is something that comes with familiarity. The more OC Mike Sullivan, Freeman, and the wide receiving corps practice, study, and play, the more these miscommunications should subside.

Many of Freeman’s interceptions last year were on plays just like these. Freeman reads option A, Jackson reads B. Freeman reads B, Williams reads A. Every quarterback in the league misses a few throws here and there (believe me, Brady and Brees do too). And from what I’ve seen from Josh, his percentage is certainly higher than the elites, but it’s not that far off.

They just need to clean up the ones that involve continuity. The great news is, this is fixable, very fixable. And crazy enough, 14 days is actually plenty of time.

We’re going to keep a close eye on this all year, because it could mean the difference between 7-8 wins and 10-11.

Topics: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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  • JoeBob McGillicuddy

    You would think if the game plans were kept simple for the preseason they would be looking good. Two of the three receivers have been working with Freeman since the beginning of last season, so there is no excuse for the amount of miscommunication we are seeing with them. If I were going pick who to blame out of Vincent Jackson and Josh Freeman, I would blame Freeman. Jackson is too polished of a player. And Freeman has changed his style of play since the first time we saw him. He seems reluctant to pull the ball down and try to make a play. If they are going to be competitive on offense with Freeman at the helm, they are going to need the one two punch like the old Bucs had with Warrick Dunn and Mike Alstott.

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