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.
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 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.