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September 22, 2010 @ 3:33 pm
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Carlson: Split Carries With Huggins Immediately

Written by Jeff
Jeff Carlson


Contributing Writer E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Former Bucs QB Jeff Carlson breaks down the Bucs running game and suggests that backup RB Kareem Huggins immediately start to split the carries with Cadillac Williams.
Jeff Carlson is a regular contributor to PewterReport.com. In his regular columns, Carlson will share expert analysis and insight regarding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and NFL based on his previous playing experience with the Bucs and in the league.

Carlson played quarterback in the NFL from 1990-92. He spent two seasons (1990-91) with the Bucs and one season (1992) with the New England Patriots. The former Weber State signal caller originally entered the NFL as a fourth-round pick with the Los Angeles Rams.

Since his NFL playing career ended, Carlson has remained active and busy in the Tampa Bay area by heading up America's Best Quarterback, which is a clinic that trains quarterbacks privately or in groups in Tampa year round. To inquire about America's Best Quarterback, visit AmericasBestQB.com, e-mail
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or call 813-789-9255.

In addition to his work with Americas Best Quarterback, Carlson is a regular host on Bright House Sports Network, which is PewterReport.com's television partner.

By Jeff Carlson as told to Pewter Report Editor-in-Chief Charlie Campbell.

The issues with the Buccaneers running game are pretty basic. Running back Carnell ‘Cadillac’ Williams is a serviceable strong runner, but without the flash ard, but when he gets a seven-yard gain it is like ‘wow that is really good. That was a great run, 7 yards!’

I think one of the things that was disappointing in Cadillac as the fifth pick in the draft was I thought we were getting a guy that was super quick. That was the way Jon Gruden talked about him. Maybe that was my misperception, but it felt like he was being sold as a guy that had burst. He’s turned out to be more of a strong runner as opposed to a quick big-play runner. I think that’s exactly what he is.

Immediately I would start splitting his carries with Kareem Huggins once Huggins is healthy. I’d like to see what they could come up with Huggins. Sometimes teams go with the thought that you have to give a back a number of carries to wear down the defense and in the fourth quarter they get stronger and hits the crease because the defense is worn down and all of sudden they start to break bigger plays. I’d like to say Huggins get an opportunity early in the game, and split it up evenly. If Cadillac is the first down back to run straight ahead to set up second-and-7, then you put in Huggins as a change of pace. Throw him some screen passes, or do sweeps and tosses for him to see if he can get the first down or make third down shorter than what they’ve been facing.

With Cadillac I think you’ll see a lot three-yard gains with a few four-yard gains, and probably not a lot of negative gains. But overall that will be setting the Bucs up for a lot of third downs of six-to-nine yards. That will force a lot of good play-calling on first and second down just to get into some good third-down situations. I thought offensive coordinator Greg Olson did a pretty good job of play-calling this past week to try and get out of those situations with some play-action passing and stuff like that.

Right now they are running a lot of straight base run plays and I don’t think with Cadillac’s ability they can make any extended runs that are going to make it easier on the offense. They’re going to depend on Josh Freeman’s arm.

I don’t think the offensive line is really struggling. I think they are doing their job. I think it is the offensive coordinator’s job to give the opportunities to have blocking angles, and make it possible to for Cadillac to get through the hole by the design of the play, and make bigger plays.

After re-watching the tape of the Panthers game, I thought the offensive line used some variety in their blocking schemes, which I liked. I think they are doing a fine job, but nothing spectacular.  The tight ends and fullbacks I honestly think are doing an okay job. There were a couple of poorly executed plays that stood out. The one where tight end Jerramy Stevens got duped and Cadillac Williams got hit hard in the backfield. Another time Chris Pressley got his legs taken out from under him by Chris Gamble I believe, and that led to a no gain. In a general sense I think they are blocking fine.

I think that Greg Olson has to use motion with the receivers, or other kinds of misdirection at some point in the game to open a crease. If they just block their standard man-on or zone blocking to the right or left, Cadillac will be a three-yard and a cloud of dust type runner, every once while he’ll get seven yards, and sometimes he’ll get stuffed at the line of scrimmage. I think some misdirection to get a guy out of position in the run game will create some more holes and bigger plays. That’ll help Freeman in the play-action situations, and more manageable third down situations.
Last modified on Sunday, 26 September 2010 15:35

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  • avatar

    well, no huggins today. kregg lumpkin will replace him on the field.
  • avatar

    This hurts my eyes. Did you graduate High School with those writing skills? How can I take you seriously if you cant even right good? (SEE WUT I DID THERE?) Sheesh
  • avatar

    Some of you are not reading the article carefully, the man says he would play Huggins when he is healthy (3rd paragraph).
  • avatar

    While I'd love to see what Huggins can do with a few more opportunities; unless his groin is healed there is little point in exposing him to further injury this week. We'll struggle to run against the Steelers anyway so I look for Sammie and maybe Benn to contribute.
  • avatar

    Totally agree on both fronts. First and foremost though, the Bucs need to mix up their running calls. Some misdirections will make the defense stay at home and potentially help out on other plays calls. The quick lateral type pass to wide receivers should also be used on FIRST down as a running play instead of second down. Olson used the solely on 1st down on week 1 with no success and then didnt use that play in week 2. I think on first down, it can work. It is also a way to get Stroughter involved. This oline is not dominant enough to run straight at people so we need to be a little more creative to get yards in running game.
  • avatar

    I agree, using Huggins this week would be fruitless when we are one week from a bye and we will have a full stable of backs coming in for reinforcements. I like what Carlson pointed out and I totally agree but Caddy before the injuries was quick and sudden to the hole, with another gear once he got to the 2nd or 3rd level. I do not know how fast he is now but it seems that he doesn't have that gear anymore or we will never know because he can't get that deep in the defense; he gets hit too soon now.
  • avatar

    Author of this lame article may want to check the injury report next time.
  • avatar

    You want to see Lorig as a FB? We'd have to be totally screwed at a position to see him on the field. He may be versatile having played TE and DE but when he sucks at both it doesn't help.
  • avatar

    2011 backfield..... Huggins and Blount with Erik Lorig as FB! Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    I want Huggins to get involved probably more than anyone, but he was still limited in practice this week and if his groin is still hurting he needs to sit. Hate to lose him for the season from a pulled groin.
  • avatar

    I thought Huggins has an injury? This is not the time to try to let him run against the Steelers. I'd let Graham and Caddy do the rushing. I would put a tE in the backfield for extra protection for Freeman and let the other RB Spot be the safety net as a WR. Go Bucs! You can win this game!
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