This season Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Greg Olson took a group of raw, young players and turned them into one of the most entertaining offenses in the National Football League. Bucs fans saw everything from fullback passes for touchdowns to wide receiver reverses with throws to the backup quarterback. They even witnessed a touchdown catch by left tackle Donald Penn.
With everything that he was able to do this season on offense, Olson said that this has been a very fun year for him.
“Just had a team meeting and when addressing the offense as a coaching staff we said it was one of the most enjoyable seasons for all of us,” said Olson. “With preparation, work ethic, and high character and talented guys, we have a real good relationship with those guys and it is difficult to see it come to an end today because of that reason. They are an excellent group of young men and professionals to work with.”
The Bucs offense finished the season ranked 19th overall, but they played much better than their ranking suggests. Second-year quarterback Josh Freeman had one of the best seasons in franchise history with nearly 3,500 passing yards and 25 touchdowns vs. just six interceptions. Undrafted rookie running back LeGarrette Blount had over 1,000 rushing yards despite playing in only 12 games. Rookie wide out Mike Williams had a franchise-record 11 touchdown receptions. And the skill players accomplished all this behind a make shift offensive line that ended the season with only one opening day starter (Penn).
Olson says that the success of his players stems from the fact that he had the entire offseason this year to implement his playbook, unlike in 2009.
“I said when we started the season that we were miles ahead of where we were at last season,” said Olson. “It certainly changes things when you don’t have an entire offseason to install the plays. Even the philosophy and how you practice change from the way I pictured it. We are miles apart I think and I think the players that went through the change would agree with that. The rookies don’t know any better, but the players that were with us would say that it is a world of difference. We aren’t satisfied with how we finished this stuff, but I think we will be better next year.”
With guys like Freeman, Blount, and Williams, it certainly looks like the Bucs’ offense could be better in 2011.
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