Thursday, October 8, 2009

Make Up Your Mind

When the season started we were told that the Bucs were going to use all four of their running backs in the run game. Although most people were skeptical they assured us that they would make it work. They pointed to the New York Giants as the model they would go by. On my own I offered that the Bucs were only doing this to justify dropping Earnest Graham to third on the depth chart. The truth was, in my mind, that they didn't want to ask Cadillac Williams or their free agent pick up Derrick Ward to run down on punts and kickoffs. Earnest Graham, being the team first guy he is, would of course do it without complaint. But I wasn't happy about the situation because I thought his play over the last two years warranted him being more than an afterthought. I also didn't think that the carries would ever work out where each guy's talent would be maximized to the fullest. Still I was willing to be open minded about it and see how it all worked out.

Now after four games the Bucs are totally flip flopping on their running back rotation. Instead of using all four guys as they initially said they would, now offensive coordinator Greg Olsen is saying they are going to go with one main guy, Caddy. Now don't get me wrong, Caddy has been playing better than I could have ever imagined he would coming off another knee injury. But I can't for the life of me understand how it makes us a better team to keep D Ward and Graham on the sidelines for the overwhelming majority of the game. Not only will riding Caddy more increase the probabilty that he might get hurt again, it will also probably lead to him being gassed in the fourth quarter, especially during hot home games.

It was unsettling enough to see Coach Raheem Morris fire the offensive coordinator the week before the first regular season game, but to now totally flip the script on the running back rotation can only serve to erode confidence in him and the rest of his coaches even further. The last thing you want to appear to be as a head coach is out of your league and I am not saying that Coach Morris is. But perception tends to be reality when it comes to pro sports and the perception right now isn't good. I hope that the change ends up working out and the offense takes off in the second quarter of the season, but if it doesn't a lot of people are going to be point to this decision as a sign that the new Bucs coaching staff doesn't know what they are doing.

It is what it is.

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