Bucs' Wildcat might be here to stay
It turns out the wildcat package the Bucs debuted last week against Carolina was just the beginning.
Backup QB Josh Johnson took two snaps against the 49ers, using one for a conventional wildcat run and the other to drop back and throw to WR Arrelious Benn for a 7-yard gain. Both plays gained first downs, but more important, the Bucs continue to give opponents elements they must prepare for.
For Johnson, this is what he has been waiting for: Playing time.
"I've been real patient," he said. "But more than anything, it's just a chance to (satisfy) my competitive nature. I just want to get on the field so bad. But I understand my situation, and I know my role on the team. I'm just excited, and I'm glad my coaches are giving me a chance to get on the field so I can help this team."
Johnson attempted to help in another capacity, on one play in the first half lining up at receiver with QB Josh Freeman under center. Freeman got flushed from the pocket and threw an incomplete pass, while Johnson learned a little bit the frustrations associated with playing receiver. He ran a go route, but a safety stayed over the top, preventing Freeman from heaving it deep.
When he was under center, Johnson said, the plan was the same both times. He entered the game with a run-pass option, with offensive coordinator Greg Olson able to consider any play call because Johnson is a quarterback and not a running back.
"It's just like playing the quarterback position," he said. "You call two plays (in the huddle) and let the defense dictate what you do."
Johnson called the pass to Benn on his second snap because the defense did something different. With the wildcat, the Bucs are daring to be different, too.