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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Greg Olson has a great game, too



The Bucs' offense had its highest output of the season, racking up 421 yards in today's win over Carolina.

That's because quarterback Josh Freeman had a great day. Receivers Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn had great days. Kellen Winslow had a great day.

And offensive coordinator Greg Olson, too.

If you didn't think the Bucs' opening drive was a thing of beauty, then you weren't watching the right football game. Olson dialed up all the right plays at just the right moments, and the Tampa Bay offense was down right fun to watch as a result.

Olson not only showed great timing, but he mixed things up. The Bucs rushed 30 times versus Freeman's 24 pass attempts. And Olson opened up the playbook, too. The Bucs ran the Wildcat with Josh Johnson and they called a substantial number of bootleg throws for Freeman and they got Kellen Winslow involved, as promised.

Still, Olson wouldn't take the credit.

"I think part of it is the running game," he said. "(The various calls) were based off the run game. We were able to run the ball early with (LeGarrette) Blount and it allowed us to set up some of the play action things and some of the nakeds. They all work hand in hand together."

There might be no better example of Olson's play-calling rhythm today than the pair of calls for Cadillac Williams on the Bucs' final touchdown drive. With the Panthers stacking the line of scrimmage and selling out because the clock was ticking down in an 8-point game, Olson called for Freeman to drop back and suck in the defense, then quickly dumping the ball off to Williams with blockers in front of him. He got 16 yards on third-and-15.

Four plays later, on a third-and-11, with the Panthers looking for the pass, Olson called a draw play for Williams that was blocked superbly, springing Williams loose for a 42-yard touchdown run that put the game away.

Olson has taken a lot of criticism in his season and a half as coordinator, but credit must be given when it's due. Whether you like Olson or not, it's clear this is one of those times.

[Last modified: Sunday, November 14, 2010 9:59pm]


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