Schiano says Bucs should've let Freeman take more deep shots in first half vs. Redskins
There still is a learning curve with the new coaching staff when it comes to Josh Freeman, one as big as the arc of footballs the Bucs quarterback heaved deep into the sky Sunday.
After watching Freeman go 11-of-17 for 211 yards passing and one touchdown in the second half of the Bucs' 24-22 loss to the Washington Redskins. bringing his team back from a 18-point deficit, coach Greg Schiano admitted his team should've attempted more deep passes in the first half.
"Offensively, we threw the ball deep effectively in the second half.'' Schiano said Monday. "Probably needed to take more shots in the first half.''
Trailing 21-6 late in the third quarter, Freeman connected on a 65-yard bomb to receiver Mike Williams, a play that set up a 7-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson four plays later.
Freeman started the Bucs next possession with a 54-yard strike to Jackson and the air raid was on. Both Williams (4 catches, 115-yards) and Jackson (6 catches, 100 yards, TD) eclipsed the century receiving mark, the first time two Tampa Bay players have done that since Mark Carrier and Lawrence Dawsey 20 years ago.
After struggling in the first half to complete 13-of-22 passes for 88 yards against the Redskins, Freeman and the Bucs offense did not produce any explosive plays until he was allowed to go downfield to take advantage of matchups against a porous Washington secondary.
Prior to Sunday, the Bucs had scored on the first possession of every game. But Schiano said the Bucs need to spend the bye week pinpointing what Freeman is comfortable doing -- and throwing -- in the offense.
“He came out gang-busters the first three games, the first series,'' Schiano said. "This game – not. I look at this quarter of the season now, you step back with the bye week and that’s what we’re doing now, is looking at our first four games and attacking some things in the next two days. But if it were one thing he were comfortable with or not comfortable with, we’d just cut it out and we’d up more. But there’s different things, different defenses. I just walked out of a meeting where it was, ‘Hey, the things we need to do, some of the things is cumulative repetitions. We’ve just got to keep doing it and we’ll get better at it.
“But I did think the deep shots that he hit were as good as you can throw. Some of the lasers he threw in there were as good as you can throw. We’ve just got to get, as you said, I do think there is some of that really pinpointing what we know he’s most comfortable with and what our offense is most comfortable with. So that’s our job to do and make sure we get it right quickly.''