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Bucs can't stay long in hurry-up mode

TAMPA — Bringonthehurryup. No need to pause in that sentence since the no-huddle offense was created for tempo and rookie quarterback Mike Glennon operated it to perfection in the Bucs' two touchdown drives during Sunday's 33-14 loss to the 49ers.

However, don't expect that two-minute thrill offense to be the norm for the Bucs and Glennon moving forward, though Tampa Bay has sunk to 32nd and last in the NFL in total offense (283.7 yards a game), passing offense (178.1 yards a game) and third down conversion percentage (32).

"Because we scored twice with it … I get home and they say, 'why didn't we do more of the no-huddle?' " Bucs coach Greg Schiano said Monday. "I get the same things. I'm just kidding around. I guess my point is, against a team like that I thought we'd be able to run it better and get into a time of possession. When you go no-huddle, especially when they get you three and out, your time of possession is almost nil.

"We have really three different tempos that we go no-huddle. We jumped into one of the tempos of no-huddles, I think it was the third series, so you can't go much quicker than that. You can if you do it the whole game. I didn't want to do it the whole game."

The only success on offense Sunday came with Glennon operating the no-huddle. He capped an 80-yard drive at the end of the first half with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson and led a 92-yard march that resulted in a 24-yard score to tight end Tim Wright.

The Bucs' other nine possessions netted 11 total yards.

"We've done it at different times this year," Schiano said. "We've opened halves with it, especially when we weren't very effective in the first half. It can be used as a jumpstart sometimes. It can be used as a way to put the gas pedal down on somebody if you're rolling them pretty good."

But Schiano says the Bucs are not built to run the no-huddle exclusively and prefers ball control, with emphasis on running. On Sunday, the Bucs were held to 39 yards rushing on 12 attempts. That enabled the 49ers to enjoy a huge advantage in time of possession (39:50 to 20:10). What's been the problem with the running game?

"Negative plays. So when you look at it, it's not just total yardage," Schiano said. "I felt good, we came out and ran the football and we get a holding penalty, so it's not like there's any problem there other than a 10-yard gain became a 10-yard loss.

"We weren't very effective and that's why we went to that (no-huddle), to try and stir it up a bit. My hope was we could go back and forth. That's not who we are.

"Just because it works, that doesn't mean I want to go play a whole game in no-huddle if that's not what we practiced. But it is a good tool. … Certainly those (other) drives were frustrating."

The Bucs trailed 20-14 with about 12 minutes remaining when the 49ers converted on third and 12 from their 29-yard line. That was the tipping point, according to Schiano, because San Francisco went on a 10:27 drive that resulted in a field goal.

Schiano said there were positives Sunday. Wright led the Bucs with seven catches for 82 yards and a touchdown. Glennon completed 18-of-34 passes for 179 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

"But we were unable to get it done against the defending NFC champs, one of the healthiest, best teams at least in our conference that are kind of hitting stride right now,'' Schiano said. "I'm not happy by any means by what the outcome was. By the same token I thought there were a lot of positives in the way they played."

Rick Stroud can be reached at stroud@tampabay.com and can be heard from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays on WDAE-620. View his blog at tampabay.com/blogs/bucs.

Bucs at Rams

1 p.m. Sunday, Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis

TV/radio: Ch. 13, 620-AM, 103.5-FM, 95.3-FM

Bucs can't stay long in hurry-up mode 12/16/13 [Last modified: Monday, December 16, 2013 11:19pm]
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