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BUCS' QUICK FIXER-UPPER

Greg Olson scrambles to remold the offense after taking over for fired Jeff Jagodzinski.

On paper at least, the Bucs offense got better shortly after quarterbacks coach Greg Olson took over the play-calling duties for fired offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski.

That's because Olson added more than a few pages to the Bucs' pamphlet-sized playbook.

There wasn't enough time to rip up the first draft of Tampa Bay's offensive plan authored by Jags. But the revised edition might give the Bucs a fighting chance against the Cowboys on Sunday.

Olson has made the biggest improvement in the passing game.

"He brings some more dynamic routes," coach Raheem Morris said of his new offensive coordinator. "You'll see different routes, you'll see routes down the field. ... You see more of the down field, double-move hitches. You'll see the timing game there as well. But if we're going to be a good team, we're going to have to use our play-action passing. You'll get a chance to see some of that stuff from Oly (Olson).

"The number of plays increased dramatically. I didn't actually count them before I came down here, but you'll see a significant amount more than I think you have seen in the preseason."

Despite wanting to throw down the field more, Bucs quarterbacks averaged just 5.25 yards in the preseason.

Olson, who was denied a chance to interview for the offensive coordinator position last spring, acknowledged Tuesday that his appointment came at the wrong time. Instead of having time to install his own system, Olson has had to adapt and modify Jagodzinski's approach.

"Certainly, it's a difficult position, but I think opportunity obviously comes in many different ways," Olson said. "Really, there was no other answer when it was presented to me. Am I excited about the opportunity? Yes. Did it come at the wrong time? Yes.

"But you've got to put your nose to the grindstone and go to work. I mean, there is no other answer to that. Coach Jagodzinski set a foundation. We'll move forward with the foundation.

"There is going to be some changes but certainly it is difficult a week before the opener to go in and change an entire offense. Going forward there will be some tweaks in the system. The bottom line is we have to do some things better with the system we already established."

Bucs players like the changes already made by Olson.

"I like him a lot from the standpoint that I think he'll keep that aggressive mind-set as an offense," quarterback Byron Leftwich said of Olson. "He loves when you play aggressive at the quarterback position. But he also wants you to play smart."

Leftwich said players were surprised by the move but he expects the transition to be fairly seamless.

"I don't want to say it will be better or worse, but we haven't changed a lot," Leftwich said. "We changed some things because Jaga and Oly are too different people. It's not like we're going in with a whole new complete system. ... There's different ideas and different formations here and there. ... We're professionals, man. We're able to deal with a lot more than you guys give us credit for."

Olson said he will rely on the strength of the offense - a solid offensive line and a quartet of running backs led by Cadillac Williams and Derrick Ward. Williams said Tuesday that Olson added a "Rocket'' backfield with Earnest Graham and second-year pro Clifton Smith.

In Olson's first season as Rams offensive coordinator, St. Louis ranked sixth overall in total offense and third in the NFC in passing. Still, he wants to be balanced.

"Running the football is important to me," Olson said. "I believe in establishing the run for an offense. We'll go from there. I think our strengths as a football team lie in that running back room, and that offensive line. It all begins with those guys."

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