As the Raiders start to transition from Greg Knapp’s offensive philosophies towards new coordinator Greg Olson’s, there are many questions about what sort of changes will be made. Many of the details – Which plays does he use as his staples? What is his run blocking philosophy? - will only be known through film study and then as we get a look at his vision of the team come training camp.
In the meantime it seemed worthwhile to get information on his play-calling tendencies in a statistical analysis. To do this, I painstakingly went through 8 games – the first half of the 2011 season when he was the offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Bucs – and tracked every pass and run to see Olson’s tendencies.
What I found surprised me, I admit. Olson’s reputation is that he is a run oriented play caller but the data from the 2011 season did not back that assertion. In Tampa’s 2011 season, he called a run only approximately 32% of the time, having his quarterbacks throw the ball almost 7 out of every 10 snaps.
While it’s true that Tampa only won 4 games in 2011 and therefore was playing from a position of being behind more often than not, all 4 of Tampa’s wins came in the first 8 games so during that time period the Bucs were a 4-4 team. So, even with the team winning as many as they lost, Olson still called a much higher number of passes than runs.
That disparity got even further apart in their losses. When the Bucs were losing, close to 3 of every 4 plays was a pass. In games in which the team won, 4 of every 5 plays was still a pass.
The passes he called weren’t the long bombs that Al Davis would have loved, either. Over 86% of the passes thrown were 10 yards or less. That means that only about 14 of every 100 passes thrown were thrown to a spot 10 yards past the line of scrimmage. Even fewer were what many would term a “deep” pass (20 yards beyond the line of scrimmage).
The Bucs lived and died with a plethora of short passes – screens, slants, out routes – in which Josh Freeman would get the ball to his wide receivers, tight end, running back or fullback 3-8 yards downfield and placing it where the receivers could get down the field.
The Bucs did get a fair number of 10+ yard plays out of the short passes but fans looking for Olson to bring a Hue-Jackson-like, explosive, downfield passing game will likely come away disappointed.
Here is a look at some of the numbers from the first 8 games of the Bucs 2011 season, the last season Olson was an offensive coordinator.
For the purposes of these numbers, long downs are anything 6 yards or above and short downs are 5 yards or lower so 2nd & short means that on 2nd down, the team has 5 of less yards to go:
|Pass short %||Pass deep %|
|1st & long % run||1st & long %pass|
|2nd & long % run||2nd & long % pass|
|3rd & long % run||3rd & long % pass|
|1st & short % run||1st & short % pass|
|2nd & short % run||2nd & short % run|
|3rd & short % run||3rd & short % pass|
|4th down % run|
|% run in wins||% pass in wins|
|% runs in losses||%pass in losses|
|Run L %||Run M %||Run R %|
|Pass % L||Pass M %||Pass R %|
|1st D, run||1st D, pass|
|2nd D, run||2nd D, pass|
|3rd D, run||3rd D, pass|
Dog pick. My question is why aren't we getting any bennies from the McKenzie choice? Why is he slumming in Tampa Bay's trash when he could be sweet talking (or outright bribing) some of those Green Bay people (aka WINNERS) over to the Raiders? Heck Green Bay is one of the few NFL cities with less extracurricular offerings than Oakland.
Same with Sparano. I have yet to see any proof whatsoever that Sparano is not in the NFL simply because he was friends with Bill Parcells. He's been a failure everywhere he's... ahem... "coached". The only time the Dolphins offense showed any signs of life is when Sparano finally stepped aside and let the OC and Matt Moore call the plays. And we all saw what he did to the Jets last year. I'm thoroughly convinced he's the guy who pushed for Tebow - to put him in that ludicrous wildcat scheme. The man's a poison pill if you ask me.
the fact we fired Knapp and got a guy who at least proclaims to take advantage of players strength (and has statistics of play makers to back that) in spite of his teams Offensive rankings, it is a step in the right direction....Other than perhaps the Rams talent one year when he was OC, I think our skill position players are better than any hes had to work with. McKenzie really needs to solidify the OL and if he does, our O will be MUCH better in 2013.
Don't forget that team also averaged just under 18 points a game. Thats pathetic. Hopefully Him and Sparano can make a good team.
There is a big difference between McFadden and Lagarret Blount . Hopefully he knows that and he can identify what his players strengths and design your game plan around those. Unlike Knapp .