Rookie quarterback Josh Freeman took the blame on Sunday for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 26-3 loss to the New York Jets on Sunday, but on Monday the blame shifted to the coaching staff.
"We were not ready to play and that's on us as coaches,'' Bucs coach Raheem Morris said. "We had no explosive plays, we had no third-down conversions, we just didn't' get anything going.''
The question now, is how can the Bucs get things going in the final three games of the season. Part of the answer, Morris said, is scaling things back for Freeman.
"We've got to calm him down a little bit,'' Morris said. "We've got to establish our offensive identity as far as the run, get him some easy completions, get him back to his hard-core play-action passes.
"You know, we talked about it, talked about it as a staff. We asked ourselves, 'When do you give him too much? When do you stop giving him too much?' And we kind of found out. So, now we have to reel him in a little bit.
"You don't want to overdo it and put him in remedial classes, but at the same time you want to take a little pressure off the young man and put it back on the coaches and the guys around him so he can get going faster, like when he started.''
Freeman started strong, beating the Packers in his first start. Since then, though, he has mixed good starts with bad and is coming off two clunkers. In the past two games, Freeman has thrown eight interceptions.
His passer rating against the Jets was 12.1, the worst of his six starts.