First Quarter Continues To Kill Bucs

August 20th, 2011

Of course everyone at One Buc Palace will state from the start that Thursday night’s debacle against the Patriots and Bill Belicheat was just a preseason game, a glorified scrimmage, the Bucs weren’t scheming, et al.

All valid points.

But there’s one point that eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune makes that happened Thursday and is reflective of last season for the Bucs:

The Bucs offense simply is stuck in first gear in the first quarter.

The Bucs were outscored 73-43 in the opening quarter last season as only Carolina (35) scored fewer first-quarter points in the NFC.

“We have to be able to start strong against a good opponent,” Joseph said. “We’ve got to go out in the first quarter and sustain drives, giving our defense a fighting chance. You can’t keep putting yourself behind the eight-ball with penalties.

“Starting strong was a problem last year and we’ve got to get ourselves in manageable down-and-distance situations. They say this game doesn’t matter, but the things we did are not going to be good for us in the regular season and in the long run.”

It is fundamental football, especially with the Bucs. Now, yes, the Bucs have a chance to have a prolific offense (provided the front line keeps Josh Freeman’s jersey clean). But digging yourself a hole neutralizes one of the Bucs’ best weapons LeGarrette Blount.

Scoring a touchdown once in a while in the first quarter — which is just what the Bucs did at Kansas City last week — is chicken soup for the Bucs’ soul.

21 Responses to “First Quarter Continues To Kill Bucs”

  1. gotbbucs Says:

    this is a huge problem that needs to be fixed. o-coordinators like to script there first couple offensive posessions and its imposible to stick to that schedule if you’re constantly falling behind in the down and distance.

  2. Eric Says:

    No need to address this when they just announced half priced turkey legs.

    Focus people.

  3. Joe Says:

    No need to address this when they just announced half priced turkey legs.


  4. flmike Says:

    I’ll drive from WPB for 1/2 off a giant turkey leg and Bucs football

  5. McBuc Says:

    @Eric…Good one!

  6. Jimmy Says:

    It’s a culture that’s been cultivated long before Raheem Morris took over as head coach of the Bucs. I’m not just talking about recently. No matter whom the head coach has been, the Bucs modus operandi on offense hasn’t really changed. The 1st quarter starts off sluggish, not many points scored to take control of the game and it has more to do with just the X’s & O’s or who the play caller is. It’s more then just play calling! It’s a mentality. A mind set or tone that’s set, starting at the top of the organization. When you look at the Bucs coaching history for the most part all the coaches have been conservative in nature to a fault. This has carried over to the players and has been embedded and ingrained into the players’ minds. It’s the lack of that killer instinct that causes doubt and indecisiveness. It has been turned into a crutch or in the case of the Bucs a philosophy of a good defense is a team’s best offense.

    The culture needs to change. There’s more then just being big and physical that goes into it. The coaching staff needs to figure out a way to set the tone from opening whistle to the last whistle of the game. It starts by becoming more aggressive in nature. Rather then playing on their heels, the Bucs needs to find a way to attack, force the tempo and dictate the pace of the game.

    Dating back to 2000 the Bucs have only outscored the opponent in the opening quarter four times (2000, 2001, 2005 & 2007) during 11 seasons.
    On average the Bucs typically score 16.6% of their points in the opening quarter of football games while allowing opponents to score 21.2% of their respective points in the first quarter.

  7. the_buc_realist Says:

    lmaoshmsfoaidmt !!!!

    Post of the year Eric!

  8. Bucworld Says:

    The Bucs offense is to predictable in the first quarter. They should try mixing it up a bit.

  9. BamBamBuc Says:

    All Bucs drives are pretty much the same. Throw on first down to take the focus off Blount, run on second down because they’ll never expect a run on 2nd and 10, and third down depends on distance. Third and short, run play action and throw long, never actually run the ball when you only need a yard, they’ll be expecting that. Third and long, run a draw play, they’ll never expect a run in that situation. Third and medium, try to pass, but if all else fails and the line breaks down, let’s hope Free’s legs can get us there.

  10. Tampa--->Baaaaaaayyyy Says:

    Perhaps rah is not a very good game planner?

  11. MOBucs Says:

    I’m pretty sure Olsen runs the offense Tampa Bayyyyyy.

  12. Tampa--->Baaaaaaayyyy Says:

    The defense gave up 28 in the first half dummy.

    Every game the defense gets torched in the 1st half.

    Surely the offense ain’t the problem.

    Now, why does Josh Johnson look more polished than Freeman, well, perhaps he is.

  13. Joe Says:


    Surely the offense ain’t the problem.

    Sure about that?

    One reason the Patriots were able to go up three touchdowns in the first quarter is the Bucs kept giving them the ball back so quickly.

    If your defense is getting lit up, easiest way to stop that is to keep the ball in your hands. Bucs offense hasn’t done that, sans the Chiefs game.

  14. Tampa--->Baaaaaaayyyy Says:

    Any team that a defense starts out giving up TDs is faaaar worse than a team that takes a few drives to score.

    In the NFL, it is expected to stop teams from scoring on most of the drives. The Bucs can barely get teams to punt in the first half, and that is just wrong.

  15. MTM Says:

    Tampa’s offensive has started out slow ever since I can remember. That is why fans were so fired up last year. When the offense would be down. They would start pulling out more high risk/reward type of plays that worked. The problem with that style of offense is at the end of games if your down 2 scores and fail to score your done. Instead of taking an early lead and running the ball down the other teams throat. The Buc’s need to be the hammer right out of the box. Don’t start out being the nail and try to turn it around at the last minute.

  16. Tampa--->Baaaaaaayyyy Says:

    The Bucs couldn’t stop the run, they couldn’t stop the pass. The weaknesses from last year were evident in the first half. DEFENSE.

    There offense does need to pick it up of course. But the defense is STILL aweful.

  17. Tampa--->Baaaaaaayyyy Says:

    FYI… raheemed gave up 21 points in the first quarter alone. When did NE have to punt???

  18. mjmoody Says:

    Slow starts are going to hurt more now than ever before. Did anybody else notice the significant advantage the 35 yard line kick off rule gives to the team ahead on the score board? I would much rather field a punt, than take a kick off and have to go 80 yards. 4th & 1 takes on a new variable too. Do I want the 3 points from a long field goal, or do I want to make the other team have to go 80 yards? Spulock put the Bucs back into an early route just last year with a return, the possibility of that happening again is much smaller. Once your down on the score board, having to go 80 really helps keep you down.

  19. Capt.Tim Says:

    Listen, I agree that slow starts hurt. But I was reading an article recently that said the Bucs are the leagues BEST forth quarter team. You don’t lose the game in the first quarter, but you win it in the fourth!!! I’ll take it.

    What that actually proves is that Raheem and Olsen are better at making adjustments than their opposing coaches. With a team gulls rookies, and some pretty obvious holes( O-Line, LBers), it’s amazing they still can find a way to win. I’m much more impressed by that, than I am worried about slow starts. The ability to outsmart opposing coaches, when I’m starting my second cheap turkey leg, gives me hope. When these kids actually learn what they’re doing, then we know the coaches will start winning the first quarter AND the more important Forth quarter.

    In the mean time, I’ll focus on that first turkey leg, and try to keep morale up until the second half. Turkey is happy food, after all!

  20. BecklesHeartsRuud Says:

    Well Capt. Tim- You sometimes do lose the game in the first quarter. When you let elite teams come out and run up the score early you just can’t come back. The Bengals, Rams, and Skins might let you but good teams won’t let you come back in the 4th. The Bucs offense needs to step up this year and be that elite unit that can keep pace with winning teams if they score a couple TD’s in the first quarter. Our defense isn’t getting any older this year with a few new rookie starters so especially early in the year Freeman and co. need to show they can come out and put defenses on their heels from the opening whistle. I believe Free is ready to that but I just worry about the o-line.

  21. Capt.Tim Says:

    I worry about the O- line too! Could be our downfall.