Raheem Loves His Punter

October 17th, 2011

Leading 20-7 yesterday with about 1:30 left in the first half and the ball on their 45 yard line, the Bucs threw three consecutive incompletions to Kellen Winslow rather than trying to pound the ball on the ground.

The latter likely would have kept New Orleans from getting the ball back with enough time to score before intermission. But the Bucs chose the riskier path — what were they thinking? — and with 55 seconds left, punter Michael Koenen dropped a gorgeous punt out of bounds at the New Orleans 2 yard line.

Drew Brees then proceeded to march the Saints 84 yards, which set up an end-of-half field goal for the bad guys. The Bucs probably allow a touchdown there if not for Koenen’s stud punt, something he rips off routinely — and something Raheem Morris appreciates immensely.

“[Koenan] absolutely did a great job keeping the ball away from [Darren] Sproles. He’s been an MVP the whole season. He’s gotten game balls. I don’t know if I can give him enough for what he does for us,” Raheem said after the win. “Changing field position, that one big bomb [late in the first half] he got out of there for us. All those things, you know, it’s definitely been a winning edge for us this year.”

Koenen’s surely been worth the many millions the Bucs paid him in free agency. Imagine if the Bucs could pick another couple of standout free agents like that for next season.

22 Responses to “Raheem Loves His Punter”

  1. kh Says:

    Koenan is a beast!

  2. Dave Says:

    For all those who mockd them for getting this kicker/punter, they must make ammends. He has been worth every penny. Almost every kickoff is a touchback and his punting, distance, direction, dropping it inside the 15, etc… has been exceptional.

    Also maybe a dumb call to go for a 55 yard FG instead of pinning them back with a punt, even though Barth did drill a 48 yarder with plenty of distance on it.

    Either way, it is nice to rely on the kickers they have to make up for some mistakes in decision making.

  3. Bobby Says:

    I have no problem with them trying to stay aggressive before halftime. You never want to let up on the Saints. Morris knew the Saints were gonna get the ball back to start the second half. Why not try to hit Winslow and try to keep putting points on the board. We can second guess all we want but that didn’t bother me. Only the 55 yd field goal attempt bothered me. I thought we should have pinned them deep in their own territory with a punt. Can’t afford to give Brees the ball with that good of field position if you miss a risky 55 yd attempt.

  4. Brain Says:

    So many internet arguments about this signing….crow is served gentlemen. Brain was right again…

  5. David Says:

    I think part of Atlanta’s struggle this year has to do with losing Koenan. It’s invaluable to trust that a kicker can boot it 50 yards or pin them inside the 10.

  6. Adam Says:

    MK certainly is the 12th guy on defense. Compared to a normal punter, he gets the average punt off, then tacks on a good 8 yard sack.

  7. Capt.Tim Says:

    Lol! Yeah, just imagine . . A free agent who helped the team. . . Do you think there could be more of these ” Free agents” who could improve the Buccaneers?? Just imagine . .

  8. KD Says:

    Koenen <3

  9. Adam Says:

    @Capt.Tim – Shame there’s no “Like” button on here. 😉

  10. L.J. Says:

    It is great that we have this wonderful punter, but this story started out with the bonehead move that the Bucs made right before the half. We were moving the ball after the interception, but then Freeman did his normal key in on Kellen Winslow and even though there were other players wide open, he kept forcing the ball to Winslow. This is what happened in SF and why Freeman got picked off. The object is to win the game and we had the Saints where we should have been 16 or 20 points ahead at the half instead we gave up 3!!! Freeman has to stop doing this, just throw the ball to the OPEN receiver!!!! I almost ripped out my seat at the stadium after we had to punt. Yes, it was a great punt that should never have happened!!!! Free get over your need to throw the ball to Winslow!!!! When you have a team down just stick the fork in them!!!! 27-3 at the half would have been better than 20-10!!!!

  11. 1BUCFAN Says:

    Even after such a complete game that we should all be celebrating the accomplishments of this entire organization, some still find time to complain. Wow!

    And for all the Guru Gruden worshippers that having been anxiously awaiting his return to coaching, even he knows when he’s out of his league and it’s time to move on. Monday Night Football analyst and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden has agreed to an extension with ESPN that will keep him out of coaching for the next five years.

  12. big007hed Says:

    I know this isnt the article but I have to eat some crow about Graham, I have been big on saying he doesnt have it anymore… I was wrong, he played extremely well.

    Koenen was a great pick up! Weird saying how a punter can help control a game but it is so true, he is killing it right now!!!! GO BUCS

  13. jfgobucs Says:

    Better kick it away from Devin Hester….

  14. JorGhoti Says:

    Joe – I think the big bomb he was referring to was the 58-yarder he booted from deep in our own territory that Dakoda Watson made the tremendous play, dropping Sproles for a 10-yard loss in the 2nd half. But both of those punts were CLUTCH!

  15. pierat40 Says:

    Looks like they just grabbed Chad Spann. Interesting…

  16. Bucpride Says:

    I think the Bucs have been too many times in Free Agency to make the desperate signings that teams like Philly and Washington seem to make every year. I sure like the results of building through the draft. I think our pathetic fanbase who doesn’t show up for games are too concerned with who we don’t have on the team rather than who is on the field making plays. The back handed comments from Steve just shows how amateurish this site truly is.

  17. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    I hate to sound like a d!ck, but are you serious? Sorry a 23 year old can’t go through all his progressions and always find an open receiver, especially while having exotic blitzes thrown at him. You do realize that the Saints DC is one of the best at putting pressure on the QB? You do also realize that Freeman was able to avoid being sacked? When a QB is under pressure, he normally will look for his biggest, safest target. That would be Winslow. It’s so much easier to sit up in the stands and criticize. It’s a lot harder when you are in the fire. Freeman is VERY young, he’s only going to get better.

  18. Joke Says:

    “What were they thinking?”

    I’m pretty sure they were thinking “we need to win this game … not just the first half”. You don’t start running out the clock with over 30 minutes of football to play.

    Bucs had first down at their own 45 with 1:17 left. They were running their 2-minute offense, trying to drive for a score. If you run the clock out there, you’re basically conceding that you think your offense can’t score from the 45 with 1:17 left but the Saints _can_ score from, say, their 15 with 1:00 left. And if you really think that’s the case, then how could you possibly expect to win the game? Winning the first half ain’t enough — ask the Vikings. Bucs were playing to win the whole game.

  19. L.J. Says:

    Hawaiian Buc,

    I am not trying to be hard, but Freeman is trying to force throws to Winslow. On those plays we had people open and Wnslow was covered. The line was blocking well and Freeman had time. Mike Williams was wide open next to Winslow on a later play and Wislow was covered and Freeman still tried to force it to him. I know Freeman is young, but we moved the ball throwing to other recievers after the interception. I just see a problem that the coaches need to handle now.


  20. Joke Says:

    If you want to talk bad decisions, let’s talk about the long field goal. I’m pretty sure the odds of getting a first down on fourth and five are better than the odds of hitting a 55-yarder.
    And of course the outcome from a missed field goal (opponent gets ball at spot of kick) is probably worse than if you turn it over on downs.

  21. McBuc Says:

    Jpke, funny thing about bad plays vs good plays…If he nailed that 55 yarder, which is not unheard of in the NFL, people would be saying “what a great call from the coach, he really trusts his kickers leg.” Just like that onside kick thi year that worked, it was an unusual time to pull that off, if it failed people would have beat Morris up over it…lucky for him, it worked.

  22. Joke Says:

    McBuc, not me. I’m saying the decision to run the 2-minute offense (rather than sit on the ball) was the right one, even though it cost the Bucs 3 points (and I’d still say it even if it cost us 7).
    The field goal was a bad decision regardless of whether Barth hit it.
    The onsides kick was a good decision regardless of if it had worked — NFL teams should go onsides more in unexpected situations; it’s reasonably effective when the opponent is positioned for a return.