Why Can’t The Coaches Fix Slow Starts?

November 7th, 2011

It’s a broken record. Yeah, Joe admits it. But it’s a glaring issue and trying to look the other way is irresponsible.

Now getting off to a slow start against the Saints doesn’t sting as much as doing the same against the Bears or the woebegone Dolts. Yet it is still an irritant.

This has gone from a nuisance to a menace for Raheem Morris and his coaching staff, as documented by eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune, Twittering on the TBO Bucs Twitter feed yesterday.

The Bucs are halfway home. Through 8 games, they have not scored an offensive TD in the opening quarter. … That also makes it 62 consecutive games that the Bucs offense has scored 7 points or less in the first quarter.

Now Joe is aware that 62 games dates back to when Chucky was coach. Morris has been the Bucs coach for 40 games now.

But guess what, Chucky isn’t here any longer.

Joe has stated this before and will state it again: Morris is both defensive coordinator and head coach. That’s a helluva lot of responsibilities for one guy; that’s not just a full plate, that’s having vittles falling off the sides of the dish like a Thanksgiving buffet.

What would be the harm in hiring a consultant, say Brian Billick or Bill Cowher or Jimmy Johnson — hell, even George Siefert — to come in for two weeks and have access to every nook and cranny of football coaching elements at One Buc Palace and have them give their two cents worth as to what may be the root cause of this slow start malady?

Joe doesn’t think it’s out of bounds to suggest that there is some fly in the ointment of weekly preparation. Steady slow starts through 40 games, what else could it be?

NFL teams often hire outside consultants. At this point, what’s there to lose in trying this route to resolve this issue?

Joe doesn’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that when Morris sits down with Bucs executives after the season, this will be issue No. 1.

25 Responses to “Why Can’t The Coaches Fix Slow Starts?”

  1. Architek Says:

    Things that are understood dont need to be said. I wish Raheem the best because he has his hands full getting all of these issues worked out.

  2. d clark Says:

    Definantly think morris could use giving up the D coordinator label. Even tomlin has Dick lebeau with him and hes a defensive minded coach like raheem. We need some help and the slow starts. Idk how a team can go on for that many games without scoring more then 7 in the first quarter. It’s getting to the point that if we win the coin toss we should just kickoff because its a waste not getting the ball at half.

  3. Joe Says:

    d clark:

    To be fair, when Tomlin was hired, he was essentially told he was to keep Dick LeBeau, much like when the Dolts hired Father Dungy, he was told to keep his mitts off of Tom Moore; it was a package deal.

  4. flmike Says:

    I really like Raheem, but he does not have the required management skills to be both the HC and D coordinator. Dom has to bring in a DC before next season and might as well hire an OC as well, as Olsen is not capable of putting together anything close to resembling a winning game plan. One more debacle like this and I will start asking for a new HC as well. They had two whole weeks to put together a game plan, what do they do, they give a rookie team 5 full days off, granted the league mandates 4 full days in a row off for the bye week, but when your team looks like our does, you give them tuesday-friday, then put them in pads and I don’t care if you use up all your padded practices, you have got to get to this team somehow. BTW the players may have thought it was a great coup to limit padded practices, I bet you next CBA that little clause disappears, we are witnessing what happens when the players are allowed to dictate what practices will be, and I bet Park Ave ain’t happy about the crappy individual play the public is witnessing from a majority of teams.

  5. McBuc Says:

    It seemas a bit simpmple, but if they would just run the ball more. Morris says we are a run team, but BVlount ended with 13 carries? It seems once they are slightly behind they start chucking the ball instaed of running. The Saints found the balance they have been missing, the Bucs need to do the same. I agree that Morris should remain the head coach, but it is time to start looking for a DC.

    The offense also must stop shooting themselves in the foot every time they start putting topgether s decent drive.

    This team is bi-polar on defense, and team seems to win and lose by the play of the defense. Who will show up next week? Let’s hope the team that stops the run or pass, and let’s hope the team that does niether strays at home.

  6. crazy Says:

    Youth + inexperience = impatience. Impatience leads to mental errors and frustration. Is this team’s average performance really that surprising given the intentional youth movement? Maybe it’s time the team stopped pretending it’s a playoff-caliber contender and work harder at building for the future.

  7. Eric Says:

    Nice job by Ira of trying to lump Chucky in to the problem.

    Through 8 games in 2008 (that horrible Chucky last season), bucs had 47 points in first quarter, compared to 16 for Rahs group so far this season.

    And, unlike Rah’s group they scored first quarter touchdowns in five of 8 games vs. zero for eight in 2011.

    Nice try local hack.

    Never seen a team start as slow as the bucs, and it started with the arrival of Mr. Morris.

  8. Bucnjim Says:

    It really doesn’t help any DC when your offense goes 3 & Out all the way until the 4th quarter. I’m not sticking up for Morris because he’s to blame as well, but when you have two weeks to prepare for a sub par defense and can’t even make a first down; that’s horrible! Now you give Bree’s excellent field position every time he gets his hands on the ball. The Bucs Offense recorded two 3rd down conversions; TWO. This is against a beat up Saints team who is down two Corners and a Middle Linebacker. I couldn’t have been more pissed than the first possession of the game. I knew I was about to witness another slow start and probably a butt whipping. Of course they do just enough to make you think they have a chance, but crap out in the end. On side kick probably would have been their best bet since special teams seems to be the only one’s to show up on Sunday’s.

  9. bucfanjeff Says:

    Jimmy Johnson as a consultant – all for it.

  10. Joe Says:


    Youth + inexperience = impatience.

    Joe’s not buying the “inexperience” line.

    Let’s look at the Bucs front line on offense. Donald Penn, vet; Jeremy Zuttah, vet; Jeff Faine, vet; Davin Joseph, vet; Jeremy Trueblood, vet; Kellen Winslow, vet.

    Granted, Zuttah didn’t play yesterday. But on offense yesterday, you had half the team that are vets.

    On defense, you have the entire secondary that are veterans and Joe’s going to suggest that Black and Geno are vets because this is their third year.

  11. Joe Says:


    When you have two weeks to prepare for a sub par defense and can’t even make a first down; that’s horrible!


  12. the_buc_realist Says:

    Before we can yell and scream about the play calls, you have to fix the penalty before the ball is snapped. we have to learn how to line up correctly, how to stay on the line before ball is hiked.

    also, i think the Bucs are protecting Freeman, His ribs have to be bruised or fractured, that flak jacket looks more wrapped up each week. you can see it in the way he has been moving around as well.

  13. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Amen BucJim !
    Raheem and Dominick better do SOMETHING, and do it quick!
    Tampa’s ship is sinking, and sinking fast!
    Tampa Football Tickets are not selling, I predict a ghost town for the Texans Game.
    The Glazers are LOOKING for a scapegoat, and guess who is going to go ?

    All this really is a shame, when you think about it. Tampa had a huge number of draft picks, let’s HOPE only coaching is the problem. For if not, Tampa is going to be bad for a long time to come, Unless the Glazers empty the bank.

  14. crazy Says:

    Joe, perhaps I’m overgeneralizing but except for Ronde I don’t see a lot of experience on the field or on the sidelines. What most everyone here is complaining about is the lack of wisdom on display each week. Clearly this team is a work in progress from the GM down to the next man up. It wasn’t that long ago that Sean Payton’s Saints played like this – great one play, horrible the next. Surely your call for a consultant must be motivated by the realization that the coaches are making the same kind of JV mistakes the players are.

  15. Brad Says:

    Fire Olson.. Hire a new OC with experience. Hire a DC with experience. Fire Dominic and hire a GM .. With experience especially one that believes that we need veteran leadership that can help this young team and one that won’t give stupid contracts to players that don’t deserve them (see Clayton, Black) If all this is a result of the ownership then the media need to investigate to verify then the community needs to step
    up and demand this team be sold to an ownership group that will spend money on experience GM’s, coaches, and players..

  16. macabee Says:

    Why can’t the coaches fix the slow starts? Because there is nobody there to fix the coaches! It might be helpful to go back and revisit how we got our current DC and OC. If I recall correctly, during the awful 2009 season, to save the season Bates and Jadgozinski was fired and as a nesessity Morris took over as DC and Olsen filled in as OC. That should have been a temporary move until season end where a legitimate evaluation and search could have been made to permanently fill the positions. If it turned out, based on qualifications and record that Morris and Olsen were the two best men for the job, so be it. It never should have been because they were the only options at the the time and therefore the default option remains which coincidentally is the least cost option!

  17. Nick Says:

    Olson sucks a fat one. 4th and 1 he runs a counter play. Blount had success early so naturally the Saints were gearing up for him on that play. Do we see a naked boot to give Free an option to run himself or throw to a possibly wide open TE or eligible tackle? No. There is no difference b/t Chucky or Olson or Olson and Les Steckle for that matter or Mike Shula. Greg Olson can take a walk with his playbook and helmet hair.

  18. BucFan South Tampa Says:

    We have talent, the problem we have is leadership. or lack thereof. In and out of the locker room. You can do gassers all day long, but when you start out as the player’s friend, its hard to crack down. I was disgusted at the end of the game yesterday. What they did was an embarrassment to the team, our region and the Buccaneers legacy. When I say they, I am including Morris and Olsen. When I saw Winslow grab Parker by the arm the sling / shove him in the proper position, that said it all. Players need to be coached, and if the veterans have to do it, what are the coaches doing? Sad.

  19. thibs5599 Says:

    what about in the red zone. last year we were last in the red zone and guess where we are now, last again. we had all four downs inside the twenty and i didnt see blount get the ball once yet alone even be on the field. if the guy gets out of the back field hes almost a sure bet for 3 to 5 yards every time. yet he wasnt on the field. We have a team that can compete its not the best but as we have seen we have hung into all games we have lost except one. if we are going to loose lets at least go down with a fight with our best players on the field not standing on the sidelines watching. do the packers take rodgers out of the game or pats take brady out of the game, no so we should probably leave blount and freeman in at all times

  20. stimpy Says:


    When you have two weeks to prepare for a sub par defense and can’t even make a first down; that’s horrible![/quote]

    Its not just that. They are the worst red zone defense as well. Sadly we are the worst red zone offense.

    Im truly tired of the team as a whole. I gave them until the bye to fix these slow start issues and they cant do that. I no longer care.

    Freeman isnt the issue. My freind and i were so pissed watching Lumpy on 3rd downs it was sickening.

    They saif they were working with Blount on third downs and he was better. Yet he was no where to be found on 3rd down. He has shown in the past he can block and catch on 3rd.

    This is BS!

    The Saints had NO CB left and Olson couldnt figure that out. Even John Lynch mentioned it. “The Saints are down to ther last CB, someone should tell Oslon” They should be in 3 WR sets the rest of the game. Did that happen? Nope, didnt even take advantage of that.


    im F’n frustrated with the preperation, game planing and execution of this team.

  21. Buddhaboy Says:

    A lot of issues with this team. Maybe the glazers will take a swing at Cowher. They have done some off the wall things in the past.

    I think the bucs have the talent on Defense to go 3-4. Would like a big change up around one buc. Out with the old and in with the new.

    We are TOO damn busy trying to rebuild the past. We need to revolutionize this team and let old dogma’s go. Raheem is a hangover with the same principles as old regimes (Dungies ) and Olson (Grudens)…..We need something new instead of old retread ideas.

    That is my take. It is tired this style of football they are playing. I am officially
    EFFING BORED>>>>>>>>>

  22. buccin cane Says:

    Im of the mind that Rah may need some help as far as a d-coordinator goes but what we are all missing is the fact that ANY coach sitting out there thats worth a damn as a d coordinator say billick or whoever is going to command some pretty hefty money, so how would it look to have a big name coordinator making more than the head coach????

  23. Dave Says:

    The DBs played well last year and have regressed this year. Is Raheem not positioning as well or is he just not spending enough time with it? He might be overburdened.
    OR the fact that the run defense was horrible last year inflated the pass defense numbers.

    The run defense has shown signs this year, but McCoy needs to stay healthy and they need LBs. Foster is the only good one and Haywar and Watson have shown they are worth keeping around. Black and Hayes seem to be on their way out.

  24. MTM Says:

    At Nick 2. LMAO ! You are correct.

  25. Blubber Price Says:

    When you have less talent than every team you play, it’s hard to start fast.

    But have no fear , we are building “from within”….