Punting On 4th-And-1?

August 17th, 2012

Perhaps Joe is missing something, but Joe can’t fathom the rationale behind the Bucs punting on the opening drive tonight at 4th-and-1 from their 41 yard line.

What was the point?

Greg Schiano talks about being a physical football team and one that will have the power and will to run when everyone knows its coming. What a great chance it was to get closer to that goal. Of course, the Bucs could have thrown the ball, or worked on drawing the Titans offsides and then taken the delay of game, if Tennessee didn’t bite.

Joe just doesn’t get passing on a situation that could have showcased the team’s new identity.

What was gained? An extra rep for the punt cover team?

This Bucs offense needs to build confidence. That punt was all but meaningless.

32 Responses to “Punting On 4th-And-1?”

  1. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I disagree Joe, but I see where you are coming from. A preseason game is to simulate a real game. We would never go for it in that situation in a real game (especially with a defensive coach like Schiano), so why go for it there? Going for it on the goal line last week was a statement that he trusts this team to pound the ball in, but going for it on your own 40 makes a statement that you don’t trust your defense. Pin them back and let your defense go to work. And if it’s the same drive I’m thinking, we got an INT and nearly a pick 6 out of it.

  2. bluesbass82 Says:


    I was going to comment but you took the words right out of my mouth. I couldn’t agree with you more.

  3. stimpy Says:

    Both have merrit, but i thought the same as Joe.

    If your playing situational ball and you want to be dominant then that was a good time to practice both. You put faith on your O to get that 1yd and trust your D will hold.

    Also, 43 looked good, he was al over the place. He looked like he wanted a spot. Cant remmeber his name…

  4. Kennedy Says:

    @Hawaiian – Since when is a preseason game to simulate a real game. Pay attention.

  5. Kryq Says:

    Stimpy, Number 43 was Ahmad Black, the kid played Excellent.

  6. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Since the beginning of time. Read comments by coaches ALL over the league, including Schiano. Please show me one team that goes for it in ridiculous situations like that in the preseason. The only team that may do it is New England. Guess what, they do it in the regular season too. So I guess that would mean they are simulating a real game, no?

  7. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Why do something in the preseason that you would NEVER do in the regular season? That makes no sense to me. Why don’t we just go for 2 on every TD too? Let’s run a triple reverse flea flicker to the punter while we are at it. What does that teach us? If you can’t get the first down in 3 plays, then too damn bad! You aren’t going to get that 4th play against Carolina.

  8. Vic Says:

    The preseason is all about doing things and using players you would never do in the regular season. Duh! Can’t believe you’re making his argument. I agree that nothing was served by punting there.

  9. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    So who exactly “does things you would never do in the regular season”? Name me one team, or one situation that has happened on any game. Past or present is fine. If you are so right and I am so wrong, prove it. My money says you won’t respond (that’s what most people do when they can’t counter with facts). Can’t believe YOU are making that argument. There is not one coach in the NFL that would agree with you. This isn’t Madden. Not to mention that there are bubble guys that will make the team as a result of special teams. Get them on the field and let them make a play. Nobody on the field on offense at that time is in danger of being cut.

  10. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Even in practice, they play situational football. They don’t go for it on 4th down on their own side of the field in practice, so why would they do it in a game? You don’t give yourself an extra down, when you would never have that down in a game that counts. What good would that serve? I wonder if anyone from Tennessee is complaining when they didn’t go for it on 4th and inches on their first series? Maybe they should just eliminate punts in the preseason altogether, since apparently that’s not an important part of the game.

  11. Vic Says:

    Look, the entire preseason is approached as meaningless. They don’t gameplan for the first two games, which blows your argument out of the water. The whole approach doesn’t reflect a real game, therefore nobody should expect regular-season decision-making.

    A punt from a great veteran punter was not going to do more for the Bucs than working on short-yardage and building their attitude by going for it on 4th and 1.

    Schiano says at his press conferences that the Bucs are checking off scenarios and more concerned about trying different things and building their identity than winning or anything else.

  12. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    I have never heard any coach say the preseason is meaningless. Not sure if you understand the difference between gameplanning and game simulation. I can explain it if you need me to. I ask now for I believe the third time: Name me one team that has gone for it in that situation. If you can’t give me an example, then your argument is blown out of the water. I guess you guys are smarter than 32 NFL head coaches.

    You also pretty much killed your own argument with your last paragraph. There is NO SCENARIO where they would go for it in that situation. None whatsoever. Even if they were out of the playoff race and it was the last game of the season, they would still punt in that situation. Please try and argue that with me. It’s not about winning, it’s about simulating what you would do in a real game. That’s what you do with your starters in the preseason. If I am so wrong, again show me one team that does otherwise. I’ll be waiting.

  13. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    You guys can argue all you want about how meaningful the preseason is, it doesn’t change the fact that you don’t go for it in that situation. Even if you get the first down and score a TD, it means nothing because every player on that team knows they wouldn’t have scored in a real game. They wouldn’t do it in a practice, in a scrimmage, in a preseason game, in a regular season game, or in a playoff game. I get it that we all want them to just go for it every possession, but that’s not going to help them. They need to get the first down in 3 downs (just like in a real game) or it’s nothing but false hope. We already went for it down by the goal line, but that’s entirely different from going for it on your side of the field.

    By the way, it was 4th and 2, not 4th and 1. Hell, why don’t we just go for it on 4th and 3 also. Since we go for it on 4th and 3, might as well go for it on 4th and 4. Then again, let’s just go for it every possession, because the game is completely meaningless. The coaches are completely ignoring things they would do in a regular game. They should just always do the exact opposite of what they would normally do. They are in no way interested in real game situations. They are most interested in trying new things, because that’s what the preseason is all about: experimenting! They probably use the preseason to try out the plays they see on Madden ’13. I would love to see a reporter question Schiano about not going for it on 4th and 2 on the opening possession of the game at his own 40. His response would be priceless.

  14. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    There’s a rumor in Nashville that the Titans are going to fire their head coach tomorrow because he kicked a FG on 4th and goal from the 5 yard line. The owner is extremely upset because the game was meaningless and the kicker is a veteran and there is no reason to give special teams any work. Also, they punted on 4th and 1 in the first quarter, and we all know that is a cardinal sin in preseason. Guess you guys were right all along.

  15. espo Says:

    Because this isn’t a video game, Joe

  16. Bobby Says:

    You punt because you are evaluating players for special teams too and punting is part of that. Not real deep here folks…..

  17. SilenceTheCritics Says:

    Lol, Hawaiian is riled up this morning. I agree though. Most of the time 4th and 1 is a punt down. Unless there in scoring position or late in the game.

    “The preseason is all about doing things and using players you would never do in the regular season.. ”

    That statement does not make to much sense. What exactly would you be evaluating there if you used someone to do something you would never do in a meaningful game?

  18. MTM Says:

    I can see both sides point of view. It would be nice to show case some the new running back talent to get that 1 yard and build some confidence at the same time. The first string offense did not look good. Nobody looked like they could get open.

  19. Thomas2.2 Says:

    It’s preseason, need to work punt team as well.

  20. Stanglassman Says:

    4th and a long 1 with 10 mins to go when you’re down 20 and your D is not playing well you go for it if you want a chance to win the game.

  21. The Dutcher Journal (Pete Dutcher) Says:

    Joe, I’ll tell you why Schiano did not go for it:


    I don’t care if it was a preseason game. I want to see my coach make smart decisions. Raheem? He would have gone for it, we would have seen a dropped pass and the Titans would have had to travel only around 40 yards to score.

    When that play came up, my first instinct was to say go for it. But then I saw the field position and realized it wasn’t the smart thing. NEVER go for it in your own territory. Heck…unless you are inside the 30, never go for it. (unless it’s like 4th and an inch).

    On the other hand…if you are 4th and goal with only a couple inches…I personally would always go for it. If I don’t get it, the opponent is pinned back. That’s as important as a field goal in some cases.

  22. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    But that wasn’t the situation in this case. It wasnt the fourth and we weren’t down 20. If you apply that logic, then we should pretend we are losing the entire game and always go for it. It doesn’t work that way.

  23. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    And it wasn’t 4th and 1, it was 4th and 2. Big difference, even though you don’t go for it if it’s 4th and an inch in that situation.

  24. Stanglassman Says:

    Well Hawaiian, I thought Joe and I were wrong so I went back and checked. It was 4 and 1 (nfl stats but we all noticed it was a long 1) and it was the 4th quarter and there was 10 mins and change time. You Go for it!

  25. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Re-read Joe’s article one more time. What does it say? Opening drive. You are referring to a different part of the game.

  26. lurker Says:

    oops…foot-in-mouth disease is spreading

  27. Kev4bucs Says:

    It is only preseason and I am sure the bucs do not want to give anything away.

  28. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    It’s funny how people choose to disappear rather than just say they were wrong. It makes it even worse when you do that.

  29. Stanglassman Says:

    I didn’t know we were restricted to only discussing the first quarter/article. I continued to describe the part of the game and scenario I was referencing. I take it that you agree with me that the Bucs as a team and coaching staff should and would have gone for it in a real game. Cool. Go Bucs!

  30. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    It’s what the article was about! You obviously didn’t read or catch that Joe was referring to the first drive of the game, and in turn that’s what ALL of us were referring to. That’s totally cool, but don’t try to twist it as if you knew it all along and were referring to a totally different part of the game. You obviously made a mistake, no big deal. If you didn’t, then you wouldn’t have said “I thought Joe and I were wrong so I went back and checked……”. But go ahead and try to defend yourself some more. It’s pretty amusing.

  31. Stanglassman Says:

    My point was givin I thought if you can’t fathom not going for it on 4 and 1 on the 1st quarter why can’t you at least go for it 4 and 1 in the 4th with 10 minutes to go down 20. We are all trying to figure out how this new coach and how he is going to approach game day decisions. I thoughts were and still are this was a bad choice. He should have gone for it, period. You can think I didn’t understand something or have a bad opinion which is fine. We are rooting or the same team and want the same positive results.

  32. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    You are stubborn, but whatever. Nice try, but your quote says otherwise. I will never understand why so many people refuse to admit they made a mistake, especially when they are annonymous.