Bucs Don’t Want The Ball First

September 28th, 2014
Right move or wrong move?

Right move or wrong move?

It’s a Bucs road game this afternoon in Pittsburgh, and that means you can be confident Lovie Smith doesn’t want his offense on the field first.

It’s an intriguing philosophy that came to light shortly after the pre-Halloween horror show in Atlanta 10 days ago.

In what was either a cruel joke by a reporter or a sign of a game with no positives, Lovie was asked why he didn’t elect to receive the ball after winning the opening kickoff in Atlanta.

Lovie explained that in a road game he wants to kick off first to take the crowd out of the game. The implication was that the crowd would be jacked up and going bananas if the Bucs offense started with the ball.

It’s sound logic by Lovie, but the flip side easily could be argued. If you are confident in your offense, then you want to give them a shot to give you the early lead in the game. There also is no better way to shut a crowd up than with a couple of first downs. And, of course, playing with a lead is always easier on the team.

Joe would prefer the Bucs receive the opening kickoff if given the opportunity. Joe would love to hear what readers think.

28 Responses to “Bucs Don’t Want The Ball First”

  1. HawaiianBuc Says:

    I think it depends on what kind of offense and/or defense you have. If you have a really good offense, take the ball first and score some points. However, if your offense is bad, but you have a good defense, go on defense first. In our case, we are bad in both areas, so I don’t think it really matters.

  2. Louis Friend Says:

    Lovie’s always going to give a vote of confidence to his defense. Deserved or not, that’s just how he rolls.

  3. Kalind Says:

    I disagree w you both. I like kicking off first regardless. It’s always better to take the ball after halftime. Either you have a lead and can keep adding to it, or you know what you have to make up if you’re down.

    There’s no advantage to taking the ball first. Opening drives of games RARELY result in tds.

  4. Posey99 Says:

    ^^^ agree. It’s a 100% gaurentee the crowd with have to stay somewhat calm on offense. Starting on defense keeps them jacked up. Lovie is playing that one correct.

  5. blah Says:

    Me no think Joe think on this one

  6. Joseph Mamma Says:

    It won’t mean a thing if they play like Thursday night.

  7. Dr Feelgood Says:

    I have always believed that you should kick off to start the game, for a few reasons. First, I feel that it’s alot harder for a team to go 80 yards right out of the gate when they have had no chance to get a feel of the game. I would rather get a feel for the other team’s strategies and coverages in the first half and make halftime adjustments to give a more likely opening drive success to start the second half. I felt especially passionately about this concept when we used to have a stout defense. These days, I would still prefer to kick to start the game. I don’t know the actual numbers, but I would love to know the percentages of teams that score on the opening drive of a game, especially touchdowns.

  8. Buccfan37 Says:

    I’ve already argued this, take the damn ball first. I could see defering if you win the coin toss and you had a hellacious defense, that’s not the Bucs case. Have’nt the Bucs won all 3 coin tosses and deferred receiving the opening kick? Take the ball first if you win it, you may get a turnover on your opponents 2nd half reception.

  9. Flmike Says:

    At this point if Lovie said the sky is blue, I’d still walk out side and check to make sure

  10. clafollett Says:

    Agrees. I never understood coaches who wanted to give up the ball right away. It seems to go against ever fiber of a coaches being to give the ball to the other team. What’s the point of getting turnovers if you want the opponent to have the ball?

  11. Architek Says:

    I somehow don’t see it as relevant when you’re giving up 28 point in a quarter or a half.

    When you can’t craft drives or stop anyone on defense there isn’t much you have to worry about with the coin toss because the flood gates will give eventually.

  12. RastaMon Says:

    You always want the ball !

  13. Buccfan37 Says:

    I think it’s a defeatist attitude to win the toss and give up the ball. Our offense will have the element of surprise starting with the ball, and if they produce a score, say a TD, that should pump up the defense to play harder and give them the edge knowing the offense can score. Lovie has rendered the opening coin toss as meaningless.

  14. RastaMon Says:

    You can’t score without the ball….unless the defense takes it away….and that does not happen often enough for ant team…anytime @ any level of football..since the game was first played…when the D does take away the ball that is a bonus….YU CANT SCORE WITHOUT TE FREAK,n Ball….Dovie !

  15. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    He is a defensive mind coach. He wants his defense to get rolling. It hasn’t happen yet…

  16. j lynch Says:

    dosent matter what this guy chooses somebody will roast him.. I think hes a joke so far.

  17. John Sinclear Says:

    If you win the coin toss, ALWAYS defer, and take the opening kick-off in the third quarter. Gives the offense a chance to adjust at halftime, and takes control of the second half.

  18. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I agree to defer….like getting the ball first in the second half no matter what the situation.

  19. Brooks Says:

    I have never questioned lovie until now. Does he have blinders on. Has he seen our defense. Even if we were competitive last week I would still rather take the crowd out of the game by scoring than by defense. Points win the game not defense.

  20. james west Says:

    and this is only one of the points that I make concluding, that lovie smith is not, was not, should not be coaching out team, he does not have any trust in his offense( really may be justified ). but the fact of the matter is this league, is no longer and has not been played like the days of old, when you won on defense and a productive day was a 10-7 win. todays game is predicated on a flowing competent offense, with a franchise QB whether elite or not. he must be above average and capable of moving the chains to put your team in position to score. that coupled with a decent defense, will win you games. also you must win at least 80% of your home games, while splitting you’re road games this will probably give you a 10-6 record or better. which if all goes well will land you in the playoffs. lovie is stuck in the deep philosophy of old school football, which worked well for T.dungy but last time I checked has any dungy clone really hoisted the Lombardi trophy?

  21. Ray Rice Says:

    Taking the ball first is only a good idea if you play against our defense. Especially at home. For one, there is no crowd to take out of the game. Two, the “Lovie 2” defense licks ball$.

  22. Please Says:

    Defer — you have the advantage of knowing how to play at the end of the first half AND the beginning of the second.

  23. james west Says:

    LSD = lovie smith disaster, good luck in Pittsburgh coach, I really can not wait on the stupid blank stare of utter bewilderment . that is going to be on your face after the steelers put up 24 by the middle of the second quarter. oh I hate to be so negative on my boy’s but damnitt after a life time of ineptitude I really find it hard not to. with this hire, the draft, and you’re stupid offensive play calling, what can I do? hey Mr lovie, just what are you thinking about, when you are staring up at the jumbo tron looking like you’re confused and disengaged, what you’re ole lady’s cooking up for dinner? or the eco sketch fraiziers drawing up his defensive play’s with?

  24. Hawk Says:

    I believe it depends on the ‘strength’ of your team.
    If it’s a strong offensive unit, then you want to score first, to put your opponent on their heels and quickly quiet the crowd.
    If you have a strong defensive unit, then you want them to give your offense good field position by shutting down the opposing offense and crowd.
    Now we have to determine which is the stronger unit with the Buccaneers, offense or defense…….. If the Bucs win the toss, McCoy will pull the referee aside and say,” Would you mind settling something, for us, by flipping that thing again? Heads, the defense takes the field, and…”

  25. mavsmoney Says:

    I want the bucs to receive for 2 reasons. One, it will tell me whether I should turn the game off and do something productive and two, it will keep the steelers from scoring for like 3 more minutes

  26. Jerry Says:

    It seems to be the new fad in the NFL, not just here. No one wants the ball first anymore.

  27. blah Says:

    And that’s why you defer Joe

  28. jbskiff Says:

    Kick off first/receive ball 2 half. Try to stuff opponent their first series to unnerve them, and receive 2 half to capitalize on your first half momentum.