Lovie Defends Michael Koenen

November 13th, 2014
Bucs punter Michael Koenen is last in the NFL in average yards per punt.

Michael Koenen is last in the NFL in average yards per punt.

Bucs fans are outraged and Joe not only senses their anger, but understands their disgust.

Contractors who hang drywall in the area are reporting a brisk increase in jobs due to Bucs fans punching holes in their walls when Michael Koenen is punting.

The Bucs punter paid $3.2 million a year, per Rotoworld.com, is the worst punter in the NFL for average yards a punt at just under 36 yards. Those are high school numbers right there.

Part of the problem is that Koenen is sacrificing field position under orders from overlord of football operations Lovie Smith. Problem is, the defensive takeaways aren’t coming and the rotten kicks are painting the defense in a corner.

No wonder Josh McCown is crying.

But Lovie came racing to Koenen’s defense yesterday all but saying he is doing what coaches are asking of him.

“I don’t look at it as a sacrifice,” Lovie said. “Yeah, that’s the job. It’s not necessarily gross [punt average] and sometimes even – I mean, of course net punt [average] is pretty important, but you have to look at every punt and what we need to do. A lot of it is about the placement and where you put the ball. That takes priority over everything else. Yeah, we didn’t hit the ball as well as we needed to the other day, but we did have a plan to – for a player like [Atlanta wide receiver/returner Devin] Hester – to try to make him fair catch it or kick it out of bounds; [that] was pretty much what it was.”

Call Joe “old school” if you wish, but turnovers cannot be predicted or counted on. If they happen they happen. Like accidents. But punting, you can pin an offense back by doing two very simple things: one is to kick away from the return man (yes, Joe knows this is a very novel concept) and two, kick the damn thing out of bounds. No return man, not even Hester, can return a punt that bounces out of bounds.

Until those turnovers come, it’s silly to set up offenses. Quarterbacks the likes of Matty Ice are deadly on short fields to work on, especially when the Bucs defense is still trying to find its footing.

To hear more of Lovie, click the arrow below. Audio courtesy of Joe’s friends at WDAE-AM 620.

41 Responses to “Lovie Defends Michael Koenen”

  1. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    I believe that is what you would call a KOD…Lovie supporting one of his players. Mike Koenen just got the KOD from Lovie.

    Why not pick up Dakota Watson who was just cut from the Jags? He was pretty good special teams wasn’t he?

  2. Espo Says:

    I bet Dekota would average at least 37 yards per punt, and go cover them as well.

  3. Patrick in VA Says:

    Dekota was a beast for us. I can’t imagine he wouldn’t have been one for them as well. Makes me wonder if there isn’t a reason he was cut. If they just needed the roster spot then I’d love to have him back

  4. ATLBucsFan Says:

    At 1-8 we should inactivate the punter every game. I’ll take 4 downs and out. We’re losing anyway and maybe we can impress upon the offense that coming off the field after 3 downs is not an option. As far as I’m concerned we have nothing to lose because the season is already in the trash.

  5. Espo Says:

    Yeah ATL let’s play the rest of our season like aa bad Madden player. That’ll turn things around.

  6. Warrenfb12 Says:

    This is just straight up stupidity. Might be the dumbest strategy I’ve ever heard. #firelovie

  7. Walter White Says:

    Another clear cut example of the bone headed thinking of our highly over rated and hard for some people to accept reality and face the facts head coach…

  8. bucrightoff Says:

    Kiss of death. Every time Lovie talks good about he a player he quickly gets cut or traded. Nice knowing you Michael.

  9. lightningbuc Says:

    Lovie and his boys have ruined Koenen. At least he was paid well while Lovie screwed him.

  10. Patrick in VA Says:

    @Espo – We’re 1-8 and bad at everything. As far as I’m concerned, the only bad idea is staying the course. Maybe playing outside the box will help us identify some strengths we didn’t know about

  11. phil Says:

    The punter is the least of our problems. He’s doing what he’s being told to do. Coaching is the biggest problem for this team. If we want to fix the punter get rid of the coach and Koenen will be the punter he was before Lovie got here.

  12. Tom Edrington Says:

    I don’t think any Bucs fans want to punch walls, incredibly juvenile…..besides, Bucs fans have had nothing but lousy teams for quite a while now, it’s becoming Standard Operating Procedure…..

    They are have gone from SNAFU to TARFU and are rapidly approaching FUBAR….for those of you who are not readers of Richard Marcinko, The Rogue Warrior, it breaks down:

    Situation Normal, All F&%KED Up, Things Are Really Getting F&%KED Up to finally: F&%KED Up Beyond All Repair…..

  13. BucFanForever Says:

    I want Lovie to just come out and say something like,

    All of these losses are on purpose, and we are having all phases of the team contribute to the losing. Losing in 2014 was the plan from day 1. While talking to the Glazers about the team and how I would turn it around, we decided that in the modern NFL having a top-flight quarterback was the #1 priority and there were two ways of doing that. One is signing a free agent or trading, and the other is drafting one. We looked at the draft for both 2014 and 2015, and decided that there was only 1 quarterback we wanted: Jameis Winston. We then hatched a plan to go and get him by losing our way through the 2014 season. So, my message to fans, watch this season, get used to the new uniforms, and buckle down for a 2015 that is unlike anything you have seen since the Gruden Era.

  14. sho-nuff Says:

    laughable “leadership”,,,,

  15. meh Says:

    So Koenen is being coached to punt with a 30 yard average? Really? Then maybe instead of cutting Koenen it’s time to cut O’Dea.

  16. meh Says:

    And phil, Koenen sucked last year too.

  17. Chef Paul Says:

    I change my confidence vote from yesterday to No confidence.

    I also change everything I said about players not tuning in. It would be hard to buy in to anything he says anymore.

    unless they had a team meeting in august, and lovie said to the team what BucFanForever said Lovie should say to us. I can get behind that.

  18. Walter White Says:

    Lovie “I actually told Doug Martin to keep his yards per carry around 2.9 or so. Don’t wanna let the defense get a key on him and start loading up the box. We like to run our cover 2 almost like a prevent, is the way we coach it, just like John Madden says ‘the only thing a prevent defense does is prevent you from winning.’ So far I think that’s worked out pretty well for us. I also coached Michael “big money” Johnson to play the OPPOSOTE of what teams expect. It’s like a reverse psychology I like to use, same as how I told all the fans in the off season how we are gonna be contending for the playoffs but I really meant the exact opposite of thst. Y’all probably didn’t know I have a Ph.D… I took one of those online IQ tests and it told me I was offline! I can’t wait to do it again next year! “

  19. Justin Says:

    Directional kick the ball deep and cover the damn punts, ok. Lovie needs to stop trying to re-invent the wheel.

  20. OB Says:

    The “Born Yesterday” strategy of Lovie across the board would make good items for any of the late night talk show comedy segments.

    I know Joe what you have propsed is far reaching and out of the box in the Bucs play book, but if they are brain dead, the coaches can’t read or think, could this be the problem?

    In every area Lovie has coached us to lower levels and if he continues we will be a 1-15 team. This is a tragedy since it is taking a year out of the careers of the likes of GMC, LVD, and other good players.

  21. ATLBucsFan Says:

    @Espo – I don’t play Madden and could give two sh*t’s about it. I’ve been watching this team since its inception. I’ve watched enough bad football to know doing the same thing is accomplishing NOTHING. I am sick of this team looking so bad over the past several years. I’m tired of knowing what type of play it is before the ball is snapped just because that’s what we always do (regardless of the coach on the sidelines). I’m tired of bringing in FA’s that have come off good seasons because their contract is coming due only to see them sit on our sidelines, play average and go belly up on us! I’m tired of running backs that run into our own lineman. I’m tired of QB’s not seeing wide open receivers or not placing the ball so the receiver doesn’t miss a step or missing the window entirely! I’m tired of an OL that acts like a revolving door! I’m tired of the new tackling strategy that looks more like a rugby scrum. I’m tired of MLB’s not getting into coverage in the T2 D. I’m tired of the safety’s running to catch up instead of being where they are suppose to be. I’m tired of being the team that our opponents check off as a win before the season starts. So, do something different please! And with all that, I’ll still tune in to watch this coming weekend. Sigh!

  22. AFBuc Says:

    This is all great and well, I guess. However, how does Lovie explain Koenen’s inability to boot the ball into the end zone on kickoffs? 2 years ago he was almost a guaranteed touchback every KO, now I think he’s had nearly every single one returned this year. Noodle-leg has to go!

  23. Chef Paul Says:

    So we don’t want to points on the board, or punt the ball more than 36 yards.

    We are either tanking or…. Or nothing!!! We HAVE to be tanking. I refuse to believe this coaching staff is this stupid. I REFUSE!!!!

    I don’t know what to think anymore. My emotions are worse than menopausal woman!!!

  24. RealityCheck Says:

    I don’t understand the tactic..what am I missing here?

  25. RealityCheck Says:

    This just seems like another BS shortcut approach by the “coaches”. Punt coverage is not difficult. Teach the players to stay in their lanes and cover the punt. So maybe 1 or 2 punts get returned the entire year, that’s better than setting the other team’s offense up with a short field every single drive by again forcing your players (punter) into doing things they are obviously failing at.

  26. BrianDorry55 Says:

    This situation frustrates me more than anything…as it highlights Lovie’s stubborn nature. There is absolutely no excuse for Koenen to still be on this football team. He has been consistently awful in every game. I don’t get it and I’m pissed.

  27. Mike J Says:

    Nothing like quality coaching to turn one of the best assets the Bucs had into a problem, where the fans have turned on Mike.

    Great job Lovie

    1-15 here we come.

  28. cmurda Says:

    Lovie could defend Hitler. For the love of God Lovie call a spade a spade.

  29. Mike J Says:

    If Lovie wants a punter to kick the ball 30- 35 yards there are a lot of out work punters that can do that. Why pay Mike 3 million plus to do that.

    Let Mike punt as he has done the previous years. Leave him alone Lovie.

  30. Another J Says:

    Lovie Smith is truly clueless.

  31. passthebuc` Says:

    There are high school coaches with a better approach to football.

    And he is guaranteed to come back another year?

    I’m glad thee is Hockey.

  32. Capt.Tim Says:

    Just Lovie sticking up for his guy.
    I’m sure our Punter is a “dead Punter walking.
    Our current kicker was all conference punter
    Let’s let him try punting
    Murray might save us a roster spot, free up Koenen’s huge salary, and improve our Punting game.

    That makes him a popular lil guy!!

  33. bucs4lyfe Says:

    how the hell did lovie stick around in Chicago so long with this stupid mentality. you could have gotten the cheapest punter you could find to do what this guy is doing, you have one of the highest paid punters in the league if not the highest paid and you want him do what? your special teams has lost you so many games and you think that you would atleast change up your strategy for special teams but no your gonna continue to lose games using a strategy that clearly doesn’t work?? WERE DOOMED

  34. Architek Says:

    See it’s moments and statements like this that scare BeeGees out of me because Lovie’s philosophies are just detrimental to winning football in 2014!

    He’s gonna hang himself and its ashame because when he got here people really had hope that things would be better!

  35. flmike Says:

    More proof that the man is a moron…

  36. mike Says:


  37. sho-nuff Says:

    Lovie you make is such an EASY decision to do something other than watch your gutless product every sunday…I know dudes that are having spa days with their wives getting pedi’s rather than spend a minute watching a team that is a direct reflection of their low information talking out of 2 sides of his grill coach….own it yo! quit thinking this fan base is beneath your 2 dimensional logic!

  38. Walter White Says:

    The fact that anyone is arguing about keeping this moron around blows my mind. I KNOW it’s highly unlikely to happen and understand why, but he is NOT “the guy.” I guarantee there are coaches out there who could win WITH THIS ROSTER.

  39. LJ'sDaddy Says:

    I was willing to be patient with Lovie. If this is true I am done. I would coach better than Lovie. Counting on turnovers? giving up field position for anticipated turnovers? Are you kidding me? This team can’t do anything effectively much less count on turnovers. I am so sad and frustrated. there does not seem to be any type of light at the end of the tunnel. Just another “seal clubbing” as Joe has coined.

  40. Espo Says:


    How do you really feel?

  41. ATLBucsFan Says:

    @ espo… a little better now. lol.