Why Did The Bucs Go Turtle?

September 20th, 2015
It was impressive how Henry Melton and the Bucs defense shut down Sants QB Drew Brees in crunch time. (Photo courtesy of Buccaneers.com)

It was impressive how Henry Melton and the Bucs defense shut down Saints QB Drew Brees. (Photo courtesy of Buccaneers.com)

How many times today did the Bucs have a chance for a kill shot and then the offense went so turtle it is said that Greg Schiano began nursing a bottle of Ketel One?

You are playing future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees, a surgeon like that, in his own house, and you go full-blown play-not-to-lose and continue running the ball off left tackle to no avail, time after time?

And continually ask a defense that couldn’t stop a rookie making his NFL debut to stop Brees?

Joe was about to jump out of the Superdome press box, Joe was so livid. And don’t try to tell Joe that Lovie has no influence over offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. Joe is convinced Koetter was ordered to keep the ball on the ground.

The Bucs were fortunate. Yes, props to the defense, of course. But it was almost sinful the way Lovie and the Bucs put the defense in harm’s way time and again unnecessarily.

Joe asked several players why the Bucs went all Father Dungy, and Joe got various answers, interesting all.

“That’s a good question,” Bucs tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins said, almost admitting he was wondering the same thing. “You will have to ask the coaches.”

Doug Martin, who could not stop smiling, said he wanted the rock to redeem himself after a dangerous fumble with 8:03 remaining in the game.

“The clock was winding down and the best way to run the clock down is to run the ball,” Martin said. “We have a lot of confidence in the guys up front with our run game. [After the fumble], I wanted to get back out there and make some plays.”

“I don’t know what [offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter] was seeing,” Bucs left tackle Donovan Smith said, emphasizing he trusts his offensive coordinator. And he had no issues with the plays.

Joe even heard the reason for the heavy run-calling was that the defense needed a rest. OK, fair point.

Still, playing not to lose often results in losing, especially when facing Brees. Props to the defense for turning in one of the best clutch performances in recent memory.

20 Responses to “Why Did The Bucs Go Turtle?”

  1. cometowin2 Says:

    Good teams go for the throat. This tells me they don’t trust Jamies to win the game for them yet. Almost blew it with all those runs on 1st and 2nd down.

  2. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I don’t know if I agree with your usage of the “turtle” word, but regardless, the strategy resulted in a win.

    I think it was more because we have 3 rookies on offense, and by limited the QB toward the end, it reduced the risk of a costly turnover.

    Remember…we did have a couple leading up to it. It as right to play it safe this early in Winston’s career.

  3. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    It’s called Crappy coaching

    ……..fire Lovie

    Then hire Gruden

  4. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    A pattern is starting to emerge. Last week, Winston was not permitted to go deep much, if at all.

    This week, they let him lose a little bit, but still kept the reins on him.

    I think the plan is to free him a little each game, so that he doesn’t get overwhelmed and start taking too many risks.

    The advantage to this is also that it give the offensive line time to develop.

  5. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    It’s called Crappy comments

    ……..ban TheBucsAnthem

  6. This Guy Right Here Says:

    As an all around team win, our hottest hand today was the D… so I get why we called what we called… The D was on Fire… so I had no problem with us trying to keep the clock going and grinding it out…

    The offense, along with Brindza were solid… But the D was pretty damn RUTHLESS today… Im so pumped, and so drained at the same time… Good motherfckin game…

  7. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Just to clarify, my point about the “turtle” word was resulting from the fact that I just used the term in a novel and during a scene when a sailboat flipped. “Turning Turtle” means to flip end-over-end. Being a writer…that sort of thing naturally gets to me.

    Drives my wife crazy.

    My biggest pet peeve?

    Pronouncing Washington as Worshington. Ugh.

  8. This Guy Right Here Says:

    Speaking of Brindza, what a STEAL from detroit… Love what he said on twitter:

    “We treated it as a business trip”…. fckin LOVE IT!

  9. Bucnut2 Says:

    Very simple, they rightfully don’t trust JW

  10. Lakeland Buc Says:

    I don’t blame Lovie for protecting a lead, his defense has been playing good all game. But what is more important, you can’t put your rookie QB in a position to blow a lead. If Jameis throws a pick 6 late in the game, every Lovie hater in Tampa. Would be calling him pathetic and dumb for allowing his rookie QB to throw the ball with a lead that late in the game. Lovie can’t win anyway, if we win the Super Bowl these Lovie will be saying that he got lucky and still need to be fired. At the end of the day, the haters will hate and Lovie wil win.

  11. cmurda Says:

    @ Bonzai. Fair points. Mine is irregardless.

  12. Buccfan37 Says:

    Turtle is an apt description for sit on the lead Lovie, a strategy that very well could have backfired. Be honest, didn’t most think the game and lead was slipping away? The Buc defense is not good enough to protect a lead against most teams, getting there but not there yet. Today was the exception.

  13. Buccfan37 Says:

    Turtle mode is an understatement for the Bucs strategy of hang on tight as the lead is evaporating.

  14. No better way to say it Says:

    The Bucs final possession when penalties put them in the red zone should have been the time for the Bucs to try to put the game away. Even if they only threw the ball on that final 3rd down at least there was a chance for a first down to run more clock or a touchdown to seal the game.

    Going for 3 was a really bad decision considering how the defense was struggling.

  15. Lefty Says:

    Bucs scored 3 points in the second half; I definintely sensed turtleness

  16. Rrsrq Says:

    How many offensive line penalties did the team have, it wasn’t a Jameis trust factor, it was a line trust factor. Even when we gained, we lost yardage because of penalties

  17. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Thanks for keeping the optimism when I let down. And thanks for that excellent post! Perfect. Saves me from having to type any more.

  18. bucsbedabest Says:

    The OL actually only had four penalties. Two on Donovan Smith, one on Logan Mankins and one on Joe Hawley for tripping, cost a first down. ASJ had two costly penalties and Mike Evans another. The OL gave up three sacks but all in all played well. Joe Hawley played well (other than the penalty) replacing an injured Evan Smith. Jameis was a little off in the 3rd when he overthrew ASJ and VJAX in the red zone. That may have influenced Lovie to protect the lead?

  19. DE Bucs Fan Says:

    #SeigeTheDay must imply only running plays (left side is always best) when you have the lead in the second half.

    Makes sense.

  20. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Meh really can’t blame Lovie for those 2 fumbles. Either of those possessions could have been long drives that won the game by eating clock and then this whole idea of turtling up is a moot point.

    We had a 7 point lead so it’s not like we were trying to protect a FG lead at the end and running 3 times in a row.