Dirk Koetter Explodes On The Analytics-Stats Crowd

November 11th, 2015
Joe asked Dirk Koetter today about his apparent disinterest in analytics and data. And Koetter unloaded.

Joe asked Dirk Koetter today about his apparent disinterest in analytics and data. Koetter unloaded, “I don’t need a freakin’ piece of paper.”

It’s safe to say Bucs’ offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter doesn’t subscribe to Pro Football Focus.

Joe’s not surprised, considering PFF data is about as valuable as Joe’s advice on courting hotties.

Early in his afternoon news conference, Koetter was asked whether the Giants’ poor stats covering tight ends was a factor in his game plan Sunday, when the Bucs only threw once to tight ends.

Koetter replied, “I never look at stuff like that, like I would never go in saying, They got the least amount of yards or the most amount of yards, we need to do this. We need to do this.’ We’re going to do what we do.”

That got Joe thinking of previous public frowning on any kind of stats by Koetter. So Joe asked Koetter to explain himself, given the Bucs are investing big money into data.

JoeBucsFan.com: You said the [Giants’ stats for] coverage of tight ends didn’t really factor in for you. Last week you mentioned that you weren’t really familiar with your own team’s offensive stats and that’s not really a factor for you. The Bucs have an analytics department and there’s a big trend around the NFL toward looking at and diving into those stats. Are you just not a stats guy?

Dirk Koetter: No, I trust my eyes. Ok. I trust my eyes. Ok. I watch the tape. Trust me, I watch a lot of tape, and I trust what my eyes tell me. So I don’t need a freakin’ piece of paper with a bunch of numbers on there to tell me something that my eyes can see. I mean, not to get pissed off. But that whole thing about looking at a piece of paper and having that tell you out to call a football game is a frick’n joke in my opinion. I mean, that’s why I watch tape. And like I said, half the stuff on that paper, you can sort that stuff out any way you want to. I’m going to trust my eyes. It’s worked ok for me so far.

Bravo, Mr. Koetter. Joe’s been blasting the credibility of the stat geeks for a long time.

30 Responses to “Dirk Koetter Explodes On The Analytics-Stats Crowd”

  1. Rob Says:

    I wish he was our head coach. Maybe he will be soon. Go Bucs!

  2. Newbucsfan2 Says:

    Makes sense.

  3. mike Says:

    i agree w him but he will be slammed for it.

  4. Buc Neckid Says:

    So that is why we can’t score in the red zone

  5. Crabdogg Says:

    There is a place for stats but it should only be directional. I don’t think PFF is the end all be all but also don’t think only film study should drive game planning decisions. It should be a combination. Look at the stats, generate an idea or two of something to look at but don’t let it completely dictate how you build your strategy.

    I’d like Lovie to adhere more to the stat geeks regarding going for it on 4th down, especially in the red zone.

  6. destro44 Says:

    I recall reading early inthe season that Koetter prefers to be in the box to see the field but Lovie likes his coordinator on the field. Maybe if he was allowed to get a look at the way defences are playing us we could create better redzone results.

  7. 813bucboi Says:

    @crabdogg..I agree..it should be a combination of both…@destro44..im not too sure about that…leslie was in the box while calling the defense and since has been released of his duties as play caller and he’s still in the box but I do agree with you that if dirk wants to be in the box..let him be in the box…if it is true I would guest lovie wants him on the field to communicate and show jameis things during the game as apposed to waiting until halftime to do so…GO BUCS!!!

  8. bucrightoff Says:

    Crabdogg Says:
    November 11th, 2015 at 3:45 pm
    I’d like Lovie to adhere more to the stat geeks regarding going for it on 4th down, especially in the red zone.

    It’s not even a stat geek thing, it’s a basic math thing. Like going for it on 4th down inside the 2 yard line should be a given every single time. Regardless of outcome, data collected shows going for it nets an average of 5 points, whereas obviously kicking it only nets 3.

    But I can’t go after Lovie for this, most coaches are very dumb and old school about this one. See Dan Quinn going for a FG Sunday and never getting the ball back again. Coaches should appreciate advanced stats more, not necessarily use them as religion but at least understand they do have value and in some instances support decision making.

  9. NewTampaChris Says:

    Hey, Dirk! 1981 just called to say “Welcome back!”

  10. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Tom Landry started using statistics extensively in the 70s. Seemed to work out pretty well for him.

  11. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Koetter doesn’t seem very intuitive or flexible to me. He goes with what he put on his play sheet on Wed-Thu-Fri and sticks with it. He’s a mid level quality OC, which you can win with, but certainly not a top one. I liked Sullivan a lot, despite the problems we had on that team.

  12. SoftastissueMcCoy93 Says:

    @ destro44

    If I recall, he’s on the sideline to help groom Jameis. Yes, I did read he prefers to be in the booth calling plays. His play calling has been pretty good, but in his attempts to protect Jameis leads to being too conservative. He needs to throw more on second and medium/short downs. Also he needs to throw more out of run formations on first down like the big play to Evans on the second drive.

  13. Pasco Jim Says:

    So what was his answer to not throwing to the te.
    one throw one catch and no more throws to him
    throw it to mr. drop-it instead of the te.
    who the giants can’t seem to cover against any team
    he should have seen that when he watched tape of the giants…right????

  14. ChessMaster Says:

    Alot of teams would love a Mr. Drop it who gets 150 yards. However, he would have had a monster day if he would have caught 3 of those 6 drops. The 3rd and 2 hurt, as did the drop on the deep ball.

  15. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    There are many ways to git er done. Personally I want all the input I can get but I’d certainly go with my eyes and then gut but I’d at least consider the stats.

    People are still slamming Pete Carroll for his call in the SB. I believe he called the wrong play but not because it was a pass. He should have had Wilson roll right…look for an open receiver..no forced passes…barring that throw it out of the end zone..the clock stops and THEN you go beast mode.

    Here is what I’d like to see more of from the Bucs….start rolling Jameis right near the goal line…that puts enormous pressure on the D…do they stick to all the receivers opening the lanes for “Air Winston” or defend #3 tightly perhaps creating an open spot in or near the end zone. I love roll outs and we have a QB who throws pretty well on the run!!!

  16. Pickgrin Says:

    Sounds like you touched a nerve with that question Joe. Although I have no qualms with Koetter ignoring stats and trusting his eyes, his brain and his “feel”. Dude is the best OC this team has ever had IMO (Gruden was a HC). I hope we can keep this guy around for awhile and let Jameis progress as well as possible and not have to start from scratch advancing in a new offensive system every year or every other year.

    If Winston and Koetter are both here in Winston’s 3rd year – Look Out. And of course I mean Look Out in a good way – as in – we will likely be competing for a Super Bowl that year.
    Just like ’87 predicted – LOL Cmon ’87 – there’s still time for you to jump back on the Lovie bandwagon and not look too foolish…

  17. DavidBigBucFan Says:

    StPete that’s what I’m talking about. In the Saints and Giants games they didn’t know what to do until it was too late. It sure would help our red zone scoring. It’s not like he’s Eli Manning who only runs if he trips forward. He should have 10 rushing tds a year.

  18. dreambig Says:

    Like it or not statistics are a valueable part of everyday life. Stats, while they should not be the only factor in decision making, they can be a good measurement of where you are being successful and where your not. For example the stat of how many false start penalties Mankins has, might be a stat you might want to take notice of. Being the most penalized team in the NFL, on track to break a record, is a stat you should be deeply concerned about. Who has the most personal foul penalties, who has the most fumbles, who has the most dropped balls. How many points has your defense given up in relation to the other teams? How many times has your offense failed to score inside the red zone. Do your eye balls keep track of all that? Its disappointing that Koetter thinks he is to cool to use valuable data to help him be more effective at his job. That is just being arrogant and stupid if you ask me. All of those things I mentioned are areas that the coaches should be trying to fix. If you don’t track it and measure it, how do you know if your improving or not. How do you know if your eye balls are seeing everything. So we now know our OC is not an intellectual kind of guy. Not inspiring at all.

  19. Matthew Says:

    Not believing in statistics doesn’t make you tough or brave as Joe seems to imply in all his anti-analytics posts, declining additional information in a sport where advantages are razor thin just makes you a dope. No one is advocating for only using numbers and papers to determine play calls or formations, its not an either or, you can use your tape, your eyes, and the vast quantities of data available to make a sound informed decision. Saying “stat nerds” is so dismissive it screams “math is hard, so instead of trying to understand it i’ll make fun of it”. As to their credibility look no further than the Rays who employed vast analytics to exploit market inefficiencies in MLB and have a world series/playoff team despite having a 1/4 payroll, or better yet look at the Seattle Seahawks who utilized their analytics teams to focus in on tweener defensive players who fit their scheme and were over looked by the big bad “eye test”, they only went to back to back super bowls but hey what do they know right just a bunch of stat geek super bowl ring wearing nerds.

  20. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Great Post Sir!

    Like how you appropriately applied your analogy, to the success of the Rays & Seahawks.

  21. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Same 2 U – as well Sir! Good stuff

  22. Macabee Says:

    The Bucs have made a commitment to analytics – recognize that it is a wave of the future. That is why they hired Tyler Oberly as Director of Analytics. Dr. W. Edwards Deming, noted American statician said “In God we trust, all others bring data”. He also said “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion”.

    Jurassic Period! Adapt or die!

  23. DraftJameis Says:

    I’m a fan of Dirk Koetter, but dude, have a little flexibility. Pro Football Focus is not the be all end all of analytics. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Bucs had a team of guys with actual football backgrounds doing exactly what PFF does. The beauty of numbers is that it’s 100% objective. I agree that stats often lack proper context, etc. but to be as dead set against them as Koetter is, is foolish.

  24. dreambig Says:

    Thanks LUV!

  25. cmurda Says:

    Just like Luv, I agree with Matthew and dreambig. Not sure why Koetter would not at least be aware of trends and stats. It’s asinine, if not irresponsible. I’m a Koetter fan and think he’s the best OC we’ve ever had but dumbfounded by the dismissal of a helpful tool.

  26. godzilla13 Says:

    @Matthew Says – Excellent comment. Maybe not looking into data and opponents historical data is why we can’t win games? It just seems like we are from the stone age to not use all of the tools available to game plan? But what do I know? Everyone knew the Giants stats for coverage of tight ends was bad because statistical analyst said it was, yet Koetter only threw to our TE once? That is ridiculous. To be honest I thought our game plan against the Giants sucked. You use statistics to determine tendencies to help create a situation where your team could have an advantage. Also, I thought PFF is used detailed analysis of statistical information to rate players, not game plans?

  27. Owlykat Says:

    Koetter needs to learn from Jameis who focuses on what he needs to do to improve every week. Koetter is good and I am glad he is here, but he could be so much better if he had just swallowed his know it all attitude. His Red Zone plays are a case in point. His job is to scheme a receiver open. No wonder he does not want to look at stats! His Red Zone plays stat wise are very deficient and he needs to come up with new plays for 2 point conversions. I bet you Licht looks at stats in his job.

  28. Matthew Says:

    Thanks I appreciate the support fellas, and many of you drove home what I was getting at. Why Joe comtinues to celebrate having “less information” as being a good thing, is beyond me. The caveman days of “letting your gut” tell you to go for it are coming to an end, Koetter can be the dinosaur with Joe who gets hit by the meteor or he can figure out how to build a dang spaceship utilizing all his skills including “math”, and get off the planet before he’s extinct.

    “Stats are for losers”.
    -Never to be employed as a head coach or the head of any organization again Raheem Morris

    When you have that guy as your biggest supporter Joe, its fairly obvious who is on the right side of things.

  29. MTM Says:

    There’s a reason Koetter has never been a head coach. Why did Atlanta dump him, let him go or whatever?

  30. Bob in Valrico Says:

    stats can be skewed and presented in such a way to give the wrong impression.Koetter is not the problem in the redzone.Jameis is too anxious and
    has missed three sure touchdowns with too high or low throws.as he gains
    more experience he will learn to find the open man when available.The compressed field makes it difficult for recievers to get separation and find in all the traffic in the area.I don’t believe we have had VJ,ASJ, and Mike Evans playing together in one game this year.We need the tall trees in there together.It is hard to call a game when your head coach interrupts play with
    last second timeouts one of which telegraphed the failed fourth and 1 play two weeks ago.