Few Sacks, Lots Of Hits

December 31st, 2015
Jameis has been pummeled this year.

Jameis has been pummeled in 2015.

Before the season, if Joe told you the Bucs’ offensive line would have given up 25 sacks by the time the calendar turned to 2016, then you would have had Joe drug-tested.

The Bucs arguably had the worst jailbreak of an offensive line last year and added two rookies, one from Division-III Hobart College. No one, not even the Bucs, thought their offensive line would be a top-five line.

But here we are, just hours before 2016 with one more game left, and the Bucs have the fourth-fewest sacks in the NFL — just 25. It really, really, really is a remarkable turnaround and one reason why America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, has excelled as a rookie.

But hold up! It is not all good news.

Jameis has taken a pounding, absorbing 100 quarterback hits, that’s fourth-most in the league. While Jameis may not be driven into the ground, he’s getting drilled.

Up comes Carolina with a punishing defense and Jameis may just get his jock knocked off Sunday. So Joe asked Bucs offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter how, while the sack numbers are great, can the offense limit the hits? As you can imagine, it’s a complex answer but Koetter is already working on it.

“That’s one of those things that is kind of a project for the offseason,” Koetter said. “We’ll do a study on where did all of those hits occur, how many were [Winston’s] own fault, because as you said sometimes – we call it ‘take what you need’ – sometimes in the pocket you step one way or the other or you step up to avoid an edge rusher or you avoid that first rusher, but if you step too far, the right guard might be thinking he’s doing a great job blocking his job over here, all of a sudden the quarterback moves and the right guard doesn’t know he’s right there so now he’s in trouble with the three-technique [defensive tackle] for example.

“We do need to cut down the hits on Jameis. How we do it, that is something that will be an offseason project, I can’t give you a good answer on that today.”

That’s fair. As Koetter hinted, there are all sorts of variables, including Jameis himself possibly holding onto the ball a bit longer than he should. There are a lot of moving parts to this puzzle.

Remember: there are two rookies on the offensive line. Just like Jameis, Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet (who struggled a wee bit in pass blocking earlier in the year) should only improve.

11 Responses to “Few Sacks, Lots Of Hits”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    From Coach Koetter’s comments and use of the word ‘we’, it sounds like he’s planning on being here this off-season as our OC, as of this moment at least. Sure do hope that he stays in Tampa.

  2. softastissueMcCoy93 Says:

    We need quicker passing routes. Our play design has Jameis holding the ball too much. Another issue is we dont pass on 1st and 2nd downs enough. We have become predictable. They have put a lot on Jameis plate this year which would probaly benefit him in the long run, but sometimes its best to keep things simple to establish a passing rhythm early in games.

  3. Tom Edrington Says:

    Jameis has proven to be a very tough cookie, he’s gotten beat up to the point that other QBs might have been out….

    If a particular tight end got hit like that (you know it’s you ASJ), he’d be on permanent IR.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    This is for several reasons.

    Playcall predictability….we have many 2nd & 3rd & long
    Jameis holding on too long (rookie)
    Receivers not getting open
    Line bending but not breaking
    Blitz pickup & blocking from RB/FB

    I have seen him hit many times when there should have been a roughing penalty….I don’t think they give Jameis much slack because he’s tough…a rookie & a Buc

  5. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    We are actually tied with the Titans for 5th most with 100. Winston is actually the 3rd most hit QB. Of the teams ahead of us, only Seattle and Miami had their QB play the whole season. Cleveland, Indy and Tennessee have had their QBs split time due to injury.

  6. godzilla13 Says:

    Winston needs better receivers. When one receiver goes down (VJAX) and the wheels come off, there is a problem. Even with Jackson, there are many times no one is open. Pro Football Outsiders ranks Tampa’s OL 15th overall in pass protection according to an Adjusted Sack Rate, which gives sacks (plus intentional grounding penalties) per pass attempt adjusted for down, distance, and opponent. Tampa was ranked 29th last year with 52 sacks. PFO has Tampa ranked 7th overall in run blocking (32nd last year). No matter how you spin it, it is a marked improvement over prior year. It would be great to see Doug Martin take the rushing title?

  7. softastissueMcCoy93 Says:

    @ TB Fan

    Actually I seen Martin and Simms pick up blitz pretty well this year. But a lot of it is early down play-calling is too predictable. For example, I seen us convert on 3rd and longs after being stuffed on 1st and 2nd. After we pick up the third down we call a run again. Also, the play-action game has not been effective lately, because teams are playing the run as they rush Jameis; which means that there is too much pressure in the backfield forcing bad throws and decisions. We need to line up in running formations and throw some quick slants, but outside of Vjack, our receivers are not good at running those quick routes.

  8. LargoBuc Says:

    Jameis is doing what Mccown and Glennon could not do last year, and its a very important attribute that all of the best qb’s do…Jameis makes his oline better, even if its only slightly better, alot of those hits would be sacks if we still had Mccown under center. But Jameis has seemed to be pretty good at reading defenses, knowing where to go with the ball and when, and those numbers would be even better if not for that wind up of his. But Jameis has helped reduce the number of sacks given up by his line by not getting sacked, which is kind of a matter of perception due to him still getting hit, but after all the sacks, fumbles loss if yards/downs we saw from Mccown, I’ll gladly take Jameis helping out his oline.

  9. Buc1987 Says:

    Never can find just a normal looking picture of Jameis huh? Must be tough, we always get these goofy look pictures.

  10. No better way to say it Says:

    100 QB hits and what… 2 or 3 roughing calls? Yeah. That seems pretty far fetched.

  11. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    This will be an area of great improvement IMO, We have all the necessary ingredients. If you look at the starting five OL and Fameis…50% of those starters were rookies, they’ll only get better. I think the rest of the OL will continue to jell.

    In addition our running game should remain stout with Doug and Sims..and Lane has proven to be a solid blocker. Love to see if he could run the ball. I should would like to have a power back like Lacy or Lynch.

    Out TE’s should be an improving group as well both in the run and passing.

    We have a lot of young talent but there is a lot of room for growth and improvemnt which is why this team is exciting going forward.