Koetter Zeroes In On The “70 Percent” Mess

May 11th, 2016

Lovie won’t like this.

Lovie Smith scoffed at reporters who dared to suggest the Bucs’ allowing a 70 percent completion rate to opposing quarterbacks — with plenty of garbage QBs among them — was a legitimate black mark against his 2015 defense.

In 2014, the Bucs allowed an NFL-worst 68.7 percent completion rate. Lovie grabbed full control of the defense in 2015, and the mess escalated.

A novice football fan knows quarterbacks completing passes is a bad thing. QBs build a rhythm, gain confidence, and those passes chew up yards and clock.

One exchange with media late last season had Lovie firing back.

“First off, the completion rating can be misleading,” Lovie quickly retorted. “You have to look at the context of how it’s happening. I don’t really go by that an awful lot. You can dump the ball off and get a one-yard gain and there’s a completion so I don’t put a lot into that.”

Enter straight shooter Dirk Koetter. He recently had an extensive 1-on-1 interview with Jason Cole of Bleacher Report. It’s all right here.

In the following exchange, Koetter’s offensive stats last season were praised, and he was asked what went wrong that led the team to 6-10. Whaddya know? Koetter zeroed in on completion percentage against the Bucs’ defense.

B/R: This team was really interesting last year. I don’t know if you pay attention to yardage differential, but this team was really good in that area. The average offensive play by the Buccaneers was 5.9 yards, and the average play the defense allowed was 5.2 yards. A differential of plus-0.7 is usually playoff-caliber, and it ranked with the best in the league last year. But the team was only 6-10. How do you explain that?

DK: On offense, it’s simple: The yards were good. The points were not so good. I think we were fifth in yards and 21st in scoring. Something like that. And if you look at what wins in the NFL, yards is not even in the top 10. Scoring is No. 3. We have to score more points. That’s simple. We have to score more points.

On defense, probably anything I say will be taken the wrong way, so I’ll just say our defense gave up 70 percent on completions. We did a good job against the run, but the completion percentage was way too high. That’s not in the top 10, either, but that’s way too high of a number.

Thank you, Coach Koetter. Thank you for not pretending an extreme completion percentage against a defense doesn’t matter. It does.

Joe’s willing to bet the completion rate against the Bucs drops this season, and that coverage of slant passes improves. How could they not?

62 Responses to “Koetter Zeroes In On The “70 Percent” Mess”

  1. Buc1987 Says:

    Lovie. smh

  2. The Buc Realist Says:

    It was so sad that the Incompetent one would use stats when it suited him and made his defense look good!!! But two sentences later would dismiss certain stats if they did not fit his narrative!!!! And the local media and sheep bowed down and lapped it up!!!!!!!

  3. Buccfan37 Says:

    Lovie was expecting a pat on the back just for being Lovieable.

  4. Cannon Says:

    Koetter’s take is dead on.

    Most defensive series went like this:

    Opposition would run -> Our Defense would stop for minimal gain
    Opposition would run -> Our Defense would stop for minimal gain
    Opposition would face third and long -> Our Defense would allow a completion.

    It happened over, and over, and over again.

  5. The Buc Realist Says:


    you forgot the part after the opposition picked up the first down, The Incompetent one would stare cluelessly at the Jumbo-tron and try to figure out who let his scheme down!!!!

  6. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Having straight talking coaches is already an improvement.

  7. Patrick in VA Says:

    Really happy with the direction the team is headed in. Between having competent football people in charge of coaching the team, talented evaluators in charge of acquisitions and young, strong talent being developed throughout the team, I really think that we’re turning the corner. We haven’t arrived, of course, but it’s looking really promising.

  8. The bucfan 88 Says:

    Well I happy now that we have the pigskin snatcher on defense in the secondary (VH3,Brent grimes, j-banks ,rayan smiths and bradley mcdougald) offense are going to have a tough time throwing against this secondary look out the Bucs are all the Loose !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. BucfanBF Says:

    I agree 100% patrick. We certainly are heading in the right direction. Ever since Licht got here their has been a different feel about this team and now that Koetter is in charge it feels even better.

  10. Howard Cosell Says:

    It boggles the mind. Lovie must have been a highly neurotic individual to h8te on Banks while going all smoochy with the notoriously bad and currently unemployed Toast Jenkins.
    The more Toast got toasted the more stubborn Lovie was to keep him on the field and the more he h8ted Banks. Insane.
    Then their was the BS talk every week in the post-loss PC’s.
    Then there was the nepotism (woefully under qualified family members as position coaches of the toasted secondary).
    Then there was the pre-game incident where avoiding curse words is more important than motivation.

    The Chicago fans tried to warn us. Lets hope Lovie was the last terrible un-researched knee-jerk move by the Glazers who finally have a stud coaching staff and front office. Better late than never.

  11. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Awesome article & insight into Koetter’s coaching philosophies.

  12. godzilla13 Says:

    Not only did we give up the 70.8% completion rate, which was dead last in the league, our 3rd down efficiency on defense was ranked 30th. Our secondary was a bigger concern than even our defensive line. Just hearing some of the things going on in camp is a breath of fresh air. Jon Hoke has the cornerback group working on fundamentals. They are working on footwork and backpedaling because they simply did not do that last year. The problems with the defense also included too many penalties at critical times. We need players to work on their ball skills so when an interception is thrown straight into their bread basket, they catch it. With Brent Grimes, Alterraun Verner and Vernon Hargreaves there will be instant improvement.

  13. DavidbigBucsFan Says:

    Oh my gosh Joe you said black mark when referencing Lovie Smith! How dare you use that reference for him !!!!!!!! Bwaaaahaahaa! !!!! I could hear as all the race card haters Fredericks of Hollywoods start to get bunched up where the sun don’t shine! Ha ha ha! Calm down ladies it is called sarcasm! No race baiting here! (I love your made up phrases! ) The mark against Lovie’s rep isn’t just black it’s blue black (only a few of you will understand that reference )! It’s not the scheme its the coach. It works with the right players of which he and Licht couldn’t seem to get. Gotta say he is pretty clueless making statements like that. If teams can comlete 7 out of 10 passes it won’t go well for your team no matter how good your offense is. Poor college kids he’s coaching now will be all jacked up and will never play in the nfl

  14. Scurvy Dogs Says:

    @ David

    No one mentioned race but you bud. Go crawl back under your rock.

  15. uckinator Says:

    Yes – I was one of those from Chicago that had to deal with Lovie’s clueless looks. I don’t know what he says at halftime, but it never helped with a comeback. No change of tactics or personnel. Couldn’t understand why his system couldn’t trump the opposition. Then he was hired on here… I moaned … OH NO !! Not again.

  16. Patrick in VA Says:

    @ Scurvy – They pop up from time to time. They have an agenda they’re trying to push. When you acknowledge them or, worse yet, engage them it just gets worse. If anyone is baiting, it’s people like that. Don’t take the bait.

  17. Mike Johnson Says:

    Lovie Smith has been Bashed more than any coach in our Buc history. And I have been a fan thru them all. And there were many far worse. Who will all of you BASH when..if.. the losing starts all over again? The Ghost of Lovie? Surely not Banks and Verner or the rest of the Defense. Players played poorly. Coaches don’t play. Guess Lovie did though huh?
    Lovie Bashers and Joe..UNITE!!

  18. The Buc Realist Says:

    I just want to thank the Glazers and NFL GM Licht coming their senses and only wasting 2 years instead of 3!!! Looking at the upcoming season and it would have been predicted of 4 wins with the Incompetent one!!!!

    Patrick in VA is right, you just have to ignore the Baiting brothers!!! Like a stray cat once you fed them they are hard to get rid of!!!!!

  19. tmaxcon Says:

    Mike Johnson

    Lovie is the worst coach in bucs history. simple as that. The others below him on the win list were first year head coaches. Lovie crapped himself with 9 years of previous head coaching experience. Lovie forever gets to look up to Schiano and Raheem on the bucs all time win list.


    you are a disgrace to all races…

  20. Scurvy Dogs Says:

    You know what? You’re right Pat.

    I’m in VA also. What area are you in?

  21. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Koetter tells it like it is, Lovie would never adress the consistently pitiful pass defense he put out there. A horrible in game coach who by the 4th quarter, was already thinking about his post game speech. But without Lovies incompetence, the Bucs would not in the position there in, Lead the 3 headed monster, Jameis, Dirk, and Licht.

  22. Dreambig Says:

    You guys are too much. Davidbigbucsfan comes on being a tool and then BigHogHaynes adds fuel to his fire by implying we are all racists because we like the new “Lilly white staff”. Easy guys this is just a football blog with plain black and white text, can’t we leave all that crap out in the real world?

  23. BucTrooper Says:

    I remember sitting in the stands with my wife and my bud and leaning over saying, “Can you remember the last time the (other team) had an incompletion?” They would run off streaks of 8, 9, 10 passes in a row without a drop. You’d see half time stats like 12-14 or 9-10. And the passes that were completed were completed without contest. There wasn’t even a CB or a S in the area. These were CLEAN, uncontested catches.

  24. 813bucboi Says:

    I was a lovie supporter and defended him every day on this site…I didn’t agree with some of his coaching style and thought he needed another year to collect talent on the defensive side of the ball which licht has done thru FA and the draft but it is what it is….I just think lovies coaching stlye is more for very intelligent vets….that why you hear this current staff saying they are going to make things a lot more simpler and easier for defensive players….not all of it was on lovie and the defense….the offense did us no favors with some of their performances in the game either and our so called veteran leaders never stepped up….with that said im cool with lovie getting canned and im currently satisfied with the new staff….my only issue with this whole situation is the need to continuously bash a coach that isn’t here any more….it reminds me of my father in law….we can be talking about sports and somehow he would figure out a way to bring up his divorced wife and how she took all his money, the house and how she’s still out to get him….im like dude yall got divorced in 2005 let it go…you have re married and in the process of divorcing this lady….everyone knows his story and we all roll our eyes once he gets started….im the same way with joe and his lovie obsession…now I just roll my eyes and laugh at the people who still bash lovie like he’s still ruining this team….get over it he’s gone and we have a new staff….GO BUCS!!!

  25. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Aquib Talib……Penn & Zuttah…….Josh Freeman……Michael Bennett……Daryl Revis…..Greg Schiano……Mark Dominick…..Myron Lewis……LaGarrete Blount, Ghost Johnson, Josh McCown, Anthony Collins…….Lovie Smith

    There you go…..I got it out of my system…..dwelling on past negatives…..

    You guys are lucky….you don’t have to go all the way back to Bo Jackson & Hugh Culverhouse.

  26. Pickgrin Says:

    Koetter’s straightforwardness is sooooo refreshing.

    How a good article like this sparks “discussions” that go so far south instead of just talking about the football subject presented is beyond me.

    Oh wait – this is JBF comments – forgot where I was for a second….

  27. SB with Jameis Says:

    Mike Johnson Says:
    May 11th, 2016 at 12:43 pm
    Lovie Smith has been Bashed more than any coach in our Buc history. And I have been a fan thru them all. And there were many far worse. Who will all of you BASH when..if.. the losing starts all over again? The Ghost of Lovie? Surely not Banks and Verner or the rest of the Defense. Players played poorly. Coaches don’t play. Guess Lovie did though huh?
    Lovie Bashers and Joe..UNITE!!
    Lol Lovie is on par with Leeman Bennett

  28. LakeLandBuc Says:

    I know that Lovie playcalling were terrible, but our DB’S were just as terrible and some of them are still on the team.There’s 4 safeties and 3 corners still on our roster from last season.In my opinion. They all should have been fired alone with the defensive coaching staff.

  29. SB with Jameis Says:

    Heck, Richard Williamson had a better win % than Lovie did and there are many reading this post right now going “Who?”

  30. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Back in the day…..some folks even thought John McKay sucked as a coach….some things never change.

    I could have gone either way on the Lovie firing…..give him another year or can him….I realized a long time ago that even though this was MY team….it wasn’t my team….if you know what I mean.

  31. BucTrooper Says:

    @LLBuc… I really think the team mantra is the problem was “scheme” and I can see how they got there. CBs were 7 yards off, running hard slants. It was pitch and catch. Lovie didn’t care as long as the tackle was made, but the catches were uncontested and there was zero chance of a drop.

    I guess we’ll find out in August.

  32. Howard Cosell Says:

    Mike Johnson Says:
    May 11th, 2016 at 12:43 pm
    Lovie Smith has been Bashed more than any coach in our Buc history. And I have been a fan thru them all. And there were many far worse. Who will all of you BASH when..if.. the losing starts all over again? The Ghost of Lovie? Surely not Banks and Verner or the rest of the Defense. Players played poorly. Coaches don’t play. Guess Lovie did though huh?
    Lovie Bashers and Joe..UNITE!!

    Lovie was handled with kid gloves. Lovie never had a billboard campaign focused against him like Schiano did, and ironically Schiano was the better coach. I’ve never seen so many screaming apologists as I have for poor Lovie, the victim.
    Hell, GRUDEN took more abuse in the media by far than Lovie did. It’s hilarious to hear the Big Log talk about Gruden nowadays, because back in 2004-2008 he made a full time job out of bashing Gruden on the airwaves. How’d that work out for us?
    Raheem took WAY more message board abuse than Lovie ever did and he was the best Bucs coach since Gruden.
    Poor, poor Lovie the victim. It’s travesty. He was just about to turn the corner with his scheme and the Glazers cut him short. WAAAAAHHH!!

  33. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Tmaxcon: I ain’t gonna cry!

  34. BigHogHaynes Says:

    The Realist: I can speak your language!

  35. Howard Cosell Says:

    Lol @ the trolls

  36. Howard Cosell Says:

    a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion,[3] often for their own amusement.

  37. HarlemBuc Says:

    Agree Cosell… That’s about 25% of who’s on here… I come here because I love the bucs, fell in love with them after my first time in the parking lot, being from NYC going to a game isn’t really a thing but after going to Raymond James seeing that atmosphere I was all in
    And if I have to deal with a troll or two or three like today I will cuz this team will go to the super bowl and soon

  38. GhostofTedford Says:

    Typical play for the Bucs…..

    3rd and long, pass completion for the first down plus yardage. Our defense could never hold on 3rd down. Everyone knew just throw the ball and you had a better than high average chance to convert. Sad, back to the basement Lovie.

  39. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    No moderation???

  40. Howard Cosell Says:

    Lol, Joe is letting the inmates riot.


  41. Buccfan37 Says:

    I really liked the Kotter interview and feel confident the Bucs now have a head coach who will make the team better. If Lovie was still here I would not feel this way at all.

  42. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Howard Cosell: that would be Realist & Tmaxcon!

  43. Kevin Says:

    Comlletion percentage may not be in the top ten, but the higher the cometion percentage equals more first downs aloud. Where does THAT rank? We handed out first downs on third and short slant passes on silver platters. Press press coverage will fix so many things. If theres an elite reciever make sure a saftey keeps his eye on him but at least we wont get beat underneath every single play. Also they couldnt stop the pass between the corners and saftey at all . It will be so refreshing to actually watch our dbs jam the recievers at the line. Ive been dreaming of it for years and hating sundays when it never happened. This team is playoff bound for years to come and wi only get better every year. Koetter is Tampas new shiny version of bill bellicheat and with his knowledge of offenses I believe he will quickly learn how to be a dangerous defensive mind as well. GO BUCS!!!!!

  44. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Realist: I never called anyone a racist, my comment about the current coaching staff was spot-on, if you can use the term LOVIE’S FRIENDS&FAMILY, then Lily White should not upset anyone! Tmaxcon your opinion of me will never make a difference or matter to me!!

  45. Mike Johnson Says:

    Yet and still..WHO..will YOU BAsh when..IF..the losing starts again? Certainly not King Koetter huh?

  46. Howard Cosell Says:

    Koetter and the Glazers will get bashed back to the stone age if they go less than 8-8 and they’ll be harshly criticized if they go less than 10-6.

    Bro, MJ…and I say this with all sincerity…..you HAVE to be a troll.

  47. SB with Jameis Says:

    Raheem took WAY more message board abuse than Lovie ever did and he was the best Bucs coach since Gruden.
    Poor, poor Lovie the victim. It’s travesty. He was just about to turn the corner with his scheme and the Glazers cut him short. WAAAAAHHH!!

    Lol Howard……..truer words have rarely been spoken.

  48. Buc1987 Says:

    Schiano was bashed 5 times more than Lovie Smith on JBF. Period.

  49. Buc1987 Says:

    How do I know?

    Because I was his defender. Of course I only did it because he was white though.

  50. Buc1987 Says:

    Mike Johnson….cut out the Black Power BS and stop dividing the country.

    Okay. I’m done.

  51. Bob in Valrico Says:

    white lilies ,black roses we got it all on this staff.And the great thing is they all come with qualifications to make this team better. performance based league, lovie and key parts of his staff were neither qualified or deserving of more time. sometimes it is better sever ties and undo the damage.

  52. Buc1987 Says:

    Bob…the shellacking that the Bucs took at the hands of the Falcons and Ravens in year 1 Lovie warranted his firing. The guy’s a defensive coach for f’s sake. I heard all the excuses about only drafting 1 defensive player blah blah. Actually that’s the ONLY excuse they have.

    That’s all they got.

  53. Buccfan37 Says:

    I’m through backing up in reverse under Lovie. I’m in neutral fixin to go into drive since Lovie walked the plank. Picking up speed. Go Bucs!

  54. BigHogHaynes Says:

    How can a Black man divid a country, determined to elect TRUMP as its President!

  55. Bucsfan_wandering vietnam Says:

    I was torn by loves approach… It was ineffective but at least it was more entertaining that the previous few years. I actually watched close to a whole season both years.

    @joe. Love ya bud. You’re basically my only true source of bucs news.. Pewter report just stretches for content sometimes. But that was a fascinating interview- we need more of these types of interviews with the coaches.

  56. Joe Says:


    Thank you for the kind words. Wish we could get more interviews like this. Bucs have to allow the coaches to be available.

    Speaking of which, all assistants will be available to the media this afternoon so stay tuned for a bunch of fresh copy from the assistants.

  57. Bob in Valrico Says:

    It is just possible that the so called “Lovie bashers” are focusing on his deficiencies as a coach and not racially motivated .It is also clear that
    to some it is about race and not his performance as coach.6-24 is unacceptable,period.Glazers made a business decision.Now if we totally ignore
    racially motivated posters,they will either leave or start talking football.Go Bucs

  58. Bob in Valrico Says:

    make that 8-24

  59. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Bob in Valrico: I’m sure you are the one that is more than qualified to say who should get a job on an NFL Coaching Staff! But you do have a point on ignoring the jack-asses!

  60. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @big hog
    all I will say is that if you don’t think that this is qualified staff. prove it.
    or better yet give them two years to prove you are right.been fired before and its always about performance.Your token coaches are some of the best in the league and if you are open minded you will admit that. Non token ones are pretty good too in the opinion of their peers.,not just mine.

  61. BigHogHaynes Says:

    There are 32 teams in this NFL, only 2 make it to the Super Bowl, 16 teams make the play-off, so on your logic at least 10 teams had what LOVIE had ” incompetent staff, LOVIE did it his way, his staff, his defensive scheme and it did not work, I believe he was told he would get three years to turn this club around ( just my belief) but the BACK-STABBER put an end to that, now this new staff takes over and without even training camp they are titled world class staff, what in the world has Mike Smith ever done, yea he had a good team in Atlanta and could not get it done, everything new in T Bay, LOVIE gone and still getting paid, we have a world class staff focuse on that and quit BASHING!

  62. Bob in Valrico Says:

    as I said before you get fired when you are not performing.You admitted that Lovie did it his way and it didn’t work out.It is my belief that it is the GM’s job to communicate with Owners. If changes were required he wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t report it.So follow your own advice if you don’t know what Licht ‘s duities are and stop bashing him.Rich Mackay talked weekly while he was GM.