Mike Smith Talks “Penalty Production”

May 18th, 2016


Joe’s unsure if defensive coordinator Mike Smith brought a mop, a hazmat team and/or adult diapers with him when he arrived in Tampa.

All would have been appropriate after the Bucs cranked out 143 penalties last season, flirting with the NFL single-season record of 158.

In 2012, Smith’s Falcons had the fewest penalties in NFL history, just 55, and they set the record for least penalty yards (415). That wasn’t by chance. In 2010, the Falcons had just 58 penalties, one of the best marks in league history.

Last week, Joe reminded Smith of the Bucs’ penalty woes and asked Smith to comment on whether he’s already laid the foundation to clean up the Bucs’ discipline mess, given that he’s a penalty-prevention guru.

“Well, I think Coach Koetter has laid the ground work. There’s no doubt about that,” Smith said. “Penalties are probably the toughest thing to handle, especially the procedural penalties before the ball is snapped. Those are the things you want to eliminate. First-and-5 is a lot easier than 1st-and-10, or when you’re 3rd-and-1 and you jump offside and give them an automatic first down without them even running a play. So, those are the things that we’ve got to make sure we clean up.

“We can’t have the type of penalty production we had last year and it’s a big emphasis point. Our coaches are coaching it on the film, on the practice field and I think it’s going to be very important. The least penalized teams usually are the ones that win more games.”

Joe will quibble with Smith on his last point. Plenty of great teams commit a lot of penalties, but those penalties still represent a senseless loss and a momentum shift most of the time.

Joe appreciates that Smith is positive and says Koetter has “laid the ground work.” Joe believes, ultimately, it will come down to accountability.

Koetter is going to have to be all over position coaches whose guys are committing penalties. And some players, such as Mike Evans and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, might have to get benched for a series or more to realize idiotic penalties won’t be tolerated.

There are a lot of bad habits to break.

17 Responses to “Mike Smith Talks “Penalty Production””

  1. The Buc Realist Says:

    You mean just saying that it will be corrected in a press conference after a loss won’t fix it!!!!! Just another reason on the pile of why the Incompetent one is not here now!!!!! And the sheep think it was just because Head Coach Koetter was going to interview!!!!LOL!!!!!!!!!

  2. Buccaneers Says:

    By my count they have added 22 more penaltys since the 2012 season when Atlanta broke that record. I don’t think it will be possible to ever touch that record unless they cut a few pages out of the rules book.

    But gooood God……Did I read that right? 143 penalties last year!!! Looks just as bad on paper as it did to watch.

    Mike Smith please save us and get us out of triple digits……..I literally just dry heaved.

  3. Buccaneers Says:

    For what it’s worth Realist Koetter was here last year coaching our players too.

    I mean if he was doing a great job at fixing the penaltys it sure didn’t show up on Gameday.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    I’m sure that every coach the Bucs have ever had preached minimizing penalties. Heck, several used to use zebras at practices to stress the point. And yet the Bucs keep piling up penalties … and losses.

    I agree with Mike Smith when he said that “The least penalized teams usually are the ones that win more games.” (The key word being USUALLY Joe). I wonder if a lot of that doesn’t have to do with being in ‘control of a game’ as opposed to always playing-from-behind (like the Bucs do so often).

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Penalties may not stop a really good team from winning….but they sure will keep a bad team from winning.

  6. Bucsfanman Says:

    Coaching AND accountability play a big part here. If we can get buy-in from the players and stop this madness, we’ll stop putting ourselves in terrible positions. Lets face it, some of those calls were just plain S-T-U-P-I-D!
    I wonder what the yardage was. We probably gave away two whole games just in penalty yards alone.

  7. BUC55 Says:

    “Plenty of great teams commit a lot of penalties”

    For this to be an accurate statement, it should say something like: Some good DEFENSES have had a lot of penalties. This is easily explained by very aggressive defenders playing on the edge. This concept does not apply to the offense!

  8. Dreambig Says:

    This is not brain surgery. Penalties cost you points. They stop drives on offense and keep drives going on defense. Massive penalties are a clear sign of an undisciplined team and I think that is a huge responsibility of the coaches to provide the required correction to keep it under control. I have been harping on this since last year and I don’t give Koetter a pass because while our oline was decent last year, they killed us in penalties. Dont take my word for it, go out to nflpenalties website and check it out. Top 4 offenders were on the offense, Mike Evans was one of those 4 and the other top 3 were Oline. The Bucs had the most illegal formation penalties in the league. Out to the top 10 in penalties on the Bucs, 6 were offensive players, including Winston but not sure he counts because he get the penalties for delay of game and intentional grounding. Bottom line is Smith isnt going to clean up the penalties by himself.

  9. Kevin Says:

    I think playing good football should come first….THEN worry about penalties. We havent seen good football in a while around these here parts

  10. Pickgrin Says:

    Kevin – “playing good football” directly involves “worry(ing) about penalties”. A team that is committing the # of penalties that the Bucs did last year is not “playing good football”.

    Rhealist – you are starting to sound like a broken record at this point. Let it go dude. The organization did the right thing and got rid of Lovie 5 months ago. What is the sense in piling on??? – post after post after post after post after post after…….

  11. Mike Johnson Says:

    its the entire coaching staff responsibility to coach up penalties. I mean Koetters players had there fair share of penalties last year. But those penalties were Lovies fault. Hell, why not?

  12. Bucsfan007 Says:

    I got a dumb question, that just occurred to me:
    If our defense gives up a 5 yard offsides penalty ….. Does it get credited to the opposing offense for yards gained ?
    (I’m thinking …Probably not)

  13. BigHogHaynes Says:

    When we fail to win 8 games this year it will be LOVIE’S fault!

  14. Buc1987 Says:

    Everything is Lovie’s fault.

    So glad we have “lily white” Koetter to fix the Incompetent ones mess.

  15. Mike Johnson Says:

    Lovie Bashers? UNITE!

  16. BigHogHaynes Says:

    @ Buc1987: I used the term Lilly White as a term of endearment !

  17. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    Bringing in the “least penalized coach in league history cannot hurt. Let’s pray he gets thru to sum of these thick skulled players. If not we will be beating our self hust like last season, and if your not the pats or hawks u can’t afford to do that and still win most of the time. We are by far the most u disciplined team in the league, and probably one of the most of all time sadly. But I think that’s what your gonna get when u have a league record 21 starts by a rookie. Signing vets like Grimes and ayers will help the cause but guys like Gholston and Smith have to take it upon the self to pull there head out of there @$$ and stop committing senseless penalties. Especially Gholston’s A$$ kicking and stomping on players on the ground. I can’t count how many great plays were called back by senseless acts. Yes there was alot of terrible calls as well but when u are the most undisciplined and flagged team in the league your not going to get the benefit of the doubt. We cannot take the next step to being a great team u til we clean up crap like this.” Its as Simple as that” as our favorite coach use to say.