Dirk Koetter Vs. The PFF Tribe

October 27th, 2016
Bucs coach lashes out at the spreadsheeters.

Bucs coach lashes out at the spreadsheeters.

Joe is a fan of folks and entrepreneurs who are able to get over on folks.

Just today, Joe read that a bar in Wrigleyville (the entertainment and residential neighborhood surrounding Wrigley Field in Chicago) is charging folks $250 to watch the World Series — games that are available on free TV!

Hey, if you can find enough saps to cough up $250 a pop to watch a ballgame available just about anywhere for nothing, more power to you.

It reminded Joe of the PFF tribe. In many ways, the Pro Football Focus site is a testament to one of the greatest con jobs ever pulled off.

These guys — to Joe’s knowledge, few if any have a football background and one of the head tribesman is a former minor league pitcher — have folks absolutely hoodwinked that they are both the final and absolute authority on all things football.

And boy do these numberscrunchers have thin skin. Joe’s been blocked by several on Twitter. Boo, hoo!

Joe is fortunate enough to be able to mingle at times with a lot of coaches and front office types, both current and past, and you should just hear what these guys think of the PFF tribe. It isn’t pretty. Yeah, some assistant coaches like the fact their teams have contracts with the tribe for them to do quality control work, which cuts down their workload.

And Joe is not close-minded enough to suggest the PFF tribe is totally worthless. They do some good stuff like YAC stats and broken tackles, things like that.

But when it comes to their player grades, specifically offensive line grades, it’s like “The Onion” for sports it is so hysterical. The same coaches that respect the tribe’s quality control work chortle over the tribe’s beloved grades.

It is in this context Bucs coach Dirk Koetter lashed out at the tribe yesterday, in so many words, saying the tribe has zero clue what they are watching on All-22 when it comes to offensive line play.

The biggest example is the hard on the tribe has for Bucs left tackle Donovan Smith, who they basically deem worthless yet he anchors a line that doesn’t allow many sacks and is adept at opening holes for running backs.

It angers Koetter that the tribe unloads on the Bucs offensive line and Koetter has had it.

“You know, I’ve always – since I came here over a year ago – I’ve always said, ‘Our O-line gets beat up way more than they deserve,’ Koetter said. “There’s plenty of teams that have O-line issues and we feel like we have pretty decent depth on our O-line all the way down – knock on wood – all the way down into our practice squad. We feel good about the guys we’ve got and they’re playing well together. I give credit to [run game coordinator/offensive line] George [Warhop], [assistant offensive line] Butch [Barry] who work with them every day, but I give credit to those guys. We’ve got good leadership in the room, those guys are playing hard.

“I know there’s the critics out there that have their own grading scale, the mysterious grading scale. We look at our own grading scale. We’re going to grade them how – because we know what they are supposed to be doing every play. Other people that grade them, how do you grade someone when you don’t know what they are supposed to do?

“But, I think – I’ve always thought – our O-line, they play hard, they play together. They’re not perfect, but I’ll take them on my team any day.”

This is pretty much what Bill Belicheat said about the PFF tribe when he went on a rant against them a couple of years ago.

“I don’t know how you can know that unless you’re really part of the team and know exactly what was supposed to happen on that play,” Belicheat said in 2013 of the tribe’s All-22-watching ways. “I know there are a lot of experts out there that have it all figured out but I definitely don’t.”

It isn’t just line play but also pass routes. These things are so intricate, sometimes down to the inch, Joe has no clue how someone could say a player ran a bad or wrong route. How do you know? Were you in the huddle? Did you know what route the receiver was ordered to run? Saying a receiver ran a bad or wrong route is simply guesswork at best.

Joe remembers talking to an NFL receiver once about this and Joe asked him how, for example, broadcasters can say a guy ran a bad route if they are not privy to what was called. The receiver looked at Joe, smiled widely, and said, “They don’t know.”

As for the tribe’s offensive line grades, Joe sat with an NFL general manager at the combine in Indianapolis last winter and asked about the PFF tribe’s offensive line grades.

The general manager reacted so sharply, he flailed his arms in the air and jumped back so quickly, Joe thought he might fall over backwards. Then the GM began roaring as if he was at a Chris Rock concert before citing examples of how completely off base the tribe is when it comes to offensive line play.

Yes, the PFF tribe does some good things, but don’t let them con you. Despite their thin-skin demeanor and quick wont to lash out at critics, they are not and never will be the final and absolute word in what is good and what is bad in the NFL.

It’s better to leave that to the professionals.

14 Responses to “Dirk Koetter Vs. The PFF Tribe”

  1. Glenningrad Says:

    the more these clowns rip on Warhop, the less likely it is that he will leave us in the offseason I guess.

  2. You go Joe Says:

    I laught at their grades after a game. They graded a team based on fox/abc/NBC live footage. But then they add a disclaimer it can change when further analyzed.

  3. briandorry55 Says:

    You just mentioned a few posts ago that Jameis has been hit ALOT this season. We don’t have much sacks because Jameis wriggles out of them or gives us all a heart attack while finding an unorthodox and risky way to get the ball out of his hands and have it fall incomplete. Surely the offensive line has to bare some of the blame for the hits?
    Have written at length that Jameis led the NFL in QB hits (an official NFL stat) last year and is way head of his 2015 pace. Something has to give. Joe is not blaming the O-line for the extraordinary number. Mostly on Jameis, and plenty on Koetter who has to find a way to cut the number. –Joe

  4. Pickgrin Says:

    Cris Collinsworth does NOT approve this message.

  5. Joe Says:

    Cris Collinsworth does NOT approve this message.

    Understandable. He’s the majority owner of the outfit.

  6. D-Rome Says:

    Joe is not blaming the O-line for the extraordinary number. Mostly on Jameis, and plenty on Koetter…

    Perhaps you can link me to the blog post where you go in depth as to how the offensive line is not to blame for all the hits Jameis has taken this year. Maybe you haven’t written about this yet. Some of those hits are absolutely on Jameis. I’m truly perplexed on how you can blame Dirk Koetter. One way to keep a QB from getting hit is to run the ball. Over the past two games the Bucs have crammed that ball down opponent’s throats. Do you think Koetter should have 2 tight ends out there on every play? Perhaps more 3 step drops for quick throws?

    The offensive line does some things well, especially run blocking. I’m not going to sit here and say the entire unit stinks. You’re right though, something has to give.

  7. LargoBuc Says:

    Go on yutube and watch some of these guys analyze football in their videos. One guy in particular I called out saying that he is misguided for claiming Donovan Smith was “garbage” and his whole argument was that pff said so and I argued the point Joe elaborated on above. How can you possibly grade an NFL o lineman without knowing their assingment? You can’t even be sure if the line was using man or zone on any given play! I of course stuck up for Donovan, stating sure, he has room for improvement. But to call him garbage is inexcusable, esp for someone that barely watches the Bucs at all. Moral of the story, pff is not the end all be all for determining who is good or bad, and so called experts that reference their grades are foolish!

  8. Buc4Lyfe79 Says:

    I believe Joe has cited before the great Bill Walsh’s tidbit of wisdom regarding QB’s and they’re needing 26-30 games before really settling in and becoming consistently good. That’s what I hope will “give” before the end of this season, Jameis settling in and becoming consistently good..ala 1,2, balls out on 3.

  9. LovieBall Says:

    All-22? PFF puts out grades before All-22 is even released. The coaches haven’t even broken down the game yet.

  10. Buc1987 Says:

    What’s PFF?

  11. Buccaneers Says:

    Just in case anybody is wondering, Joe is the one sitting on the right in the article picture.

  12. Joe Says:

    Just in case anybody is wondering, Joe is the one sitting on the right in the article picture.

    Tip that you are mistaken. There’s no beer in front of that dude. 🙂

  13. BigMacAttack Says:

    Who cares. Just win baby.

  14. godzilla13 Says:

    The Buccaneers have given up 14 sacks (14th) and 51 QB hits (2nd). In just six games that is a really alarming number. Some say that those numbers are not so bad considering all the pass attempts Winston makes? Not so, Sacked Percentage measures the rate of sacks a team suffers for every pass attempt. 237 attempts, 14 sacks = 5.6%. The Bucs are rated 16th overall. How do you blame Winston and Koetter when a DE puts a spin move or counter move on a tackle and goes virtually untouched to our QB? We all know where the issues are. I still for the life of me can’t understand why Joe has such a bad taste for anything related to PFF? If you review the PFF player grades you would see that the vast majority match up very well to how a player has or has not performed. Ask yourself.. if we are better off with or without PFF? Without PFF there would be no offensive/defensive pressures statistical analyst for sacks, hits and hurries. Defensive secondary targeted vs completion statistics. RB elusive ratings. QB release time, yards per coverage snap, missed tackles and so on. Personally, I can’t image the NFL without them.