Koetter Is Not The Problem

November 7th, 2016
Squeezing production from scrubs.

Squeezing production from scrubs.

Over the weekend reading comments from Bucs fans and listening to the fan feedback on Justin Pawlowski’s excellent podcast, “Bucs Uncensored,” Joe saw a theme building for fans in their effort to unleash frustration and anger at their beloved Bucs.

For many, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter is too conservative.

Joe can only guess these folks haven’t seen the roster Koetter is dealing with on offense.

Here are the starters (and subsequent promoted starters) currently unavailable due to injury and/or being a straight-up dumbarse: Vincent Jackson, Doug Martin, tweety huge bowel movement Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Charles Sims, Jacquizz Rodgers, Antone Smith.

Joe can’t remember seeing a team have so many offensive skill position players go down with injury (with the exception of long-time headcase ASJ). The Bucs, with zero depth at wide receiver, and with so many running backs they’ve gone through, have been combing city parks for players.

And fans want Koetter to run an up-tempo offense with a bunch of CFL rejects, really? In the immortal words of Jimbo Fisher, “This ain’t PlayStation.”

Koetter knows exactly what he has on the roster and is fully aware he can’t run the offense he wants because he simply doesn’t have the horses. The way the defense has (hasn’t?) been playing of late, three-and-outs on offense will lead to a sure loss.

If anything, fans should be lauding Koetter for knowing and understanding this.

Then Joe began checking. The Bucs are actually middle of the pack in scoring, No. 18. The Bucs are just behind the Steelers (and all of their weapons) and ahead of the Cardinals (and all of their weapons).

And this is with total schlock for the most part at skill positions. Cecil Shorts, Peyton Barber… yet the Bucs are scoring points.

Koetter, Joe believes, is coaching his arse off with his offense. Sure, he’s made some head-scratching calls, but to be able to craft a respectable offense with all the junkyard parts he has to work with is impressive.

Right now, scoring points is not the problem for the Bucs.

43 Responses to “Koetter Is Not The Problem”

  1. duthsty rhothdes Says:

    But Jason Licht is in the D- F area as far is horrible GMing and not getting koetter the tools to make the franchise successful, basically koetter cant make chicken salad when licht has been giving him chicken spit

  2. ElioT Says:

    Bucs sign Josh Huff! lol

  3. Deminion Says:

    Can’t fix a team overnight I do think some guys shouldn’t be around next yr imo

  4. Dewey Selmon Says:

    If you would of told me in preseason that we would lose Vjax, ASJ, Martin, Sims, pickup and lose Rodgers and A Smith, and be 3-5 at the halfway mark with a lousy defense? I would of taken it.

  5. j dubb Says:

    hearing we signed josh huff to the practice squad, dont. know much about him other than just being released by philly for off the field issues, is he any better than anyone on the team and will he make much of a difference on game day if we bring him up and activate him?

  6. DislocatedBucsFan Says:

    Haha This thread is about to blow up with comments. I agree with Joe. I really like Koetter. We will be on an upward trajectory.

  7. DislocatedBucsFan Says:

    Koetter is doing a much better job than Lovie! No doubt about that. If he was still here I would bet that we would be 0-8 and subsequently fired. Koetter would be the HC to finish the year.

  8. Matthew Says:

    Koetter could have made a push to get a veteran WR to supplement our awful WR corps, but it appears he did not. Blame Koetter or Licht or both, but this absolving of any wrong doing by Koetter is silly. Fans are not upset he doesn’t have “skill guys” but his overall demeanor to pack it in, go conservative, or completely mismanage the game. Let’s rattle off some legit gripes about Dirk, not related at all to “talent deficiencies”.

    1. Rams game (Koetter screws up clock management & Timeout usage loses Bucs the game)
    2. Broncos game (Takes timeouts into the half giving up a possession, basically quits on his team with a give up gameplay post rain delay in a two score game by electing to punt)
    3. Panthers game (Needs defense to bail him out against a Derek Anderson led offense, as Koetter settles for FGs and running a Free Agent RB 30+ times instead of trying to win the game)
    4. Oakland Game (Again inexplicably takes 3 timeouts into half time in a 1 score game, with over a 1:20 remaining on the clock. A game that went to OT, and the Bucs were kicking off in the 2nd half. In overtime with a defense getting shredded, chooses to run 3 consecutive plays to 4th String RB Antone smith, resulting in a punt & Raiders victory)
    5. Atlanta Game (Again takes timeouts into half time, gives away a critical possession against a high powered offense, knowing his defense is awful. Leaves Jameis in a blow out game, and inexplicably calls for a two point conversion leading to his franchise QB getting hurt).

    The gripes with Koetter aren’t without merit. I’m not willing to go so far to say he’s “Gotta Go”, as most coaches need at least 2 years to get a good handle on what they are trying to implement “with their guys/system”. However, the early results do not look good on Koetter, he has a propensity to coach scared, fail to make in game adjustments, and exhibit AWFUL clock management. I’m rooting for him because if he’s good, the Bucs are good, but to absolve him from the disaster the season has been so far is very naïve.

  9. cnorys4 Says:

    Jason Licht gets a D-/F cause he hasn’t signed pro bowl players off the street?
    Lol yea that makes sense. I think Licht and Co has done the best they can with what they have. This team was never a contender coming in, but a another couple drafts and we could be in business.

  10. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Per NFL.com Bucs sign WR Josh Huff to practice squad.

  11. Buc4Lyfe79 Says:

    Josh Huff lands on our practice squad…really?

  12. Joe Says:

    Joe doesn’t give a hoot about practice squad, folks. Never has. If a guy is on the active roster, then Joe will care.

    Do the math: Bucs need a WR in the worst way and this guy isn’t good enough (yet) to be on the active roster. Of course, could change depending on Louis Murphy’s situation.

    Huff averages a catch a game. #JerryRice

  13. BucsFanInChina Says:

    @Matthew Nice write-up. He is certainly still learning how to put a team in a position to win, even with a ‘game management coach’ or whatever the guy is.

    What will save/fire Koetter is Jameis’ development, plain and simple. Licht needs to do his part in keeping the cupboard stocked, as a lack of success on offense only magnifies the gaffes Matthew wrote up.

  14. BucsFanInChina Says:

    Last I checked Josh Huff is a WR. Are we above signing a marginally talented, speedy receiver? I think not, folks.

  15. pick6 Says:

    just went through the roll call of expected contributors in the passing game at the start of training camp. the only ones to make it to this part of the year is Evans, Humphries, and Brate

    ASJ: cut (deservedly)
    VJax: IR
    Sims: IR
    Doug Maritn: Out half the year and counting
    L Murphy: IR
    K Bell: didn’t make roster
    D Dye: didn’t make roster

    try convincing a decent player that he can be a big contributor

  16. pick6 Says:

    [premature send] try convincing a decent Free Agent that he can be a big contributor with that presumed set of starters & backups. given that the team wasn’t going to demote VJax or sign someone to put young TEs like ASJ or Brate on the bench, so really the job openings for the bucs began with #3 WR or backup TE. not exactly going to get us into the contract range that ATL paid Sanu, for example

  17. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Great piece Joe. I believe we are headed in the right direction. There will come a season when we have a great team and do great things and Koetter willl get more credit than he deserves.

    This year may actually turn out to be a better season than a successful one given what he has to work with.

  18. Chris Says:

    Josh Huff has two returns for tds. I know , I know, he’s not of the caliber of your GM man crushs diamond in the rough kick returner from that football powerhouse Nc Central Ryan Smith, but then who is? #Jerry Rice.

  19. pick6 Says:

    yes, josh huff is not here for his ability to catch passes. he is here to preserve Adam Humphries’ ability to catch passes by returning kicks and punts until the NFL suspends him for the recent shenanigans

  20. Chris Says:

    Ehhh pick6, what’s a little weed and a gun with hollow point bullets? Little harmless kid fun. Although, he has caught more passes this year the Ghost Shorts and that tuxedo wearing velvet lunge crooner Freddie Martino.

  21. Chris Says:


  22. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Take a look at our skill position players. 6 of the 11 were undrafted. Evans is the only 1st or 2nd day draft pick! Not to mention we have no first rounders on the OL either. If you really think about it, it’s pretty amazing we can score at all. Perhaps we should reconsider how good of a season Jameis is having, and give Koetter a lot more credit for getting any production out of this offense. There’s no less talented offense in the league that what we are trotting out there on Sundays. Throw in the fact that we can’t kick and our defense is terrible, I actually don’t feel too bad about our 3-5 record.

    Evans – 1st round
    Shorts – 4th round
    Humphries – undrafted
    Shephard – undrafted
    Martino – undrafted

    Barber – undrafted
    James – 7th round
    Hansbrough – undrafted

    Brate – undrafted
    Stocker – 4th round
    Myers – 6th round

  23. ATrain Says:

    McCoy Fever has spread…

    Play a few sit, a few then at the end of the year make some good film in the last two games and you come back next year..


    McCoy I only hope you read some of this… You should step up and CRUSH people.. That’s what DLINE MEN DO>>

  24. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    If only everyone within the Bucs organization was as smart as a select few anonymous posters on this board. Obviously the problem isn’t the injuries. Obviously it isn’t the lack of depth. Obviously it’s the fault of the team captain, top rated, most sacks, most forced fumbles, most respected player on the team. I mean, damn you guys are geniuses. Why don’t you work in the NFL? You guys obviously have the inside info that no one else has. Who needs to be credentialed to be in the building everyday when you can analyze so well from your couch? Who needs coaches film when you can just check the stat line at the end of the day? I really hope the Glazers get some common sense and hire you guys to fix the problems.

  25. Dave1979 Says:

    I’m with Joe, for a first time head coach and all the injuries to skill players, I think the offense isn’t the problem! How long has Mike Smith been in the NFL, from what I remember Greg Shicano had our defense playing better than this! Defense wins football games Defense makes your offense better look around the league! When any 3rd stronger can shred your defense! Your offense is in for a long day!

  26. Bucsince1976 Says:

    The Bucs have been mediocre in the personnel department for about a decade now. And I’m being charitable calling it “mediocre.” With the roster that Koetter has been handed and the injuries the team has had, there are about five coaches on the planet who would be .500 right now.

    Look how much John Harbaugh has struggled in Baltimore the last couple of years with Reed, Lewis, Boldin, Rice, Torrey Smith, etc.. He didn’t become a bad coach, he just doesn’t have a roster with many good players.

    Koetter may not be the answer, but he’s being asked to wrestle a bear with one hand tied behind his back.

  27. ZZBucs!!! Says:

    Pretty much agree with Joe, Koetter is a coach not a magician…..

  28. Tony Says:

    Good teams give coaches 4 years. at least. Period. The fact that this article is written 1/2 a season into a coach’s first season says everything one needs to know about Tampa.

  29. Matthew Says:

    If the premise of this article that fans “hate the Bucs offense & blame Koetter for it”, its a total straw man take The folks upset with Koetter, aren’t upset over “offensive production”; they are upset with his cowardly/conservative coaching in tight games by giving up possessions, and awful clock management that have cost the team at a minimum 1 if not 2 victories. Everyone agrees he’s done well enough “producing points” with an offense ravaged by injuries, its the decision making & his process for making those decisions people are questioning. I don’t see anyone with any credibility saying “Koetter’s gotta go”; he’s learning & hopefully will improve. But if a 22 year old QB playing his 2nd year in the league can be “constructively” critiqued for areas he can improve, Koetter a grown man with far MORE pro experience than Jameis, certainly can get some too.

  30. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    This team would be better right now, this year with Laremy Tunsil at RT and Sterling Shepard at WR than we are right now with Vernon Hargraves at CB and Noah Spence on the bench

    This is indisputable

  31. Buc4Lyfe79 Says:

    The really statement wasn’t meant as enthusiasm…It was overt he fact that he’s basically another ASJ and I was surprised that we’d bring in a guy whos basically a walking wrap sheet practice squad or no

  32. NJSkullGang Says:

    Lovie had the same injuries plus some. Get the facts right.

  33. Dave Says:

    Dont forget Simms, Rogers, Smith all at running back and Sheppard just emerging at WR and now gone

    It’s not JW and Dirk. They lost all skill players

  34. Getaclue Says:

    I’m tired of the failed defenses. Let just load up on weapons for Winston and have some shoot outs. If we can make a stop on D it’s just a bonus

  35. Tbbucs3 Says:


    That’s our only way to win games. We need to do what the Saints do. They have a complete offense, terrible defense and still can comepete with some of the best teams.

  36. MadMax Says:

    I wish JW3 would stop looking so goofy trying to fire everyone up like he’s on a high school team. Especially when it aint working.

    Just be grown and act normal Jameis, it aint working brah!

  37. Bird Says:

    100 % agree. Love koetter

  38. pick6 Says:

    @Dave….correct. that list does not include all the guys that did an admirable job of filling in for the injured, before getting injured themselves

  39. iamkingsu Says:

    Koetter is a horrible head coach or Licht is a horrible general manager. It can’t be both ways

  40. gotbbucs Says:

    If the Bucs end the season above .500 considering what this roster has looked like for every game but the openner, Koetter should be in the Coach of the Year conversation.

    I’m joking, kind of.
    Koetter still has some very confusing calls and non-calls, especially considering how long he’s been around the NFL. Rookie head coach or not, they’re still some head scratching calls. He’ll have a longer leash than what Lovie had but if by year 3 things aren’t changing then something will surely have to give.
    I pray that they bring in the necessary players to fix things in the next couple years because I for one am sick to death of new head coach/GM roster turnovers.

  41. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Im mostly upset with koetter with the way he has developed Jameis. Jameis, even when there isn’t an open WR down field and his check down hasn’t a man within 10 yards of him, will still not throw a checkdown pass. I love that Jameis is aggressive, but he needs to be reigned in from time to time. Koetter needs to get on his QB and tell him to take what the defense is giving him. There is no excuse for Winston to struggle so mightily in the 4th quarter, while glennon comes off the bench and perfectly drives down the field and scores a TD, while throwing nothing but checkdowns and 5 yard routes. If glennon can do it, then Winston sure as heck can. And koetter needs to get his QB under control and making him be a successful player. Letting Winston just let it rip with no control is not good for Winston nor this football team.

  42. Dave Says:

    Totally agree with Hawaiian Buc and Joe.
    McCoy is great. Offense producing points despite
    Lost starters. If we had help for McCoy on dl
    Our db’s would be far more productive and probably 3 more
    Wins to date.
    Agree Koetter has a lot more to learn but confident he’ll get there.

  43. Mike Johnson Says:

    Koetter might not be the problem. No 1st yr coach is right? They get passes. But he is going to get the blame as he should. After all, he is the Captain of the pirate ship. Other coaches got blamed and so should he. And Just..tus..for all Baby!!