It’s Not The O-Line

December 13th, 2016
Former Bucs tight end Anthony Becht talks run game

Former Bucs tight end Anthony Becht talks run game

Yes, the Bucs’ running game lacked strength against the ragged Saints run defense, a group that surely won’t win any awards when the season ends.

But Dirk Koetter is staunchly defending Doug Martin and his three yards per carry average. Martin’s longest effort against the Saints on Sunday was eight yards.

So why the consistent lack of production from Martin and the run game?

Former Bucs tight end Anthony Becht, a 12-year NFL veteran and a current ESPN college football color analyst and a voice on the Buccaneers Radio Network, says the O-line stepped up its game against the Saints. So don’t put it on them.

“I thought [the offensive line] improved when we talked about last week of securing the line of scrimmage to the second level,” Becht said of the effort vs. New Orleans..

Becht added the O-line was “coming off the ball” well and the yardage just wasn’t there from the running backs, which is why Becht said he’s waiting for the running game “to explode” in an upcoming game.

Becht said the No. 1 thing he liked from the running backs group against the Saints was their aggression in pass protection.

So let Joe get this straight: First, when a seasoned film student like Becht says the No. 1 thing he liked from running backs is pass blocking, that should tell you something. Second, Becht’s diligent film study tells him the O-line is performing and a breakout game is near. That tells Joe that Becht is gently pointing a finger at the RBs.

Becht added that he’d like to see Koetter run less of the extra-tackle package, the jumbo set, and run the ball more out of spread-type formations.

Ultimately, Becht said, the lack of a No. 2 receiver threat is hurting options in the run game.

36 Responses to “It’s Not The O-Line”

  1. softastissueMcCoy93 Says:

    It the checks too, sometimes you have let the QB check out of bad plays on first down.

  2. BCoburn Says:

    I’ve been thinking back to the Gruden days when sometimes you have to pass to setup the running game and that sometimes means temporarily replacing it with dumps offs and screens. Sometimes you have to mix in some dink and dunk… get some yac and maybe it would help our thin receiving corps? Definitely need to keep getting Brate involved and would like to see more catching out of the backfield by Simms.

    I also agree sometimes it was way too obvious we were going to run. Might have to run the jumbo with PA and hook up with Brate or Evans.

  3. Change is here Says:

    Wow I watched the saints game and I saw defenders in the backfield on nearly every running play.

  4. Change is here Says:

    Maybe it was because the play calling was very predictable?

    Idk but I’ll take it.

    A win is a win and they can’t have a losing record this year.

    That’s progress to me.

  5. Tampa Tony Says:

    Re watched the game 3 times and the line was bad. RB’s getting hit in the backfield consistently and the pressure from the ends on Jameis was consistently getting there as well. Not sure how any sane person can fault Martin for this awful line

  6. Shane Says:

    THE playcalling was horrible.

  7. Warrenfb12 Says:

    Why is Koetter saying the Bucs have to play better around Doug Martin?

  8. NutterBuccer Says:

    I agree with the less jumbo formation….teams just stack up against us and time after time we get 2/3 yards maybe. Spread it out more and run been saying it all season long, we don’t have a Blount back there that’s gonna break through all those tackles or an oline like Dallas that can dominate time after time. Wouldn’t mind adding some need to this oline next year and hoping Sweezy can come back healthy to do so.

  9. unbelievable Says:

    Shhhhh you guys, it’s only Doug Martin’s fault.

    It’s not the o-line’s fault when they get beat and defenders are in the backfield immediately.

    It’s not predictable run play calling that is allowing the opposing defense to stack 8 or 9 in the box and sell out to stop the run.

    Charles Sims had a single run for 12 yards (and 5 total yards on all the rest of his carries), so obviously Doug Martin is the entire problem. It just can’t be a combination of other things, only Doug.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I have been saying for some time now that we need to play action more often on first down…an incomplete pass is no worse that a run stopped for no gain, a loss or even a 1 yd gain….and at least it will start keeping the defense honest on 1st down. We have a good number of RB recievers that can be used to dump off.
    If the Oline is fine and Martin is fine then there is only one thing left and that is the playcall.
    I think we need to trust that our passing game will actually open up our run….not the other way.

  11. pick6 Says:

    if it wasn’t the line, the saints must have been selling out vs the run at the right time, because defenders seemed to be in our RB’s laps before they could attempt a cut on multiple key occasions, most obvious of which was the safety. they came off the ball okay at times, but right now neither the running game or the passing game is scaring people. Let’s see if the return of Stocker and Dotson helps put this behind us and the run game can break out as Becht predicts

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    Really like Anthony Becht’s analyses, but I’m pretty sure he was looking at the Bucs game against San Francisco when he wrote that piece. Time after time there were no running lanes and Martin just hit a wall … of bad guys. Bucs OLine was actually getting pushed backwards on far too many run plays Sunday. Bringing in an extra OLineman, apparently to compensate for losing Stocker these past several games, doesn’t appear to be working out all that well.

    Becht did however hit on a key to the upcoming Dallas game I think when he said ‘run the ball more out of spread-type formations’. Play-action passes, screens, etc might also work. Ask the Giants. Ask the Redskins.

  13. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    I’ve never been a Doug Martin fan and I think he’s well overrated and overpaid just like GMC.

  14. Bobby M. Says:

    I think Koetter knew the best defense for Brees is owning the clock which made running the Ball predictable and gave defenders a jump on our o-line. Doug Martin is a grinder and while he didn’t get the yardage we desired…he kept things moving forward and brought physicality to the opposition. Smash mouth football is not how the Saints prefer to play.

  15. BucfanBF Says:

    90% OL
    10% RB’S
    OL had trouble opening holes for our RB’S all day with a couple exceptions. Ray Charles could see this…..

  16. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Doug is due for a huge game. Let’s hope it happens against the Cowgirls.

  17. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Becht is right about 1 thing, we need to stop running out of jumbo sets, it is like giving the defense the play call before the snap. We rarely ever pass out of these big sets, and defenses can just attack the LOS knowing it is a run. Koetter needs to get more creative. Putting extra lineman into the formation is not helping run any more efficiently. So stop doing it already! Be more like our defense. Keep the opponent confused and guessing. Don’t give them giant signs telling them what you are doing.

    Doug Martin has ran well behind fullbacks for most of his career. It is sad that the bucs couldnt land a FB this off season. I think that might be a contributing factor to the lack of production from ALL of our running backs. Last season we averaged 5 YPC as a team. This year it is closer to 3.5. Even if you take out doug martin, the team is not running at the same level. Koetter has said he loves having a Fullback. Not having a FB might be the reason the run game is not as productive.

  18. Gencoimports Says:

    I respectfully do not agree with Becht that the offensive line is not contributing to the problem.

    However, I do agree with him on what is posted here in the last two paragraphs is part of the problem which is more than the Joes are ever willing to admit. Other commenters here have also pointed out these problems (formation problems, No. legit No. 2 receiver) over the last few days, but the Joes just want to stick it all on Doug Martin, and ignore everything else.

    I am willing to admit that something may be off on Martin, that he is not 100 pct, but are they ever willing to admit that it’s not all him? Nope, they just want to stir up controversy as if this were talk radio.

    And to answer your question to me yesterday Joe “If Martin no 100 pct, then why is he out there?”

    Because he is helping them win. His presence on the field alone is helping America’s QB do his job. An .857 winning pct when he is on the field vs. .333 when they are not.

    I’m done here.

  19. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    OL was getting crushed, they ran a toss towards their bench and it was blown up from the start. The safety is another, although they should gone deep with that and then when the bucs had it first and goal and it was blown up and BucfanBF has it perfect

  20. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I honestly think it’s everything.

    1 – our o-line has not been that great at run blocking almost all year; as evidenced by the production of the run game in general

    2 – doug martin is not as effective as last year. He’s not always reading the blocks well and has missed a few opportunities in every game I’ve seen where he didn’t see a massive hole or an opportunity for a big run

    3 – the play calling needs to be better

  21. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Rather not see simms run the ball again, he is great in the screen game and definitely a mismatch on the outside as a flanker but j rodgers and peyton barber run it up there and run it hard, d martin ran pretty hard IMO last week….jameis made some great throws but the one he missed to simms really hurt, hopefully this week jameis shows america’s team who america’s QB is

  22. Kobe Faker Says:

    jameis threw the ball 26 times

    that is way too low. Not doesnt mean our recievers suck LOL. They didnt get enough targets

    Why is koetter trying to make us a run team when we dont have the personnel to be good at it

    ever since fat dougy came back he is trying to make us the riggans/hogs of the south

    why? fat dougy wasnt running well before the injury and our off line does better pass protection.

    where is the creen passess to loosed the stacked box but instead koetter adds 2 more blockers and now it looks like a damn rugby match

    let jameis loose and throw to 3 players. Sheop, Sims and Brate and then when they stop doubleing ME13, throw to evans

    Koetter the clown has too much information overload and he is going back to his maruice drew jones 40 carries jacksonville playcalling days

  23. firethecannons Says:

    I saw Cherilus getting beat over and over, I saw their guys in our backfield over and over, I saw DM22 aiming for the middle of the congested pack and getting minimum, seems like better run plays are in order.

  24. 813bucboi Says:

    @lord…I agree…I think its all 3….that’s why I say draft an olineman in the first round if elite wr talent(m.williams, dede westbrook, john ross, malichi dupree) are gone…..this will be another deep draft for dt’s as well as secondary….GO BUCS!!!!

  25. Tampa2ali Says:

    I don’t know what game he watched but the saints d line was in our backfield almost every play. Doug Martin had to break tackles to get to the line of scrimmage…

  26. Dave Says:

    I disagree. I think it’s 50-50. Seems like half the running plays had a DT or DE blowing up in the backfield and making the RB make a move before he even gets to the line of scrimmage

  27. ndog Says:

    It is simple Kobe because when we have balance we win and when we get pass happy we lose. I agree it does seem predictable from time to time, but it is working and it is also proven when we get out of balance we lose, end of story.

  28. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    As soon as Doug blew his hammy TMAX said that’s it for the year. Hammies end seasons.

    He wasn’t far off. I think Doug is still rounding into final shape and his hammy is almost 100% now. Every now and then he’s making those jump cut moves quickly like he used to do….he needs more consistency and I see the game is coming to him now. I think it will be the same for Sims.

    It’s hard to not be really excited imagining both Martin and Sims rounding into 2015 shape and performance abilities right as we enter the stretch drive and the playoff push.

  29. tmaxcon Says:


    I was not being negative. I was being realistic considering 22 history and the injury. I’m not a 22 “fan never have been. Good back but unreliable and inconsistent production hurts the chances of bucs winning consistently. Martin is better served as a part time back moving forward

  30. Issic Haggins Says:

    For all the fellas that didn’t like my other post it looks like Becht Agrees . Fellas don’t argue with Becht he knows what the hell he talking about and about 90 percent of the posters disagreed yesterday , which means YOU ARE WRONG !!! Watch film peeps it doesn’t lie, ( should have had two yards on that safety) Martin is his own worst enemy and is missing little and some big holes allot!!! He hesitates when he shouldn’t and is out of control when he need not be ,Does he run hard, does he have good / great runs ,Hell yes he does !!! Half of his broken tackles are from running into guys that are engaged that he shouldn’t run into and his lack of execution on down and distance is unacceptable .He has no clue as to down and distance which is ok at times but not so much at other times , when Winston becomes aware of this problem he will fix it !!! He’s not Barry Sanders , he needs to hit the hole and then the split second block will spring him for thirty !!! Go Bucs !!!!

  31. orlbucfan Says:

    Bucs are 8-5 and DM22, Sims, Rodgers, and Barber are all playing. Hopefully, Hump and Dotson will be back. DK acts like his own worse enemy at times. He’s got receivers: ME13, Brate, Sims, DM22, Shep, Hump (we hope). Koetter can get creative a little bit. Let Fameis loose with all sorts of screens, sweeps as well as short passes. Then let him launch one. The constant run plays up the middle on 1st down are idiotic as well as boring. When he calls a balanced offense between passes and runs, the Bucs do real well. Go Bucs against the Cowdungs Sunday!!

  32. Red86 Says:

    I have to agree with Becht assessment. Too many times Martin would run the play likes it was called despite the gap not being available, but it he just looks either left or right it’s a giants hole to run through. The small amount of the Saints game I watched, the announcers put Martins’ bad decision on replay.

    Either he’s not patients enough or just don’t have the vision to spot the open gap. This have been the case most of his time here. Hope he get it together.

  33. GoBucsVA Says:

    So at no point did he say giving Rodgers more carries would improve the run game? Weird I was sure he would recommend giving the career journeyman RB more of a load to jumpstart the run game….

  34. wesley Says:

    No, it really is the O-line.

  35. GoBucsVA Says:

    Haters gonna hate, the people saying Doug Martin is bad are the same ones that have some weird illogical beef with Gerald McCoy.

  36. yrbndr Says:

    Simply Becht knows what he is talking about. He has been there and done it and can articulate his thoughts! It is a work in progress and they only have what they have to work with. Our depth is shaky at best and when a starter on the line is not avalilable ( Dotson) there are consequences! Jordan is a beast btw!