Koetter: Huff Will Play; Shepard Is Top No. 2.

December 10th, 2016
Russel Shepard is your No. 2 receiver down the stretch.

Russell Shepard is your No. 2 receiver. Dirk Koetter explains.

Sane Bucs fans are biting their nails and losing hair because of Tampa Bay’s crazy-thin receiving corps.

That was on Hall of Famer receiver Tim Brown’s mind this morning when he talked to Dirk Koetter.

Joe isn’t worried about the Bucs’ ability to beat the Saints on Sunday, but it could get a little hairy if Tampa Bay has to put up a lot of points.

Russell Shepard (16 catches, 215 yards, 2 TDs) is the No. 2 guy with Cecil Shorts now out for the year and Adam Humphries ruled out Sunday with concussion issues.

“Every team has to fight through it,” Koetter said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “We feel like we’ve done a good job developing guys who are on the practice squad, or maybe guys who just weren’t getting a chance to play. Russell Shepard has taken on a much bigger role. He’s gone from one of our main special teams players to basically he’s playing the majority of snaps at flanker for us at the Z position.”

Gun-friendly, weed-friendly newcomer Josh Huff will make his debut on the field Sunday, Koetter said, “anxious to get him out there and going.”

Later, when discussing the development of America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, Koetter told Brown it is critical “to get him better players to work with.”

Amen, Coach.

52 Responses to “Koetter: Huff Will Play; Shepard Is Top No. 2.”

  1. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Shep may be our #2 WR but he won’t be our #2 target, that will be Brate. I’m not sure the Bucs don’t target RB’s for passes as well…especially if Sims plays.

    I’m not as obsessed about the position or title as the reality of how many targets/weapons does #3 have.

    If Quizz/Barber and Martin can figure a way to run the ball #3 has enough targets to make due. I just hope we can run it, play keep away from Brees and chew a little clock as well as wear on the Saints defense.

  2. DB55 Says:

    Don’t you have to be insane to win in this league? Joe put some crow in your slow-cooker now, so it will be nice and tender tomorrow night.

    And don’t forget Alex Cross (OMG smh lol) who’s been more productive than Stocker. Ijs.

    It’s a new team fellas. Get ready to say bye bye to the old and hello to all the new 1-2nd yr players taking over this org.

    It’s a beautiful day in Tampa Bay.

  3. Pickgrin Says:

    Shepard has made plays and catches most every ball thrown to him so far this year. Next man up. Cmon Shep – its a contract year. Time to up your value…

    I think everyone is anxious to see if Josh Huff can make an impact. We haven’t had a dynamic returner in quite some time.

  4. Pat Says:

    It is obvious that the Bucs need to “… get him better players to work with.” However, Jameis already makes players around him better. So… the fastest road to Championships is to go all out to keep building and improving the Defense. Draft all Defensive players. D-line and DB’s. Make the Defense the best in the league because Jamie’s will already do his part.

  5. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    @Pat I’m right there with you man, but you gotta realize that one of our biggest priorities in the next couple of drafts should be to draft 2 stud offensive lineman, first draft a Man Beast right tackle mauler to do dirty work along side Mongo. And then If Joe Hawley continues to struggle with injuries, draft the best center in the 2018 draft.

    But I’m all for us buffing up the D, because Jameis has shown me time and time again that he thrives in close game situations, and as a Potent game manager. JUST PROTECT THE MAN!

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The silver lining from all the injuries and other issues that cause players to be gone is the development of younger players.

    The exit of ASJ, Hey Jude, Vjax, Sweezy have given players like Brate, Elliot, Shepard and Pamphile a chance to perform.

    Who knows the much joked about Freddie Martino may be our next great find.

  7. Buccfan37 Says:

    Next man up has shown success, keep it going. Go Bucs!

  8. Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    I agree with DB55 and TBBF. But I am anxious to see if Huff can be the guy. Lots of speed there – something we disparately need. Maybe this is what Huff needs: and clean slate with the door of opportunity wide open.

    Bucs fans won’t recognize the WR group of ’16 compared to ’17. The only one that will definitely be on that list next year is ME13

  9. Kobe Faker Says:


    Stubborn “What is a slant pattern” Koetter is finally going to start and use Shep

    He runs great routes and has great routes. Watch our red zone effiency greatly improve with RAC Sims altogether on the field at once.

    Thank God no more deep go routes to 4.7 forty shorty shorts. Shep is lethal on the deep double move go routes.


    martino/sims on the slot
    martin/quizz run/screens
    brate TE

    This group of receivers is playoff quality and able to exploit any top defense


    Coach Kobe to Koetter the clown

    STOP running and calling the damn comeback route to ME13!
    Evans at 6’5′ 230 is not quick/explosive enough against shorter DBs for that route. It favors the shorter player and easily jumped every damn time for the last 2 years. Half of jameis interceptions is caused by that damn comeback route to ME13 for the last 2 years.

  10. Rrsrq Says:

    I’m looking forward to throwing the ball to a receiver on a slant or bubble screen and watch him run downfield while the defense misses and chases, let’s go Josh Huff. Not sure what he has done while with the Eagles, but he was electric at Oregon. I do think this has to be a defensive draft, the next defensive lineman and opposite corner with Hargreaves and the next linebacker

  11. Chris Bucs Fan Says:

    Keep in mind when building a defense: you can absolutely fill some of those holes through smart free agency moves. Look no further than Denver (Talib, Ward, Ware) or Seattle (Bennett, Avril).

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We need a Safety in the draft or FA……we need blazing speed at WR……we have tons of 7cap space……I am very confident we can add both and more in 17.

  13. SOEbuc Says:

    Hoping Huff can blow up for us. The guy was living in Philly for christ sake. Everyone there gets busted with guns and drugs at some point in their life. Now he has Jameis the savior (and Todd Monken) to show him the way.

  14. BuccaneerByBirth Says:

    Shep did better as a number two this year than Vjax ever did. Shep has honestly done enough to earn my trust in this game. He’s had an outstanding season at what he does.

  15. Doctor Stroud Says:

    The RBs have been used as receivers, too. I recall a few pass plays to Martin that were effective. For example, in one particular play in the third quarter of the game against the Chargers, Martin had a long gain to keep the drive alive and the Bucs in the game. I like that Charles Sims can be utilized as an extra weapon now that he has been activated from IR.

  16. TheBucsAnthem Says:


    I have bad feeling about the bucs tomorrow

    This game has a classic feeling of playing down to your opponents level

    ……our offense is on life support right now

  17. Doctor Stroud Says:

    I read somewhere else that Dontae Dye will be called up, too. Will Huff and Dye be dressed for the game?

  18. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    SOEbuc Says:
    December 10th, 2016 at 1:16 pm
    …..” The guy was living in Philly for christ sake. Everyone there gets busted with guns and drugs at some point in their life…..”

    This is such a dumb and careless comment to make

  19. Harry in Costa Rica Says:


    Ok, my two top priorities are DE, WR then S. For the Bucs, I lean towards making the D a point of strength, therefor making the DE position higher on the priority list in order to build a wicked D. I think its easier to “fill in” the WR position with lower round picks or FA like the Pats do with Brady, since we already have Winston and Evans to build around. So in the draft, go DE then S then WR, depending on BPA

  20. biff barker Says:

    No point in playing armchair GM at this point. The next 4 games will show who’s

  21. biff barker Says:

    No point in playing armchair GM at this point. The next 4 games will show who’s got a shot on next year’s roster.

  22. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Evans, brate, shep, Martino, huff, Martin, quizz/sims.

    It’s not as good as it should be, but I think Winston can score with this group of receivers.

    Something that Winston/Koetter hasn’t utilized more this season is passes to rbs. He does a couple screen passes a game, but I’m sure we could find more ways to get the ball in our RBs hands. Passes to help keep the heat off Jameis with a high percentage, quick throw. On early downs

  23. Defense Rules Says:

    Jameis has enough targets to pass to right now IF the run game is working to keep their defense off-balance. If we can’t get a run game established early-on, and if Jameis is continually put into 3rd-and-long situations that mandate pass, it could be a long afternoon. ME13, Shep & Brate are all reliable in the intermediate areas, and I’m hopeful that Huff will add a lot there too. With Sims coming back finally, plus Martin, Rodgers & Barber mostly for the shorter stuff, Jameis has weapons. But establishing a solid run-game early is still the key to keep the 3rd down distances manageable AND eat up the clock (Bucs should win if they can get 35 mins TOP minimum).

  24. Mo_Downs Says:

    I’m pretty sure Kenny Bell is available.
    Might be our best option.
    Nuff Said..!!

    Go Bucs…

  25. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ Mo_Downs


    Kenny Bell??????

    ….why not try to call back dexter jackson from app state too while we’re at?????

  26. JonBuc Says:

    Perhaps Huff on a few bubble screens as well as some fly/post patterns to stretch the field. It sure would be nice for Martin ( and/or Rodgers ) to have a 25 carry/150 yard + performance ( for the first time this season ) to shorten the game and keep Brees twitching on the sideline.

  27. Pete Mitchell Says:

    I’m excited to see Huff contribute. Light and Koetter wanted him and scooped him when he was available. They were deliberate with his development, allowing him to learn on the practice squad. I can’t wait to take it to the aints!!!!

  28. Gencoimports Says:

    Bucs primary needs for next year

    1) OL (the only above average lineman on the team right now is Ali Marpet)
    2) Defensive Tackle
    3) Wide Receiver (a good speed guy to take pressure off of Evans and the rest of the squad)
    4) Safety
    5) Cornerback
    6) Defensive end

  29. orlbucfan Says:

    DM22, ME13, Brate, Shep, Sims, the Lounge Lizard guy, Huff the Head Case (according to a good pal who is an Eagles fan)–7 receivers Fameis can throw to. Jameis will spread the ball around. We all know that. πŸ™‚ Is this game sold out yet? The weather is just ungodly gorgeous. 12th Man better be there and LOUD and PROUD!!! I’ll be listening to the Bucs Radio krewe. Hope we get a halfway competent squad of zebs. GO MIGHTY BUCS!!

  30. SB with Jameis Says:

    BuccaneerByBirth Says:
    December 10th, 2016 at 1:20 pm
    Shep did better as a number two this year than Vjax ever did. Shep has honestly done enough to earn my trust in this game. He’s had an outstanding season at what he does.
    I must have missed Shep’s 1,000 yard season

  31. SB with Jameis Says:

    Guys………….WWWWHHHHHYYYYYY is drafting a WR first or second such a High priority for you??? Jameis can win with UNDRAFTED WRs!!! One good FA prospect at WR, keep Hump and then we can spend that draft pick on DE, OL or S.

  32. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Oddly I kinda agree with kobe and Defense I’m feeling what you said bro.

  33. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Preach SB,no WR in the fisrt. O line or D line in the first should be the mandate.

  34. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Let me add kobe our group is more than capable. I mean we witnessed the hawks win a chip wit baldwin and kearse.

  35. SB with Jameis Says:

    Russell Shepard, Donte Dye, Adam Humphries, Freddie Martino, Cameron Brate, Alex Cross…………This is what Jameis is using to get us to 7 and 5. I understand fully that if we just had One guy not named Mike Evans that struck fear into a DC’s heart then Imagine what we could do……..I get it. But WR is not nearly as pressing a need as people make it to be because Great QBs make average WRs look great. DL, then OL or S first two rounds IMO

  36. unbelievable Says:

    Agree SB, we can find a guy with speed and hands in the middle rounds or FA.

    OL, DL, and Safety are by far the biggest needs.

  37. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    My top priorities are to bring in a starting WR & Safety……like my post said….we have plenty of cap space……we also have all of our draft picks….obviously another top tier DE is possible among others.
    Who we choose and in what position depends on the available player. If we go out and get an Alshon Jeffery in FA, for example then drafting a WR in the first round is unlikely.

  38. orlbucfan Says:

    Fameis would like another WR as talented/intelligent as V-Jax. When FJ came here, V-Jax served as a mentor. He probably will retire after this season. V-Jax is probably one of the best FAs Bucs have signed. He was let go by the Chargers when he became a FA. Similar to San Diego choosing between FA Brees and and Rivers. Jackson was already a great WR, but Chargers had several other WRs. They let V-Jax walk. Winner: Bucs big-time. Licht needs to focus on WR, DL and DB in the draft. Just my 2 cents. πŸ™‚

  39. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    If we can get cam Robinson (LT Alabama) we can move Smith to RT and upgrade 2 positions at once. Then a S or DT in the 2nd

  40. RustyRhino Says:


    I have bad feeling about the bucs tomorrow”

    TheBucsAnthem that may be your Anthem but please do us a favor and put a cork in that BS.

    I have a Great feeling about tomorrow! Just like I have every Week , Week in and Week out. That we will show up and rip up from the floor up the team we play this week.

    Go! Bucs!

  41. JJ Says:

    ME GOAT— Exactly!!! Except we are falling deeper down the draft board- which just fine with me…I would break the bank on Eric Berry personally, I believe he is a free agent. Go BPA or OT first round and BPA or DB/WR in second.

  42. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Eric Berry a baaadd boi.

  43. SCBucsFan Says:

    I’m not worried. We got Sims back and Huff is definitely worthy of a WR3 spot if not higher, we just have to hope he and Jameis click right away.

  44. BringBucsBack Says:

    I welcome being wrong here but, Huff is much more likely to make a difference as a punt returner than as a receiver, this early in his Buc career.

    Hate to bring this up but, we took a below average kicker in the 2nd instead of…

  45. Reach87 Says:

    I think this game will be about our defense and ability to get off the field on third down. Offense can help with an efficient run game. Lastly, no turnovers. Basic football and execution, which we have shown we can do. Just gotta do it. Go Bucs!

  46. Johhnie Says:

    Joe do you know if Elliot will still be the starting Nickle this week, I think that was a great ballsy decision to sub him in last week. Def clamped down once that change was made

  47. DB55 Says:


  48. Buc1987 Says:

    I was one of the fans that wanted them to draft O-line in the first. Then I switched to DL. Then I switched to WR.

    I can give you good reasons for all of them.

    Since peeps are wondering…why WR?

    Well I’m sure ATL fans said the same about Julio when he was drafted. Why do we need Julio when we already have Matty, Roddy and a handful of nobodies? I can answer that. Cause WE DON’T LIKE SITTING ON THE EDGE OF OUR seats all game long.

    I want a WR that will scare the crap out of defenses. I want DC’s to say “oh crap we gotta stop Winston, Evans and said first round WR”.

    I get it. Winston makes undrafted guys look good. If so, then what can he do with TWO top tier WR’s?

    Peeps don’t get why WR? Come on maine?

  49. Buc1987 Says:

    Not saying the Bucs will find another Julio.

    Saying…. picture Julio on the other side of Mike.

    Then come back and tell me the Bucs shouldn’t draft WR in the 1st.

  50. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    The Bucs will get another tall and rangey WR in the draft or free agency. …………to replace the likes of Vincent Jackson….
    ……and you can take that to the bank baby!!!!

  51. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    What Buc1987 said. DCs do somewhat fear ME13 but know all they have to do is double him up then contain the others. It’s not what you do between the 20s but what you do inside the 20 and our redzone offense is not very good.

  52. Mo_Downs Says:

    Kenny Bell is the MAN..
    There is none Higher..!!

    Worst decision of the decade was cutting “Da Man”, Kenny “Da Man” Bell.

    Did I mention ” There is none Higher”…….?