Koetter: Offense Can Thrive Without Bellcow RB

January 10th, 2017

jacquizz-rodgers-1023Telling take from winning head coach Dirk Koetter.

Bucs fans have their underwear collectively disturbing their buttocks with the drug suspension of Doug Martin and how that may be connected to his bad 2016 season.

Joe is not concerned. In fact, Joe welcomes what the future brings. Joe’s not worried about replacing Martin’s 2.9 yards per carry and suspect burst and decision making.

And Martin’s pass blocking declined late in the season following an excellent start in that department.

Hell, Joe actually thinks the Bucs can be better at running back next season without Martin.

Dirk Koetter has coached A-list running backs like Maurice Jones-Drew, Michael Turner and Martin, among others. He’s knows those guys need the rock often to be effective; the bellcow feeds on the ball.

But Koetter also is fine with using a committee approach, so he told the Buccaneers Radio Network last week when asked about options at the position.

“It just depends on who you have. I think either system can work,” Koetter said. “Jacquizz [Rodgers] definitely came in and helped us out. You know, we’re going to have to see how that kind of sorts itself out, who we have lining up next year. But I do think either one of those methods could work.”

Joe is intrigued. It’s good to hear Koetter express flexibility in how he views the running back position — or any position. His predecessor didn’t have that mindset.

Job 1 at running back for the Bucs this offseason is re-signing Jacquizz Rodgers, and then deciding if they believe Peyton Barber is a legitimate NFL talent. Charles Sims will be back for the final year of his inexpensive rookie contract. And then there’s the new running back entering the mix.

Will it be a free agent, a later round pick, or maybe even a first-round pick? (No, Joe doesn’t believe in a Martin return.)

On a side note, Joe would be all over Falcons fullback Patrick DiMarco. A Pro Bowler last season and a Pro Bowl alternate this year, DiMarco could land on the unrestricted free agent market, and he was “molded” by Dirk Koetter, who sought a fullback last offseason but Danny Vitale was a bust in the draft.

36 Responses to “Koetter: Offense Can Thrive Without Bellcow RB”

  1. Ben the Ga Buc Says:

    I like Peyton Barber, I hope they keep him. I’d like to see the Bucs take Marlon Mack from USF in the 4th or 5th round. Kid can ball, he ran for over 1000 yards his first two seasons in college and only didn’t make it this year because the offense demanded his QB to run more. He’s a good receiver out of the backfield as well and has a quick burst. He’s flying under the radar and would be a good late round pickup for the Bucs.

  2. Ben the Ga Buc Says:

    Also, Danny Vitale was taken in the 6th … hard to call a sixth rounder a bust.

  3. 813bucboi Says:

    donte foreman…quiz….sims….barber….full stable….GO BUCS!!!!

  4. Miko Says:

    one name, three positions solved > HB-PR-KR….McCAFFREY !!!!

  5. Eric Says:

    I really feel like we could bring back doug at 1 mil per year with incentives and a clause to void the contract if he screws up. If Koetter is confident in tandems, then that could be a back up plan. We have a player who excels when he’s playing for money and his future. A recipe for another great season.

    I just feel like doug is a good guy and is smart enough to work hard enough to play at an elite level again. We should draft a late rounder at rb to compete with barber, doug, quiz, and sims.

    I will be sick if we use a first rounder on a running back, like everyone preaching dalvin. Dallas was afforded that opportunity cuz they have they best o line in the NFL. We need to prioritize receivers and o line. any of our rbs can shine if they had better blocking and wr threats to take the heat off.

  6. Ben the Ga Buc Says:


    I see where you’re coming from regarding Doug, but he’s proven to be undependable and if he has to be motivated solely by $, he’s there for the wrong reasons. He doesn’t line up with the way Jameis and Kwon, Ayers, Grimes, etc. are leading this team. He’s had two good seasons out of five. Time to part ways.

  7. Chris Says:

    I agree with miko

  8. Eric Says:


    I agree with everything you say. I just feel like he is passionate and unfortunately made dumb decisions in his personal life. I would be okay to replace him and saddened to see him go but whoever gets him is most likely going to have an elite season at the rb position. We gave ASJ many chances, why not doug?

    Just please no to dalvin cook. We need a wr even more than an rb. By a lot.

  9. NutterBuccer Says:

    Ravens fullback is a free agent as well. Same mold as Dimarco and the Ravens always let there players go who seek money, granted a fullback doesn’t cost much so I don’t see either team losing their guy.

  10. Ben the Ga Buc Says:


    I don’t care if an ex-Buc has an elite season – I just want the Bucs to win. I wish Martin the best but I think he’s shown that he can’t be relied on. I disagree that Doug hasn’t gotten many chances. He’s gotten plenty, and the drug thing is the last straw.

    Agreed, I’d love to have Dalvin but he will cost the Bucs too much in picks. We need to make use of the picks we have.

  11. Pit Says:

    Cook and Walker. Spence on one side and Walker on the other…… just dreaming of course

  12. Guzzie Says:

    Joe Mixon is a absolute stud, he’s a Leveon Bell clone, probably faster though, 6’1 227 pounds 4.4 speed, and receiver like hands, due to his off field stuff he’s a 1st round talent we can draft as late as the 3rd, after the combine he’s not going undrafted he’s too good

  13. Jameis for the Win Says:

    I agree with Mixon he could be a potential steal but doubt Licht will make that move due to the backlash he would receive.

  14. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Funny that there aren’t any comments from NosBos here saying that Koetters wrong.

  15. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Miko- McCaffery is definitely intriguing, though I don’t think he’ll last long enough to fall to us.

    @Blake- I’ll step in and say I don’t agree. Name a successful team that does NOT have a RB that gets the majority of snaps. It can be done, don’t get me wrong. But if you have a game-changer, well, it changes games!

  16. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    It’s good to hear Koetter express flexibility

    Actually it’s better than good Joe it’s GREAT! Watching DK recover from all the different lineups forced on him last year by the injuries and ASJ meltdown was almost inspirational.

    Flexibility is probably the rarest commodity among most football coaches. DK earns a lot of my respect precisely because of this trait. He is able to roll with the punches.


    Just please no to dalvin cook. We need a wr even more than an rb. By a lot.

    The two are not mutually exclusive. Sign Pryor draft Cook and you have both!

    Two players with 4.4 speed at the skill spots and an instant major upgrade in our speed.

    There are other combos like these…we CAN have our cake and eat it too depending on how we want to play FA and draft options. We have the $$$ and we’ve kept our draft picks so we are armed and ready! Which is going to make the upcoming draft debates here so interesting because there are sooooo many possibilities.

  17. LakeLandBuc Says:

    I would not draft a RB no earlier than the 4th round.

  18. webster Says:

    Any coach in 2017 that says a committee approach could not work would be an idiot. This is not news. Most of your superbowl winners the past 12 years or so had comittee approaches. That is why you see a de-value of the running back position. You can pick them all over the draft.

  19. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    @ st pete
    I LOVE draft conversations. Maybe it’s just the buc fan in me, but draft time is AWESOME

  20. Kev in auggie Says:

    Why haven’t we given vitale a chance to be fullback?

  21. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    I would like to have a bell cow approach. Because if u have backs that u only use for screens and whatnot u become predictable

  22. Jimbo Says:

    I cannot believe a head coach and former offensive coordinator takes that view.

  23. RO Says:

    Well unfortunately we will be facing either Fournette or Cook twice a year for the next 5 seasons minimum since the Panthers most likely will get to pick which player they like better at 8. Because of a meaningless win in week 17 we will lose out on impact players.. maybe we can’t trade down a few spots and pick an extra 3rd rd. Im thinking we get TE Howard from Bama in the 1st but not at 19.

  24. webster Says:

    @ kev

    Because he plays for cleveland. Where have you been? Are you a bucs fan?

  25. duthsty rhothdes Says:

    lakeland buc right on, get OL then grab mixon or mack in round 3

  26. pick6 Says:

    a look at this year’s final 8 hints at some cracks in the “devalued RB” narrative.

    PIT – Lev Bell, workhorse and arguably best RB in the league
    DAL – see above and apply to Zeke Elliott
    ATL – riding 2 RBs who could both probably start for most teams.
    NE – Blount has kept them humming as the dominant ballcarrier while Brady’s receiving threats drop like flies
    HOU – Lamar Miller, not the most effective in 2016 but historically productive and a clear workhorse

    KC, GB, SEA – the only remaining playoff teams not relying on a workhorse talent. all three were strong favorites to make the postseason and all 3 had guys who’d done well as offensive centerpieces in the building – Charles, Lacey, and Rawls respectively – to help them get there

    you don’t need a top 3 RB to win in this league, but all the teams who didn’t value having a lead talent at the RB position going into 2016 are on their couches watching 8 teams who did

  27. pick6 Says:

    whoops. just checked the box score on last week’s Seattle game. Thomas Rawls sure looks like a workhorse back to me now that the injuries seem to be behind him. And until he proved that he was by putting up numbers last year, Seattle was paying big dollars to a guy named Marshawn Lynch

    as an aside, while i do believe a strong OL is a huge assent and gives teams the chance to succeed with less skilled players, it’s worth looking around at the league’s best teams and asking whether their OL talent stands out more than their skill position talent. It might just be the nature of OL evaluation, but most of the best offenses would rate the quality of the guys throwing, catching, or running the ball higher than the guys pass and run blocking

  28. Kev in auggie Says:

    Thank you for correcting me Webster . Yes I am a fan and I really enjoyed your tv show.

  29. webster Says:

    @ kev

    Unfortunately i do not see any residuals from it lol

    @ RO

    The win against carolina was not meaningless. Did you just start watching football? Why can’t you get an impact player at 19? Do you know what number derrick brooks was? 28th and a hall of famer. Impact players can be found all over the draft ie kwon. Its called scouting.

  30. USFBUC Says:

    This is interesting news from Coach K but he has also said that he is happy with our Oline too. Of course RB by committee is the way to go because RBs get injured or tired all the time. RB by committee also extends the shelf life of a RB.

    Martin had his chances, he is a grown man who was stupid and threw away his chance for some drugs, anything that happens to him is what he deserves.

    Question for everyone here, how far away do we think the team is from getting to the playoffs every season? What do we need to get there?

    I think the team is just a few key pieces from being a favorite to make the playoffs. We obviously need WRs and I would say this position is probably our weakest. After that we need a S, OLB, TE, DT/DE, and RB that are starters. Then we need depth along the O line and CB.

    I think that S, DT/DE, and WR can be addressed in FA. At WR we probably still need to draft an additional guy after FA. I’m not sure what O lineman will be available in FA. That means we need to address RB, OLB, TE, WR and depth for the OL and CB through the draft. I think that translates to finding four starters and three backups in the draft. The only way to pull that off is by trading the future. We can land at the number 12 pick easy without a ton of pain, we can trade back into the later first round for almost nothing, and we can trade into the second and third rounds several times for almost nothing too.

    Isn’t worth it to trade future picks to get the talent we are short now to be a perennial playoff contender while our young core are all on their rookie contracts?

  31. muvlodge Says:

    Any & all will be a welcome replacement and improvement to Doug “rollin my ass off” Martin. Charles Simms can hit the bricks too…both are not Koetter’s “guys”. Not fair to saddle him with the both of these, regardless of how cheap we can retain Simms for. He simply CANNOT stay healthy.

  32. gotbbucs Says:

    Bell Cow backs also come from anywhere in the draft and free agency, but sometimes four legs, or six legs are better than two. This year was a prime example for the Bucs.

  33. Kevin Says:

    I want a big back. Imagine if we still had Blount here running the way he does?

    I trust Licht and the rookie talent evaluators to continue the teams growth.

    Not so sure I trust the FA talent evaluators whoever they are….but the guys drafting have done a decent job lately.

  34. Eric Says:

    I’m just going to throw out my dream scenario.

    Free Agency- Eric Berry, Kenny Stills, TJ Lang (@ RG, with Sweezy LG, Smith LT, Marpet C, Dot RT, and Pamphile/Hawley @depth), Cordarelle Patterson

    Retain- Jacquizz Rodgers, Doug Martin, Russell Shepard, Joe Hawley(depth), Bradley Mcdougald, Akeem Spence(depth), Chris Conte(depth), Will Gholston, Jacquies Smith

    Draft- Mike Williams, Ryan Ramcyzk(doubt he drops though),Ryan Anderson, RB, OL, Safety, OL

  35. Eric Says:

    @ stpete

    you’re absolutely right. I could almost guarantee that we go hard on wr in free agency. I assume we get a big name this year at that position. maybe two.

    I would still move rb down though and target safety first or even ol before rb in round 1. I do like your theory with pryor and dalvin. that would be awesome for the offense, but I’m hoping doug comes back and plays like he can. who knows?

    mike Williams, terelle pryor, doug, quiz, sims sounds awesome to me. need to make adjustments on ol though.

  36. Viejo_Sombrero19 Says:

    WR in the 1st rd. Crew
    DALVIN will be LONG GONE Baltimore Ravens will take him if he is not taken even before that