Digging The Deep Ball

August 2nd, 2017

Deep ball lives!

When winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter talks about explosive plays, that comes straight from the heart.

It seems it is in Koetter’s DNA to throw the ball long. It shows up in the stats and in Koetter’s own comments.

Consider this quote from Koetter after Monday’s practice about chucking the ball.

“It’s no secret: Jameis [Winston] likes to go for the big play. So do I. Sometimes to a fault, sometimes that gets us in trouble.”

Koetter has the tools to accomplish what he wants. He already had America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, and Mike Evans. This offseason, DeSean Jackson, O.J. Howard and Chris Godwin were added.

Buckle up!

Koetter’s desire to throw long is unique in the NFL, cites Robert Mays of TheRinger.com. Mays documents in an age where spread concepts are infecting the NFL, there really are only three teams that believe in heaving the ball downfield on a regular basis: The Cardinals, the Stinking Panthers and the Bucs.

Winston (10.19) trailed only Newton (10.27) in average pass length among qualified passers last year

Of course, Mays believes the infection of college spread offenses is the culprit, but Joe believes you can trace this back to Bill Walsh.

So many offensive coaches are somehow connected to the Walsh tree. Walsh’s offense, especially when he was in Cincinnati, and in his early years in San Francisco, was pretty much dink-and-dunk. A lot of Jerry Rice’s big plays were actually short passes that he broke loose on with his acceleration, like slants.

As pointed out by Bucs offensive coordinator Todd Monken, nothing gets people jacked like a completed bomb.

“I do think the best way to get the crowd into a game is by making those plays,” Monken says. “Everyone says, ‘The crowd is dead.’ Well, it’s dead because we’re not doing a damn thing.”

Anyway, it’s a cool story about a fun part of the sport that appears to be getting phased out. IIt takes some old school coaches like Bruce Arians and Koetter to keep the deep ball alive.

And for fun to remain in the game.

17 Responses to “Digging The Deep Ball”

  1. Rrsrq Says:

    Bucs history, excitement was a Mike Alstott or Legarette Blunt breaking tackles. This will not be those.

  2. Doctor Stroud Says:

    We are witnessing a total transformation of “Buc Ball”. Still, I would like to see a strong running game to go along with the passing attack. Go Bucs!

  3. stpetebucsfan Says:

    At the end of the day football is entertainment. As long as we won…and especially winning the SB…boring football was alright with me.

    Apologies to those who love defense. I enjoy defense but I love offense even more. Perhaps because I came of age with the old AFL…John Hadl….Lance Alworth…Fred Biletnikoff. We would mark out a field with lines and then 8 of us would play touch football which was basically all passing.

    I LOVE this new approach. Of course I hope we win…I want to go to Minnesota but at least we’ll be ENTERTAINING!

    DK was a QB in high school who played for his father. I’ve come to believe that he and #3 are kindred spirits who have developed a genuine bond. I also believe that this may be the single largest reason DK got the job to begin with.

  4. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Doctor Stroud

    DK loves deep balls but he loves balance just as much. During his tenure as OC with Jax the Jags were an average 3rd ranked rushing offense. MJD led the league one year and over a three year stretch he averaged 20+ carries a game and 4.5 yards per carry.

    I do not wish to be mistaken here. MJD was a great player and the fact that Quizz looks like MJD does not mean he’s as good and as another poster pointed out MJD was 15 lbs heavier. But I take it to mean that DK loves to run it if for no other reason than to set up those bombs. I also take it to mean that DK looks at the video…what goes on when the bright lights come on and makes an OBJECTIVE decision not based on size or “looks”. This is how players like Brate and Hump got a shot. It’s why Quizz will get a good look.

    Again I think we all agree now. IF the OL plays as well as we hope the running game will be fine no matter who totes the rock.

  5. Locked In Says:

    Love the new offensive style, although seeing the A-Train run over a crowd will always be some of the best memories for me. all you saw coming at you was shoulder pads and a helmet!

  6. Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    I love defense, bc we had to love D to be a Bucs fan, lol.

    And I too would like to see us have a better running game (I am disappointed we did not use that 3rd rd pick on a RB instead of a LB). The ultimate “spread” offense is a vertical one, not side-to-side. With DJax and Evans (and Godwin?), we have the deep threats we need. “IF” we have a running game, that makes us as vertical-spread as you can get. Then throw in OJ and Brate in the middle and we cannot be stopped!

  7. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Pete I have a feeling by mid season a large part of the nation will begin tunning into Bucs games. My belief is we will be quite entertaining to watch. Maybe the most entertaining offensive and defensive team in the league. So much speed on both sides of the ball now man. H3ll special teams was entertaining last season sometimes for the wrong reasons but watching Anger kick the air out of that ball and to see Smith and Robinson drag race down those side lines was quite entertaining. For me at least. Last time recal seeing this much team speed was with those Kurt Warner lead Rams. Faulk,Bruce,Holt,Akeem and Horne were str8 clowning people. That was very entertaining.

  8. Wausa Says:

    I see a big jump on offense because teams can not just bracket cover Evans all day unless they want to get eaten alive by DJAX, Godwin, Brate and Howard.

    My biggest concern on offense is still at running back.
    It is fairly clear the Bucs running backs are a weakness.

  9. stpetebucsfan Says:


    You brought up a name we have been ignoring who will have a very LARGE impact this year.

    Anger!!! If he punts nearly as well as he did last year that will be huge for us!

    Sometimes we take the kicking game for granted. Not me. I’m thrilled we have our punting situation covered and I’m hopeful either Folk or Roberto will work out as our FG kicker. Hopefully we’re going to score so many TD’s we won’t need them as much but realistically how many games in the NFL are decided by less than a TD. I’m keeping fingers and toes crossed that one of our FG kickers works out.

  10. The Buc Realist Says:

    Some wonder when the offense will get its feet under them and become able to pull this team to wins like the defense was able to do last year!!!!! It will be when the offense can easily go from the deep ball and down shift to a dump quick pass!!!!! The deep ball game will give so much space underneath, and when the Bucs start picking up easy 8-12 yard plays underneath, then we will know that this offense has arrived!!!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!

  11. Geno@arpeika Says:

    You guys have to remember that with all that fire power teams will be willing to give us the run. That’s where hopefully Doug will be deep into their secondary before contact. If Doug is still the yac runner he was in 15 pandemonium!!! Jameis Winston was the best play action passer in the league his rookie year. With no run game no one bit on the play fake.

  12. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    A master at playaction Geno. He was also crucial when it can to “hurry up” offense. I wanna see more of that this season coach K.

  13. The Buc Realist Says:


    the injuries really killed the offense last year!!! with 1 WR they doubled him and keyed the run!!!! the injuries to RB and TE killed any pass protection help to the O-line

    But If health is with the Bucs this year, we really might see something that No one has seen in Buc land!!!!! If Healthy, we will be calling this offense THE
    ” Man-O-War Offense”!!!!!!!!!!!!

    man-o-war is a pirate term that is a ship that is fully decked out with weapons for battle!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. rayjay1122 Says:

    I love a completed deep ball too and hopefully with the new talent, we will see more. What I do not care for is calling a long sideline route when it is like 3rd and 3 or 4. In those situations, go for a higher percentage play and get the 1st down.

  15. Kobe Faker Says:

    Bruce Arians offensive playcalling philosphy is to pound the ball and short screens with David johnson until the safeties has to come in and help…than go vertical to expose the vulnerable deep coverage…attack the weakness

    Our deep vertical game will only be truely lethal is when our short passing and run game is clicking

    *MEs mid level crossing pattern routes is making Kobe very exicited…No more comeback and sit routes for ME (65% of Jameis interceptions)…slants and crossing patterns where he continues momentum with YAC

  16. Dreambig Says:

    Lived up in DC when the Skins made their last Super Bowl run. Joe Gibbs loved to open up games with bombs down the sideline. Skins had 3 receivers back then capable of hitting 1000 yards and I believe that year, all three did. Those games were unbelievably fun. Nothing kills a defense like a completed bomb in the first series of the game. 2 minutes into the game and your down by 7 then Gibbs would unleash Ernest Byner who was a ground pounding beast in the first half followed by Ricky Ervans who was a quick Dunn type in the second half. That change up at RB in the second half when the defense was tired, coupled with Mark Rypen still throwing down field was absolutely devastating. I would LOVE to see the Bucs bring back that kind of football! Hopefully the Oline and running backs can step it up to create some balance so Jameis and our long passing game can thrive.

  17. Duke Says:


    I don’t believe I have ever heard the terms vertical and spread put together. Vertical spread offense lol two entirely different concepts matched up together.

    I guess what it would be is the wide 70°. You could use 80° or anything between 85-50. Depending on which hash you choose.
    Heck, they have jumbo shrimp why not.