Eye-Opening Imbalance

September 25th, 2017

Bailed early

When is the last time any team won an NFL game attempting just eight handoffs?

Joe has no clue whatsoever, but Joe can guarantee it’s very, very rare.

Winning head coach Dirk Koetter said last week on the Buccaneers Radio Network that a typical game has 64 offensive snaps and a total of 30 runs means your team had ideal balance.

Well, the Bucs had just eight handoffs in their loss to Minnesota yesterday, five to Jacquizz Rodgers, two to Charles Sims and one on a wide receiver sweep to Bernard Reedy.

Playcalling is dictated by the scoreboard, obviously, but Koetter still gave up on the run too early. It’s not like the Bucs were dropped in the backfield repeatedly when they did run the ball. In fact, the Bucs did not have a run for a loss all day.

Tampa Bay ran 22 yards on those eight carries. That’s not good, but it wasn’t bad enough to throw in the towel. Dalvin Cook’s first eight carries yesterday generated just 18 yards. To run effectively, you have to stick with it.

Rodgers was the Bucs’ lead running back, but what can anyone reasonably expect out of any RB who gets from five rushes? Koetter couldn’t have been concerned about fumbling, considering the Bucs haven’t coughed up the rock on a run this season.

The complete absence of Peyton Barber was a head scratcher, too, after he was the team’s most effective rush one week ago.

This game reminded Joe of opening day 2011. Running back LeGarrette Blount was coming off a monster rookie season and offensive coordinator Greg Olson, in a tight game against the Lions, only gave Blount five carries. Josh Freeman, who attempted 43 passes, also was the leading rusher/scrambler with 26 yards.

And then after the game Olson said the Bucs got away from the run too early.

28 Responses to “Eye-Opening Imbalance”

  1. Warrenfb12 Says:

    I disagree. The throwing was necessary. This narrative always seems to come up following the lopsided losses.

  2. tmaxcon Says:

    when your soft arse defense puts you behind the 8 ball it’s tough to stick to a game plan. this team will go nowhere until the mentally weak holdovers are out for the year or on another roster. new bucs give us hope and the holdovers prove week in and week out why they spent the better part of the last decade in the basement.

  3. theodore Says:

    The Bucs should just go to the spread offense. Keep Evans, Djax, Godwin, Brate/Howard and Sims on the field most of the time.

  4. FortMyersDave Says:

    Panic by the head stick carrier? Perhaps, the team was not going to win anyway you look at the Vike game so I guess the gameplan went out the window when the Bucs fell behind 21-3/28-3…. No pressure on Case K whatsoever, poor coverage in the secondary and mediocre run stopping coupled with an offense that was almost as anemic as the Jay Cutler and Jay Ajayi led Fins O. Any coincidence that both FL clubs impacted by Irma looked like they were tanking for a # 1 overall pick? Horrible Sunday for both clubs…. Coach Koetter has a leaky Pirate Ship. Lets hope some bodies get healthy and the Bucs find a way to make the Giants 0-4, but somehow I get that sinking, bad feeling that we are going into deja vu land, I just hope the Bucs are not 1-3 after the next 2 home games but us Buc fans are used to 1-3 when the team is not 0-4 for the past decade. Frustrating to the max!

  5. SCBucsFan Says:

    According to the comments this team went from Super Bowl contender to 1-15 in a moment; Licht went from a genius to needing to being fired. Ah the bipolar life of a NFL fan.

  6. Supersam Says:

    The Vikings have a big boy defense, we got popped in the mouth yesterday, but let’s not panic yet, let’s see how we bounce back. One thing is clear, we have got to find some sort of a pass rush before Tom Brady comes to town. Why is it so hard to find a consistent pass rush!? Robert Ayers has been on existent, he’s another one that’s all talk.

  7. Supersam Says:

    Non existent

  8. CautiousOptimism Says:

    That Bucs oline run blocking was dominant all day in Minny. We certainly couldn’t use the two time pro bowl RB Doug Martin. Justin Evans instead of trading up for Cook, Mixon, Hunt, etc was a wise and crafty decision because we got some killer plays out of him in cleanup duty against the Bears.
    Is it me or is Jason Licht not the greatest GM ever? I mean this guy can absolutely do no wrong.
    Follow the Licht baby! Amirite?

  9. RayJameisStadium Says:

    Young coach and young QB may delay the playoffs.

    Martin looks like a sure shot to come back and he might get added incentive bonuses on top of his contract rather than having his contract re-structure like Sweezy. His presence may help Jameis to get going with the offense.

    Lets see what the injury report and mri’s bring to us this afternoon. But our defense might get down to the level of Lovie’s defense with Grimes, David, Alexander, Spence and McCoy out of commission.

    With no bye week in the future we might want to rest our stars until they are recovered enough to play at 90%. The next two games are out the door with our injuries anyway.

    Damn! Who pulled that rug from underneath us?!?!?

    We are 1-1. We are waiting for the Messiah!!!

  10. Locked In Says:

    Welcome back to Earth, me buccos.

  11. Mike Johnson Says:

    How about..Eye Opening A.s Whipping?? There I corrected the story title. I said even during and after the draft, I screamed it..Shore up the defensive line. Draft or accquire a couple defensive ends. Buc QB K-I-L-L-E-R Keenum looked like a..GQ model on a few of those pass plays. He stood. posed, and accurately disemboweled our secondary due to no pass rush. My wife kept sayin, Honey, you think our boyz will ever hit Keenum? I said, Hell no..after several shots of my favorite libation. National sports critics want to support our Bucs. About 85% of them picked us to beat the Vikings. Instead WE..took the beatdown. So much for the HBO hype and the stick carriers.

  12. Stud Says:

    When you are down multiple TD’s and aren’t successful at running the ball why keep trying something that doesn’t work? Especially if you have all these passing weapons…

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I have been questioning the playcalling for two years now……the offense continually underperforms…….we always seem to get conservative at the beginning of games and in the red zone.
    Yesterday’s gameplan should have included a heavy dose of Sims….short passes and running to the outside. It didn’t
    Our deep passing game is horrible and it should be used sparingly.
    Koetter can’t be blamed for Jameis mistakes but the gameplan can make a difference.

    And….when are we ever going to see a pass on 2nd & 1 or 2nd and 2? Didn’t happen yesterday because we didn’t have a 2nd & 1 or 2nd & 2.

  14. Waterboy Says:

    I agree. Jameis isn’t ready to carry the offense on his shoulders at this point in his career they’re going to have to commit to running the football. Unfortunately Keenum was picking that secondary apart and the game got out of hand quickly.

  15. D-Rome Says:

    Yet some of you think we should never question Dirk Koetter’s decisions……

  16. Wausa Says:

    I must have said this 1,000 times on this site before the draft.
    The Bucs have perhaps the worst running backs in the NFL. That is why I was all in on the Bucs drafting Dalvin Cook.

    Jason Licht needs to attack the weaknesses of the team. Sometimes that means drafting at a position of need over a higher rated player.

    Every GM says that is a terrible idea to pick based on need but I think its terrible idea to ignore obvious needs(running back, DE, CB).

  17. lambchop Says:

    Hello to the above, you need a commitment to the run to even think about using play action or effectively making the defense hesitate on where their assignments are. We were one dimensional early. This was easily one of Koetter’s WORST coaching game plans in the history of his HC/OC role. It was pathetic. I can’t understand how you can possibly put that much pressure on Jameis when you know he already forces balls when they’re ahead in games.

    I think the flu bug is goin around with more than just the players cuz this was an abysmal game plan if I ever saw one. The first Minny TD was a complete fumble. You cannot get away from the running game just because you’re behind a couple of scores. This is not Brady, Keenum, Brees, we have back there. Our guy thinks he’s an elite QB but he is not. Every game he tries to put the team on his shoulders at the cost of making foolish throws in traffic. He is no Brett Favre. As a coach, how the hell do you put this much pressure on your QB when you’ve been coaching him all along that he can single handedly lose a game for the team with his bad decisions.

    If this was a home game, maybe. But, you’re playing in Minny with a stout pass defense that was being very opportunistic. I just hope our D gets healthy FAST because without the D, Jameis will not be able to carry this team far. Especially with an idiotic game plan.

    DJax is a horrible route runner. We already knew that. He relies on his speed too much and these two have not got on the same page yet. I would hope DJax realizes what the F the OTAs were for.

  18. Cash rules Says:

    Don’t watch… don’t watch please. Don’t need ya. Don’t want ya.

  19. Destinjohnny Says:

    We are. 8-8. 9-7 team
    We just don’t have the talent to be next level.
    Pass rush?
    O line ?

  20. firethecannons Says:

    Time for Koetter to step down from the play calling duties, it is not working, the offense is far from being a well oiled machine, at this point Koetter is causing too many interceptions and is not helping

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    Tampabaybucfan, good analysis. Why we didn’t use play-action passes to Sims, Rodgers AND Barber I have no idea (Barber must’ve had the flu or been injured because there’s no other excuse I can think of for not using him in this game … he did however play on STs). Jameis was on-fire to start the game (5-for-5 on that opening drive and he marched them down the field beautifully UNTIL Coach threw in that end-around to Reedy that got very little).

    Gameplan didn’t make any sense to me: RBs got 7 rushes total & 1 pass … and caught it. TEs were only targeted 6 times total … and caught all 6. WRs were targeted 10 times deep … and caught 5 for 99 yds (but 1 TD deep doesn’t offset 2 INTs there). Throw in 2 Jameis fumbles that killed drives (both of which he recovered) & it all makes for a very bad day offensively. Strange gameplan IMO.

  22. Big Stinky Says:

    Why do you have to run the ball to win? Teams still win when they have to abandon the run. Some teams have to pass to open up the running game. Jameis looked good at the beginning of the game spreading the ball around but still couldn’t get in the endzone. You’re going to lose MOST games when you don’t score a TD until the 3rd quarter.

    Why do I get excited EVERY year thinking this team is better when they are NOT? It seems like GMC gets hurt EVERY year, what the hell? This team is SOFT! Will we get lucky and beat the Giants or Cardinals? I know the Patriots are going to beat us with NO pass rush, Brady is too good. It’s starting to look like the Bucs are going to start out 1-4 this year. Winston is going to have to play better for us to win, that’s the bottom line.

    I love how everyone wants to talk about JW’s completion percentage. It’s easy to complete 70% of your passes when most of the passes are less than 10 yards. I want a QB that can complete the deep ball on a regular basis and put the ball in the right place. Jameis is high or behind on a lot of his passes. DJax had to tell him on Hard Knocks to put it here and I can do something with it. Problem is, Winston probably was trying to put it there in the first place. He is not very accurate, no matter what you guys say. His career has proved this.

    One game does NOT make him accurate, just lucky. He has ONLY completed about 59% of his passes for his career because he normally doesn’t check the ball down. The same problem he had on Sunday. He threw into triple coverage on that last pick when he had a wide open receiver on a shorter route. Getting tired of seeing him perform badly. Where is this future Hall of Famer you guys keep telling me we have on this team? I just don’t see it! All I see is a QB that can’t make good decisions when it counts the most. Please stop forcing the ball and take what the defense gives you Jameis. Guess we are NOT going to make the Playoffs again this year, so much for depth ANYWHERE! Go BUCS!

  23. FortMyersDave Says:

    DestinJohnny: 8-8 or 9-7 if the team gets and stays healthy fast. Right now that looks like it may not happen with no bye week to rest up and the lack of depth and talent once you start looking at the bench. Vegas looks pretty smart at putting the Bucs at 8.5 wins on the o/u and starting 1-4 or 1-5 is a guarantee to get the under big time so the Giant game is almost a must win for this team though no one will admit it as you can probably pencil in a L vs the Pats as well as an L in the desert vs the Cards, we’ve seen this rodeo before….

  24. 813bucboi Says:

    this has been dirks MO for awhile ….he abandons the run WWWAAAYYY to early….

    what happened to the creativity?…..GO BUCS!!!!

  25. Kobe Faker Says:

    where were the rb screens?

    Redskins beat oak last night with simple screens to their backs

    Quizz is a very good reciever

    doesnt matter when Martin comes back,,,the oline sucks at run blocking

    koetter needs to throw the vertical bs scheme out the window…run the no huddle spread short passing game and than attack the safeties deep

    its always run into the gut on 1st down and throw deep

    “Free OJ Stocker”

    Kobe Faker

  26. Bucsmarley Says:

    Can’t believe all the fair weather fans on here. We had multiple chances to come back and interseptions killed us. We were down 5 starters on defense alone. No DM on offense and we are still tied for 2 nd in the league. Only Atlanta and The Chiefs are undefeated. Disagree with the play called yesterday for sure. Where was Peyton Barber? Hopefully we can get some guys healthy soon. Good luck bucs😀😀

  27. Rod Munch Says:

    Looked up the gamelog to confirm my memory… and yes, Rodgers 5 carries, all were up the gut, 4 of the 5 carries were on 1st down up the gut.

    That’s what you can predictable. The other carries were Reedy on the end around and Sims with 2 carries… up the gut, on first down.

  28. Kobe Faker Says:


    If you remember the chicago game

    Quizz had success and most of his yardage running outside