Howard’s Gaffe Cost Bucs

October 9th, 2017

Rookie error costly. Dirk Koetter explains on national radio.

Yes, the Bucs had the Belicheats on the ropes last week and let them wiggle off the hook.

Still, the Bucs almost pulled it off with a last-second play that didn’t quite connect between America’s Quarterback, and a targeted receiver.

Per winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter, a mental mistake by stud rookie tight end O.J. Howard likely cost the Bucs a win. Howard, per Koetter, was the target on Jameis’ final pass, but listening to Koetter talk about the play on “Late Hits” with co-hosts Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt, heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio, either Howard thought a different play was called or he ran a wrong route.

Alex Marvez: Was O.J. Howard supposed to turn around at the goal line beforehand? Because, afterwards, Jameis fell on his sword at his press conference, but I also saw on TV he is pointing to his eyes and O.J. is talking to [Adam] Humphries about what happened on the play because he didn’t see the football coming. Ideally, is he turning around at the one, or what happened? Can you take me through it?

Dirk Koetter: We were in an empty set and we were trying to run five guys into the end zone and spread out thinking they can’t double all five of them. It was up to Jameis to try to find the best matchup. We have a couple of variations of that play. One, where we get into the end zone and post up. Another where we try to hit the seams. O.J. is going to be a tremendous player. But on that particular play he got those two mixed up in his head. He needed to be looking for that ball a little sooner based on how the defense is playing. Jameis did a really nice job of looking the defense off. Really, that was a pretty good throw by him.

Ugh. Just frustrating. But Joe isn’t going to kill Howard. Dude is a rookie and he will be a monster for the Bucs. Rookies make rookie mistakes. It happens.

And it is hard to slam Howard when the entire offense was sputtering for the better part of three quarters.

35 Responses to “Howard’s Gaffe Cost Bucs”

  1. darin Says:

    Yeah it happens. Dirk was mixed up in his head for most of the game too. Gota beat the cards. Go bucs

  2. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Sounds very similar to the play San Fran used to get a TD near the end of the game yesterday. Hit the receiver just before the goal line and let him punch it through, with a whole lot of traffic in the end zone already to clean the area out. I guess my concern is you’d think on such a design play it would feature a proven solution…Evans or Brate, particularly using height of Evans. I know, everyone would expect that…still. I still remember the Rams game last year where Jameis decided to run it in, which as clearly a bad move. Live and learn; things are going a thousand miles per hour out there.

  3. chocolatecvb Says:

    We wouldn’t be talking about ANY of this if we had a kicker who could make field goals.

  4. Guzzie Says:

    I really hate that Dirk doesn’t like clocking the ball, really could’ve used those extra 20 seconds it takes to line everyone up properly, read the defense presnap just sounds dumb he is relying on the defense being unorganized, well so are your players, you like knowing the FREAKING snap count and getting a 10 second runoff, it happened last year too, in fact how times does it work for us, that’s why JW falls short, his coach is delusional trusting a 2nd/3rd year QB to act like a 10 year vet with game on the line, help your QB and slow down the game instead of speeding it up

  5. Easy Denman Says:

    Evans was 1-1 on the left side

  6. Buc68 Says:

    Evans was not 1-1. They were not even playing man it was zone.

  7. Rrsrq Says:

    Saw similar situation with the Rams game yesterday, they didn’t clock it either when they got down there with no time outs, they just couldn’t complete a pass either with a few chances and no false start with a ten second run off, so I am gonna let up on Dirk, this is something teams practice knowing clock, the only issue might be like he said communication with a new center.

  8. BoJim Says:

    Brate, Evans, Humphries. etc.

  9. BucTrooper Says:


  10. JP4 Says:

    Yes, Bucs lost two very winnable games because of one pass that Howard didn’t turn fast enough to see.

    Look no further than American govt or American big business to see that when things start going bad, the problem is rot moving from the head down, not from the knees up.

  11. BucEmUp Says:

    I didnt. Like the right before the two minute warning…..that as a waste

  12. SteveK Says:

    Our field goal kicker is by far the biggest weakness on our team. He’s the biggest weakness currently on an NFL roster.

  13. Roy T. Buford Says:

    One final kicker about Thursday night games is usually someone on the team does something stupid over the weekend, and we’ll find out about it today. Hopefully these guys enjoyed their weekend off but none of the guys went out and got in trouble…

  14. Jdr Says:

    Poor play calling the entire game, Janice was overthrowing everybody, a bad kicker and you’re going to throw a rookie under the bus

  15. LakeLand Says:

    The game should have been over with long before the final play of the game. The Pats did everything they could do, to give the Bucs the game. You can’t blame this game on the Kicker, blame it on the drop passes, poor playcalling, missed throws etc.

  16. Jim Says:

    Nicely mixed metaphor…

  17. Beeric Says:

    @ Joe: Best mixed metaphor I’ve seen in a long while: “the Bucs had the Belicheats on the ropes last week and let them wiggle off the hook.”

    Thanks for that.

    Oh and Jim beat me to it…

  18. NOSBOS Says:

    This what we’ve come to,this coach redirecting this chicken performane by nudging rookie O.J Howard under the bus. But folks round here called lovie incompetent. Wow. Maybe if this guy placed more emphasis on gameplanning the rookie stud into the game he and Fameis would have more chemistry between them thusly avoiding gaffs like this one. Psss.

  19. NOSBOS Says:

    The pats played down to us last Thurdays. Belichess punted once from what wouldve been I think a 48 yarder. To me it was like they were saying “lets not totally embarass this man and his team on national tv”. Belichess thru licht a bone considering he was a former employee. The game was close but never looked like they were remotely sweating.

  20. NOSBOS Says:

    Now if he was to be like I should have made it my business to make sure Me,O.J and Jameis were all on the sane page before I sent O.J. into the game I could respect that. But this right here,hmm pressure obviously mounting.

  21. mike10 Says:

    Any conversation going to be had about OJs 2 penalties?

  22. Mike Johnson Says:

    Joe’s 2nd paragraph starts with, The Bucs ALMOST..pulled it off . Reminds me of that Mel Gibson Movie Apopolypto..ALMOST. Almost is unacceptable. And it should be to you, fellow Buc Fans. We must keep demanding follow thru and continuity. No Points or Wins are given for Mr. ALMOST. He just proudly goes week in and week out ALMOST winning. Since our Championship in the early 2000’s, WE usually and have always been….ALMOST!

  23. Blake_Bucsfan Says:


    Nothing to say about them other then they shouldn’t have been called.

  24. Big Stinky Says:

    I can’t blame one play that a rookie made for us losing to the Pat’s. Can’t really blame any one person for that loss, including Jameis. It’s just a shame that the defense played SO well and gave us a chance to win, but the offense and special teams let us down. We ARE going to be looking at that game at the end of the year though when we miss the Playoffs. Wonder how many games we are going to lose in our division this year? Carolina and Atlanta are going to be battling it out to win the division so we are going to have to hope for a Wildcard spot. Hope we can turn things around FAST! There is NO reason we should miss the Playoffs again this year. This team has the talent. Playoffs or Bust! Go BUCS!

  25. Pickgrin Says:

    “Howard’s Gaffe Cost Bucs”

    Not nearly as much as Folk’s missed FGs or Brate’s dropped TD pass. That last play was a desperation play w/ 2 seconds left from the 20 that had MAYBE a 10% chance of being successful vs 8 defenders in the end zone.

  26. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Carolina is playing lights out, and Atlanta is Atlanta.
    Carolina humbled Detroit in Detroit.

    It looks like another back of the pack year for us, again.

    I like Dirk Koetter, but wish he would take more responsibility. Both Minnesota and New England seriously out coached us, a fact not lost on the National Media.

  27. Mike Johnson Says:

    Sadly, you are spot on there Chris. I watched both the Carolina and Arizona games yesterday. And Carolina is smoking!! We can beat AZ. But we gotta be ready. Their coach, Bruce Arians is pissed. I watched his post-game conf yesterday. And after a bad game, they always win.

  28. Kobe Faker Says:

    To the BUC SHEEP

    did you see the backup tightend from Carolina Ed Dickson? 5 receptions and 175 yards

    does Jameis like to throw to tightends?

    Whats all the must need to throw to Djax. if Jameis is having difficulty throwing to Djax, throw 5 targets to Howard per gameWhats all these targets to DJAX? in philly and wash he was never a high volume targeted player. He has more value as a decoy than any nfl reciever and both teams used him as such. Djax is never a LOS slot possession slant player and never will be.

    Kobe has repeatedly stated a year ago that need of a offensive coordinator and playcaller. do you know how our offense will look for the rest of the year? now with hands of stone Drug martin, we will be in the run,run,deep pass predictible playcalling for the rest of the year. Do you drugie nuthuggers think Martin is the savior? Martin is finished and the runs vs patriots worst run def is a facade! Martin isnt going to do nothing for th rest of the year

    “This is my last post until we get a new playcaller”

    Kobe “fully clothed” Faker

  29. gotbbucs Says:

    For me, Dirk is starting to look on offense the same way Lovie looked on defense. There are a plethora of players on offense that can make some major plays for us but the offense isn’t scheming for these guys.
    It’s almost like there’s too much of a good thing here and they can’t figure out how to use them. Is it Koetter not scheming or is it Jameis missing reads? Defenses are figuring out that Jameis can’t throw the deep ball worth a sh!t.

  30. Defense Rules Says:

    Kobe, all of us know that won’t be your last JBF post until Bucs get a new play-caller. You’re right about the play-calling to this point in the season though, but it WILL change for 1 reason … IT HAS TO. I’m convinced that Koetter still hasn’t figured out how to effectively wear BOTH his HC hat & his OC hat. Too much on his plate right now, but my bet is things will change very quickly. If not, we won’t even go 7-9 this year, will once again come in last in the NFC South, and he’ll end up wearing no hats sooner or later. Bucs just can’t go through that yet again; it’s killing us.

    The direction of the season will be set in these next 3 games IMO. If the offense gets their act together (and quickly) & starts putting up 30-35 pts/game, we’ve got a chance to be probably 5-3 at the halfway point in the season. If not, then 3-5 is more likely and our season’s effectively over in terms of any playoff run. Our defense ‘is what it is’ … it doesn’t have the personnel to be much better than it has been. Our offense on the other hand is definitely ‘playing down to its’ potential’ as they used to say. It has the POTENTIAL to be MUCH better than what we’re seeing. It’s in Dirk Koetter’s hands to translate that potential through better game-planning AND play-calling into a lot more points on the scoreboard if we’re going to be a contender this year.

  31. NOSBOS Says:

    Gawsd I wish you were wrong about what you’ve stated,but in my heart I realize you are not👆.

  32. unbelievable Says:

    Nope, sorry. Koetter, Jameis, and Folk cost us the game.

  33. Captain Big Stick Says:

    should have won well before this play..

  34. NFLNut Says:


    OJ will be fine imho … fans need to take a long-term view of this team … the Cowboys are 2-3 and have no defense, the Giants are done as a franchise, the Lions are a bit schizo, the Rams are pretenders, etc

    It looks like the Packers, Seahawks, Falcons, Eagles and Panthers are the top 5 NFC teams for now and that all 5 will likely make the playoffs … so … we’re vying for a wild card spot with the Lions, Cowboys and Redskins.

    One of the two NFC East teams (Skins or Boys) will fall off as they play in the same division … Norman’s out a month … but Zeke may miss 6 games so it could be either team. Honestly I don’t think either team makes the playoffs.

    That leaves the Lions … the team that stole our spot last year despite having the same 9-7 record as us and not beating one single playoff team the entire year while we beat the Chiefs, Falcons and Seahawks … and this year we play the Lions IN RAY JAY!

    I’ve got us going either 10-6 or 11-5 and earning a wild card spot and I said before the year that it was a 10-6 or bust year for us and I stick by that!


  35. Sweezy 4Sheezy Says:

    He did screw up , but still, the odds of him getting to the goalline if he caught that ball on the 7 yard line was slim and none.