Interesting Insight Into Koetter’s Calls

November 29th, 2017

Under the hood.

Yes, a bit later today when Joe is out at One Buc Palace, Joe will put the Julio Jones Show to bed and turn focus to the Packers.

Joe has made the point of not really being one to wring his hands over playcalls, but Joe understands fans do. The reason Joe doesn’t freak about this is, Joe isn’t seeing what Bucs coach Dirk Koetter sees from the defense. Of course, an offense isn’t going to attack the strength of a defense. Just because someone wants Koetter to throw a seam pass to O.J. Howard doesn’t mean it’s a smart play — the quarterback could very well be throwing into a trap and have it picked.

A lot of folks have focused on Koetter calling a pass on fourth-and-1 when the Bucs were inside Atlanta’s 20 down seven midway through the quarter. Yeah, Joe would have likely tried a quarterback sneak for a first down, but we know for whatever reason, Koetter doesn’t like quarterback sneaks.

Shoot, even Joe defended Koetter (somewhat) on the failed fourth down pass attempt to Cam Brate. The safety who guarded Brate on the play, Keanu Neal, admitted after the game he expected the Bucs to run the ball on fourth down. Well, it’s not a huge leap to believe if Neal expected a run, so did his teammates. So perhaps Koetter had the right idea?

In discussing the final series of downs in which the Bucs couldn’t convert, Koetter offered up this nugget:

“Let’s remember, you are trying to score a touchdown,” Koetter said. “You’re not trying to make two yards, you are trying to score a touchdown. We are down seven [with] between seven and eight minutes left in the game.”

So it seems Koetter’s goal wasn’t so much to make a first down but to tie the game. Joe sort of understands. If the Bucs used too much clock running the ball, Atlanta could have ground out the clock in their final possession for a game-winning score, which is what the Dixie Chicks basically did.

On the ensuing possession, Atlanta took over with just over seven minutes left and scored a touchdown at the two-minute warning, eating up five minutes of clock, putting the game out of reach.

Sure, you can disagree with Koetter, but his explanation sort of sheds light on why he gave up on the run when the Bucs got inside the Atlanta-20.

31 Responses to “Interesting Insight Into Koetter’s Calls”

  1. OrlandoJoe Says:

    This is a joke. Joe, I usually respect a lot of the stuff you say on this website. But you need to move along and quit trying to use your platform to convince people that what Koetter did wasn’t really stupid. There is no excuse in the world for two passing plays at 3rd and 2 and 4th and 1. Move along Joe. Oh, quit your moaning. Seems you missed Joe’s story here. and you’re reading more into what’s posted today than what is here. –Joe

    Hand the ball to Peyton Barber. Gain a new set of downs. Open up your playbook with 4 attempts at the end zone. Simple football that any 7th grader playing Madden could figure out. Keep in mind that the defense had just gotten a turnover on the previous drive and the team had all the momentum in the world at this point in the game. Koetter killed it and killed the chance at the playoffs this year. He deserves to be fired. End of story.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “So it seems Koetter’s goal wasn’t so much to make a first down but to tie the game. Joe sort of understands.” Sorry Joe, taking the ‘next step’ in that drive meant going for a first down as Priority 1.

  3. Tnew Says:

    So was the 3rd and 2 play designed to go to the house? What about the first and 10? Why not chose Evans in single coverage at the top? If the route was covered or a rusher got free,why not supply the QB, make that the entire team, with 1 check down option?

    This sounds like an OC trying (still) to figure out how to be a head coach.

  4. Bill Byrne Says:

    With that much time on the clock going for a first down should have been Koetter’s priority. Scoring a touchdown at that point in time and running down the clock is what a good head coach would have done. Even scoring a touchdown would have given the Falcons time to come back and kick a field goal. Enough said…I know where the Bucs problems are!!!

  5. Etzel Says:

    Translation: He had no confidence in his defense to stop Atlanta. I actually appreciate the call from a “game theory” perspective. HOWEVER, 4th and 2 with the game on the line… you can’t overthink that. Priorities, Dirk. You don’t convert this, it doesn’t matter how fast you move the ball. It doesn’t matter if your defense has a shot to stop them or not. All that should matter, at that moment of the game, was getting 2 yards and playing from there.

  6. Joe Says:

    Etzel nailed it. Koetter didn’t trust his defense. Can’t blame him.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    For me, it was the 1yd pass to Hump that is unacceptable…..don’t know it that’s on Hump or Koetter……
    Also, I don’t have a problem with passing on 4th down but not that type of pass……Brate was covered……Fitz should have run a play action bootleg and have the option to run.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “Koetter didn’t trust his defense. Can’t blame him.” If I was him, I wouldn’t trust my offense either.

  9. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Piss poor excuse if you ask me. By this logic, you may as well just try three 75 yard passes as soon as you get the ball, and if it doesn’t work, just remember we’re trying to get a Touchdown’s not first down’s…

  10. not there yet Says:

    So sad to keep calling out Mike Smith for his horrible defense one that doesn’t have the numbers of weapons that the offense has, for as bad as the defense is, do you win the games we won without the turnovers they’ve given the offense? The offense is offensive but you keep coming up with excuses like they are playing a back up, one who’s won two out of three games. You actually we’re blaming Lovie Smith for this same type of sorry play calling. It’s so easy to see

  11. The Buc Realist Says:

    Head Coach Koetter does not trust his O-line either!!!!! Fix the Lines and mysteriously the sheep will think all of a sudden the the coaches learned how to “playcall”!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    *get touchdowns not first down’s…”

  13. C eh N eh D eh Says:

    SIGN ELI MANNING !…Trade Winston and draft future QB…problem solved

  14. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Read on another site that Koetter said Humphry did not run a deep enough route.
    If Hump had done his job,there would be no fourth down play.

  15. Gencoimports Says:

    I don’t have a problem with calling a pass play on 4th down. I have a problem with the type of play called. Go 3TEs, 2 RBs and fake an inside handoff. Put pressure on the D to stop the run and someone should be wide open.

  16. Kobe Faker Says:

    “The minn vikings completely remade their offensive line this offseason. They lost their stud runningback and starting QB. The vikings off line still create holes for their backup runningbacks and plenty of time for their journeyman backup QB…and they are 9-2”

    Kobe the Preacher

  17. DB55 Says:

    Winston to NY sounds absolutely awesome! Make it happen! Jameis n obj could be better than Roth&brown. Damn I got a boner now!!!!!!!!!!

  18. DBS Says:

    It makes no difference what play he called. It’s up to the players to execute it. There is no guarantee if he called what all you Madden and Pee Wee coaches wanted they would have pulled it off either.

  19. Mike Johnson Says:

    The absolute HORRIBLE life of a Bucs fan. Coulda/Woulda/Shoulda show..yr after yr. Somebody heres says..its not Koetters fault? Typical losing buc fans response. Place the responsibility where it lies. The Bucs are losing.Its..KOETTERS FAULT..period!.

  20. tnew Says:

    Just got to watch this series on coach’s film. If Winston had made the read on second and fourth down that Fitz did, this is all the board would be discussing.

    Koetter can say Humphries didn’t run a deep enough route on third, but please go watch the film. If he had run it a yard deeper, the pass would’ve been broken up. It was almost broken up even with the shallow route.

    Fourth down, Neal can say they were playing run but the d line sure looks like pass. Poe is playing outside Pamphile (who he lets cross his face and Grady is playing outside Marpet. A QB sneak gets two yards easy.

  21. passthebuc Says:

    Ineptitude is infectious

  22. Erik w/ Clean Athletics Says:

    Stupid reasoning by Koetter.

    Get the stinkin 1st down and then u have at least 4 more opportunities to get a TD.

    I officially have ZERO confidence in Koetter now after hearing an asinine response like that.


  23. DB55 Says:


    Weird how you see obvious chit when you watch film huh? Meanwhile you got half brain morons on the radio who don’t even know the roster. But hey wtf dwk?

    “Just because someone wants Koetter to throw a seam pass to O.J. Howard doesn’t mean it’s a smart play”

    Again wtfdwk

  24. passthebuc Says:

    Does anyone remember Woody Hayes? 3 yards and a cloud of dust.

    Well, we have a big cloud and no dust.

  25. Bucsfanman Says:

    “You’re not trying to make two yards, you are trying to score a touchdown. We are down seven [with] between seven and eight minutes left in the game.”

    WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!!! This is what gets me so frustrated. With 7 minutes left you NEED to gain 2 yards, not score a TD. 7-8 minutes and down 7?!!! Yes, lets abandon all logic and reasoning down by a TD with 7-8 minutes left!!!
    This is why we are pathetic! Just look at the freakin’ Super Bowl played less than a year ago. Down 20+ points, did the Pats abandon reason? The run? H$ll frickin’ NO!!! You game-plan and adjust, you don’t start hurling the rock with that much time left and only down 7.
    That quote right there just told me everything I need to know about Koetter. I was defending him. No mas! Based on that statement ALONE, he should be handed a cardboard box and sent out the door!!!
    I’m fired up!!!

  26. 813bucboi Says:


    you have lost all creditability… said this staff was better than the previous staff but the film, numbers, and production suggest otherwise….

    this is the worse staff in bucs history and it aint even close….dirk has done way less with more talent than a bucs coach ever had beside gruden….GO BUCS!!!

  27. 813bucboi Says:


    Based on that statement ALONE, he should be handed a cardboard box and sent out the door!!!


    I agree…he doesn’t realize how dumb he sounds….almost as dumb as @realist!!!!….GO BUCS!!!

  28. Bucsfanman Says:

    @813- I don’t proclaim to be a genius at anything. What I can tell you though, is that statement runs counter to EVERYTHING we know about football! There was 7-8 minutes on the clock. You can’t get the TD without gaining a first down. Football 101!!! And, you don’t wait until 4th down to think about the first down, let alone a TD.
    This is only more evidence of the level of incompetence in this organization.

  29. sBucs Says:

    good excuses are for bad losers

  30. unbelievable Says:

    I don’t blame him for not trusting the defense – Obviously a FG was pointless.

    But there was no reason to think you had to score a TD instead of picking up a first down and giving yourself more opportunities to get in the endzone.

  31. Crazed Fan Says:

    Cut Koetter!!!