Was It Wrong?

November 27th, 2017

Atlanta safety expected a run.

A lot of Bucs fans have skinned knuckles from punching their refrigerators when, with yesterday’s game on the line and the Bucs with fourth-and-one from the Dixie Chicks-18, winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter called for Ryan Fitzpatrick to Cam Brate down the middle that fell incomplete.

“Why didn’t you run the ball?” These fans are hollering while they dab Vaseline to their wounds.

Well, as Joe has written, Joe doesn’t like to whine about playcalls because he is not seeing what the defense is leaning towards that Koetter may see. What tendency a defense shows often dictates the playcall.

And the reason why Koetter — though he confessed afterwards he may have made a mistake — threw the ball and didn’t run? It seems the Dixie Chicks were expecting a run.

That comes from Atlanta safety Keanu Neal.

“They went big and passed the ball,” Neal said of the Bucs on the fateful fourth-and-one. “I was expecting a run, but they tried to get us with a play action pass. Everyone did their job on that play.”

Well, if Neal expected a run, it stands to reason so too did his teammates.

Still, one yard is often gained even when a defense is in a goal-line stand. How many times do we see each week teams run up the gut on third or fourth down when a defense is stacked tight waiting on a run?

54 Responses to “Was It Wrong?”

  1. leebuc34 Says:

    I been saying for weeks the coaching and playcalling on both sides ia terrible. I can call each play before its ran so i know the defense knows. This is why on both sides of the ball players are struggling and not progressing becuase they are not beimg put in to the right situations to suceed. Peiple saying jamies regressed .maybe its because the coach is calling predictable plays that make it difficult to complete. I dont agree with changing coaches every 2 years but I do not have confidence in any of them.

  2. derrickbrooksforGM Says:

    You can stop with the Koetter posts, he’s gonna be gone at end of year. Moonkin already getting contacted for job elsewhere. Writing is on the wall. Yeah!

  3. D-Rome Says:

    Play action pass in that situation is what I do while playing Madden which is why I have no business coaching in the NFL. It seems to me that is one thing Irk (No D) Koetter and I have in common.

  4. Nate Says:

    Every D plays the run 1st on 4th and one…..maybe it was the side screen behind the line of scrimmage call on the play prior that made you one dimensional…..

    and to all saying IF we would of had a kicker we’d of WON how many games and beat the patriots??

    How about scoring instead of only relying on a better kicker….

    this lackadaisickle mentality …..

    HIRE GRUDEN>>>>HIRE BROOKS>>>>only fix….sign both to a 10yr contract if your worried about coaching changes

  5. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    It’s pretty easy to say a play was the wrong call in hindsight, but Brate is usually gold in such situations.

    It was a good gamble, it just didn’t pay off.

    Bet you are all missing Jameis, huh? Don’t worry, he’ll be back this week.

  6. Waterboy Says:

    Running would’ve been the logical call for most teams but after watching this running game for the past year or two I’m only 40% confident they would’ve gotten 1 yd with the defense expecting a run.

  7. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Nate Says
    “HIRE GRUDEN>>>>HIRE BROOKS>>>>only fix….sign both to a 10yr contract if your worried about coaching changes.”

    And if we’re still not winning in two years? You would probably say it was a bad hire and want to fire them.

    The ONLY way this team turns around is by sticking with a coach for at least three years. At. Least.

    And I don’t know why you would think Brooks would make a good coach OR want to come and coach.

  8. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    It was definitely the right call to go for it, maybe a play action or boot play or even screen as opposed but definitely the right call was to go for it with that garbage defense that Licht failed to address in the offseason

  9. AceofAerospace Says:

    Sorry not missing Jameis at all. With Jameis, we’d be 4-7 if Jameis didn’t do something really stupid in the previous 2 games. W’s are all that matters.

  10. Waterboy Says:

    @Buccaneers Bonzai

    I’m actually hoping Jameis won’t come back this season. Watching the offense without Jameis helps me to better isolate where the real problems are on this team without automatically assuming it’s him.

  11. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    @Buccaneer Bonzai

    That’s pure garbage dude. What has continuity done for the Bengals? What did it do for the rams with Fisher?

    Unless the Coach has won you a Super bowl in the recent past, Ala Sean Peyton, keeping a guy simply for continuity is imbecilic.

  12. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    I want him back because I want to go on a winning streak. I realize we cannot make the playoffs and we are now playing for a pick, and usually I’m thinking its better to lose at this point…but not this time.

    The team needs to work on finding a way to win against all odds. They need to continue getting better.

    If they win out, we have a good reason to be hopeful next year, and I think we can all use some hope right about now.

    And Fitz won’t get us there.

    Besides, the areas of need are glaringly obvious. DE. RB. CB. Tackle.

  13. Bucsfanman Says:

    Maybe, maybe it’s the right call to throw, that is. IF it’s the right call, wouldn’t you want your best pass-catchers on the field?
    Didn’t Barber have a couple of nice OBVIOUS short-yardage runs?
    This is one play but it’s a microcosm of the season in general.

  14. Lamarcus Says:

    I hope jw comes back. Season is over. Nothing to get excited about now. At least it’s just more when jw is playing.

    This season goat and culprit has been the defense. The defense is most disappointed unit and likely cost of the season. What a huge let down.

    Back in the glory days 20 points get u a win. Now we need 40 points any given Sunday doesn’t matter if we had Tom brady we will still lose with that defense playing like that

  15. Deminion Says:

    One thing I learned with JW3 being out we can stop blaming the slow starts on him it looks like a coaching theme imo

  16. BUC MAN Says:


  17. DB55 Says:


    Seen this entire drive 4xs since you wrote about it yesterday.

    Can we start on the 1st down run? If Jameis threw a block for Rodgers he’d get hella backlash but fitz does it and its gritty. Cool!

    2&2 – Koetter AGAIN calls Djax # and misses. Fitz misses Rodgers with the dump off for the first. Closest defender was 8 yards from Rodgers. Woulda coulda shoulda been 1st&10 on the 10 minimum. Instead it’s 3rd&2

    3rd&2 – you have OJ, Brate, Evans, Godwin, Rodgers and Djax who do you like to throw the ball to? Adam Humphries, hmm, okay!

    4th&3- should have used this group on 3rd down rather than going small on 3rd. Furthermore, coulda shoulda woulda used Auclair as the FB behind Brate and OJ. Auclair running the post is a waste of resources. And finally on this play Brate potentially suffers yet another concussion. If Jameis throws that pass it’s bc he’s inaccurate and sucks but today I only hear silence if not accolades.

    Koetter isn’t using his weapons at all and has literally wasted the season trying to connect deep with Djax. It’s at the obsessive compulsive stage and it’s weird.

  18. Bucsfanman Says:

    I have to disagree Lamarcus. THEE most disappointing unit on this team is the OFFENSE. This was supposed to be the most improved side of the ball. All we do is kick FGs and there is ZERO creativity.
    The defense has been atrocious, no question. But, watching this offense is like watching paint dry!

  19. Bucsfanman Says:

    @DB55- Meanwhile in Philadelphia with new faces all over the place and a 2nd year QB at the helm, Coach Pederson is not only finding useful ways to use his personnel, they are 10-1 and look as though they’ve been playing together for years.

  20. Nick2 Says:

    Joe, the entire stadium and television audience was expecting a run as well as the beer vendor and parking lot attendants. Why??? Because it was the intelligent thing to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. BucThis Says:

    Lmao at this point I hope JW3 and ME13 leave this franchise and go compete with teams that can actually utilize their talents. Hate to say it but this is A SORRY ARSE fan base. I understand were all frustrated, I am as well but NO WAY IN HELL am I going to propose a trade with JW3 AND ME13. These are the SAME so called fans who give the GLAZERS SH!T saying they cant run this franchise! and you all want to RUN OFF arguably the TWO BEST PLAYERS on this TEAM? Give me a break. You all dont deserve to have a bada** football team; neither does Koetter.

  22. CrackerK Says:

    Winning Bucs Coach? 4-7 does not equal winning.

  23. Eric Says:

    a quick out that everyone in the league seems to be able to do should get the first down every time.

  24. Blake_Bucsfan Says:


    Sadly you are pretty much right on this. The vast majority of this fan base is just drunken idiots without a clue

    Honestly anybody on here that has suggested, or thinks it’s a good idea to trade away Mike Evans should never speak another word in regards to football, and should promptly switch to another sport to watch in complete and utter ignorance.

  25. derrickbrooksforGM Says:

    @BucThis I love “fans” like you. Blame the fans for running players, like fans have any say in if a players stays or goes, wins or loses. Money decides that man. Let the fans bitch, that’s our job and we’re really fking good at it! 🙂

  26. Jeffbuc Says:

    Well there’s always next year folks. We have to watch 5 more of these crappy coached bucs. And you know we will win the final game to move from the 4th pick to the 9th again. Our coaches will even screw that up
    Win a meaningless game versus getting a top 5 pick.

  27. Erik w/ Clean Athletics 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs fans' Says:

    Honestly, I’m still not missing Jameis.

    Fitz had a bit of an off day yesterday and he was still more accurate than Jameis.

    The past 3 weeks our offense has looked better than it has all season, except for maybe that 1st game Jameis played after the initial injury in which he played his best game of the year.

  28. Jeffbuc Says:

    Just the confused look on Dirks face when he did 3 screens in a row with no success. That sums it up he has no clue what he is doing. I’m sick of turning on other games and wide receivers I have never heard of are running wide open. But every pass we do is contested and looks like a jumbled mess. Coach is in over his head. I think he would be an average college coach at best. Cause even he he had 5star recruits he would redshirt them. And then barely use them and they would end up transferring. The game didn’t allow us to use Howard today. No you are the offensive play caller there should be 8-12 plays a game for him that are already in the game plan. He almost took a seam route to the house yesterday. He needs the ball you stubborn idiot coach. Quit ruining my Sunday’s with this bs.

  29. DB55 Says:


    Their def is playing lights out too. How about kaylen Clay in NC?


  30. ClwJB Says:

    The 3 screens in a row was the last straw for me, you have talent everywhere and all you can devise is screen right/left/right

    he looks dazed and confused while the other coach looks excited and analytical…

    its gotten old real quick…

  31. unbelievable Says:

    How many times do we see each week teams run up the gut on third or fourth down when a defense is stacked tight waiting on a run?

    How many times this season have we tried to pick up a single yard and watched our offensive line completely fail to get any push and convert the play? Too many.

    I would like to give them props for the Barber touchdown yesterday, but that was from Barber outstretching his arm before falling down, not from good play by our o-line.

  32. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I had no problem with passing on 4th and 1. It’s the not running it at all the prior 2 plays that I have a problem with.

    You gotta run at least once between the 2nd and 3rd down play. Go heavy packages every time. I’m ok with play action on 2nd and shooting for the TD. If you miss then you run on 3rd down and if you don’t get it then pass on 4th. But pass pass pass in a 1 yard situation when your run game was the best it’s been in a while? Yeah wtf was that.

  33. Lamarcus Says:


    This isn’t an offense in the world that can make up for what this defense does. It’s good we don’t score more points means the other team gets the ball back and scores again. Our defense would be even worse like NFL history worse.

    The offense is bad. I heard jw was hurt along time even before the az game.

  34. grafikdetail Says:

    guess what the falcons did on a 3 and 1 with the bucs needing a stop to get the back to the offense? ran the damn ball!! and ran it with authority and got 5 or 6 yards… koetter is overthinking sh*t

  35. Bucsfanman Says:

    Yea, I saw that TD and cringed. There goes another former Buc!
    I can’t help but think that our defense would be better if it wasn’t for the offense’s inability to score TDs. We’re always chasing. Maybe if we got ourselves into predictable situations in a game we might be able to defend better. Then again, I think a cereal box would have a better chance at a sack than our d-line!!! Pathetic! It shows what an aberration the Miami game was. GMC and the whole line were non-existent. What the heck, man?!

  36. godzilla13 Says:

    QB sneak up the middle. Simple as that. As it seems to always be the Bucs look for and find a way to lose. Anyone watch the Steelers last night? Week in and week out that team finds a way to win. Whats the problem? Just look no further than every other team in the NFC South. Better coaching, better GM’s, better drafting, year in and year out. That simple.

  37. Bucsfanman Says:

    Oh, and I’ll pose this question again, why wouldn’t you double-team Julio? Ryan Smith vs. Julio Jones= Bucs lose!

  38. Joeypoppems Says:

    Im fine with calling a pass play in that situation. Call something quick and easy tho. 15 yards down the field on 4th and 1 is too much of a gamble

  39. Getaclue Says:

    At least have a roll out with the option to run a back in the flat and short crossing options not 30 yards down field

  40. DB55 Says:

    Fitz had a bit of an off day yesterday and he was still more accurate than Jameis.
    I’m sorry sir but this is simply false. Fitz has his BEST game yesterday in terms of accuracy and still DID NOT match Jameis accuracy percentage, q.b rating, yards, etc. Fitz even takes less shots downfield.

    Sorry Erik but facts and stuff.

  41. Bucamania Says:

    The coaching and playcalling have been dreadful. Dirk clearly can’t motivate his players or put them in a position to win.

    No one is playing to their ability and making plays. That’s on Dirk.

  42. JJBucFan Says:

    So we catch a break with a fumble as they were going in for another score (great play by Beckwith/Grimes) and we have immediate success on some short passes. We get to the 19 and it’s 2nd and 2 against an exhausted, mentally weakened defense and instead of running on 2nd or 3rd down, he decides to throw. BTW on 3rd down on the pass to Humphries, Sims leaking out of the backfield had no one within 20 yards of him. This guy (Koetter) cannot stop running on first down all game (year) long and when it is appropriate to run, he throws 3 straight times. WTF Dude? BTW when Marpet went down with ankle, we busted like 4 good runs with Hawley at center. I know we were running better at the beginning of the game but the push was better. Not saying Marpet is bad, but with Hawley in, Sweazy was blocking better. This experiment is a total failure. Put Hawley in, move Marpet back to guard and get Pamphile out. The worst thing that could happen is we extend him, like we did Dotson. Marpet and Jameis fighting about line calls earlier in the year, bad snaps, etc, insane they keep this up. Ali could have made the Pro Bowl at Guard this year, but the geniuses move him to center but refuse to move D Smith to guard or to RT. OMG I’m gonna lose it soon!!

  43. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    problem is the bucs Ol thanks to licht is horrible, but licht has singlehandedly destroyed this team that needs to start again from the bottom and rebuild

  44. Tony from Los Angeles Says:

    It was a horrendous call. Why?

    Look at the replay… not one single short option anywhere for Fitz to check down too. Everyone ran a 10 yard seam or hitch route on 4th and 1. Literal insanity. Watch the Patriots or any other decent team on 4th and 1 and you’ll see 3 levels of pass routes which makes the defense pick and then the QB attacks where they didn’t pick. Not the Bucs – just send everyone out on the same level of pass rush and let’s cross our fingers. Bad, bad play to not have a check-down or shorter route on that play.

    I imagine these plays work in practice against our subpar secondary that gives 12 yard cushions to receivers on 3rd and 8 – hence the bad calls.

  45. sbucs Says:

    No O-line + No D-line= No wins

  46. cmurda Says:

    There’s no creativity on the playcalling. I don’t know what happened to Koetter’s skills when he became Head Coach but he has not been sharp. How about a QB bootleg on 3rd and 2? How about you get Hump the heck out of there and put Godwin in? How could a guy run a 1 yard route on such a crucial play? Then on 4th and 1 against a good pass rush, you just have Fitz drop back and hope for the best? Come on Dirk. I’m not buying the BS. I get that our run game hasn’t been great but to not run on either of those plays is a travesty. In fact, how about a QB sneak on 4th and 1. Just about any QB sneak gets you at least 1 yard. Gimme a break. The percentages are stacked against an average Qb throwing in tight space.

  47. MTM Says:

    Bad ownership = poor coaching = poor play calling. This is the most under utilized amount of talent the Bucs have ever put on the field

  48. derrickbrooksforGM Says:

    @Waterboy Bucs have a damn good short yardage back in Peyton Barber a damn shame he goes unused.

  49. Waterboy Says:

    I’m honestly not sure how good Peyton Barber is I haven’t seen enough of him to know but based on what I have seen I haven’t been overly impressed. I haven’t looked at the stats or done the math for myself but heard someone say he averaged 1.7 yds per carry yesterday.

  50. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Waterboy- If he was better than Martin, Rodgers, or Sims we’d see more of him. The point here is that we needed ONE yard. He had converted TDs on 2 short-yardage plays previously in the game.
    We were running the football better than normal yesterday. It’s hindsight, but I run that football.

  51. scubog Says:

    None of our backs are much of a concern for the opponent’s Defensive Coordinator.

  52. lambchop Says:

    Even a concussed Doug Martin could have got 1 yard on at least 2 out of 3 tries. Now I know what it feels like to be a Seagulls fan. Coach Carroll and Coach K are so dumb that they try to outsmart themselves – not the opposing team. It’s like playing chess with yourself.

  53. tnew Says:

    I agree with everyone here regarding the play design. The only thing I can come up with is Fitz made the wrong read. The play did get Mike Evans is 1v1 at the top and a step behind the CB. CB was playing inside shade to take away the slant, Mike sold the slant and had daylight to the corner. Not sure why that wasn’t Fitz’s decision. But above it all, why wasn’t one of the guys sitting the route down early.

    The truly bad play design was the 3rd and 2. After a timeout. I saw someone say Sims was free coming out but he was covered by a linebacker. Coming out of the timeout, this should’ve been Koetter’s favorite play. One of the two or three of Fitzpatrick’s pet plays. If this is one of those, then that explains a lot.

  54. jjbucfan Says:

    Tnew- I was the one that said that, what I saw is the linebacker initially step to Barber but stop, Barber flared out, I no was the LB would have been able to get there. Maybe I was wrong but that is what I saw and I played it back a couple times. Maybe Fitz didn’t have enough time or maybe his eyes never left Brate. Either way, it never should have come to that. Atlanta’s D was struggling on that drive and we could have broken their will if we run the ball and drive them into the ground. I’m okay with the second down throw, but 3rd should have been a run (not a pitch!!) and if you were going for it on 4th down, should have also been a run. I would have kicked the FG- we had total momentum and the stop fired them back up. I’m okay with him going for it, but I would have kicked it in that instance.