Slow Starts

December 13th, 2017

Frustrating numbers.

Since the honeymoon days of Lovie Smith’s tenure, the Bucs’ head coach talked about wanting fast starts.

Quickly approaching the two-year anniversary of Lovie’s dismissal and four years after Lovie was hired, it’s still a slippery goal.

Nothing has changed. Even with their franchise quarterback returning to the lineup the past two weeks, the Bucs still average just 8.2 points in the first half of games for a total of 107 points.

What is more jarring are the teams the Bucs are trolling with in this sad statistic. The Browns — the Browns! — have 91 points in the first halves of games. The Giants have 99. The three-plays, 75-yards Tyrod Taylor-led Bills have 101. The brutal Broncos, who cannot decide which of their three brutal quarterbacks to play from week to week, have 109 points (thanks to Thomas Bassinger of the Tampa Bay Times for the digging).

When a team has America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, O.J. Howard and Cam Brate, there is simply no excuse to be this futile. It’s almost like the Bucs have too many weapons. You know, like the phrase “too many cooks in the kitchen?”

If a running attack was this vital to Dirk Koetter’s offense, the organization fully dropped the ball in banking on washed up Doug Martin.

But Joe already knew that a year ago.

22 Responses to “Slow Starts”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    Blaming “washed up Doug Martin” for the Bucs slow starts is really awesome Joe … and sooo totally predictable on your part. Just as predictable as your use of ‘America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston”. Gotta love it. (That one you really need to give a rest … America isn’t embracing Jameis as THEIR QB nor was he an actual Pro Bowler; he was a replacement for Tom Brady in 2015.

    The problem with the Bucs slow starts IS Jameis Winston. Fitz started the Miami game, and the Bucs put up 20 points in the 1st half. Would’ve put up about the same in the Falcons game except that Dirk chickened out and went for FGs TWICE instead of going for the throat. The start of that Falcons game BTW is interesting in that Martin opened it with 4 very good runs mostly in the middle … 6, 4, 7 & 10 yds … then Jacquizz added a 4-yarder and Fitz passed for 2 yds to DJax then a deep incompletion, bringing up 4th & 4 yds from the Atlanta 18. Martin was running strong until Dirk backed off of the run & passed short once (complete) then deep (incomplete) on 3rd down, then settled for the FG instead of going for the Falcons’ throat. BTW, mediocre play-calling killed that drive (deep pass on 3rd down from the Falcons 18 yd line can’t be a high completion throw against a pretty good defense in their Red Zone). But ya, let’s blame Doug Martin; that’s a easy (and very predictable) choice.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    I agree entirely. Although Koetter finally called a good game against Detroit (turnovers killed drives)

    The Bucs slow starts have many common elements like poor playcalling, penalties, inconsistent passing accuracy, turnovers and yes, lack of a good running game.
    It’s way too easy to blame Doug Martin for all of this. Notwithstanding the problems with Martin, Koetter still started him against Detroit.
    Opposing teams gameplan to stop our run early and we have delighted them by always running early. The times we have thrown on first down have been mostly successful….at least between the 20s…..Koetter seems to freeze up when he gets us to the red zone.

  3. Buc believer Says:

    The way Joe kisses Dirks A$$ I surprised he isn’t referred to as “future super bowl winning head coach” and the way Joe always manages to body slam Doug I’m surprised he isn’t referenced as “ future inmate #2097”. Joe your bias really shows. You should try to hide it just a tiny bit.

  4. Bird Says:

    Yah. Agree with all above. The smoes don’t want to see the problem. The problem even admits he is to jacked up to start the game. Keep asking the same question over and over again but can’t seem to put a finger on it. Why is this happening?

    I got a friend who performs the LASIK procedure if you guys are interested in seeing again?

  5. America's Groper Says:

    Pretty evident Ole Shameus is at the max of his potential. He can’t throw a long ball, and other teams know that. He will always be just an average (or lelow average) QB. 3rd freaking year in the league, and all these weapons that he can’t comprehend how to utilize. No more excuses. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it still is just a pig.

  6. Tom Edrington Says:

    It’s not slow starts — it is too many Slow Seasons……

  7. Bird Says:

    Slow starts at FSU for the time he was there. A Noles fan is aware of that. He always came back in 2nd half though to win the game. But this is not college anymore.

    But again. The Joe’s can’t put a finger on it?hhmmmmm

    It’s clearly not americas quarteback.

  8. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Most of the games we have won against better teams in the last couple of years ,
    we have got on top early and stayed there. Jameis has had slow starts since college.
    As long as Jameis is inconsistant in the first half and often the first posession of
    the second half, the team will struggle.
    No doubt it is essential to establish the run, for this offense to click on play action.
    But i am sometimes puzzled by three consecutive runs or a run on second and 2
    when most teams use this as an opportunity to throw deep. Herein lies the problem ,Jameis needs to complete at least two deep passes a game to stretch out the defense and open up the running lanes.

  9. darin Says:

    Dirks game planning is terrible, plain and simple. You can blame jameis and the players all you guys want. This is bad coaching. They dont plan well and dont adjust well. Thats why they shouldbe unemployed yesterday. N dont give me the ole..well u cant change coaches every 2 years. Nobody wants that. Ya gota find the right coach before u keep him. Dirks not a good head coach, far from average.

  10. Ndog Says:

    Just making a quick observation here, did anyone notice a drop off when McCoy went out of the game hurt? Yeah me either.

  11. Bob in Valrico Says:

    I think Dirk would be a better play caller if he had his preference to be in the booth with spotters. Being head coach,makes that impossible. Also think that he needs more time to work with Jameis.
    So if gets to stay he will have to put an OC in the booth, so he can attend to other more pressing things.. Dirks game planning has been very successful in Atlanta,but he also had the benefit of a more accurate and consistant QB. When Jameis learns to score early and often, he will make any OC look good.

  12. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Our problem isn’t slow starts…losing teams talk about fast starts.

    Our problem is the lack of strong finishes. But we are getting there.

  13. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    All I know is that the haters said he’d lost the team, and since then it has become blatantly obvious that he has not done so. They fight to the end for him.

    So maybe the haters don’t know squat.

    If it ticks you off reading this? I guess that means you are one of the haters.

  14. mike n Says:

    slow starts put a lot of pressur on the d and then the d is out of gas towards the 4th quarter

  15. I'm a Tandyman Bucs Fan Says:

    Koetter has watched slow starts for 12 games now and has done nothing did I say nothing to change things. I do not understand how and why people are defending him and wanting him for one more year. Why?????? To watch 16 more slow starts and more ass whuppings!!!! I am sick and tired of every Sunday rolling around to watch the same shat. I know I need to do something else on Sundays but there is just that glimmer of hope that something will change……..Guess I got one Monday and 2 Sundays to go!!!!!

  16. Joe Says:

    Blaming “washed up Doug Martin” for the Bucs slow starts is really awesome Joe … and sooo totally predictable on your part.

    Sssooo… Doug Martin is having a Pro Bowl season? Please do detail where Joe is wrong in this.

    Koetter’s offense is predicated on a (productive) running game. The Bucs have no running game, unless you can provide video of any 100-yard rushing game Martin has had this season that Joe somehow missed.

  17. Nate Says:

    you can have many cooks in the kitchen you just need one main chef mistake free quarterback

  18. Nate Says:

    @buccaneerbonzai …no hater but what ticks me off ?????

    watching bucs score under 20 (even under lovie) for 3 years!!!!!!!

    this just in…..koetter had all his hands in the offense as the OC….lovie took over the D

    NO EXCUSES!!!!!!

  19. Nate Says:

    “Our problem isn’t slow starts…losing teams talk about fast starts.
    Our problem is the lack of strong finishes. But we are getting there.”

    OMMMMMGGGGGG……SMH…..always playing catch up is a futile weak minded approach

    that will barely win games nevermind the playoffs

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “Sssooo… Doug Martin is having a Pro Bowl season? Please do detail where Joe is wrong in this.” Never said Martin was having a Pro Bowl season Joe. Personally I think Barber is a better RB than Martin is, and I was pushing for him to get more touches way back at the start of the season. But that’s not the point. Martin isn’t the problem, any more than Barber is the solution (he ran for over 100 yds and the Bucs STILL LOST). The Bucs’ offensive problems are multi-faceted as you well know I’m sure. OLine is stinking up the joint when it comes to run blocking consistently. That’s a combination of bad talent (2-3 guys need to go … and they’re named Sweezy & Pamphile, maybe Dotson) and questionable coaching (blocking schemes oftentimes leave me shaking my head, although it’s usually hard to tell whether that’s faulty design or just piss-poor execution). Martin at times looks pretty decent, like in that initial series that I noted, but I’m not seeing the consistency that the running game needs so desperately. Koetter’s play selection (relative to down-distance) often leaves me shaking my head also (kinda like you throwing remotes at the TV, except that my wife gets pissed when I do that).

  21. unbelievable Says:

    Preach it Defense Rules.

    Most of us know what the real issues are, even if the J0es have their heads so far down in the sand I’m surprised they can still breathe.

  22. Joe Says:

    Most of us know what the real issues are, even if the J0es have their heads so far down in the sand I’m surprised they can still breathe.

    Do tell.