Koetter Details Red Zone Positives & Negatives

February 28th, 2018

Dirk Koetter promised he would make a deep, deep dive into the Bucs’ repeated red zone failures after last season ended.

That forensic look was completed, Koetter explained today.

Looking cool and calm at an NFL Scouting Combine podium, Koetter was asked about how much he has studied last year’s red zone issues.

“A lot!” Koetter interjected before the full question was complete.

And then came the data and an explanation.

“It’s a lot of things. You know, I think we were seventh at getting into the red zone but 24th in the league in scoring touchdowns in the red zone,” Koetter said. “We had 53 possessions where we had the ball in the red zone. If we would have got touchdowns in five more of those, we would have gone from 24th to top-8 in the league. So I just threw a whole bunch of numbers at you. Yeah, I broke down every one of those possessions and why we didn’t score.

“Sometimes it was poor execution. Turnovers were a factor. Untimely penalties were a factor. And sometimes it was bad playcall sequences. There’s always more than one thing. And that’s one of our top priorities as an offensive coaching staff to get fixed for next year.

“When you’re 3-7 in one-score games and then you watch those red zone possessions and how many times you had to settle for a field goal, you say, ‘Man, what if we would have gotten a touchdown here instead.’ That’s one of your quickest ways to flip your record around.”

Perhaps what’s most troubling about the Bucs’ red-zone failures was all the weapons available. Not every team had Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Cameron Brate, O.J. Howard and Charles Sims at their disposal, among others.

Later, responding to Joe asking about whether fixing slow starts was a more pressing issue than red zone failures, Koetter went back to the numbers and said red zone takes priority.

“When you get down there — you can spin these stats any way you want – how does an offensive team lead the league in first downs, fourth in the league in third downs but 24th in red zone scoring? You have to score points!

“Whether it is on your first drive or you might be in the red zone three or four times a game, you have to get over that 60 percent [touchdowns in the red zone]. Points are points wherever they come.”

Joe’s got a lot of hope for the offense to improve in the red zone, especially running the football. Koetter is no fool and the weapons are there — and Doug Martin is gone. Still, there remains a lot more to fixing the Bucs beyond the red zone.

20 Responses to “Koetter Details Red Zone Positives & Negatives”

  1. DB55 Says:

    Oh please Dirk give us a f’n break. You have O.J. Howard on the sidelines while give the ball to barber so he can fumble. Bc all great fb coaches rather give the ball to an udfa instead of a 6’6″ round round pick.

    How do you guys refrain from calling him and others out on their bs? I’d have my credentials yanked on day 1.

  2. SteveK Says:


    Howard should be utilized more down there, at the very least as a decoy.

    However, Barber does not fumble often. The fumble at the goal line was bad, not a bad coaching call. C’mon dude, a RB should get the ball at the goal line and be expected to not fumble/punch it in.

  3. SB Says:

    In this case I totally agree with Dirk.

  4. SB Says:

    I agree with you totally Steve. However I Love the heart that Barber runs with. I think improvements to the OL would make Barber look like a star and negate our some of our need at RB.

  5. unbelievable Says:

    1st in touchdowns, 4th in 3rd downs, but 24th in scoring!

    Damn, those are some ugly numbers coach.

    Totally agree with DB about the use of OJ, I couldn’t understand that all season. That dude is bigger than 95% of the guys on the field. Him and Brate out there with Sims/Hump, ME13, and D-Jax… cmon man! Mismatches galore!

  6. darin Says:

    Poor execution first? You cant execute a play the defense is expecting to perfection often. Excuses from Dirk. The offense is too predictable and they abandoned tbe running game, for good reason. Terrible coaching dirk. Thats what your red zone issues were about. Period.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    @Koetter … “If we would have got touchdowns in five more of those, we would have gone from 24th to top-8 in the league.” And IF every other team in the league did the same thing, we’d still be 24th. But they didn’t … and we didn’t.

    But we did so well accumulating yards. Since Dirk is talking POINTS SCORED though, Bucs have been relatively consistent these past 3 years with Dirk & Jameis in command. 2015 – 342 Points Scored (Ranking: #20 PF). 2016 – 354 Points Scored (Ranking: #18 PF). 2017 – 335 Points Scored (Ranking: #18 PF). Averages out to 21.5 PPG. Could have been MUCH higher had it not been for “poor execution”, “turnovers”, ‘untimely penalties”, “bad playcall sequences”. Pretty good assortment there. I might be wrong, but I think I see MEDIOCRE COACHING behind most (if not all) of those excuses.

  8. Greecosuave Says:

    “Weapons like… Charles Simms”? Really? I like the guy but no one was shaking in their boots. How about we fix that with a Barkley, Michel, Crowel or sumthin. Fix the O-Line too.

  9. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    Greecosuave Says:
    February 28th, 2018 at 7:06 pm
    “Weapons like… Charles Simms”? Really? I like the guy but no one was shaking in their boots. How about we fix that with a Barkley, Michel, Crowel or sumthin. Fix the O-Line too.

    With proper execution Charles Sims can be a weapon.

  10. LakeLand Says:

    This year he won’t have O.J. Howard on the sidelines while in the red zone. He will have O.J. and Antony Auclair in the game, blocking for Peyton Barber.

  11. bucs_365 Says:

    in free agency, get that center from the Ravens, plug in Nelson at LG and Marpet at RG… That would be intimidating.

  12. BigMacAttack Says:

    Too bad he couldn’t figure this out after each game, during the season, when something could be done about it. He needs to throw his predictable playbook in the garbage and let someone else do the job because he sucks at calling plays. I’ve lost all faith in him. Day late dollar short Dirk.

  13. Capt.Tim Says:

    Koetter can try to find any positive spin he wants.


    Thats the only numbers that matter.

    The only other number he should be concerned with. Thats the number of seasons he has left, before the Glazers fire him.

  14. Reach87 Says:

    Funny stream of threads. Can’t wait for the season! Go Bucs!

  15. Wiscobucsfan Says:

    Now I will say I dont believe that you can point to any one thing in particular that doomed us in the redzone. However, I will say that the closer and closer a team gets to the endzone the less field is needed to be defended by the defense. And if you have a poor run game it will be exposed more and more the closer you get to the endzone.

  16. firethecannons Says:

    red zone woes answer:
    Quentin Nelson and
    Nick Chubb or Sony Michel

    better play calling by Koetter in red zone

  17. firethecannons Says:

    Peyto Barber is solid and may run surprisingly well next season with Quentin Nelson run blocking.
    Most important is not trading up–we need all of the draft picks we have–Bradley Chubb aint worth trading up for

  18. Reach87 Says:

    Great point Wisco.

  19. Mr. Ed Says:

    Koetter is a smart guy, a good guy candid guy. Good offensive coordinator.

    Let’s see if he can be a good head coach. Let’s see if he can put performance above loyalty (looking at Big Head Mike Smith).

  20. SOEbuc Says:

    Positives= Cam Brate

    Negatives= Your coaching