Still Unbridled

March 26th, 2018

“Yeah Jameis, you can call me a SOB so long as you have a better play.”

One of the great attributes of America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, is his drive to win.

It also gets him into trouble, too.

It’s a balancing act for any NFL coach much less Bucs coach Dirk Koetter. Coaches love quarterbacks with the never-say-die mentality, but that also has to be tempered by common sense.

And it seems, to a degree, Jamies hasn’t yet found the balance between using your noggin and using your heart. The heart is in the right place but not always the noggin.

Take the final offensive play of the 2017 season. Down 24-23 with nine seconds remaining, the Bucs only needed a field goal for the win but had a first down play at the Saints-39. Koetter called for a pass play to Adam Humphries along the left sideline to set up for a field goal. Instead, Jameis said, in so many words, ‘Aw hell no!’ and rifled a pass to Chris Godwin down the right sideline for the game-winning touchdown, despite Humphries being open.

Back during the NFL combine in Indianapoli,s Koetter made an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio during a segment of “The Blitz” co-hosted by Alex Marvez and Rick Neuheisel. While Koetter raved about Jameis, he stated the zenith of his Bucs coaching days may be when Jameis tells Koetter a playcall is garbage and won’t work.

“Anyone that saw Jameis Winston play when he came back from his shoulder injury, Jameis Winston can be one of the best quarterbacks in this league,” Koetter said. “He has it in him. He has got the talent.

“It is hard to explain how much Jameis Winston wants to win. I have told many people, sometimes you send in bad plays. Sometimes, you can do all the preparation you can and you send [a play] in and right about the time they break huddle you go, ‘Oh my God, this is not going to be good.’ And you only have so many timeouts and you don’t want to use them for that.

“I tell Jameis all the time that my favorite day of my coaching career is going to be when he comes off the field and says, ‘That was a terrible call and I just saved your butt.’ Jameis is such a competitive guy though that it may be a terrible call and he is trying to make it into a 65-yard touchdown.”

This reminded Joe of two stories. Koetter has spoken about when playing at Dallas in 2016, Jameis pushed Koetter to call for a play down the left sideline for Mike Evans that Jameis thought would work. Koetter agreed and Jameis was right. Evans was open. But Jameis missed his target. Koetter has stated since that he wants Jameis to offer more input on plays he thinks will work.

The second story is Joe recently finishing the memoirs of Paul Zimmerman, better known as “Dr. Z,” the famed long-time NFL writer for Sports Illustrated. In the book, Zimmerman relayed a conversation he had with Johnny Unitas, who during his playing days openly bristled at any coach trying to tell him what play to run.

Unitas told Dr. Z that a quarterback is not an NFL quarterback until he can tell his coach to go to hell.

It seems, in a manner of speaking, that is the only thing stopping Jameis, in Koetter’s eyes, from being an elite NFL signal-caller.

44 Responses to “Still Unbridled”

  1. FR Says:


  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Speaking for Pablo

    “When mentioning Haboo…Pablo thinks using the term “unbridled” is racist. Don’t ask Pablo why….Pablo just feels this way”

  3. BringBucsBack Says:

    Nice article Joe’s. I know a lot of folks want to criticize Koetter for his play calling but it was abundantly clear that, at times last season, he was calling plays to protect his quarterback, the ball, the drive or a scoring opportunity.

    However, I’m all in favor of them both doing a better job of recognizing when plays are there and when they are not.

  4. AlteredEgo Says:

    3 years uder his belt now…no excuses of stat diversions after this season

  5. Joe Says:

    Thanks BringBack.

  6. BigHogHaynes Says:


  7. Tbbucs3 Says:


    Koetters Offensive Play-calling Woes

    – Too many long developing 7 step drops

    – Lack of in game adjustments and poor game plans. Offense looked the same week in week out. Ex. not adjusting to the lack of run game

    – Way to much undercenter, not enough shotgun.

    – Wasting 1st and 2d down with Doug Martin getting stuffed at the line. Forcing a predictable pass play on 3rd.

    – Lack of creativity with Mike Evans. Have used him the same way for his whole career. His two main plays are that deep middle curl and the outside comeback. These plays work but he can expand his used.

    – Forcing Desean Jackson deep way too much. Go for the easy completions. D-jacks is clearly not just a deep threat, he is a dominant short to intermediate threat. Especially in the short game. More slants with D-Jacks please!!! It worked so well last year, do not understand why we didn’t do this more.

    – There is no Rhythmic short to intermediate passing game. Just an overall lack of rhythm to the offense. All great passing teams have a dominant short to intimidate passing game ex. New England Patriots, Bill Walsh’s 49ers, New Orleans Saints.

  8. Its_A_Tough_Buc_Life Says:

    To the trade Cancer93 camp,

    If we trade McCoy, we immediately have a major hole up the middle. Hate him all you want, but the man is a decent DT. Is he worth the contract? Probably not. But you move him for a third rounder, which is all I think we would be able to get for him IF THAT, then you can add another position of need that this team cannot afford to have. That this coaching staff cannot afford to have.

  9. passthebuc Says:

    We made a bad choice when we drafted him and we are going to make a bad decision when we pay him for the next 10 years.
    Can you imagine what we could have had in draft picks by trading down?

  10. passthebuc Says:

    If McCoy were on the open market, you would be screaming to go out and get him. He is worth more to us than a 3rd rd pick.

  11. BrianBucs Says:

    Reminds me of when Gruden was coaching here and Jeff Garcia was the QB. Garcia would routinely change the plays that Gruden would send in and it would really piss Gruden off. It was really quite funny and entertaining

  12. Pickgrin Says:

    Within a couple years I can foresee Winston and Koetter moving to more of a “let’s get to the line of scrimmage and call more plays at the line in ‘hurry up’ mode” type approach.

    Koetter can be in Winston’s ear for the 1st 15 seconds offering suggestions and Jameis can make calls (and then adjustments) at the line based off those suggestions but also based on what he sees or thinks he sees with the defensive alignment in front of him.

    Sort of a limited (and partially assisted) approach to what Payton Manning was doing during his prime years – calling plays and adjusting them at the line a good bit of the time. Playing fast on offense and keeping the defense on their heels and largely unable to substitute.

    You stay in the 2 TE, 2 WR, 1 RB base for this most of the time – and with Brate and OJ out there you can run or pass out of that formation with equal ease and success (assuming the Oline actually gets “fixed” and can run block or pass protect with equal legitimacy this year).

  13. Lamarcus Says:

    It’s a Bucs life though

    Major hole? Like heart and winning spirit? Trade GMC and this team will have a upgrade in heart department. Forget his talent . We need a true leadership on that defense. I will rather take Jovan Haye type player with his heart than a 6 time pro bowl tackle with no heart nor drive for a championship


    JW and the playcaller are not the issue. It’s that sorry defense and the scheme and then you have Msmith forgetting how to coach. Hard to overcome that

  14. German Buc Says:

    Pickgrin – Love your suggestion! JW is best when in hurry u-mode.

  15. WhatTheBuc Says:

    @passthebuc yeah Cleveland has shown how great that works out

  16. 813bucboi Says:

    Koetter has stated since that he wants Jameis to offer more input on plays he thinks will work.

    damn dirk…..Winston already has to play the game now you want him to coach too!!!!!……lol…..

    I wonder if smitty wants kwon or GMC telling him which defense to run…..

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!…..GO BUCS!!!!

  17. webster Says:

    I laugh at all the idiots who think jameis is the problem. Obviously you have reading comprehension issues. This article clearly states koetter wishes jameis would change the plays more once koetter sends them in because koetter realizes the particular play was bad. If any of you idiots ever listen to jameis press conferences post game when ever he is asked about a certain play call, Jameis always says he trust koetter’s calls and its on the players to execute. That says team player and not throwing his coach under the bus ie rothlesberger.

    And joe, no jameis did not throw the play out. Hump was the first option on that play, but godwin too was an option and it was open. Jameis did not want to rely on a shaky field goal attempt and he allowed godwin to make a play. Thats called players making plays which this team needs more of….PLAY MAKERS!!!! Not sure if you know, but pass plays usually have multiple options. Jameis will get to the point where he will tell koetter no, but for now we should be cool with him just learning.

  18. ndog Says:

    passthebuc somebody must have passed you something this morning with those takes.

  19. OAR Says:

    Yep at 18-27….his winning drive has taken an off-rode path.

  20. webster Says:

    @ Oar

    It takes a team to win or to have a winning drive. One man on offense can not compensate for a horrible defense and an even worse special teams. Let me know when that sinks in.

  21. OAR Says:

    There’s your mistake…you added a f$%k that I didn’t give.

  22. NFLNut Says:

    Jameis is already elite, but his team and his coaches are not.

    However, not every elite QB has to call their own plays … Jameis can do it and did it in college and flipped out on Jimbo more than a time or two, and I can see that will happen with Koetter in Tampa as well, but it’s not a must for all elite QBs.

  23. JMan5 Says:

    Are his Hands always in the right place though?

  24. OneBuc55 Says:

    Jameis catches so much flack from all angles…after 2 years as a starter at FSU and 3 years starting in the NFL he’s still only 24 yrs old…His critics have to realize that, he’s still a puppy…I’m 41 yrs old and I’ve been a Bucs fan almost 30 years; I’ve seen some pretty bad QB play during that time span, Jamies is easily the best QB we’ve ever had in Tampa…Is he perfect? No but every game he’s under center we have a shot to win…if we’re gonna make the playoffs his supporting cast and play calling must get better…we can’t put it all on him…

  25. webster Says:


    Oh so you choose to be uneducated. Whatever floats your boat.

  26. GhostofSchiano Says:

    813bucboi Says: I wonder if smitty wants kwon or GMC telling him which defense to run…..

    After this last season that may not be a bad idea….at least they have a better view than the press box squatter.

  27. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I’m curious. How many here still believe Andrew Luck is going to be a great QB?

    Jameis looked pretty healthy those last four games. This is the season for Jameis and the entire team and I hope there are no excuses.

    For me that means GENUINE excuses…aka..facts. If Jameis get’s hurt or suspended it’s another cloud to try and see through in his development. Not his fault if he gets injured. But we’re all anxious to see what he can do when the rest of the team is in sync. This NEEDS to be that year.

  28. Bucsfanman Says:

    Stop hijacking posts with the GMC nonsense. This is about Jameis!

    @webster- No, Jameis is not THEE problem, but he is part of the problem for all the reasons you list. It’s a TEAM game. He HAS to clean up his game. Judging by his work ethic and drive, I can be patient to a point. This will be year 4, age be darn, and with a much-improved offense, and hopefully defense. I’m hoping it “clicks”!

  29. OAR Says:

    Uneducated?…I think you have me confused with most liberals!
    That awkward moment your sarcasm is so advanced people think you’re stupid.

  30. ndog Says:

    So many Bucs fans hate Jameis and want him gone. On another site today their is an article about him improving and the in the comments section their is one commenter that actually said, Jameis is the worst QB in franchise history and then tried to defend it. This is how much some people hate our QB and want him gone. SMH

  31. webster Says:

    @ oar

    I dont have you confused. Only idiot fools insert politics when its uncalled for. I will let you continue to believe you are some intelligent “conservative.” That will be your little secret.

  32. webster Says:

    @ bucsfan

    No jameis is not a finished product but if anyone watches these games and cant see that jameis plays well enough to be a playoff qb then there is not talking with you period. And i dont mean you personally

  33. OAR Says:

    Sorry for who ever pissed in your cheerios this morning. Sours the humor.

  34. 813bucboi Says:


    I think your wrong about that last play……dirk called for the play to go to hump and only hump because of the time……dirk instructed Winston to throw the ball to hump so he could get out of bounds, stop the clock and they would try for a FG…..Winston saw the one on one and said screw dirk and the FG im going for the TD…….
    Folks who bellyache about Dirk Koetter and his play-calling will have someone to chew on during the all too long offseason.

    The game-winning 39-yard pass from America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, to Chris Godwin? That was not what Koetter called.

    With 15 seconds left and no timeouts, Koetter noted there likely wasn’t time for a play and a spike to set up a field goal. So Koetter called for a down-and-out to the left, right in front of the Bucs bench for a receiver to step out of bounds in order to allow the field goal team on the field.

    America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, had other ideas. The gunslinger in him took over.

    Jameis saw Godwin in a one-on-one situation and believed Godwin could not just get separation but could score. So Jameis ignored Koetter’s wishes and decided to go for it all down the right sideline.

    clearly, hump was the #1 and supposed to be the only option on that play…. now, idk about most of you but I don’t want players ignoring the HC…..that shows a lack of respect…..whats next, Winston and others will be dictating personnel too!…..instead of punting, Winston and the offense will say, nawl we’ll ignore dirk and go for it……defensive players ignoring smitty and say they going to blitz or play man(that might be welcoming)

    I understand dirk wanting feed back from Winston but c’mon man……that last play showed just how incompetent dirk really is……sitting at 4-11 he plays for the FG……lol…..

    how about getting feed back from the other offensive coaches……

    its all on dirk now!!!!!…..licht has provided talent and depth before the draft and more talent and depth will added during the draft……don’t want to hear the injury excuse because we just witnessed a 2nd year HC win a SB with a back up QB……don’t want to hear the talent and depth excuse because that will be fixed by the time TC rolls around……pressures on this staff!!!!!!!

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!….GO BUCS!!!!!!

  35. Rod Munch Says:

    I think Dirk going all emo after the Panthers game and Winston having to give him a pep talk – I believe that was the changing of the guard and Winston saying to hell with Dirk it’s my team – and it’s why he ignore Field Goal Dirk and played to win in week 17. Let’s hope that guy shows up week 1.

  36. loggedontosay Says:


    No one knows what you speak of. Ever heard of reader base prose?

  37. loggedontosay Says:


    Republicans/conservative are anything but smart.

  38. loggedontosay Says:

    Moderate this Joe: You racist bastard

  39. buc4ya Says:

    I’m all for Jameis having more say on the play calling, someone has to do it Koetter is always talking about what the chart says you’re supposed to do in a given situation. The guy is scared to be aggressive and go for the win and would’ve settled for a field goal attempt in that situation. Smh… I hope he lets Monken be more of the play caller. Heck he has all the weapons and doesn’t know how to use them. DJax was totally under utilized I like Hump but he’s scared to try and make someone miss and looks for the quickest way to get outta bounds. WR core should be Evans, Godwin and DJax in the slot.

  40. Rod Munch Says:

    Hopefully Winston will check out of Dirks run up the middle on every first down of the first half of every game routine. When the defense has 17 people on the LOS just running up the gut isn’t going to get it done – not unless you have a top offensive line – and even then just mix it up.

  41. webster Says:

    @ 813

    I know koetter called the play for hump to pick up a few yards and get out of bounds. My point is on all pass plays there are multiple options. When the qb scans the field, he may see something that is open that is different than the primary option. It was not jameis saying forget dirk. It was jameis saying my boy godwin has a step and im going to drop it in his bread basket. Playmaker to playmaker. End of story. Btw…im sure koetter did not say throw it to hump and only hump. Thats crazy. Hump may not have been open. Again he was the primary target but jameis as the qb saw a better option developing on the play when he scanned the field. Lets not over think this.

  42. Dan Says:

    He’s just out of control with emotion and hasn’t really improved in his decision making at all in 3 years. Not very promising. Fumble machine

  43. webster Says:

    @ dan

    Thats why his completion % this year was higher than wilson, mariotta, carr, wentz, goeff, newton, rivers etc. He had his highest qb rating this year but yea lets continue the false narative he is not getting better. Educate yourself.

  44. NFLNut Says:


    Since you’re all talking politics … I’m apolitical and don’t vote but I love discussing current issues.

    Anyways, liberals now believe one can change their sex with a mere thought … that’s insanity, LITERAL insanity.

    I can’t wait for doctors having to explain to biological men that “identify” as women, that no, they do not have uterine cancer, because they don’t have a uterus. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    The Left has gone insane and it’s actually quite sad … it’s literally a mental disorder.