Facts Or Myths?

April 25th, 2018

Which is it?

There are two elements of the game of America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, that are told so often folks swallow these theories whole.

One is that the Bucs offensive line is horrible and Jameis struggled as a result. Another is that Dirk Koetter’s offense is rooted in play-action passes.

Research shows those narratives might just be inaccurate.

Recently, John Kinsley of FootballOutsiders.com did an exhaustive research project about deep passes. Joe wrote about this earlier in the week.

Well, all but buried in Kinsley’s article are two stats that caught Joe’s eye.

Now Joe never thought the Bucs offensive line was nearly as bad as some fans howled. Didn’t think so then; don’t think so now. But the way folks parroted this over and over and over and over again, like anything else, you say something enough times, folks start to believe it.

Well, it seems Jameis last season, per Kinsley, benefited a great deal from clean throwing pockets. Reviewing each Jameis pass attempt, Kinsley has come to the conclusion that Jameis had a clean pocket right at 70 percent of the time, which was 12th best in the NFL.

The way folks threw lawn chairs at their garage door over the perceived poor play of the line, it was as if Jameis ran for his life each and every dropback, if you didn’t know any better.

Then there are play-action passes. The Bucs like to tell folks that is where Jameis shines. Joe has no reason to doubt this. However, only a quarter of Jameis’ pass attempts came on play-action. Jameis threw from a play-action pass 25.8 percent of the time, or 17th-most in the NFL.

Joe doesn’t know exactly what to make of the last stat, only that it is very likely that the Bucs rushing attack stunk so bad last year, defenses weren’t fooled on play-action passes and as a result, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter dialed back on them.

28 Responses to “Facts Or Myths?”

  1. Wausa Says:

    The problem was the lack of running game and the fact that the Bucs had the worst defense in the NFL(one of the worst in the history of the league).

    Also Donovan Smith is good OT, but for some reason he will have several plays a game where he falls apart and looks like Ira trying to block Lawrence Taylor.

  2. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Sounds about right to me. They were a solid pass blocking unit and a bad run blocking unit.

    The issues were lack of any run game and too many deep drop long developing plays – PA or not.

    For a few years now we’ve been terrible in YAC%; and lead the league in Air yards per throw. That means you’re making it about as hard as possible on the Qb in terms of play designs and route options.

  3. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    Thank you for answering your own question with that last paragraph. Hard to set up PA with no threat of a run game. Look at the end of the year when Barber provided a semblance of a threat.
    About the o line I agree its not as bad as people tend to say, especially the D. Smith haters.
    With that being said I believe what my eyes see and on obvious passing downs Jameis could barely finish his dropback before bailing. There were games where Jameis is was eating long crab back there and other games where it looked like he forgot to pay the dinner bill for the o-line.
    Still I don’t see O-Line as a “need” like so many “experts” proclaim.

  4. Dewey Selmon Says:

    What helps Jameis is he is a great matador like Marino. He might not be the best scrambler, but he has good pocket presence and is able to slide from side to side when the pocket collapses.

  5. Joe Says:

    looks like Ira trying to block Lawrence Taylor.

    Aaaawww! 🙂

  6. Andrew Says:

    When you are losing or can’t run the ball, it’s tough to play action.

  7. J Says:

    He’s hard to bring down due to all the slime he exudes

  8. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    @Lord C

    Ding ding ding, we have a winner.

    Joe, in addition to severely under-valuing the impact that a great O-line can have on a team, seems to fail to understand that an O-line can do well in one phase of the game and struggle in another.

    Perfect example, he clings to his story about C.J. Anderson getting 1k yards behind a horrible O-line, when all of the data and tape suggest’s that despite Denver’s line being truly horrendous in pass protection, they were actually quite good at run blocking.

    This article is also another perfect example of the Joe’s innate confirmation bias. All metrics and statistics are hogwash and can’t be trusted… Unless they support the Joe’s own arguments.

  9. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    Thanks J.

    Its comforting to know I can pretty much say anything today and it wont be as dumb as what you just typed.

  10. 813bucboi Says:

    lovie is the reason!!!!!!!…….fact or myth?……lol…..

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

  11. DBAG56 Says:

    It doesn’t matter how clean the pocket was for JW, said this all last year… Kooter is a very very bad man… as soon as he would cross the 50 the play action was gone and he put JW in 0 sets. Defenses T-ed the F off and that’s where/when most of the strip sacks occurred. It’s no secret JW zones in on the intended target way too much. Until he learns to check down it won’t matter what kind of protection he has. It could be 100% clean and he’ll still throw it into triple coverage.

    BUT if you review the Buffalo game, you’ll see Kooober actually kept the play action going and JW had best game of the season. Why? DB’s see his eyes much later in the play and can’t jump routes. LBs slows a bit having to step to the run before dropping back…. It’s not rocket surgery.

    There is a huge disconnect between Kooter and JW. A huge rift. I hope everyone realizes that. Major problems between coach and JW.

  12. Chris in WA Says:

    It’s not even that the running game being bad led to the lack of play action passes (even though the running game WAS awful) it’s that when the Bucs are trailing double digits at most halftimes no opposing DC is going to bite on a play action pass.

    Also Jamies excessive fumbling led many fans to try to externalize the problem onto the offensive line.

  13. unbelievable Says:

    Those stats make sense to me.

    Good at pass protection, bad at run blocking.

  14. hoover923 Says:

    Hey Alaskan Abdominal Snowman,

    What is an abdominal snowman?

    I know what an abominable snowman is… https://youtu.be/6hZrQQ7i_lY

  15. J Says:

    Whatever you have to tell yourself to sleep well at night Alaskan.

  16. webster Says:

    @ andrew

    There were only 3 games the bucs were out of. They were 3-7 in one score games. There were only 3 games they would have had to abandon the run. Your narrative is false. Its like many posters have stated, the bucs playaction was fooling no one

  17. Dapostman Says:

    Bad rushing attack and trailing in second half of most games. Hard to fall for the rushing play when teams know you are going to pass since you are behind in the game. That’s what a 5-11 season does.

  18. Bird Says:


    That’s hilarious poster name burn .

    You should have ended it with Bwtfdik

  19. Jason Mclaurin Says:

    Gotta run more playaction and get that running game better. The fans know the oline can’t hold up for playaction without that running back they need. We need to start utilizing our tight ends once we get that back to. Only spread the field on 2nd and 3rd down and long but in short yardage situations go Jumbo utilizing the tight ends for extra blocking on playaction as well as a full back.

  20. SB Says:

    The rushing attack suffered so badly because of RUN BLOCKING! We Sucked at it.
    For the Thousandth time…..An average RB looks Dynamic with Great Run Blocking!
    Fix the Trenches and all else will fix itself!!!

  21. Cobraboy Says:

    Run blocking and pass blocking are as similar as kicking & punting: same basic concept, but they are totally different.

    That said, I thought most agreed Winston was riunning for his liife last season and took a beating.

    Pleaee, Lord, let’s have 5 O & DL drafted this weekend.

  22. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    If we could get lucky and get Nelson and Michel/Guice imagine our running game!!! The interior of our OL would have a chance to become very special.

    Donovan keeps improving and if Dot i not healthy I think Benenoch, who played well at the end of the season, will become the starting RT.

    Imagine two TE sets with a solid RB…with two TE’s that can catch…with two other really good targets, including one deep burner to keep it honest. Koetter would have no excuses.

  23. Pickgrin Says:

    The Oline was majorly sup-par in the run blocking dept. Pass protection was perhaps average but still not good enough. Nelson would fix that issue right up along with the good move Licht already made of signing Ryan Jensen so Marpet can move back to Guard. Both our starting Guards were pretty bad last year and there’s no hiding from that fact.

  24. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    Abdominal Snowman http://www.commonsenseevaluation.com/2013/04/04/cartoon-of-the-day-the-abdominal-snowman/
    Yes I can spell abominable.

  25. BoJim Says:

    The line was ok, Doug Martin couldn’t do it anymore but Koetter decided to stay him. Hope he at least learned something. Luckily loyalty didn’t get him fired. This is the NFL and it is a pretty damn big business.

  26. Blake_Bucsfan Says:


    Since when is ok good enough? I thought the entire point of building a team is to try and make it great.

  27. Rod Munch Says:

    I don’t understand how you can watch the Bucs and not think the offensive line was terrible. They were awful at run blocking, beyond awful, and as pass blockers they were only bad, so that’s an upgrade. At times the pass blocking might look OK, but that was mainly at the end of the year when Dirk seemed to remember this thing called a play action pass, which after not using all year seemed to catch defensive coordinators off guard. Much of the bad play of the line was the incredibly predictable play calling and it’s a credit to Jameis that he was able to move around and create time despite being under pressure most of the time.

  28. Greecosuave Says:

    Scenario #1). God comes down and parts the Defense every offensive play for JW to perfect every time, or.

    Scenario 2). Idiots STFU and let Licht build out this team so we can kick some a$$!