O.J.: Bucs Were Close

May 3rd, 2018

Horseshoes and hand grenades.

Back at the NFL combine in Indianapolis and continuing at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, a common theme was spoken by Bucs personnel.

It was that the Bucs were close. Close losses. One-score losses. You get the drift.

It seems the next chapter of that theme came today. When Bucs tight end O.J. Howard took the lectern at One Buc Palace this afternoon, he talked about how the Bucs offense was — all together now — close to being not just one of the elite offenses in NFL, but a playoff team.

In fact, Howard said, you can count on one hand how many plays the Bucs were from a top-10 red zone offense which often means playoffs, he explained.

“That’s all it is,” Howard said. “We’re like five plays away from being in the top-10 of the red zone offense [in the NFL]. And eight of those 10 teams made the playoffs. That’s how close we were to making the playoffs. We just got to execute, finish a couple more plays in the red zone.”

Well, if the Bucs are able to get Ronald Jones loose, there should be no reason the Bucs can’t get into the top-10 in red zone offense if they were that close with such a one-dimensional offense last season.

With the talent on this team — that comes from Dirk Koetter’s own words — especially on offense, as many fans have already stated, there really are no excuses for a lack of improvement this fall.

23 Responses to “O.J.: Bucs Were Close”

  1. Kobe Faker Says:

    200 lb runner into the gut of the redzone front and defense?

    put OJ on 1 side and do a out pattern with JW rolling out to the same side…taking cake from a baby

  2. OneBucPerson Says:

    If the offense stops being one dimensional and the defense plays average we are in the playoffs, no doubt.

  3. passthebuc Says:

    AS long as we stop trying the double reverse from the 5 yard line.

    The NFL has developed into a game of speed. Attack and counter attack, plays that take 5 seconds to develop, spell disaster.

  4. AlteredEgo Says:

    Chill folks…..everything will be better….

  5. Bird Says:

    By close

    Does he mean not close at all?

  6. teacherman777 Says:

    QB sneaks need to return to Tampa!!

    We need to use Jameis behind Marpet and Jensen on more 3rd and 1 and 4th and 1 plays!

    And goal line plays!

  7. Duke Says:

    Lord corn,

    The play to Bobo that you harp on, it’s a perfect example of how you don’t know what your seeing.

    10.33 on the clock JW has two receivers wide open. The drag was open a full 3 seconds then there’s the post which is a TD.

    The sack you refer to is market moving to the wrong side.

    Go ahead pick another play…..

  8. Duke Says:


    14 seconds left first half, 5 receivers wide open……James holds ball way too long

  9. AlteredEgo Says:

    Duke Says:
    May 3rd, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    14 seconds left first half, 5 receivers wide open……James holds ball way too long

    Jameis play like Brad Johnson….and everything looks great….Jameis is still,or has been , in the backyard hero mode….take what you see quick…keep the D on it’s heels…the big plays will come…don’t go hunting for them…I am sure he has heard all this in meeting rooms …

  10. '74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Finish a couple more of those plays and we’re in the playoffs? We needed 6 more wins to make the playoffs. I remember taking math in school, and those numbers don’t seem to add up. I must have failed math.

  11. __TGH__ Says:

    Let Vea run the ball!

  12. 813bucboi Says:

    i’ll say we’re close when we hit 10wins….


  13. Eric Says:

    the tampa bay closeaneers

    five games out of third is close?

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    @teacherman777 … “QB sneaks need to return to Tampa!!” Would much prefer to see Vita Vea take the direct handoff from the center while the other 9 players on offense watch. Run Vita Run !!!

  15. Mike Johnson Says:

    Bucs were close huh OJ? Please slip me the name of your..Weed provider. You smokin that..Beyond stuff!!!

  16. Pickgrin Says:

    If Coffee is for Closers – then Starbucks was nowhere to be found at OBP in 2017

    Like bad salesmen or inexperienced snook fishermen – the Bucs let at least 5 wins slip right off the hook last year.

    Let me restate for clarity – the Bucs DEFENSE let 5 wins slip right off the hook last year.

    Bucs offense was dysfunctional as fluck way too often often in 2017 – primarily due to 3 players. JR Sweezy, Doug Martin, Kevin Pamphile – in that order…

    But the one thing we did confirm is that Winston IS a closer. Always has been – but he got multiple chances last year to prove it once again – and DID. Jameis was clutch when the game was on the line in the 4th Q – time and time again last year. Only to watch the defense fold like the cheapest of old timey army tents when the wind kicks up.

    OJ is right – save for bad Guard play and a largely ineffective running attack (those are related btw) – the offense was “close” last year.

    The only thing the Bucs defense as whole last year was “close” to – was being the worst defense in the league…

    We’ve added JPP, Curry, Beau Allen, Unrein and drafted Vita Vea, two 2nd rd CBs and a 4th rd Safety. That’s a LOT of bolstering in one off season. Don’t forget Noah Spence who we didn’t have last year either.

    Offense added a physical Center, a green but “nasty” 3rd rd Guard and a home run hitting early 2nd rd RB. Offense subtracted the “big 3” problems from the previous year (Sweezy, Martin, Pamphile). Those additions and subtractions along with moving Marpet back to Guard and the continued development of many young but talented players should spell BALANCE and SUCCESS for the 2018 Buccaneers offense.

    I’m calling that the Bucs will have a top 5 offense in 2018 and if the defense can improve to the 14-17 range (middle of the packish) – then the Bucs will win at least 10 games in 2018 and the playoff drought will be over.

  17. Duke Says:


    Agreed. The specific play I mentioned was a great example of how the play calling anticipated the coverage and JW, He makes some brilliant throws in these situations also, holds the ball decides not to take the under routes, which is the play design, and throws a completion that was not accurate and into coverage.
    The play calling was good the execution poor.

  18. Bucnjim Says:

    The one thing that haunts me from last season and I never hear about it is slow starts. A lot of teams deferred at the coin flip so we were on offense and ended in three and out. This would give them fantastic field position! Even the defense struggled out of the gate to stop anyone so I guess the entire team constantly came out flat. If they can fix this issue they should surprise some people.

  19. John meeks Says:

    Now we have people wanting to give the ball to vita vea to run?then they can get on here and blame Dirk for vita blowing his knee out!man,training camp can’t get here fast enough!

  20. John meeks Says:

    Vita played running back in high school but this is the NFL people!guess who else played running back in high school??”Ray Lewis “!how many NFL carries did he get? I rest my case idiots!

  21. James Haigh Says:

    Close. As ‘that thar 6′ putt just lipped out’, or that 3-2 fastball was ‘just outside’. Or, damn, the 9 ball almost dropped. Knock it off, just don’t want to hear it. Block the guy in front of you and put the ball over the chalk line. Get it done. Hmmm…. want to come in second in a pistol duel? Right, didn’t think so.

  22. JDR Says:

    Ronald jones??

    #3 needs make smarter plays and get the read and pass fasrer.

  23. JDR Says:

    Lol typo king