Red Zone Follies

May 24th, 2018

Riddle to solve.

The Bucs were no good in the red zone last year. One could suggest no single area of the team Pearl Harbor’ed the season like the inability to score touchdowns in the red zone.

It obviously frustrated Bucs coach Dirk Koetter, who has spent a good chunk of the offseason trying to find the culprit.

The fact the Bucs struggled in the red zone also puzzled Field Yates of BSPN. In a recent airing of “NFL Live,” Yates said all the auto parts of an efficient red zone offense are on the roster for the Bucs to be successful.

“It is so compelling,” Yates said. “For an offense in the red zone, [the Bucs] have the right ingredients. When you get to the red zone, the field is reduced, right? That takes away the impact of long-range plays. It heightens the impact of size, of the ability to leverage [for position], of the ability to play for contested catches.

“They have one of the best big receivers in the NFL in Mike Evans. They have a first round pick last year at tight end. They just gave Cam Brate an extension this offseason. They have three big bodies. They should be able to dominate in the red zone. In theory. On paper.

“I think there is potential for a rapid turnaround in the red zone with better decision-making from the quarterback and some pride in taking care of the football.”

Yates’ colleague Louis Riddick watched a cut-up of all the Bucs plays in the red zone and is convinced dropped passes were the culprit.

Whatever it may be, it is often the little things that prevents teams from winning. You know, like catching the damned ball in the red zone?

Fix the little things and the big things will take care of themselves.

9 Responses to “Red Zone Follies”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If Koetter wants to know what some of the problem was in the red zone….he simply needs to look in the mirror.

  2. 813bucboi Says:

    cant run the 4vert scheme in the red zone…..I cant remember any fades to evans or brate or oj last year?….might’ve been 1 here or there but not enough…..


  3. Lord Cornelius Says:

    The run game becomes a bit more important there as well – or at least the threat of a run game.

    Of the top 10 offenses in red zone efficiency:

    #1 – Jacksonville – also #1 rushing yards per game
    #2 – Philly – #3 rushing yards per game
    #3 – New England – #10
    #4 – Green Bay – #17
    #5 – New Orleans – #5
    #6 – Chicago – #16
    #7 – Dallas – #2
    #8 – Oakland – #25
    #9 – Baltimore – #11
    #10 – Detroit – #32

    Detroit / Oakland are the outliers. 80% of the top 10 red zone teams were top 50% in the league at rushing the ball. 60% were top 10.

    But even with the outliers – Detroit had more rushing TDs than the Bucs; and Oakland had much better overall YPC averages. Both teams had less total rushes than the Bucs did.

  4. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Also as to 813’s point – imo our red zone offense should be 2 TE personnel with ME/Godwin/Brate/Howard most the time. If you want to run a screen you can still do it with Howard/Godwin/Rojo or Barber.

    Spread the D out and get 1 on 1 matchup you like best and exploit it. Either ME or Godwin on a lesser CB, Howard on a LB, or Brate splitting the zones if needed. Also can run out of that 2 TE set effectively since all those targets can block pretty well

  5. bucsnole Says:

    Yea. . Ima have to go with TB buc on this one. . . I think a lot of it was just piss poor coaching and play calling.
    I seem to remember on more than one occasion we tried a pitchplay – throwing the ball 5-6yrds backwards inside the 10. . . thats just genius crap right there.
    OL didnt really help along with running DM so much.

  6. 813bucboi Says:


    that 2TE set is something I hope to see a lot of…..we should be able to run and pass out of that formation effectively…..makes us less predictable….

    that stat with DET is mind boggling….just shows that if the coach stays committed to the run, eventually the run game will break thru…..good sh!t!!!


  7. jjbucfan Says:

    Run-Run-Pass-Enough said!! Jameis shoulda should have changed Dirk’s plays starting in week 1 instead of week 17. JMO.

  8. Says:

    Defense was hurt all year. We had to be aggressive on O. Our Qbs are good, our WRs are good, our TEs are good. we’ll be fine.
    GO BUCS!!!!

  9. GhostofSchiano Says:

    It obviously frustrated Bucs coach Dirk Koetter, who has spent a good chunk of the offseason trying to find the culprit.

    Thanks Joe. I got this image of Dirk as Sherlock Holmes and Smitty as Watson, looking for clues. Studying tape with a magnifying glass in one hand and the other a pipe. A clueless Watson interjecting meaningless dribble as Dirk ponders the clues.

    Probably need the help of Dungy (Kochak), Schiano (Beretta) and Morris (Trivette – Walker Texas Ranger) to figure this mystery out.