“He’s Calling The Plays Now In Training Camp; I Think He’ll Call Them In Preseason.”

June 3rd, 2018

More chatter about change at One Buc

A huge Dirk Koetter theme of this entire offseason, going back to the day after the 2017 season ended, was that the Bucs’ playcalling is just fine and the offense simply needed to execute better — aka hit the open man.

So it continues to baffle Joe that some local media don’t want to see what’s in front of them.

The drumbeat for Koetter to give up playcalling continues, even into this month, via a chat on WDAE-AM 620 between longtime beat writer Rick Stroud and host J.P. Peterson.

Peterson is eager for recently-promoted, now-full-time offensive coordinator Todd Monken to take over playcalling. He even predicted that would happen this season and said it would help the Bucs’ red-zone issues.

“I just think that they need new thinking down there, ” Peterson said.

Stroud didn’t go all-in with Peterson but noted that Monken “is doing all the scripts for practice” and “he’s calling the plays now in training camp; I think he’ll call them in preseason.”

It’s a trend, Stroud believes, that could continue if August is successful.

“What happens on Sunday when the real stuff starts flying, I still think that Dirk Koetter is going to be, you know, the guy. But, because of all this, if they feel like, well, first of all, let’s assume it goes unbelievably well in preseason, maybe they stick with it,” Stroud said. “It could evolve.”

Joe was drinking a cold one and head-shaking listening to all that. C’mon. Great preseason playcalling?

Look, Koetter isn’t going to the Hall of Fame off his performance last season, but he remains a skillful playcaller. He needs to improve to get the Bucs better in the red zone and to utilize his full buffet of weapons, but Koetter and his staff made it painfully clear repeatedly that the problem was basic execution not playcalling.

QB coach Mike Bajakian’s “pitch-and-catch” line was among the very telling examples.

And then there was O.J. Howard taking you inside red zone talks during spring meetings at One Buc Palace.

“Coach Koetter goes over that the first week of Phase 1 [of spring practice]. He pulled it up, you know, it all comes down to us executing. The playcalls are there,” Howard said. “The defense is in the right defenses. We just got to execute when it’s called.

“That’s all it is. 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.”

There’s a reason the Bucs had the fourth-most passing yards in the NFL. There’s a reason the Bucs had the ninth-most yards in the league and the most first-downs in the conference, and Koetter had his second top-10 finish (total yards) in three Bucs seasons.

Koetter had top-10 offenses in Jacksonville and Atlanta, too. That’s a rare trifecta feat in NFL history.

The head coach is a playcaller with 30-plus years of experience. He considers himself a good one. He’s simply not going to give it up, nor should he.

Joe, however, would be all in favor of letting Monken choose who plays running back. That would bring tears of joy at JoeBucsFan.com world headquarters.

26 Responses to ““He’s Calling The Plays Now In Training Camp; I Think He’ll Call Them In Preseason.””

  1. James Walker Says:

    The play calling is WAY down on the list of things that need attention.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Yes….it’s all about execution…..but not from us…..execution from the opposing defense knowing exactly what are predictable plays are.

    Watching the game with my wife…..(not exactly a football guru)…..she says “they’re gonna run the ball up the middle”….I said…”how do you know”….she said….”they always do in these situations”…..and folks, she was right.

  3. Trench War Says:

    …all that and they were only 18th in scoring with 20.9 points a game. Six of the top teams in last years playoffs scored 25.9 a game or better.

  4. Buc50 Says:

    18th in scoring because running game was horrible. Jones should fix that…hopefully they give him the bulk of the carries.

  5. Hodad Says:

    Koetter’s problem in the red zone is he’s thinking head coach instead of offensive co. Koetter’s wants that three, the O.C. is trying to score six. Let Monken do it. It’s also the only way he would truly be considered for H.C. jobs. Makes for a better coaching dynamic for the staff.

  6. Zwak Says:

    If the play calling worked for Koetter 12 years ago I’m sure it’s fine, what could have changed?


  7. feelthepewterpower Says:

    The Koetter mantra has been and continues to be that predictable play calling DOES NOT MATTER, the execution is what matters. TRUE, the EXECUTION MATTERS. However, the execution greatly INCREASES if the opponents don’t know if a run or pass is coming. The Buccs problem is that they are too predictable with their calls (just watch Luke Kuechly basically call out our plays on film if you need evidence), which again, isn’t a problem to Dirk. In the NFL, any kind of leverage is huge. When you stay AHEAD of the sticks by not being predictable you will execute at will. Not only will you execute, you will dramatically decrease the turnovers. Yes, Jameis has had his turnover gaffes, but most of the turnovers on those plays stemmed from the Buccs finding themselves in predictable play calling (IE- third and long where the defense knows you’re throwing).

  8. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Joe and/or someone at One Buccs Place, please give Dirk Koetter this article to read:


  9. John Prowell Says:

    All of you anti-Koetter folks seem to forget they couldn’t run the ball worth a damn in the red zone. If you can’t execute half your plays up front, and the defense knows it – where does that leave you in confined spaces. It leaves it broke. That they did as well as they did with that ridiculous excuse of a staple of running backs is amazing.

    Remember the run game’s importance in the red zone, or at least the legitimate threat of one before you start bashing what they couldn’t get done. Every DC out there had to be licking their chops just hoping the Bucs were will to try anything with Martin, Sims or even Rogers.

  10. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Again if you look at Koetter’s history and especially his successes, his offense is actually predicated on the running game. Look at Jax and Atlanta. He may get some run as 4 wide down the field and using his TE’s but the proof is in the pudding. Just look at what is best offenses did on the ground whether it was MJD or Turner.

    If Payton improves just a small bit…and ROJO is the real deal..we might actually get to see Koetter’s offense this year even if it is Moncken calling it.

  11. krockbucs Says:

    offence is not the problem

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “He’s simply not going to give it up, nor should he.” With the QB & weapons the Bucs have, there’s no excuse for them not scoring 25 point PLUS per game. Marching up & down the field is nice, but it doesn’t win football games. Putting the rock across the goal line does, and Bucs haven’t done that nearly enough these past 3 years.

    @krockbucs … “offence is not the problem.” Not the TOTAL problem, but certainly a part of it. Had our offense scored 5 MORE PPG (like the Top-6 in the playoffs), Bucs would’ve won 5 more games and tied 2 games (for a 9-5-2 record). Still not playoff material, but a slight improvement over the year before. And I’m convinced this offense has the capability to score in excess of 25 PPG.

  13. BucEmUp Says:

    Koetter has gone a little conservative whem.it comes.to certain plays. When he was strictly calling plays he was.more aggressive, but the guy knows his stuff.

    Mike Smith on the other hand spent some.time as dc under del too who.is a defensive minded head coach, and influenced it in Jacksonville. The DEFENSIVE coachingnin Atlanta was bad and the head coach couldn’t step in and help the top flying offense get over the hump.

    So far going into his third year he has 6 good games, some.really embarrassing ones and then just consistent below average tallying up to a big pile of crap.

    Dirk is the only reason there is not a new DC in the house

  14. Americas Qb Says:

    Predictable. That is what our head coach is. Did you watch either panthers game last year? Their linebackers were calling out our plays prior to the snap. Our formations are very very predictable. I like Koetter but its a constsnt evolving game and you have to mix things up with everything being on tape somewhere!

  15. Dewey Selmon Says:

    If I have been calling plays for 30 years and this might be my last year to be a HC. I’m calling plays. Simple as that.

  16. Joe The Drunk Says:

    It’s like you Joe’s think it makes you cool that you drink a cold one.

  17. unbelievable Says:

    @feelthepewterpower – 100%. I came in to basically say the same thing.

    If you can run the ball successfully when your opponent knows you’re going to run the ball, than that is great. That is demoralizing to the other team. You are imposing your will.

    But that’s not usually the case. You have to be unpredictable and keep defenses guessing, ESPECIALLY if you can’t just enforce your will in the run game, like we were unable to last year.

    I could predict at least 50% of the offensive plays last year before the snap. Especially in the red zone. So how do you think a professional defensive coordinator and pro players could do?

    Execution is critical, but so is the plan being executed.

  18. John5 Says:

    Koetter is an excellent offensive coordinator and playcaller. There is no doubt about that. I think our poor run game had a lot to do with red zone issues. It’s a lot easier to play coverage when we can’t run the ball and get stuffed in the red zone every time we try.

    My thought is that when you’re the head coach, you have too many other things going on at times that require your attention and distract you from making your offensive calls. We already saw head coaching issues (like clock management) that were likely due to being a bit overwhelmed. Whether that was because Koetter is still learning the ropes as a HC, or because he was too preoccupied trying to quickly call the next play, maybe only Koetter himself knows. But I believe both of those aspects of the game can be affected when you’re trying to take on and control too much.

    In my opinion it would be a great idea to have Monken calling plays, even if occasionally. When the game is on the line and the end of the fourth quarter is closing in, you need your attention solely on the game. All it takes is one bonehead zebra call when under the time crunch to get Koetter yelling and now he’s distracted from not only the clock, but the next play to call too.

  19. BigMacAttack Says:

    Koetter does call a lot of good plays. He also calls really bad ones at key times which cost the Bucs points and wins. He should give it up and let Monken do it. Provide input as a head coach does and slip in a good one now and then. One reason the Bucs had good numbers is because they had the ball a lot after opponents would score TDs on 3-4 plays. Bucs drive down the field then blow it on 3 bad plays followed by field goals. Koetter sucks.

  20. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Pass, Run, Pass
    Run, Run, Pass
    Run, Run, Pass
    Pass, Run, Pass (oops)
    Run, Run, Pass
    Run, Run ,Pass, Punt
    Run, Run, Pass
    Run, Run, Run, Run (loss on downs)
    Run, Run, Pass
    Run, Run, Pass, FG

    Look familiar?

  21. BigNacAttack Says:

    Bahahahahaha tbbf.
    Don’t forget the numerous false starts and holding penalties over the years that kill drives and erase big plays. Dotson is a master st holding. Problem is that he always gets caught. I still think they’re going to turn it around this season if Koetter can get out of his own way.

  22. Darin Says:

    7 step drops in the red zone. Long developing pass plays. And its not the play calling? I, and 30 other teams beg to differ. The Titans had the same mess of an offense so theyll agree. Luckily for them they scrapped that nonsense. Run more or hit the 3 step drops or it wont improve much. You just dont have the time or space in tbe red zone to run Dirks dream plays. I hope to god monken remains the play caller because from his comments he understands what they need to do. They chose to suck. To me that means the offensive principle, play calling and defenses knowing whats coming.

  23. Eric Says:

    The most important offensive stat is left out of this. Bucs were 18th in scoring.

    Last in the Division.

    Problem, IMO.

  24. tnew Says:

    Problem isn’t play calling. It is play design. Sure you can point to this guy or that one missing an assignment and say it’s all about execution, but in truth, asking all 11 players to win their assignment, everytime or at worst cancel out the other player isn’t how modern NFL teams win. Weaknesses are identified and exploited. Putting opposing players in a position to make decisions that have two bad outcomes.

    I think Koetter did a fine job of play calling, given his catalog of plays. I just really think his plays rarely put the opposing team in bad situations.

  25. joeufreakintard Says:

    he couldnt get DJAX open or 1000 yards Thats an absolute failure on the play caller. He should be fired you know this. Keep putting lipstick on the pig. I know ur not this dumb.

  26. BucNole Says:

    Koetter will not let the playcalling duties go – he has his own fate in his hands.
    Having said that I think the game has passed him by.
    I have seen many plays that just made no sense at all
    \We have some amazing weapons on offense that dont get the touches they deserve. . . we have several ways to get mismatches on the field that go unused. NO CREATIVITY in setting up different plays from the same formation. . . Presnap motion to identify a weakness in the defense.
    Sticking with martin just because he can passpro was a mistake
    From piss poor clock management and downright stubbornness to do it “his way” (which is just pure ego) to an inability to make ingame adjustments I think the writing is on the wall and it reads “Koetter needs to change his gameplan up or he will be gone in 2019”