He’ll Make Koetter A Better Playcaller

August 16th, 2018

OC Todd Monken

Yes, offensive coordinator Todd Monken will call the plays on Saturday night in the Week 2 preseason game against the Titans like he did last week in Miami.

But just stop thinking this somehow means Monken will be the guy on opening day.

It’s not going to happen.

Joe spent time in Nashville at the Bucs’ joint practice yesterday with the Titans talking with a couple of guys in the know on this subject.

Their take was Monken working the playcalling in preseason will make Koetter a better playcaller because it will force him to view his offense — in action — with a different lens. And conversely, Monken always had a strong hand in setting a game plan with Koetter, so now he’ll have an improved feel for that after live playcalling experience, which Koetter promised Monken this offseason.

It’s a win-win.

Monken was marching around with his playsheet (see photo above) and doing his walk-around offensive coordinator thing in Tennessee today, but that doesn’t make him the best man for the playcaller role.

Koetter is the captain of this offense. It’s his ship. And he’d be crazy to change course after a year in which the team ranked second in the NFL on third down.

Remember, quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian said the Bucs’ red zone issues, the downfall of the 2017 offense, was simply about a failure to play “pitch and catch.” And Monken said it was because the offense “chose to suck,” which is certainly more about mentality than the play call in the ear of America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston.

Koetter is going to be just fine as your Week 1 playcaller, perhaps better than ever.

24 Responses to “He’ll Make Koetter A Better Playcaller”

  1. Season Is Over Says:

    That sounds like an odd rationalization. You would think Koetter would want the practice to be ready for the real games as play calling was certainly not his strong suit last season. This is like playing the players out of position. It will make a great excuse if things go wrong early in the season.

  2. Lamarcus Says:

    I thought getting better at something was good old fashion hard work and grit like the rest of us. If I needed my assistant to do my job to make me better is kinda weak and I shouldn’t have that job.

    But the way Koetter been losing lately should wanna you make you better

  3. DB55 Says:

    Still too many 2nd&12 and 3rd&25’s , they need to tighten that up.

  4. BucsFan90 Says:

    So let me get this right, the offense “chose to suck” in the redzone but not on 3rd downs? And it had absolutely nothing to do with Koetter’s predictable playcalling? Yea that makes a lot of sense..

  5. BucEmUp Says:

    Funny in this picture he looks like a skinny red Ryan in this picture

  6. Dreambig Says:

    I don’t know why, but the Bucs offense came out of the gate, moving the ball and looking crisp last week. I can’t remember them looking like that in the preseason in a long time, if ever. How much was Monken?

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Inability to run the ball in the red zone kills the Bucs……we move down the field easily with the pass……then get stuffed.
    I would be perfectly happy with Monken calling the plays.

  8. Waterboy Says:

    Koetter needs to focus on running the team as a whole and not just the offense. Sometimes the best sign of a great leader is knowing how to properly delegate responsibilities while still maintaining enough knowledge of what’s going on to make executive decisions when required.

  9. Darin Says:

    If he doesnt make bone headed time management decisions in the preseason because he doesnt have too much on his plate then he’d be crazy to call plays in the regular season. Or maybe those decisions were not because of that. All i know is something has to change or this will be his last year. If its broke!

  10. The Buc Realist Says:

    Improvements in the O-line will help everything on offense!!!!! The running game, the explosive plays ( which by the way, instead of converting on 3rd downs into first, some teams actually score TD’s on 1st and 2nd downs) and the sheep will think the play calling is “fixed”!!!!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Lionel Says:

    When Monken called the plays wasnt our offense a force to be reckoned with

  12. Buccfan37 Says:

    If Monken is successful calling the plays that produce a better offense meaning wins then Koetter could go stand in the corner wearing a dunce cap. Koetter overheard saying this guy is not going to upstage me.

  13. 813bucboi Says:

    dirk needs to check his ego at the door if he wants his job…..


  14. DBS Says:

    The armchairs at it again. The same people that said it was only Miami when they beat them last season. And these were vanilla plays in a preseason game. But the same.people would want him fired if he let Monk call the plays and it did not work.

  15. doolnutts Says:

    Never really understood the whole Koetter should stop calling the play’s argument. He is a strong offensive coordinator with a track record of success. I don’t know that I would call him a “guru” by any means but he is still very effective and it is why he is HC in the first place. Offensively speaking we have a very young team and I think he has done a fine job with Winston, Evans, Brate, etc. I really hope he’s able to turn it around this year we will be stronger if they all continue to grow together as a team.

  16. 813bucboi Says:


    if monken called plays this year and the offense still couldn’t score, dirk is getting fired regardless….its his offense….it aint monkens….its about scoring points not being ranked #4 in passing….3 years in this offense with this much talent and we cant score TD’s will get him fired….


  17. Buccan8 Says:

    I’m a web developer and have been one for seven or eight years now. I rarely trust that other people on my team will do it better than me. When I got promoted to Team Leader last year, I saw my responsibilities increase to the point where it was hard for me to do any development myself.

    I had to learn quickly that “none of us is smarter than all of us,” and that it was my new job to get the most out of the people that worked for me, even if I still thought I could develop better than anyone on my team. In doing so, I found some real productive gems who are killing it now—better than I could do, for sure.

    Dirk may learn like I did, that his job is managing people so they can be put in situations where they are successful. As a play caller himself, Dirk knows that’s every play’s objective, so this lesson is easy! If Monken is a special play-caller (not saying he is, folks—just that it’s Dirk’s job to find out!), and he remains stifled without that chance, then Monken is only operating at 75% of his potential, even if Dirk is operating at 100%.

    From a Team perspective, it’s better for Monken to operate at 100% and Dirk at 75%. It takes some of Dirk’s fun away, but the whole Team will have a lot more fun at 11-5 than 5-11.

  18. Buccan8 Says:

    And as others have said—that freshly available 25% is now ready to handle situations he wasn’t ready for. Maybe he will even get to watch the defense and give Smitty’s an earful mid game for once! 😂🤣

  19. DBS Says:

    You want him fired no matter what happens. You have made that very clear.

  20. XpfcWintergreen2 Says:

    I have criticised Koetter’s game management and playcalling in the past.

    Both of these areas surely received attention in the post 2017 season critique and self-examination which Lich, Koetter and staff were reported to have conducted in January. I am sure that the Glazer triumvirate had their hands in it though I have seen no reports about this anywhere. Common sense would indicate this.

    The results of this effort showed up in the the free agency decisions and our 2018 draft. The coaching changes and the ongoing “experiments” surely were also results of the evaluation process.
    “Their take was Monken working the playcalling in preseason will make Koetter a better playcaller because it will force him to view his offense — in action — with a different lens. ”

    I think excellence is attained by forever challenging yourself to learn and improve. This is a theme you will find expressed by all of our top players in one form or another. I think that Koetter is showing strength rather than weakness by his actions.

    Doing what it takes to fix our redzone scoring problems is the bottom line here.
    Go Bucs!!!!!!

  21. donuts Says:

    I would have thought by now that JBF had figured out that stats are meaningless unless they produce WINS. They could be ranked #1 in every OFF category but win 7 games because of the red zone play calling. I think change may be coming and if it does it was team Glazer that pulled the trigger.

    If we look good on offense all preseason and Koetter takes over for week 1-3and stinks it up in the red zone (like in 2017)….change may occur. I am not so positive that Glazers are thinking “sit back approach” has worked for them. Lovie is exhibit A. The public pressure is high enough on ownership they may be more involved (exhibit B – Winston “hassle”).

  22. jmarkbuc Says:

    Don’t understand why you would let Monken call all preseason, then take it over in the regular season.

    Why bother? Agree with above poster..DK needs to manage the game. He has never appeared to be able to do both at once. Case in point 2015, when he was just coordinator he was really good.

    If he gives the responsibility to Monken, maybe he could manage the clock or see fights breaking out right behind him, and yes, chew Smitty out (like that would ever happen)

    More weird unnecessary experimentation.

  23. Bucsfanman Says:

    “DB55 Says:
    August 16th, 2018 at 12:55 am

    Still too many 2nd&12 and 3rd&25’s , they need to tighten that up.”

    BAM! There’s the secret………MOVE THE CHAINS! Can’t drop 7 steps because of pass-rush? BAM! 3-step and short. Can’t rush the football because your RB and o-line stink? BAM! Use the screen. Got Safeties cheating routes? BAM! Double-move. It’s 3rd and 1 and you have a 6’4 230 lb. QB? BAM! QB sneak. You have a play that works to perfection and the opposition can’t seem to stop it? BAM! BAM! BAM! Run it until they stop it.
    I know that this is a gross simplification, BUT……it ain’t rocket science!

  24. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Great article Joes. Appreciate what you do EVERY day.