The Flag That Nearly Cost Bucs

October 24th, 2018


There happens to be a national stenographer who seems to have an ax to grind with Dirk Koetter.

The man’s name is Sean Wagner-McGough and he once made a name for himself at by constantly rifling empty beer bottles at America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston.

Now he seems to have his sights focused on Koetter.

After a few cheap shots, this Wagner-McGough claims Koetter damn near cost the Bucs a win last Sunday and Wagner-McGough documents how he believes he is right and Koetter was dead wrong.

In short, Wagner-McGough wrote had the Bucs not had a timeout when Koetter tossed a challenge flag just before Chandler Catanzaro kicked a game-winning 59-yard field goal, the Bucs would have been penalized 15 yards and pushed out of field goal range.

The game paused as the officials ran over to Koetter to inform him that all reviews in overtime must be initiated by the booth. He wasn’t allowed to challenge the play — a 14-yard completion to DeSean Jackson that moved the Buccaneers into the fringes of field-goal range. Just as the game was about to resume, the officials announced that the Buccaneers were docked their final timeout as a result of Koetter’s infraction. After the mess got sorted out, Catanzaro nailed the kick to give the Buccaneers an overtime win over the Browns.

Koetter got lucky. He got lucky his red flag didn’t result in a yellow flag. If the Buccaneers had been out of timeouts, that illegal challenge would’ve resulted in a 15-yard penalty that would’ve pushed the Buccaneers out of field-goal range.

Joe wasn’t aware of the potential 15-yard penalty. And Joe is going to give Koetter a pass here because Koetter has a Bucs analytics guy in the booth to tip him off about clock situations. Joe assumes the guy also is advising Koetter on rules like this.

It may shock Joe’s readers, but not everyone working in the NFL is dialed into every small rule. In fact, Joe overheard players talking in the locker room after the game that they didn’t know some of the overtime rules such as number of timeouts allowed each team.

48 Responses to “The Flag That Nearly Cost Bucs”

  1. BucThis Says:

    Ive always liked Koetter but I think his time here is done. New Coaching both offense and defense. We have the talent we just need the coaching. Specifically a QB coach. I think JW hit his ceiling with these coaches. Just like the defensive players tuned out Mike Smith, I think JW has done the same with Dirk.

  2. go for the face30 Says:

    Ya well, what exactly was he challenging? Would it have made any material difference anyway? That’s ok Hue, you don’t need to call a timeout to try to ice the kicker – Koetter can ice his own kickers thank you very much.

  3. Ray Rice Says:

    That’s BS… he knew what he had in his back pocket. He just wasn’t giving a $$hiit at the time. He was willing to burn a TO. Plus I think it’s only called a delay of game now not an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

  4. Michael McLaughlin Says:

    Koetter not knowing the rules is embarrassment. A simple solution to this problem would be to have one of Koetter’s assistants take the flags away from him at the 2 minute warning of each half. That way the coach can’t show his incompetence.

  5. Nick2 Says:

    It would be great to know how many head coaches know this. Was Koetter woefully uninformed or is this just an obscure rule that would be hard for any HC to remember. At the time I felt it was pretty bad he didn’t know but maybe I am being to harsh.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    What’s interesting to me is as both teams were together at midfield prior to the start of OT, the ref EXPLAINED the rules … including that all reviews come from the booth & that you can’t challenge. Since the HC was on the sideline, apparently the refs assume the coaches know the OT rules. Go figure huh.

  7. Larry Says:

    It seems that a coach should know the rules. The announcer, Rhonde Barber certainly knew that. Just like many things with the Bucs, Koetter is a good, decent coach. He is certainly no Belechick. Many coaches are very good coordinators but just don’ have what it takes to be a head coach. Finding a really great head coach is just as difficult as finding a really great QB. Winston is like Koetter. A very good, not great, serviceable QB. I believe Fitz was pulled too soon this season. Let’s see what the Bucs look like at the end of 16 games this year. Koetter certainly waited too long to get rid of Mike Smith. That is on him.

  8. D-Rome Says:

    Dirk should know that rule.

  9. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Sean Wagner-McGough is a dumb ass. Screw him.

    This is NOT a penalty. You will see several times a year this situation where the coach accidentally throws a red flag when the clock is now in the time frame where the play would have to be reviewed by the booth.

    Never ONCE will you see that one of those coaches was penalized.
    It is simply an occasion where the refs will advise the coach that it is not “red-flagable”.

  10. Lamarcus Says:

    What was he challenging should be the question…..????

  11. lewis Says:

    None of this matters ITS NOT WORKING HERE PERIOD .

  12. Buc believer Says:

    Ignorance of the law is no excuse… try telling a cop you didn’t know the speed limit was 35 that’s why you were doing 55. This bozo (clueless Koetter) needs to go along with Jason Gump.

  13. zzbucs Says:

    Couldn´t care less about If´s!!!!! We won, and that is what it counts!!!!! We can play better? Yes!!!!!! But we won!!!!!! How many games we lost because of kicking? or late turnovers? Many right? Well, everybody complained that a W is the only thing that counts, so now we got one, everyboy is still on a complainning mode!!!! To much negativity here men!!!!! Distrubing!!!

  14. 813bucboi Says:

    I made a comment yesterday mentioning how we got lucky…..dirk is an example of incompetence at its finest!!!!!!!

    glazers have to clean house…..maybe the reason licht isn’t trading is because the glazer gang said no more trades for you, we’ll let the new GM and HC handle that next year…..


  15. Not there yet Says:

    So many people deal in the what if game and it’s such a waste of time. We did have a timeout and despite the int’s and bad kicking we did win. He sounds like scorned Winston haters.wont mention his win loss record because he won the game so they talk about the interception while excusing Fitz bad game even the entire thread was calling for him to be benched his last two games especially in Chicago

  16. Bucsfanman Says:

    Defense Rules- Just say what I always tell them, “Truth isn’t truth!”
    I think somewhere in these parts someone mentioned……coaching?!

    Oh well, it didn’t happen anyway. But……..don’t you kinda want to know this stuff. Just sayin’!

  17. pelbuc Says:

    Koetter is probably gone after the last game this season. Question is whether the new regime will ride with JW.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Not sure if its still a penalty or not, but it for sure was one. In 2012, it was called on Mike Smith while coaching the Falcons. I wonder who was the OC them…hmmmm. Yup, good o’l Dirk. It cost Detroit a game that same year.

  19. Not there yet Says:

    If a new regime comes in and doesn’t want to deal with Winston drama I’d 100% understand but this regime is weak and no one is held accountable, Dirk bends over and takes from everyone

  20. Gambelero Says:

    We got a terrible spot on that play. DJax caught the ball at the thirty-nine, got hit and driven out of bounds at the 41. Koetter wanted a booth review of the spot.

    Everybody forgets that he went for it on 4th and 1 at midfield on the drive that scored our final touchdown. I think he made a decision to listen to his game analytics guy this week because of a horrible inexcusable blunder he made last week in Atlanta. With one timeout left, we got another really bad spot on a third down play. Koetter called timeout, then was seen arguing with the refs about the spot. Instead of calling timeout, you have to throw the challenge flag. If you lose, they charge you a timeout, you get a free look at the play. If Atlanta punts or goes for and doesn’t make it, we win that game.

    If you have an analytics guy, you need to trust him on these big decisions.

  21. BucTown Says:

    And here’s what you don’t know. Before making the challenge, Dirk asked the side judge if he could challenge in that situation. The side judge said ‘Yes’, and of course he was wrong, but Koetter took him at his word and threw the flag. Interestingly, the Bucs had that same side judge as one of their TC officials, where he also got several things wrong. The Bucs game management coach counseled Dirk to never trust that guy in a game situation, but Dirk either forgot who he was dealing with, or forgot his game management coach’s advice.

  22. FortMyersDave Says:

    The guy from Nashville that is on 1040 (Rock Riley’s station) from 9 to 12 AM, Clay Travis or someone on his show, said the same thing Monday and basically said that Koetter is not the sharpest tool in the shed but hey, no harm, no foul. However, clock management always seems to be an issue for the Bucs and does the blame fall on Koetter or the analytics guy for those screw ups?????.

  23. 1sparkybuc Says:

    You can’t build a successful franchise by firing the HC every two or three years. Koetter has the foundation of an offense like nothing ever seen in Tampa, and some talent on the defense. Stick with him and build on it. A new HC and we’re starting from scratch all over again. We’ve had great defenses in the past. I want to see a dominant offense. Solidify the OL and add a RB or two, and Koetter can tear up the league with or without a strong D. Stick with Koetter and Licht

  24. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Is the NFL now giving additional wins for style points?

    Who won the freaking game? Enough already!!!

    I root for a franchise that recently has lost a lot more than we’ve won. I’m just getting really worn down by folks who take victories and trash the effort.

    As I’ve mentioned before my son lives in Columbus and is a big Browns fan. There was a lot of texting going on Sunday LMAO.

    At the end of it all though we realized we’re in the same boats…some obvious talent on our teams…promising QB’s…but still trying to get rid of the loser reputation. I think the Browns will be good next year. I like to feel the same way about the Bucs but it’s tough when all I ever read…even during wins in comments about how everybody associated with this team sucks…the Coach…QB…GM…owners…cheerleaders…journalists who cover the team….if you want to live in a constant shtstorm just be a Bucs fan, player or employee.

  25. RODNEY J ALLEN Says:

    I’m sure he knows the rule of u can’t challenge without a timeout remaining so dude’s point is mute

  26. Bucamania Says:

    Or moot.

    Dirk probably didn’t realize it was overtime. Not his fault.

  27. Crack3rK Says:

    Absolutely stupid rule. If you can’t challenge, the official should just ignore it, right? If no one can challenge, then who cares? Or, simply take the challenge flag away from the coaches when they can’t use them. This is a ChickenSmitt rule if there ever was one. Play the friggin game!

  28. Realbucfan941 Says:


    That isn’t an analytics type call… That’s just common sense. No number crunching to realize that. Throwing the flag is a 2 for 1. Play review and time out.

    The rule was changed a few years back. It used to be an automatic 15 for challenging booth reviews regardless of time outs. Same with calling back to back time outs.

  29. Buccfan37 Says:

    I’m still rolling in the glory of the long FG win. Who knew we have a 60 yard FG kicker?

  30. Buc4life24 Says:

    He should know that rule…many of us fans know that rule. Attention to details…

  31. jeffbuc Says:

    Did anyone stop to think that dirk knew he couldn’t challenge. That the clock was stopped he was kicking the field goal regardless. He didn’t like the spot so he threw the flag to delay the kick bring awareness that there might be an issue with the spot so the people upstairs would take a look while the refs were talking about the penalty for dirk throwing the flag. you see other coaches do it all the time throw a flag under two minutes just to stop the game to give the upstairs more time to review. I really doubt he would have thrown that flag with no timeouts. By throwing the red flag now everyone in the stadium is aware there might be a problem with the spotting of the ball. He was just trying to get his kicker two more yards.

  32. Ludicrous Speed Says:

    This was not a clock situation and had nothing to do with time management. Neither should it be at all dependent upon a guy advising Koetter on rules like this since just a few minutes earlier the referee plainly explained to everyone in the stadium over the public address system through every loudspeaker there that all reviews had to be initiated from the booth.

    That shows the head coach to be just as dense as any of those other players mentioned who don’t listen to the rules that are presented to everyone before overtime begins. The thick-headedness this displays puts me in mind of Chris Webber calling timeout 25 yrs ago in the NCAA championship game (hoops) when his team had none left, resulting in a technical foul, pretty much killing any chance Michigan had to win that game.

    Not paying attention, a lack of awareness for what’s going on… can turn victory into defeat. The fact is, we were lucky that we had a timeout to cover Dirk’s obvious blunder when he was told before overtime began that he couldn’t challenge.

  33. Cobraboy Says:

    A lot of “ifs” that never happened.

    Must be a slow news day for Wagner-McGough to beat a horse that was never alive.

  34. Tnew Says:

    As a long time Koetter detractor, and a guy who believes he should’ve been fired before last season, and who has voted low confidence on every poll this season, this article is bs.

    This was a very shrewd move by Koetter who I believe knew the rules. This was a missed spot on the magnitude of 3-4 yards minimum. For a 59 yarder, this matters. This should’ve been reviewed immediately. If he threw the flag on a 49 yard field goal, different story.

    No one can convince me he wasn’t aware of the rules be it challenging in OT or his time out situation.

  35. go for the face30 Says:

    Tnew Says:
    October 24th, 2018 at 2:06 pm
    As a long time Koetter detractor, and a guy who believes he should’ve been fired before last season, and who has voted low confidence on every poll this season, this article is bs.

    This was a very shrewd move by Koetter who I believe knew the rules. This was a missed spot on the magnitude of 3-4 yards minimum. For a 59 yarder, this matters. This should’ve been reviewed immediately. If he threw the flag on a 49 yard field goal, different story.

    No one can convince me he wasn’t aware of the rules be it challenging in OT or his time out situation.

    Awesome post – I didn’t consider that angle, but yeah def shrewd if that’s the case and makes a lot more sense

  36. unbelievable Says:

    3 years in, Koetter should know this stuff by now.

  37. jjbucfan Says:

    Sooooo…..did the NFL review the spot? Of course not!! This is the problem with leaving it up to the booth to review things. Same thing happened to Noles against Miami on the lateral. Waiting and waiting for a booth review that never came (and that was a scoring play). Taggart should have thrown his red flag to mid field. I actually applaud Koetter for once. It’s ashamed that the NFL is responsible for the last few minutes of a game when they have clearly dropped the ball on so many occasions in the last few years.

  38. Rod Munch Says:

    I knew about the flag rule and didn’t the Lions get a huge OT 15-yarder when it came into effect? I don’t recall the game exactly, but I seem to think it was them. Anyways when your job is being a head coach, and this is what you do for a living, you should know the rules. I’m not a full-time head coach and I know the rules – yet Dirk does not? This, remind you, comes after the dolt make a number of bad clock management calls in his rookie year against the Rams and then at Carolina – and in that MNF game @Carolina, when you look like an idiot on a national TV game you’d think you’d spend a few seconds brushing up the rules so you knew them.

  39. Rod Munch Says:

    Tnew – I don’t like Dirk either but you could be correct, then again it’s Dirk and it’s a leap of faith to think he’s capable of doing a multi-part equation like that. But it’s certainly not out of the question completely. Also if he only thought you got the flag and didn’t know about the TO, then he can get the flag and do his favorite thing in the world, and that is punt the ball away, and he’d have cover for that call.

    But honestly I think it’s that he just threw the flag because he thought he could – with Dirk, the easiest most obvious answer is probably the correct answer.

  40. Matt from BC Says:

    If Koetter didn’t have a time out, he would be a moron for challenging – the fact that he had a time out makes Magoo’s comment the moronic one. OT or Reg time – you can’t challenge with 0 TO’s. Wether Koetter knows the OT rule or not, I don’t think for a second he would throw that red flag with zero TO’s. So go ahead and take our time out for throwing the red flag – makes no damn difference, we got the review and we got the clock stopped.

  41. mickman Says:

    tell the idiot, if you have no timeouts you have no red flag!!!!
    This is not the NCAA and he is not Chris Webber

  42. Darin Says:

    The players dont need to know every small rule. The coaches dont either. But the good coaches know every one. The great coaches know every one and capitalize on them. He has had many o offseason to know the rule book. Id prefer a coach who knows the rules and doesnt make stoopid decisions every week.

  43. Dave Says:

    Why is this a story? He did have a time out so there was no penalty. He didn’t need to toss the flag, but so be it. It was completely irrelevant.

    That’s like saying a lineman was holding a guy on a pass play but it didn’t get called, but darn it, he almost cost them the game

  44. SOEbuc Says:

    HAHAHA! The one flag? How about the other thirty on the Browns that pushed us back and them forward. Can’t say they were not penalties but Cleveland hooked us up with so many penalties it could’ve been a totally different game.

  45. SOEbuc Says:

    *pushed us forward and them back

  46. Clinton Roche Says:

    I knew the rule and Koetter should have as well.

  47. D the Bucs fan Says:

    We does the Joes have such a man crush for Koetter. He isn’t a good head coach

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