“Individual Breakdowns More Than Anything”

October 1st, 2018

“You’ll never see defense like this again, Mitch.”

So what’s been the issue for the Buccaneers’ red zone defense?

Dirk Koetter painted a picture today.

Speaking at One Buc Palace, Koetter responded to a question about what’s gone wrong with the red-zone defense. Koetter said it’s been a buffet of blunders but pointed at players more than anything, and he offered a head-scratching example, too.

“Individual breakdowns more than anything else,” Koetter said. “We had one time yesterday when we had four guys covering two and two guys wide open for them, and they threw it to one of the guys that was covered. They just threw it in a good spot and the guy made a nice play.”

Koetter emphasized it’s lots of things going wrong, otherwise the fix would be easy. And yes, he said sometimes it could be coaching to blame.

Maybe it’s a good thing that Koetter sees individual mistakes as the lead cause of these specific defensive breakdowns. Joe has more faith in the players’ turning things around individually than the defensive coaching staff.

51 Responses to ““Individual Breakdowns More Than Anything””

  1. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Why doesn’t Smitty get in front on the mic and tell us what the problem is..seeing as how Dork doesn’t really pay attention to the defense and all…

  2. passthebuc Says:

    When you see players running amuck, You either drafted idiots who cannot be taught or coaches who cannot teach.
    Any other statement is just BS.
    So Head Coach and GM, which is it?????????????????

  3. Jmarkbuc Says:

    There is no explaining away yesterday’s mess.

    At his presser today when Dork asked, ““If we fired Mike Smith, what would the next move be, alright?”

    The obvious answer would be if that didn’t help, the next move is to fire you….

  4. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    It also could be that the players that we have been told are so great for so long just arent and are just average, kwon, lvd, gmc, grimes… LVD was a maniac under schiano but hasnt been same since, this is just a poorly built franchise

  5. Kalind Says:

    This is horse poo. Dirk doesn’t even believe this. But real classy move throwing the players under the bus to save his guy. Class act.


    Shameful. Individual breakdowns. Saying anything to cover his beloved pressbox Smitty. Pack your bags Koetter. You and Smitty will do just fine in a nice little college program somewhere. You lie worst than the Prez. And that’s a lot.

  7. Lamarcus Says:

    Blame the players again Koetter. Anyone but Msmith fault

  8. Lamarcus Says:

    But I think Dusty Rhodes is on to something. I’ve been questioning the talent we have on the team all day. Maybe we don’t have the talent but sold wrong

  9. BigMacAttack Says:

    I’m not sure what the price tag will be but Earl Thomas after healing might be worth a look.

  10. jjbucfan Says:

    Why wait? the players aren’t stupid. They all but heard this guy quit yesterday at the podium. FSU learned the hard way by not firing Jimbo immediately when they learned he was leaving in September. Players completely quit on him, he stopped recruiting and it will take years to repair the damage he left behind. We are still in this, essentially 1/2 game back since we hold the tie-breaker on NO. So why let him completely destroy this team- he cannot come back if he won’t fire Smith.

  11. JimmyJack Says:

    I saw Isaiah Johnson smiling in the fourth quarter yesterday. Our players don’t care.

  12. BigMacAttack Says:

    Why do idiots have bring politics in here? GTFO Mike

  13. KEV-O Says:

    Whether it’s players not knowing what to do or scheme issues it still falls on the coaches. Their job is to put the players in a position to make a play.

  14. BigMacAttack Says:

    Major Coaching problem. I can’t wait to see Dirks confidence poll this week after protecting his buddy. Fire all three. I think Licht has made some good picks, but has missed on so many, including the 2018 total bust draft. Someone else can surely do better.

  15. Bobby M. Says:

    Easiest way to put it….could Schwartz, Philips, Williams or any other respected DC get better results with the talent we have on this defense?….I think the safe answer is yes. Statistically you really can’t do worse and the talent is definitely there….Smith has the bye week to fix it or Licht will need to step in and fire him.

  16. Fred W Mcneil Says:

    We’re gonna need a supercomputer to calculate Atlanta’s score

  17. Lamarcus Says:

    I just hope the fanbase can see what alot of ppl been saying what’s holding this team back. No defense and run game. It’s been 3 years and I’m just numb because it’s the same in the Koetter era. Idk if any Qb in this league would survive a crappy defense without a mistake free shootout. I just hope we are playing to win the game not employing friends

  18. Chris in WA Says:

    Where is Keith Tandy and Robert McClain? Why isn’t there more of a veteran presence in the Secondary? If I were a conspiracy nut, the secondary is kept so young and green that when the defense gets exposed for the third year in a row (outside the 5 games in 2016) that Mike Smith and Koetter could have a scapegoat for the defensive failures and they could point the fingers at Licht. I honestly feel sorry for most of the second round picks because they are being set up for failure to start off their NFL careers.

    I used to hate hearing Lee sound like a broken record player with his quote about the Coaches not being able to develop young DB’s yet here we are. It is nauseating to watch and has completely crushed whatever hope winning the first two games gave me.

  19. Buc1987 Says:

    JimmyJack……GMC told him it’s okay as long as he’s having fun!

  20. BigMacAttack Says:

    The next time they play the Saints, N.O. will our for blood. Don’t be surprised if Drew throws 10 TDs. Atlanta’s offense is way better than the Bears. What’s that mess going to look like? 50-60 points? This won’t get better o it’s own. I was starting to believe in Dirk too. I’m a fool and as said above, these players think they’re too good and just don’t care. It’s all about that paycheck. GMC needs to go. He drags everybody down.

  21. Andrew Says:

    It should be clear to Koetter based on his own explanation that the coaching is garbage. Players double covered while other players run wide open? Come on. It’s obvious that it’s a systematic failure on defense. It’s also obvious that if it isn’t even close to fixed in year 3 that it will never be fixed. Move on.

  22. Guzzie Says:

    Same scheme same crap, next time to move on

  23. Buc1987 Says:

    Mac…I was blasting that at my wife (Bucs fan too)at the dinner table….talking about the Bears don’t have any Julio’s on their team and it’s gonna be ugly.

  24. Chris in WA Says:

    Oh make no mistake Sean Payton would love nothing more than to totally humiliate Koetter at Ray Jay after the last few meetings especially now that Mark Ingram will be back.

  25. Lamarcus Says:

    Ronald Jones looks (I’m only spectating) had a smile all game

    Bruce Arians broadcasted one of our preseason games and someone had a huge penalty negated a huge play. It was an OJ play and Bruce asked ” why are they laughing?”

    Starting to believe the players don’t care

  26. Buc1987 Says:

    I have the rest of the season mapped out for myself already anyways.

    I’m employing what I did with Raheem the Dream’s 2011 defense. I just left the room and my wife hollered to me when the offense was back on the field.

    So that’s what I’m going to do to get through the rest of the season and remain 120 over 80.

  27. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    The Falcons offense is a super bowl caliber up tempo offense, light years ahead of the bears team, i think mike smith tried playing alot of man sunday but the players cant do it, like evans falling, lvd destroyed by cohen, wish smitty would call up the gators DC and run some of his stuff, blitz the qb from all over and get the communication down, stick davis on julio and stewart or someone on ridley, wow this falcons game may get ugly

  28. DB55 Says:

    30+ points by halftime in two consecutive weeks.

    It was individual breakdowns. MJ Stewart in particular, lvd kwon n Taylor got burnt all day by trips formation. Marcus Williams made an appearance, whoever that is. JPP and Vinny are playing up to snuff.

    Coach is getting beat by college playbooks. If you want to score against a Mike Smith defense simply throw a wr screen.

  29. Buccinutz15 Says:

    Lovie Smith was fired for two main reasons: 1) brought here to improve the defense and bring the “Dungy accountability” element that never materialized(31st and 32nd in penalties). 2) Refused to fire the “friends and family”. So here you have Mike Smith, former NFL coach of the year, that has had three years to get this mess on Defense straightened out. Other than 5-6 games in 2016, has been worse than any defense Lovie or Schiano ever fielded. Last year, the excuse was we didn’t have the personnel for his scheme on the d-line or the DB’s. We finally put some draft picks, FA’s, and trade(JPP) to get him the guys he “needed”. What I saw yesterday, was the most undisciplined blown coverages and lack of communication, and ultimately desire from our D. Isaiah Johnson would not be on any other NFL roster, and should have been released when he ran into the wall at RayJay just based on his lack of field awareness. McCoy will never be anything other than having a special “get off” and has never been a true leader. JPP has shown more leadership by his effort in 4 games than McCoy has ever put on tape. Having your ass kicked at anything in life isn’t fun, so that’s the worst advice McCoy could give to anyone. We should trade him to Gruden to help them “improve their pass rush”

  30. Joel Says:

    Kwon is so overrated.

  31. Dewey Selmon Says:

    I don’t know what’s worse, 2 guys wide open or 4 guys covering 2 guys and they still caught it.

  32. Joel Says:

    All the fools who bought the 2-0 mirage. Our defense sucked then too. This team finishes 4-12.

  33. Rod Munch Says:

    You watching the MNF game… on 4th down in their own territory Andy Reid goes for it. Meanwhile Dirk punts from the Steelers 36. That’s the difference between a good coach, and a guy who coaches like a coward and punts the game away at the end.

  34. Bird Says:

    Patrick Mahommes may be the next Aaron Rodgers

    Dude can flat out ball !

  35. SOEbuc Says:

    They drop into the classic 15-yard cushion zone on the 20 yard line!!! More space than a billion galaxies.

  36. DB55 Says:

    Mike Smith defenses have served up 4 ‘fourty-burgers’ in the last 36 games.

    He gave up an avg of 24 ppg in the last two years. Joe maybe 26 ppg will work. This yr his avg is 35 ppg. AND we just bought all new toys on def.

    Good thing there’s more than just Bucs football to watch. Gn gents.

  37. SOEbuc Says:

    Koetter has no clue how to run a defense. That’s why he’s a sh!tty HC and can’t fire Smith. He could be HC and DC but he only knows about offense.

  38. jjbucfan Says:

    Bucs fans need to be tested for CTE because we are all banging our heads against the wall. Every minute these 2 idiots are still here is a lost minute for a new coach and DC to put in a new gameplan.

  39. BigMacAttack Says:

    Every individual on the field

  40. unbelievable Says:

    I honestly don’t know anymore if we just have zero depth, or if this scheme is just dog chit.

    Our linebackers are vastly overrated. They’re decent against the run but horrible in coverage.

    MJ looks like a 5th round rookie.

    Isaiah Johnson should not even be playing on an NFL roster. There is just no way he’s better than Keith Tandy.

    3 years, tons of different players and the same results. Time to make a change.


  41. Rod Munch Says:

    The defensive backs have looked completely lost for over a year now – if it’s all on the players then why are they still here?

  42. lambchop Says:


    Isaiah is just happy he has a game jersey. Who is he? Nobody cares. He ain’t a core part of this team. Let him smile, it won’t last long.

  43. Defense Rules Says:

    @Dusthty Rhodes … “It also could be that the players that we have been told are so great for so long just arent and are just average, kwon, lvd, gmc, grimes… LVD was a maniac under schiano but hasnt been same since, this is just a poorly built franchise.”

    Thank you Dusthty … your last 3 words say it all: “POORLY BUILT FRANCHISE”. And that applies to coaches AND players. BOTH sides of the ball have some MAJOR deficiencies. Coaches were able to ‘hide them’ somewhat in the first 2 games, but it became obvious soon enough where those weaknesses were. Offensive production plummeted & our holes on defense were exposed … DUH! (it’s not rocket science … the better TEAM won).

    Koetter sees individual breakdowns AND coaching as BOTH being culprits in that disaster that the Bucs passed off as a football game Sunday. Someone mentioned Isaiah Johnson smiling after a coverage breakdown. Bigger question: What’s Isaiah Johnson even doing on an NFL football field? He’s horrible … yet he was also the only one that Mike Smith had left to put in. An even bigger question: Why did GM Licht get rid of Keith Tandy but keep Isaiah Johnson? After all, it was LICHT’S DECISION as GM, NOT Smitty’s. Licht built this team, and Smitty has had to live with the consequences while Licht hides in his office.

    Another JBFer asked why Smitty doesn’t get in front of the mic and point out where the breakdowns occurred. My impression is that Mike Smith has more class than that. He’ll take the heat rather than throw his players under the bus. And BTW, many of these players deserve to be thrown under the bus.

  44. Defense Rules Says:

    @Unbelievable … “I honestly don’t know anymore if we just have zero depth, or if this scheme is just dog chit.” Have asked the same question to myself many times Unbelievable, and I keep thinking it’s BOTH. The players have to fit the scheme, and vice versa (a 300 pound jockey would most likely make Sea Biscuit perform like Flea Biscuit in the Kentucky Derby?).

    What I saw Sunday was a bunch of individuals running around Soldier Field, getting their lunch handed to them. There was no FIELD GENERAL on EITHER side of the ball; no one taking charge (some might call it a LACK OF LEADERSHIP on the field?). Their training went right out the window & far too many players … on BOTH offense & defense … just started doing their own thing. The result was incredibly predictable.

    Bucs had a decent starting lineup, on paper, at season start (although there were several obvious ‘holes’ on both sides of the ball). Our DEPTH is certainty not NFL-READY. Players like Isaiah Johnson, Jerel Worthy & a host of others have no business starting (well, maybe starting on our Practice Squad, but that’s about it).

    This is the SAME SCHEME that last year held the Chicago Bears to SEVEN POINTS. And it was coached by the SAME COACHES. What changed between last year and this year? Compare our lineups for those 2 games in 2017 & 2018 and it’ll become obvious. (Hint: It’s called an near-total personnel makeover on defense). You be the judge whether that near-total makeover has been effective or not.

  45. Evolvingbucsfan Says:

    If the players were out of position then WHY ARE THEY ALWAYS OUT OF POSITION!!!!!!!! Sorry Sir, that falls on coaching if it happens over and over and over. Is it possible the secondary is quitting on the plays called? I find it hard to believe, I thought they were breaking down the plays in meetings and making each player accountable? That’s the whole secondary and line backers then, I’m not buying this crap.

    WE HAVE NOT SEEN IMPROVEMENT IN 3 YEARS NOW!!!!!3 years, let that sink in, only change was the d-line coach and we have seen more pressure than last year so far and the only upside i see…. 8 sacks so far in 4 games, we are already on track to crush last years dismal 22 sacks by just 10 more. but the scheme as a whole is broken.

    How far we have fallen in 4 games, turned our great electric start in to a dark cloud of depression with this defense because no one has faith they can turn this defense around with Mike Smith at the helm……do they?

  46. Evolvingbucsfan Says:

    Dewey Selmon Says:
    October 1st, 2018 at 10:35 pm
    I don’t know what’s worse, 2 guys wide open or 4 guys covering 2 guys and they still caught it.

    Bingo, lol, exactly….

  47. Skywalker Says:

    I see people saying our players are not good and that’s false. If guys are running around out of position constantly and making huge mistakes on a normal basis it’s coaching.

  48. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Some of the defenses problems are both players not ready to be on the field
    and others are personnel decisions. The decision to pay Brent Grimes 10
    million a short sighted fix to our defensive backfield woes was misguided
    IMO. We should have brought in at least one younger more experienced corner
    to add leadership in the backfield. With so many explosive receivers in the game today we have to DB’s that can match their speed and athleticism. IMO, we
    need to insert speed at corner. Sit Grimes and give Ryan Smith a chance to develope. I really can’t see how he can be worse than a hobbled,aging Grimes.
    With the exception of J. Evans one of the few people that was ever successful in Smitty’s defensive scheme in the defensive backfield was Keith Tandy. There is a lack of veteran leadership that is killing us.

  49. Doug prescott Says:

    I thought Gerald McCoy was going to be so much better with all these other linemen we added.

  50. budbuc Says:

    LVD hasn’t been the same since he got $$$$

  51. TX bucs fan Says:

    I seem to remember a quote from the GM during the off season: “No excuses”. This BS that Koetter is slinging is exactly that, an excuse. What now GM?