The Wrong Kind Of Fast Starts

October 5th, 2018

Ugly beginnings.

When Joe wrote dozens (?) of times in the offseason about the need for fast starts, Joe wasn’t talking about opponents.

With the exception of the Eagles game (a hiccup?), the Bucs are progressively getting worse at fast starts, at least on defense. They’re giving up points quicker than a slot machine when the winning number is hit.

Each week (again, if you discount the win over the Eagles), the Bucs defense just gets worse and worse in the opening half.

The following are not winning lotto numbers: 24, 7, 31 and 38. Those are the points the Bucs defense has allowed in the first halves of games this season. This pattern simply cannot continue if the Bucs hope to make a push for a postseason berth, or if folks at One Buc Palace want to stay in their current positions.

Joe hopes the Bucs aim to repeat their defensive first half output against the Eagles often.

33 Responses to “The Wrong Kind Of Fast Starts”

  1. EA Says:

    Postseason? Are you kidding me? I just hope we can win another game.
    Honestly Joe, do you have confidence in this coaching staff to call a postseason game even if they made it there ?
    They are getting outcoached by first year head coaches.

  2. Steve in Mad Beach Says:

    Apparently you’re not going to fire Smitty, so you’re taking ownership of this defense Koetter!

    Fix it or you’re fired!

  3. GhostofSchiano Says:

    This next game should tell us all we need to know about the remaining 2018 season.

    1) An additional week to prepare, study film, game plan

    2) Playing a team Klueless Koetter and Shi##Y smithy coached just a few short years ago.

    3) 13 days to fix those pesky “Communication” issues

    4) By now some coaching / GM seats at one buc place should be not only hot, but red hot.

    5) A blow out loss in Atlanta should force someone’s hand at One Buc place.

    6) All the talent on paper and this defense does not produce.

    7) The calls for Smitty’s head are loud, a blow out in Atlanta and they will become deafening.

    I would go on but the boss just walked into the room…….

  4. PSLBob Says:

    Agree EA, post season seems like a fantasy at this point. Think the Bears embarrasses the Bucs? Can you imagine a playoff-caliber team in beast mode. Don’t want to see that!!

  5. TX bucs fan Says:

    Good points in the comments! That will change as soon as Robert posts something.

    At a minimum, they should turn the play calling over to someone else. Who knows if that will fix anything, but everyone seems to have the book on Smith already.
    I hope they turn this around, but lets just say I am not very optimistic that Smith will get it right.

  6. DBS Says:

    Just remember to place blame where it belongs in any losses. If it is not Jameis don’t blame him. Quit with the blame someone else if it is not. Place blame fairly.

  7. 813bucboi Says:


    I was thinking the same thing…lol….postseason, I just hope we don’t get embarrassed again…..


  8. Hodad Says:

    So if opposing offenses get off to a fast start against us, why does clueless Koetter when winning the toss trot his garbage defense out first? I guess he’d rather start seven points down, then seven points up. A lot good it does getting the ball to start the second half when your down by thirty. You should put your best unit on the field to start the game. Koetter is an idiot to think his defense can come out and get a stop. Try scoring first for a change Jerk Koetter.

  9. Sweeptheleg Says:

    Remember those idiots that were on here claiming the Bucs would win 10 games? Lmao hahahahaha morons.


  10. John B Says:

    Spot on – worst D in the league
    And we are
    Deferring the kick


    DK gets stuck in his ways- Martin, Smitty, 1st down up the gut run, punt from the opponent 36 down two scores

    He coaches from an old school set of beliefs and it isn’t working in today’s attack style game

  11. GhostofSchiano Says:


    Just read an article that states Smitty is doing the EXACT SAME THING that got him fired in Atlanta.

    Smith is doing move for move the exact same things in Atlanta. Fire Smith now so the repair / recovery can start now.

    Don’t totally agree with the article, but it was interesting. –Joe

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Have you had a relationship where you lost respect for the other person?

    This is what has happened to me with Mike Smith…, I will root for him to succeed….that’s just in my Bucfan DNA…..but its all but over for me with him.
    Hard for me to even see his picture.

  13. Mike Johnson Says:

    I admire Koeeter for…Stickin with his guy. I stuck with a couple guys in my hood growing up until i saw…they were destined for Prison!!! Koetter’s made his decision he will go down with the ship. Thats fine. Smitty’s not gonna change much. Yes, out Defense will give us some spotty and flashy play here and there. Buts its not gonna really help us win many games. The ones we do win, will have to be done in Ok corral fashion..a shootout! Jameis will need our defense to get off the field. Don’t hold your breathe long. Cause Jameis will play no better than Fitz overall. So..Go Bucs. But deep inside our Pirate ship souls we all know…Its a Buc Life Baby!!

  14. Mikiebucsfan76 Says:

    I just have a few questions for joe and bucs fans. Our defense has been bad and bad again and again under M Smith. we got rid of the defensive line coach and hired a coach most NFL people rate highly on the defensive line coaching list and more defensive players why is it that the results haven’t change. is scheme not a good fit for the players, is it bad play calling or what? why want Keotter move Smith around on the staff or at least make Dufner co-defensive co-ordinator let him call some plays like he done with the offensive co-ordinator and see if he can energized time them tied of the young and injuried players crap have heard this over and over

  15. Darin Says:

    Nailed it. I could see Dirk doing the Jim Mora rant with his little attitude. Playoffs??!?!?!? And with Smitty around he is just trying to win another game. Our only hope is Monk outcoaching all the defensive coordinators. I cant believe the guy didnt get fired. My goodness. Lets see how many times he blitzes Matt Ryan in the first half with 2 weeks to prepare. I still remember al his stupid quotes after Julio Jones torched him for 1,000 yds in that game last season. Maybe this year he will try 13 different coverages that all look the same. Memo smitty. Its the pressure on the qb that matters more than the coverages. Send the house every play if u have to. Doesnt matter to me anymore if the other team scores 31 or 42 in the first half. At least be aggressive and go down swinging. Mike smith is the batter who never swings the bat and strikes out every time.

  16. JJV Says:

    If this season blows up yet again, no one should be safe or irreplaceable. From the Front Office, coaches, trainers, players. Let’s do it right and start completely over. Purge the entire system with a massive cleansing.

  17. LakeLand Says:

    Instead of Dirk deferring the kickoff, he should receive the ball
    Eat up a 7-8 minute drive, keep their offense on the sideline
    And the Bucs defense on the sideline
    Let their offense play from behind

  18. Seminole Bill Says:

    We have quality players on defense; GMC, Grimes, JPP, Kwon, Lavante. Then we have Beau Allen and Vinny Curry. Admittedly, the DB’s and safeties are the weak link but… about using the quality players to support them. In any event, our defense is playing under their collective ability, and that problem comes from coaching. We have a bye week coming up and then the Falcons in Atlanta. On 10/21 we are home against the Browns (the Browns for god’s sake). If we are not at least 3-3 after the Browns game then make a coaching change.

  19. Dewey Selmon Says:

    I know I’m in the minority but take the ball in the 1st half. How many times has our QB been down 7-0 before he even plays.

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    Two of the neatest analysis sections on for each game are (1) the snap counts; and (2) the drives summary. The first one gives you a pretty good picture of who your horses are (JPP & GMC are a couple of DLine horses who get an incredible amount of snaps). The ‘Drives Summary’ gives you a great abbreviated picture of every drive & shows very clearly how well you’re playing ‘COMPLIMENTARY FOOTBALL’.

    Surely most JBFers don’t really care what went right or wrong because ‘Fire Mike Smith’ or ‘Can Koetter’ is apparently all they care about. But for those who do care to look deeper, check out those 2 sections. The second particularly paints a fascinating picture of how the Bucs offense dominated the first 3 qtrs of Game 1 while the defense did fairly well in the 2nd & 3rd qtrs, but screwed the pooch in qtrs 1 & 4.

    Bucs defense did much better in Game 2 against the Eagles, but our offense was actually quite inconsistent (scored 3 of our 4 TDs in less than an 8 min span). Defense did quite well for almost 3 qtrs, then struggled in the last 20 mins or so.

    Bucs offense struggled against the Steelers for half the game, then came alive in the 2nd half (very slow start). Defense also struggled in the 1st half, but then shut down the Steelers in the 2nd half. No COMPLIMENTARY FOOTBALL 1st half; but that was great in the 2nd half.

    Bucs offense struggled all game against the Bears, and so did the Bucs defense. Guess that’s the polar opposite of COMPLIMENTARY FOOTBALL. Bucs offense scored 1 FG in its first 8 drives, while the Bucs defense allowed Bears to score 7 times in its first 8 drives. Disgusting … on BOTH sides of the ball.

    In other words Joe, BOTH sides of the ball REALLY sucked in the Bears game, not just the defense. And BOTH sides of the ball sucked for the 1st half of the Steelers game, but BOTH sides came to life in the 2nd half. I’m hopeful that both sides will improve this season, but still think we’re looking at a 4-12 record barring divine intervention.

  21. EA Says:

    Dewey why wouldn’t they defer, they have a stout defense and half time adjustment is second to none.

  22. LakeLand Says:

    Defense Rules

    I have been saying the Bucs offense isn’t as good as people think they are

    Elite offense scores often and are very consistent

  23. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @Defense Rules

    Thanks on behalf of many of us who appreciate your research and thoughtful analysis……we know it takes some time….

  24. cmurda Says:

    On one hand I really admire Koetter for sticking by his buddy Mike Smith, on the other hand I won’t really feel bad for him if the whole staff and maybe Licht is relieved of their duties. I like Smitty as a person. It’s easy to see he’s a good dude but he’s simply not good at his job. It’s no surprise. What exactly in is resume suggests he’s a good D Coordinator? The Jags defense was the only semblance of a defense that Smitty coached and you can thank Jack Del Rio for that. Speaking of Jack Del Rio…..

  25. Tampaspicer Says:

    @joe You got a typo in your article. The Steelers only scored 30 points in the 1st half and 7 of those points weren’t on the defense.

  26. Trench War Says:

    With Coach Koetters loyalty to his friend Mike Smith will be the ruin of this regime. Coach Smith is Koetters’ achilles heel.

  27. Rod Munch Says:

    Poor Raheem Morris is wasting away in Atlanta as a WR coach… why a WR coach? He was actually a good defensive coach trained under HOF’er Monte Kiffin. Seriously, can we trade for Morris and Keith Tandy and get them back? Atlanta LOVES Mike Smith, he’s a former coach of the year, right? Surely they’d take a former coach of the year and the current Bucs DC in a trade for Morris and Tandy, right? Just think of all the secrets that Mike Smith could give the Falcons! They couldn’t pass that up, right? For a WR coach and a 6th safety? It’s too good of a deal to pass up, right!? Make the call Licht.

  28. Defense Rules Says:

    @Trench War … “With Coach Koetters loyalty to his friend Mike Smith will be the ruin of this regime. Coach Smith is Koetters’ achilles heel.”

    Most have TWO heels Trench War. Dirk Koetter’s OTHER archiles heel is Jason Licht. Personally feel that Koetter’s loyalty to Mike Smith is irrelevant. Dirk knows that this defense, no matter who runs it, can’t work without a strong Front-7, and especially a beastly interior DLine. Having Allen, Unrein & Vea all missing the beginning of the season is the kiss of death. If 2 of the 3 (plus a healthy GMC) are available for Games 5 and beyond and this defense still sucks, Licht & Koetter will have no choice but to make a change.

    And BTW, neither Buckner nor Duffner are the answer. Buck has no background calling plays for the entire defense (plus our DLine has sucked thus far) and although Duffner shows promise in the future, the performance of HIS LB corps thus far this season has been abysmal IMO. Promoting either is only validating that the Peter Principle is still alive & flourishing in Bucsville.

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    @Tampaspicer … “joe You got a typo in your article. The Steelers only scored 30 points in the 1st half and 7 of those points weren’t on the defense.” Doesn’t pay to confuse Joe with FACTS sir. It’s ALWAYS the defense’s fault … PERIOD.

  30. Bob in Valrico Says:

    As long as Licht is playing craps and trying turn backups into starters in free agency, no defensive coordinator will succeed. Its foolish to sign free agents that
    have a history of missing 25% of a season. This year Grimes will probably be that player through injury or being a non factor for the defense. The coaching staff must shoulder a lot of the blame on this one because they made it clear they wanted him back. It is time to move on from his style of defense. We need to develope corners that are not a liability in the run support and can slow down these sneaky fast receivers in the first five yards off the line of scrimmage.
    Going all the way back to 2014, Licht has a terrible record of mostly bad free agent signings who are not good enough or unavailable too often.

  31. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Thanks Defense Rules
    I knew you were a wealth of imformation,but until now I had never drilled down far enough to see where you got it Puzzle solved ,Thanks again

  32. Dapostman Says:

    NFL football is an emotional game. Bucs just ran through the gauntlet of the toughest 3 opening games in NFL history then layed an egg against a good Chicago team. One game. To watch it was embarrassing but I’d rather lose 48-10 once than that 31-30 where I’d keep rehashing over and over the mistakes which cost a close game. Big game in Atlanta next week. Looking forward to a Bucs win!!

    #Get After It!

  33. BigMacAttack Says:

    False start, encroachment, holding, delay of game, rinse and repeat.
    Koetter: “I got nothing.”