(Not) Using Talent

June 2nd, 2019

Strange 2018 trend.

Joe is not trying to make a statement here or ascribe motives.

Joe’s a big believer in using the talent you have on hand and putting that talent in proper positions for success.

This crap like what inept Lovie Smith did with several players (including Darrelle Revis), and apparently what Bucco Bruce Arians did with Gerald McCoy and Adam Humphries irks Joe. You know, “So-and-so doesn’t fit a scheme so we have to unload him even though he’s a good player.”

Schemes should be built around talent, not the other way around. Good players are hard to come by. Coaching techniques are not.

(Arians likely got rid of GMC more because of personality non-fits and to make a statement to the locker room. Joe gets it.)

This just bothers Joe. Good players are hard to find and if a coach doesn’t want to coach up good players, then that to Joe is lazy coaching.

A stat on face value seems to show Bucs coach Dirk Koetter practiced this tactic, at least last year.

Joe was actually reading something from the well-trained orangutans over at the PFF tribe and caught something really odd about what formations Arians likes to run and what the Bucs did last year under Koetter.

Arians went against the status quo at Arizona with his low usage of 11 personnel (1 running back, 1 tight end, 3 receivers) and his high usage of the 12 and 10 personnel packages. As the Cardinals’ head coach, Arians used 12 personnel (one running back, two tight ends) 26.5% of the time (third-highest leaguewide) and 10 personnel (one running back, zero tight ends) 12.0% of the time (second). Whereas in 2018, Tampa used 12 personnel only 21.8% of the time, and they utilized 10 personnel just 3.5% of the time.

Now this is what Joe is getting at. The Bucs have a Pro Bowl-like talent in Cam Brate at tight end, the only TE to catch at least six touchdown passes in each of the last three seasons. And of course, the Bucs have budding superstar tight end O.J. Howard.

Brate was dinged up last year but he played in all 16 games. Howard got hurt in November but played in 10 games.

But surely Koetter could see that America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, and malcontent wide receiver DeSean Jackson were simply not on the same page and never were going to be (much of that was on Jackson). Brate clearly had a good chemistry with Jameis, and Howard and Jameis were clicking.

Now why didn’t Koetter run more 12 personnel sets knowing Jameis liked throwing to his productive tight ends? Instead, Koetter was more into trying to force Jackson and Jameis to mindmeld even though any sane person could see it was like urinating in the wind?

Joe’s not hammering Koetter badly here. Howard missing six games may have the numbers out of whack. Jameis also only played in 11 games so that has to be factored in. We all know journeyman backup Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jackson ran hot for three of the first four games.

Besides, offense was not an issue for the Bucs last year except for its non-existent run game.

But if a team has the personnel to succeed, and that same set of players is producing, why not go to it more often?

Again, Joe’s not trying to throw rocks at Koetter. This overall data just seems odd. Did Jackson have Koetter hoodwinked that much?

38 Responses to “(Not) Using Talent”

  1. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    We’ll see what Koetter’s offense looks like with a QB that can execute it…we had a glimpse with Fitz before he faltered …Matt Ryan will have a great year as long as he is healthy….and put a lid on the “it was Monken”…Monken called Koetters offense

  2. Dapostman Says:

    Dirk Koetter = Peter Principle of NFL coaches

  3. Race to 10 Says:

    Koetter is an amateur that’s why and no better than lovie. No excuses was the mantra and everyone expected playoffs only to say the team had no talent once the losing started which was a lie. Not saying they are a playoff team this year because of coaching but koetter and his staff were pure garbage. I think we will see the team play better overall proving this

  4. NOSBOS Says:

    I Stop reading at schemes should built around the likes of soft @$$ 93 and Rudy who in Tenn will be a JAG. Check back later.

  5. Buc believer Says:

    Arians got rid of GMC because dude just like to collect paychecks and accolades in that order Joe! He had NO F….ing desire to win as long as his checks cleared and the spotlight was on him he was good! Get over you man crush with this loser!

  6. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Give me the rocks, Joe, I’ll throw ‘em.

    This is the same coach who went on during pre-season about how he wants a 2000 yard rushing attack and then pretty much abandoned the run by mid October.
    And then we had to witness his stupid gimmick plays (pass intended for S Wilson vs Redskins- interception, end around Bobo vs Cowboys- fumble)

  7. Wombat Says:

    You are assuming GMC IS a good player and is at a level that warrants his pay scale. Players get let go every year, Montana…. Manning come to mind. This is a business. Arians job is to win football games. His the chef, let him pick the ingredients! Those coaches that win consistently all have jobs.

  8. Casual Observer Says:

    I think you neglect their cost (a bit) in the release of both GMC and Humphries. Bucco Bruce has had some NFL head coaching success – whatever his philosophy is.

  9. GetOverIt Says:

    Do we know that Arians wanted to get rid of GMC? Maybe the huge salary cap hit… but it seems to me that GMC was the one who wanted out. Remember his comments after the last game essentially saying goodbye? Seems more like he had decided to move on and the Bucs accommodated his wishes AND to make some room under the cap.

  10. Figures Says:

    People rag McCoy because he doesn’t get enough sacks and then praise getting Suh lmao.

    Like Suh is some sack master lol. He will probably get no more than 6.5 or 7.

    But I do think Suh is better. But McCoy isn’t chopped liver either. Most of you are just idiots that think they know something when in reality you’re all about as smart as a wet paper back full of shi*

    Like dum bas s NDog comparing Winston to Brady lmao. If that isn’t stupidity I don’t know what is. I’ve never seen a set of balls deeper in a mans mouth than his.

  11. GetOverIt Says:

    Also, there’s no evidence that Arians would not have welcomed back Humphries, but the Bucs could not pay 9 million a year. Saying Arians “unloaded” Humphries defies reason. Hump was a FA.

    If Hump had returned, it’s possible he would’ve had a less prominent role in favor of faster receivers (or maybe not). Perhaps Joe has some information that hasn’t been shared before that Arians wanted to unload Hump… but without such evidence, this (as well as the GMC stuff) is all speculative.

  12. PSLBob Says:

    Joe says – “Schemes should be built around talent, not the other way around. Good players are hard to come by. Coaching techniques are not.”

    Not sure I agree with the last part of your statement if “coaching techniques” = coaching. Seems like we have had a dirth of coaching in our lost decade.

  13. Stonedbuc Says:

    Jackson wasn’t the problem! Good qbs can throw anyday anywhere. Jamie’s has accuracy issues. He gets excited and then overthrows the ball.

  14. Figures Says:


    You’re right but the FSU experts are gonna come on here and throw around a whole bunch of useless stats and numbers to say you’re wrong.

    But the eyes do not lie. And Winston can’t hit a small speedy downfield receiver. That’s why he needs big wingspan targets. Maybe in the future he will get better but the past has shown it to be an issue as of now.

  15. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Schemes around players leads to the incompetent GM not drafting the correct players that fit in what was being run. Licht was drafting circles to fit in squares. I agree in todays NFL you need to be more flexible with players because of how league set up but licht is the blame. The best ever bucs teams ran a scheme that dungy & monty specific players to run & it worked out, even drafting brian kelly, d smith, ronde, talib worked out in kiffins “cover 2 scheme”

  16. Cobraboy Says:

    Trading a soft McCoy who has lost a half-step for a hard Suh who has not shown any sign of losing his game for a 3-4 fit is NOT “unloading good talent.”

    In today’s NFL good players are let go all the time.

    Hell, the Patriots are world-class at letting really good players go at the top of their game! Mankins? Welker? Flowers?

  17. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Joe, Koetter was not running the offense last year. Todd Monken was.

    However, I think a lot of that was on Fitzpatrick. If you go back and watch, Fitz almost never went to Brate, but as soon as Winston was playing, Brate got action.

    So far as Jackson…I think the entire time he was here, Winston was forced to throw to him…probably because Jackson was a diva they didn’t want to mouth off to the media.

  18. Maze Says:

    Suh is obviously better than McCoy and Batman has no superpowers

  19. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Stonedbuc Says
    “Jackson wasn’t the problem!”

    Jackson was totally the problem. He made up his mind early that he did not like Winston and did everything he could on and off the field to undermine him.

    The man did things behind the scenes that would shock the fans.

    On the field, we saw Jackson intentionally slow down when Winston was throwing to him in order to throw off the timing, he quit on plays, and he flat out refused to try for a lot of catches.

    The man was scum.

  20. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Figures Says
    “But the eyes do not lie.”

    Then the eyes are not watching the plays develop.

    Some people watch the end of a play and that’s it. Take a closer look, buddy.

  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Gerald McCoy is a top DT, and will remain one for the next couple years at least.

    The McCoy haters can deny that all they want, but by the end of the season, they’ll disappear because he will have proven them wrong. That’s usually when we see a bunch of new usernames.

  22. down in the dirt doug Says:

    Agree with you completely Cobraboy.We don’t see many people bashing Bill for letting good players go.Let’s give BA the same respect.

  23. Pete I Says:

    The “Best” QB in Buccaneers history is not even on track to make the Ring of Honor at Ray Jay.

    Neither should McCoy be so “honored” but the chattering heads in the media think he will go up there…tells you a lot about how low the bar is.

    Nor should DJackson be honored.

    2 are gone and now are irrelevant. 1 remains and it remains to be seen how much coaching will help Jameis be anything but average…at best.

    We shall see…

    The “Best” QB in Buccaneers history is not even on track to make the Ring of Honor at Ray Jay.

  24. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Letting GMC & Hump go had absolutely nothing to do with scheme….you can add Kwon, Djax….and maybe even Curry to the list…..it was all about money….I count somewhere around $48 million or so….
    Scheme…..my a$$…

    Now….the not using talent…..for me it was not using Rojo & Cappa later in the season trying to squeeze another game or two….trying to save jobs…..for both Licht & Koetter.

  25. TexBuc Says:

    Look forward to see the future.

  26. geno711 Says:

    I hated the 12 personnel in 2017 when the Buc’s ran it a lot more.

    1. I like Cam Brate but I would disagree with those that say he is a pro bowl talent. He has actually regressed both of the last two years and is injured now.
    2. Interesting that the market is not that hot for GMC. Seems like he might get less than Suh. If Suh is better for the team why would we complain about not keeping GMC at 13 million.
    3. In 2017 Bucs were 9th highest in 12 personnel set and lessened their usage in 2018 and became a more prolific offense. Good for the Buc’s and the change in strategy. That change did not make us bad.
    4. All coaches but Belicheck seem to have schemes they run and guys have always had to fit schemes. In a perfect world — you try to use a guy with talent even outside of a fit perfect. Coaching matters in football and the scheme does make a difference. Trying to get Mike Martz to run an offense like Marty Schottenheimer does not make sense.
    5. Coach Arians values speed for his 3rd wide out by everything that I have seen. He probably wanted to keep Humphries but at 4 years 36 million.
    6. Although you point out that the 12 personnel was used in Arizona a bunch, it was more for run blocking than pass blocking. In the 5 years Arians was in Arizona his top tight end averaged only 50 targets, 32 receptions, and 348 yards per season and were often fourth or fifth on the offense in targets.
    7. Also, in his last year in Arizona 2017, he used the 12 personnel much less than the Buc’s did in 2017. It shows he adapted to what he had.
    8. I think a narrative of lazy coaching made to Bruce Arians is quite premature.

  27. Mike Johnson Says:

    Kinda sad when the franchise you love is a ..Loser. That be..my Bucs. Everybody, everything..piles on. Anger. frustration..and scapegoats galore. Koetter downfall was the inability to let his mentor and road dog Smitty go. He paid for his loyalty dearly. GMC is a very good player. Bucs thought he was overpaid and let him go. No need to hate the guy. He played well for us. I sure as hell hope Arians and Co. wins here. These fans will turn on him faster than a..Gabon Viper if he does not. God knows he’s got the coaches…biggest coaching staff in the NFL.

  28. OneBuc55 Says:

    Guys just a heads up, everyone who comes to Joe’s site and supports “Americas QB Jameis Winston” aren’t “FSU experts” or “FSU homers” blah blah blah…

    I have Gator buddies, Hurricane buddies, UCF buddies etc etc that frequently visit this site, love their Bucs and support our QB; find another way to justify your hate; it’s tiring to read the people with the same boneheaded Winston put downs single everyday…

    Y’all hate this kid so much that you take every opportunity to take a dump on his name…Yes wins a loses matter for a QB but at some point you have to know and understand football; he’s not out there single handedly losing games every Sunday…smh

  29. Jean Lafitte Says:

    GMC was a good player, but he’s not anymore. Especially @$13 mil

  30. #1bucsfan Says:

    I agree joe doesn’t make sense to let good players go wen there’s not a lot of depth. What happens if vea or suh goes down or both. What happens wen #13 goes down or an another WR or we loose a couple O-linemen injuries happen an they seem to happen to us a lot an to rely on unproven guy or even cast aways isn’t smart business

  31. Joe Says:

    Joe, Koetter was not running the offense last year. Todd Monken was.

    That would be a negative. Only sometimes did Monken call plays. And who is the head coach?

  32. Brandon Jeff Says:

    BA is not getting near the credit he deserves for
    the roster moves that have been made so far.
    He obviously considers every aspect before making
    any change. As far as letting talent go, he made sure he
    had the equal or better replacement on the team already
    (Godwin > Hump) or in the draft (White > Kwon) or on
    the hook ( Suh > GMC). Each move imo improved
    size,strength, speed, scheme fit and attitude. And all at
    a cheaper price. I’ll take that any day of the week.

  33. Allbuccedup Says:

    You have two tight ends that are very good but the injuries are starting to show up. If BA is not a big tight end fan need to cut someone loose and get a healthy tight end. Maybe the new guy JL can help. If not this year maybe next.

  34. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    Gerald McCoy just unfortunately was baked into this losing culture. He literally said two years ago he needed veterans to come in and teach the team how to win. This is the captain of the team (actually, his teammates voted against that). He was hurt often, tough guy that he is. And he wasn’t that good against the run. All for a price higher than Suh.

    Humphries couldn’t catch the ball with his hands. It was all gut catches for 7 yards if you were lucky. You don’t pay close to 10 million to that when you have Evans, Godwin, Watson, Bobo, Miller, and Perriman (the last two post-Humphries for way cheaper).

    The way Joe (Lee?) constantly whines about stuff like this is like the 7 year old whose family has been poor, a new stepdad comes in, & says you can’t have the expensive toy who engenders bad habits in the kid and always breaks, and little Joe screams “but I want everything plus ice cream for dinner!” At some point, the adult (Arians) has to come in and change some habits and some fortunes.

  35. Figures Says:

    Lol bobo sucks lol.

    Don’t bring his name up as a weapon lol.


  36. westernbuc Says:

    Licht had the opportunity to trade DJax mid season, he chose not to.

    I wonder why Koetter felt compelled to throw the ball to DJax.

    Again, I have no idea how Licht still has a job

  37. SenileSenior Says:

    Brandon Jeff

    Hear, hear!

    Go Bucs!!!

  38. Siege the Bay Says:

    So Lovie Smith is “inept Lovie Smith” yet Dirk Koetter doesn’t get a nickname? Don’t let him off the hook joe. Dirk Koetter is the weakest coach I’ve ever seen. I saw an interview where someone asked if we would try to play spoiler to another teams playoff hopes at the end of the season and his response was that we dont try to ruin other teams seasons….what exactly are we playing for then!!?? Dirk Koetter and Mike Smith are the reason we had such capitulating team.