July 15th, 2019

Defenses tipped off?

Yes, Joe is geeked about purchasing the “Warren Sharp 2019 Football Preview.” Why? Because there is so much good stuff in it.

Now the last couple of years, Bucs fans grumbled because they believed Bucs coach Dirk Koetter ran a predictable offense. They griped that on first down it was a safe bet that Koetter would have the Bucs run.

Per Sharp’s detailed documentation, those fans were absolutely correct.

Sharp researched every offensive play the Bucs called, and of all the first down snaps last season, Sharp’s research shows that 123 times the ball was handed off to Peyton Barber.

Gee, you think opposing defenses had a hunch what was coming?

Now Joe might have understood if the Bucs had a top-shelf running back on the roster, that this might have been a good thing. To paraphrase Koetter, Joe didn’t see Gale Sayers on the active roster.

And Barber’s success rate running on first down was less than ideal. You’d think after two or three games, someone on the Bucs’ staff would have figured out that, hey, maybe mixing in a few passes on first down might loosen things up for Barber? Nope.

Joe only hopes Bucs new playcaller Byron Leftwich isn’t this stubborn.

41 Responses to “Predictable”

  1. Says:

    Interesting. Curious what the denominator is?

  2. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Rest In Peace Pernell

  3. Magadude Says:

    Well, the Bucs certainly gave Doug Martin, who HAD peformed at one time, and a very expensive O line (with pieces and parts that HAD perfermed) a chance…and they didn’t produce. I think he just stuck with them too long to try to see if they were worthy.

    Of course, the O line is not that different at all, and we’re hope and prayer for RoJo, Ellington, and Barber. So we’ll see first how DIFFERENT coaching works, and then after a season, analyze on whether it was GOOD coaching.

    Or if they are all duds, players, coaches, and GM alike….

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    “Per Sharp’s detailed documentation, those fans were absolutely correct.” OK Joe, so now all JBFers feel vindicated … we were right. All hail Realist’s sheep.

    NOW can we talk about picking a MLB versus drafting a DE? Hery, we’re on a roll at JBF World Headquarters.

  5. EvolvingBucsFan Says:

    Been seeing it for years, I call it the old Bucs dance.

    run, pass, pass, kick…..and repeat.

  6. The Buc Realist Says:

    Why would you pay for “sharp’s” when it is readily available for free on pro-football-reference??????? Just go under offensive splits, and they will show plays by quarter or down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Out of 512 first down plays in 2018, 227 attempts were rushing attempts, and passing was 272 with 186 completions!!!!!!!!!

    So what is this article about???? the the play calling was predictable???? try again please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2019 will reveal answers to the sheep, that the “real” fans already know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. BucEmUp Says:


  8. BucAllNight Says:

    Yawn… slow off season

    I’m just here so I don’t get fined… and to give Joe some clicks/Views

    Is it Training Camp yet?

  9. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    Could someone break down those numbers against the games Dirk was play caller vs Monken?

    I would argue that worse than the down predictability, was out formation and personnel groupings. I’m sure most of the posters on this site would agree to having had about a 90% success rate predicting running plays

  10. Lord Cornelius Says:

    All I know is when I watched games with my brother we could typically predict wen the bad runs were coming or negative plays. When we got to the other teams side of the field it was a new game of what stupid plays are we going to call to ruin this drive?

  11. Snook Says:


    This is what I’ve been saying for years now. That’s why anyone who says we need to upgrade RB (pay some guy $10M+ a year), upgrade our line, blah blah blah needs to step back and go watch some freakin tape. And throw out any “evaulation” of players they have who have been in Tampa and only played in Koetter’s system (which is a lot of guys — including Jameis).

    I could literally sit and watch Bucs games and predict when runs were coming. I’d say I was right 90% of the time. And I’m far from any kind of football expert or coach. ITS THAT BAD.

  12. BetterBucFan Says:

    C’mon Joe you can’t say “123 times” without giving us a total number of first downs plays they ran. Maybe you hate statistics so much because you don’t understand them.

  13. Ndog Says:

    This can filed under the category of “DUH” or “you don’t say??????”

  14. BetterBucFan Says:

    Joe, you are cherry-picking stats to fit your narrative.

    The Bucs had 388 total first downs last year, and if your number is correct and they ran the ball 123 times, they ran the ball on average 31.7% of the time on first down!

    Sure is predictable, eh?

  15. Cannon Says:

    A 1/3’rd rate is fairly predictable.

  16. Joe Says:

    Joe, you are cherry-picking stats to fit your narrative


    What narrative? Joe had no clue Peyton Barber had this many carries on first downs.

    And yeah, with all the options the Bucs had to give the rock to, and all the weapons and all the various plays, if one guy (RB) got the ball a third of the time, hell yes that’s predictable.

  17. tickrdr Says:


    Peyton Barber had 147 carries on 1st down.

    The Bucs offense RUSHED on 227 of 499 plays on 1st down = 45.5%.
    The Bucs offense PASSED on 272 of 499 plays on 1st down = 54.5%.

    Congrats to all of you who could correctly predict running plays 90% of the time pre-snap! You should be contacting the Bucs’ brass with your findings. Or better yet, perhaps the other NFC South teams would pay you for your findings.


  18. tickrdr Says:

    That site lists 512 first down plays total. Perhaps, due to miscounting, or maybe penalties??


  19. Jean Lafitte Says:

    What this article fails to tell fans is that as a whole, historically, all teams try to run more on first down. To suggest only the Bucs do it is silly.

  20. Cobraboy Says:


    And every time Jones got the ball, the defense knew well in advance, too.

    Dog bites man.

    And people wondered why the ground game was so bad the last two years?

  21. Cobraboy Says:

    @tickrdoc: the down does not predict run or pass on 1st down. The formation does.

  22. Dapostman Says:

    I could only predict what the Bucs were going to do on second down when they had an empty backfield. I was probably right nearly 100% of the time. ICYMI it was a pass no matter the distance to make a first down.

  23. tickrdr Says:

    @Buc Realist:

    Nice post!
    Are you reading my mind?
    Were you in moderation?


  24. tickrdr Says:


    Again, if that is so, call out “Sluggo Seam” or something like that to let the coaches know that you already know the play.


  25. Race to 10 Says:

    Your passing someone to tell you koetter was more garbage than the players. Who cares especially those who didn’t like koetter and Mike Smith duo from the beginning.

    I give the Joe’s hell on almost every article but if I haven’t said it in a while you guys get major props for putting out so much content, no one matches quantity that’s for sure

  26. tickrdr Says:

    Some wag might suggest that you could have guessed the play called was “TURNOVER”, and been right almost 20% of the time!


  27. PriMech54 Says:

    Joe wants to talk about not being as skeptical of Dirk Koetter as some or most Buc fans… then writes article after article explicitly explaining WHY this guy was so bush league. Most of us have been echoing the same exact things that BA has outlined over the offseason for years now. And he hasn’t mentioned the words “explosives” or “if I knew how to fix it I would” one time, because he has a deep philosophical understanding of the game of football.

    In other words, Dirk was some car geek driving a nice manual sports car but didn’t know how to operate a six speed. Of course it’s going to stall out and ruin the trans eventually.

    “Get out the damn car, Dirk. This baby right here should be handled by professionals. Don’t worry, my buddy Todd is a total whizkid and will sure up the breaks and bushings that you fried so I can open her up… get you a nice beverage and take a gander as I scream down the Selmon with your whip, and try not to get any falcon dung on the fresh paint” – BA, allegedly

  28. 813bucboi Says:


    just another indictment for clueless incompetent dirk!!!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!

  29. 813bucboi Says:

    dirk had a better rushing attack when lovie was holding his hand…….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  30. Lord Cornelius Says:

    It was just a horrible run game all around.

    Bad play designs. Bad blocking. Bad execution in general. But also really badly timed run calls a lot.

    There were too many drives where we were moving the ball well through the air and then decided to run it while in opponent territory despite the run game not clicking that day and despite knowing it was an extremely low % of success on 1st down.

    This is how we get to 2nd and 9 in the red zone and stall out and end up missing a field goal.

    Or this is how we get to 3rd and 8 and have to run an obvious pass play that results in a sack or fumble because it was too long developing and all of a sudden we’re out of FG range.

    Given how horrific the run execution was last year, it should have been 60/40 or 65/35 pass vs run, vs 55/45. At least early in games to keep up with the score since our defense gave up the 29 PPG on average.

    Barber had more than 1/2 his carries on 1st down alone. That is predictable and also just means our run success was horrible because we weren’t running on 2nd and 3rd downs at nearly the same rate.

  31. Figures Says:

    I would love to see if NDOG and the others would call me a racist to my face.

    I’d pop him right in that mouth of his. He accused me of being racist last year because I criticized his loverboy instead of worshipping at his feet.

    I’m 39 6ft 3. 247 pounds. I bet my house NDOG WOULDNT CALL ME A RACIST TO MY FACE. he’s a keyboard warrior.

  32. bucnole Says:

    Kinda wonder what D Freeman is thinking right now. . .

  33. Destinjohnny Says:

    I’m curious what was dirks offense ranked last year?

  34. Cobraboy Says:

    tickrdr Says:


    Again, if that is so, call out “Sluggo Seam” or something like that to let the coaches know that you already know the play.

    Why? It’s a Koetter offense, not a Callahan O… 😉

  35. Reach87 Says:

    Being predictable can be a problem. But being effective helps mitigate that issue. Baltimore, NYG, Seattle and more all have predictable run/pass tendencies and were still effective when they ran. Point being, if they can’t stop you then you have options and can (should be able to) manage other aspects of your offense more effectively, leading to an ability to score more, and supporting consistency in the win/loss column. Point being, though not preferred, running on 1st down a lot may not hurt you IF you’re productive. In this case maybe our bigger problem was execution, not 1st down play selection? Go Bucs!

  36. BucsFan727 Says:

    What is BA going to run power or zone blocking?

  37. rrsrq Says:

    It is not a matter of running on a particular down, the Bucs were predictable based on their field position, personnel grouping and what the score was

  38. Says:

    @Figures 6ft 3. 247 pound 39 year-olds get knocked out too 😂😂😂😂

  39. cobucfan Says:

    America’s ManBoobs need to run these articles past the intern… At least he has a chance of understanding numbers and math thingy’s.

  40. unbelievable Says:

    So you’re saying the playcalling was predictable? Especially on first down?

    Gee, it’s almost like some of us were screaming about this since 2017….

  41. Bucnjim Says:

    If you have the top four offensive lines in the league you can be predictable all you want. The rest of the league depends on creativity in play calling to disguise plays. Gruden would always use motion to try and confuse the opposition defense or just to force a mismatch. If you are just going to line up and run the play you better have 11 offensive players who can man handle the opposition.