Halftime Adjustments

December 21st, 2020

Halftime is for bathrooms.

Joe will never forget how many fans killed former Bucs commander Greg Schiano for telling the truth.

Joe hears network analysts always talk about halftime adjustments. Joe finds this almost irresponsible. If, as a coach, you are waiting until halftime to make adjustments, you are begging to get run out of the stadium.

Adjustments, at the very least, are done after each drive. Sometimes from play to play. With NFL halftime being so short, how could any reasonable adjustment be made?

Back when Schiano was hired, he was asked about halftime adjustments. Schiano, with a smile on his face, said halftime is for going to the bathroom and maybe eating some fruit.

And he was totally right. But man, did some fans rake him over the coals.

Now along comes Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians. With the Bucs looking like two different teams yesterday (a first-half team and a second-half team), clearly something was done at halftime.

But today in his day-after presser, Arians downplayed any major halftime adjustments. He said subtle halftime adjustments are made. Major adjustments usually are not because — wait for it — too many guys are in the bathroom.

“I think as you are going into the locker room you are making those adjustments in your head as the first half is being played,” Arians said. “Most of the time guys are going to the bathroom and they are not in [the locker room] anyways.

“There’s not a heck of a lot you can do at halftime but you can make those subtle corrections quickly.”

Besides, Arians said, getting the team’s attention at halftime is tricky enough as it is.

“There are times when you go into halftime, guys are just hollering and p!ssed off,” Arians added.

Arians seemed to think it was little things that need to be corrected as opposed to major adjustments. Arians noted how the Bucs missed a tackle in the first half on a screen pass that kept an eventual scoring drive alive for Atlanta. If the tackle was made, the Bucs’ defense is off the field.

As for the slow starts, Arians mentioned yesterday he’s frustrated trying to figure out the cause. He’s to the point of pulling a George Costanza and doing the opposite of what he should doing as a desperate measure to see if the players respond.

“It’s almost like, ‘Quit talking about it and maybe it will change,'” Arians said.

Arians added that one method he has attempted to get the Bucs to start faster is emphasizing excellent practice performance with the first practice period being the best.

So far, that has not led to results on Sundays.

28 Responses to “Halftime Adjustments”

  1. LVMYBUCS Says:

    First half Leftwitch and Arinas running the show second half Brady running the show. MAN JUST LET BRADY RUN THE DAMN TEAM.

  2. 407buc Says:

    Ill admit i was wrong about Arians… he isnt a good coach. This trash offense he always commits to running is awful. Until Brady starts running his style do we start moving the ball. LET TOM DO HIS THING. Arians and Leftwhich are holding them back

  3. Coburn Says:

    That’s what I saw too LVMYBUCS. Still took some shots in second half but a lot more quick throws and the like

  4. Coburn Says:

    Was odd to come out bombs away and asking him to sit in pocket knowing that you were playing a backup LT, even if he did fill in well

  5. LVMYBUCS Says:

    Im sorry guys but I have more faith in a 6 super bowl ring QB and has gone to the big dance 9 times rather then a head coach/staff that has never been to a super bowl. Thats just me.

  6. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Lol… Dirk was Tommy… the Pinball Wizard calling plays in the first half!
    If you have to make the kind of halftime adjustments like yesterday
    Your week of preparation was not up to snuff
    Easy to say today but the coverage adjustments should not have taken more than two series, looked like they were in a prevent defense
    Oh well… have to go to the lovely city of Detroit and prepare for the Lions and a tough game on the road.

  7. Casual Observer Says:

    Why wait until halftime to make obviously needed adjustments?

  8. Dan Says:

    It seemed in the first half the offense was very conservative, short passes and screens. The 2nd half Brady was throwing much deeper, making the defense defend much more space. That opened up the underneath stuff also such as the screens. If the defense doesn’t feel like the offense is a threat to go deep they will crowd the line of scrimmage and non of the underneath stuff will work.

  9. JimmyJack Says:

    I will say one thing……Atlantas blitz was killing us in the 1st half. The fact that we were able to comeback and stop it shows that these offensives coaches know what they are doing…….And I think theres a lot of truth in this article. This isn’t simply making an adjustment at halftime…….This is having a well prepared foogball team, coached up well, that knows how to handle whatever situation we face.

    The flack the coaching staff recieves borderlines on assine for me. We have a great path to 11-5 ahead us us……… dang it feels good to type that. We are a legit contender. We may not be Super Bowl caluber just yet but we dam sure are caoable of it. Proof 3rd Quater

  10. JimmyJack Says:

    GO BUCS!!!!!!!!

  11. Robert Says:

    the play calling was night and day! I call bs on no adjustments.

    they went from run on 1st, screen on 2nd and deep on 3rd to TB calling the plays… the defense di man up though….but that happens when they have hope and they let them eat. they’re timid when they’re against the ropes and they get picked apart.

  12. SmoothBayRider Says:

    I don’t care what happens the rest of this regular season as long as we make the playoffs . I think this team knows who they are and what they have , and I think once we get to the playoffs we will see this team’s true identity .

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Maybe….just maybe…..this team needs to go to the bathroom BEFORE the game.

  14. Dan Says:

    Get rid of Arians and Leftwich after the season. Let Bowles stay on as DC. And tell Brady he can choose whichever HC/OC he wants. The fact that we’re letting two bums tell Tom freakin Brady what to do on offense is asinine.

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Took a little while Joe, but you got me curious about halftime adjustments so I went back and analyzed each game. Looks to me like adjustments made have been more significant from our defense than from our offense, and by a pretty wide margin.

    Through 14 games our offense has scored 188 pts in the first half versus 213 pts scored in the second half … a 25 pt differential favoring the 2nd half.

    Our defense allowed 207pts in the first half versus 114 pts allowed in the second half … a 93 pt differential. Interestingly, our defense has only allowed more than 10 pts in the 2nd half twice … 17 pts in each of the first 2 games. In the 12 games since then, our defense only allowed 80 pts total in the 2nd half of games … a remarkable 6.7 PPG or less than 1 TD over those 12 games.

    In EACH of our 5 losses, we were behind at the half … by a combined 99-41 score. ALL of those losses came to teams with winning or break-even records at this point.

    We were also behind at the half in 3 of the games that we won (Falcons, Giants & Chargers) but bounced back in the 2nd half to win by a TOTAL of 13 pts in those 3 games. All 3 of those teams have losing records.

    It appears to me that our defense plays considerably better in the first half of games when our offense really kicks it into gear in the 1st half. We’ve won all 6 of the games where we’ve been leading or tied at the end of the 1st half. In those 6 games our offense has put up 127 pts in the 1st half and our defense has only allowed 53 pts in those 6 first halfs.

    In the 8 games where we were trailing at the end of the 1st half, our offense has only scored 61 pts but our defense has allowed 154 pts in those 8 first halfs. Small wonder that we’ve lost 5 of those 8 games.

    it may sound simplistic, but it sure looks like our offense & defense really do feed off each other … for good or bad. Light a fire under one, and the other feels the heat too I guess. Our coaches just need to figure out how to do that faster it would seem.

  16. SmoothBayRider Says:

    Dan ……. Just like in golf , it’s not how , it’s how many . We are gonna win 10 games for the first time in 10 years and you want to fire the coach and offensive coordinator ? If you feel this way now after a win , how salty are you gonna be if we lose in the playoffs ?

    Country before party
    Team before player
    Wins before style

    Be a fan of a team , not a fan of a person/player.

  17. Mike Says:

    It’s called self scouting. They need to throw out the stuff that isn’t working and use more stuff that is.

  18. unbelievable Says:

    Great breakdown as always, DR.

  19. SmoothBayRider Says:

    @DR you are spot on . I’ve been saying that for a while now. They feed off of each other for sure . It’s hard for a defense to defend a short field while tired , and it’s hard for an offense to be dynamic when they are behind because defense has given up points ( for whatever reason that may be ).

    That being said , our defense has improved significantly this year despite losing arguably our most valuable Def player Vita Vea in early October . Is it because they aren’t as tired and not defending a short field ? Is it because they are older , wiser , and more mature ? Or is it because they feel they have more on the line and more to play for ? …… I don’t think we will ever have a definitive answer on that , but all of my thoughts on the whole thing leads me back to the Brady factor .

    The players realize what is on the line and they realize that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity , and they want to capitalize on it . Without Brady , they probably don’t ever come to that realization , and they probably are still considered a bottom tier defense .

    The Brady factor is real

  20. Dan Says:

    SmoothBayRider, I don’t care about how many wins we get, I care that we win a Super Bowl. And you’re damn right I’m going to be salty if we lose in the playoffs, especially if it’s because we go down three scores in the first half again.

    I don’t have faith that Arians and Co. can lead us to a Superbowl unless something changes drastically in the next few weeks.

  21. Jmarkbuc Says:

    I am with alter ego… The preparation leading up to the game during the week is subpar.

    So many coaches, so little actual coaching.

  22. geno711 Says:

    ESPN and some of the fans on this site are saying that it is Arians or BL’s offense in the 1st half and Brady’s in the 2nd half.

    I would appreciate some actual support for this assertion.

    It reminds me of all the fans last year that were saying that Jameis was balling, that all the yards and TD’s were his great talent, yet all the turnover (alleged wrong routes) and sacks (all on OL and not for him holding the ball) were not his fault.

    Help me out please.

    Believe me, ESPN and some may have a point. I just want it explained in more detail.

  23. geno711 Says:

    This offensive line has had one of the best seasons of any Buccaneer offensive line ever.

    They integrated a rookie into the offensive line the unit that has to be the most cohesive of any unit on the team.

    You can’t have a good OL without good coaching – people.

  24. The Coroner Says:

    “Slow start” – yeah. BAD Game Plan. Coaching.
    Missed tackles – yeah. Coaching.
    Byron Leftwich and Todd Bowles should’ve taken themselves out of consideration for a Head Coaching position because of their game plans.

  25. Doctor Stroud Says:

    I seem to recall that halftime adjustments were also a problem for Coach Raheem Morris when he coached the Bucs. It turns out that it still is.

  26. Brady followerc Says:

    Brady is a great athlete who is very,, very smart. He needs help..
    Defensive secondary needs major work. Coaching staff a major weak spot..
    It all has to work for a super bowl ring. Brady knows how to work it.
    Does Bucs management and coaching know how it woks?
    I have not seen that so far.

  27. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    It just seems that BA has an aversion to telling the truth. At halftime, someone in the booth met with Brady, Leftwich and the OL coach and decided to let Tom call out the blocking assignments. It was right there for all the “Football experts” to see and hear. Son of a gun, it worked!

    BA himself said afterward that they changed the coverages on defense and it worked.

    I had a sister in law who was a compulsive liar. She would lie about anything and everything. If you witnessed her eating eggs for breakfast and asked her about it later, she would lie and say she had oatmeal.

    I asked a psychiatrist why that might be. The doctor said it was simple, selfishness. They are so selfish that they simply will not share the truth. Anyone ever notice that trait in Arians besides me?

  28. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    Arians offense is part of the problem, no or snap reads doesn’t help Brady. He was well known for deciphering defenses and calling plays best suited for what he saw. Now he had to wait. Why take that part from him? Our biggest problem is coaching because they are too steadfast on their system especially Bowles. Our soft zone no blitzing defense is simply not working when every game receivers are wide open constantly. When it comes to tackling, players tend to over play angles and all the ball carrier has to do is change direction and they take themselves out of the play. You’d think by now the coaches would have the ability to teach them to expect the ball carrier NOT to run straight at them and get tackled. I see this mess in every game. The no pressure defense is probably what’s messing up the offense on game day because it allows it to run down the field on them in practice! Our defense is not helping the offense to be prepared for opposing defenses on game day.