Slow Starts And The Postseason

December 21st, 2020

Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians.

It seems only a formality that the Bucs are going to make the playoffs.

As many losing seasons as the Bucs have had in the post-Chucky era, and two near-misses of the playoffs since, typing a sentence suggesting the Bucs will make the playoffs seems like an old “Twilight Zone” episode, where Civil War soldiers live in the 1960s and haven’t aged a day since they stepped off the battlefield, or a plane flies over a prehistoric jungle replete with dinosaurs, or Capt. Kirk sees a gremlin climbing on the wing of a plane like some dude in Vegas.

(Joe can almost hear the dee-dee-dee-dee theme song music typing “Bucs” and “playoffs” in the same sentence.)

For the Bucs to make the playoffs, every living person at One Buc Palace deserves a standing applause. Really. Job well done.

But job not finished.

The Bucs may make the playoffs, but as Pro Football Hall of Fame selector and long-time NFL writer Clark Judge of points out, the Bucs won’t go far if they do not figure out how to show up at kickoff — to start the game, not the second half.

If Tampa Bay is going to make a Super Bowl run, it needs more than an improved pass defense. The Bucs need an alarm clock. It takes them far too long to wake up, with Sunday’s game the sixth straight week where opponents scored first. The Bucs are 3-3 in those games.

Joe will say something that may be outrageous. The Bucs showed yesterday they could make a run in the playoffs (if they avoided the Redskins — that defensive line spooks Joe). Not only do the Bucs have the talent to do that, but the Bucs looked like they rang up 31 points in a half yesterday by barely breaking a sweat.

Yesterday, Joe floated the name of Wade Phillips to come in and be a consultant for Arians. A separate set of eyes who may see why the Bucs sleepwalk through the first quarter, week in and week out.

And Joe has two other names; both of which Arians has strong ties to. And both guys not only have strong defensive backgrounds, they have rings and Hall of Fame busts.

That would be Bill Cowher and Father Dungy.

Arians has long-time relationships with both dating back to when all three were on Marty Schottenheimer’s staff with the Chiefs.

Arians seems like the kind of guy who is open-minded. Joe wishes Arians or someone at One Buc Palace would send Cowher and Dungy tapes of the past two months of games and have them look over the first half of each game and get back to Arians about what they are seeing.

For their time, Team Glazer could cut them a check for, say $250,000 each.

Joe has no idea if Arians has a relationship with Phillips. Joe does know Arians is tight with Cowher and Dungy.

Just from the outside looking in, Joe would guess it is as simple as Arians’ coordinators are developing bad gameplans. When the team adjusts, it’s like a different team.

But hey, the Bucs won yesterday. The second half was as fun a 30 minutes of Bucs football Joe has seen in a long while.

And the playoffs appear to be a real thing. What a time to be alive!

21 Responses to “Slow Starts And The Postseason”

  1. MtBucsfan Says:

    The more I see this it makes me feel like Brady is bored lol. One half has Dilfer the next he’s Tom Brady. They will work out the issue. I feel the same with initial gameplan. They just need to adapt quicker.

  2. Says:

    They need to figure out a way to get Brady’s adrenaline pumping early. Maybe they should tape 28 – 3 on the scoreboard and tell him he missed the first half.

  3. CalBucsFan Says:

    It’s mind numbing how inept the offense’s game plan for the last half dozen games, yet give them a 10-minute locker room break and they come out and totally dominate?!

    Whoever is running that locker room should damn sure be running the offense from opening kickoff. Is that you Arians?

  4. Clean House Says:

    Why do you keep
    Suggesting paying other coaches to come consult with 2 weeks left, the first time you mentioned it seemed pretty dumb- this is over the top, like you really think it’s an actual good idea.

  5. SB : Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    I would Love to have a sit down with Ndog right now.

  6. SB : Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    ‘, or Capt. Kirk sees a gremlin climbing on the wing of a plane like some dude in Vegas.”
    Wasn’t that a “tribble”?

  7. NVMatt Says:

    If you noticed the play types run during the 2nd half, they were mostly quick passes, short stuff,etc. It was apparent they junked what they thought would work and figured out what did work. And of course that opened up deeper pass plays as well.

    Same on the defensive side. They tried different blitzes to bring pressure that finally worked.

    The obvious issue is the game planning. It doesn’t work, and it’s bizarre how stubborn they are before changing it.

  8. D1 Says:

    Clean house,

    Lol…truly funny.

    I haven’t thought about it one way or the other. .that is until I read your post.

    Based on the past opinions expressed by the Joe’s, which is reminiscent of many of their more nascent ideas for improving the team, I have to buy into the idea that they’re indeed serious about this idea.

    I heard things about Joe, in college he wrote a term paper outlining a business plan to start a tuna fish farm where the fishes diet would consist of mayonnaise.

    Joe believed that the problem with tuna fish is that it takes mayo to make a sandwich and that extra effort was the reason so many people didn’t buy it as a sandwich ingredient. Feeding them mayo ..problem solved. Now Joe’s a millionaire. I only hit on the highlights of this masters thesis. It’s available for review at the University of Delaware online .

    Tony Dungy never reviewed the regular season to identify his team’s tendencies with the idea to change them going into the post season. Tony stayed the course and preached the benefits of sync and playing buc football.

    Game planning was reduced to …synchronization and playing the same game buc football each and every week. Which is far to similar to the way BA coaches and might just add 2 other things to blame if BA besides TB12.

    Which is why I gotta go with yes, they’re serious!

  9. Fred mcneil Says:

    I got a gift of some delicious king crab legs, but I had no foil or butter.
    My wife and son went to the store for me and the game went 17 nothing.
    Second half my crab legs were ready and the bucs won.
    No, not jay-miss legs , but king crab legs

  10. All lives matter Says:

    “with Sunday’s game the sixth straight week where opponents scored first.”

    We need to stop deferring the kickoff to start the game. Everytime this season we deferred till the second half our opponent scored first automatically, and seemingly putting us into catchup mode, practically abandoning the run. Down by 7, our first 3 plays, were passing plays.

  11. Leighroy Says:

    Each week the game plan is the same. “Short passes to set up the run” and then they throw 1 for 3 yards, next one incomplete or a 2-yard run, and 3rd down misfires too or comes up short.

    Throwing downfield is not some BA exclusive idea in the NFL. watching the dreaded RedZone yesterday, every. Single. Team. Throws. Down. Field! Try that 2nd half downfield gameplay in the first quarter for a change?

    The Bucs just have zero creativity about anything they do on offense, thinking they can out pro-bowl every team at the skill positions and it just doesn’t work that way.

  12. Bob in Valrico Says:

    I believe Brady needs to be a bit more patient in the early going. He has an
    a long history of trying to get the ball out fast and he has missed some wide open receivers early in games. It might help to limit patterns to the the middle of the field to get him in sync. Once they did that in the second half he was pretty damn good. His sheer determination to turn things around was evident after the half.
    Moving the pocket or lateral movement sideways bought him more time to open the field more.

  13. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Pass blocking was pretty bad in the first half, but Tom has to hit passes like the wide open pattern to Godwin at some point.

  14. Ufcguy Says:

    No screen game aka watch these guys block or not block… calling….atrocious. this team can’t play zone. Ill repeat so maybe mr Todd will finally get the message for 8 straight fing week . Your team cannot play mf zone @@@! This team does well when we blitz. When we don’t we get absolutely no pressure. Next year we better draft defensive end 1st overall or sign someone. Not using brown properly until the 2nd half yesterday. No slants ….I mean this is basic stuff that every single fan and media member sees. Its a freaking joke these hard headed morons can’t or won’t fix it. The adjustment should have been the game plan from the get go. The adjustments are exactly the same every freaking week. This is on the staff

  15. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Clean House: Complains about the Bucs problems.

    Also Clean House: Complains about “outside of the box” thinking on how to potentially FIX the Bucs problems.

    I’d be happy if the Bucs coaching staff consulted with all of these guys. What would it hurt?

  16. Joe in Michigan Says:

    D1: You do realize Tony Dungy’s winning percentage as a head coach was 66.8%, right?

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    @All lives matter … “We need to stop deferring the kickoff to start the game.”

    If we’re thinking outside the box, why not try it? Every week we send our defense out there first … and the other team scores. Maybe that’s not working so well?

    Each week the opposing team game-plans against us but we don’t game-plan against them.

    Each week we give them the ball first, they execute their game-plan, score, and we start off behind.

    Our offense then gets the ball, runs 3-5 plays, punts and our defense trots out again. The other team scores again and voila, we’re now behind 14-0 and it’s still just the 1st qtr.

    Rinse and repeat.

    MAYBE we’d be well-advised not to put our defense out on the field first? MAYBE if WE scored first … and scored second … it’d force opposing teams out of THEIR game-plan early? MAYBE that’s what it takes to get our defense untracked earlier in games?

  18. Beeej Says:

    If we DON’T defer, going three and out starts them at the 40 yard line instead of the 25

  19. Sorryjackchuckiesback Says:

    It’s not the game plan man… They are young and Bowls comes out noon aggressive to see how the other team is going to attack…. They are just struggling in the first half because they’re young and trying to figure it out and get caught in the wrong spots… The calls are perfect!! That one play Atlanta got a big first down was all white fault for over playing!! There just need to calm down and trust each other in the beginning!! They got burned there because white went to defend someone that David already had…. It’s just confusion, youth and trying to hard…. It won’t continue into the playoffs

  20. View from 132 Says:

    Two articles now suggesting a consultant for a team that already has more coaches than any other staff?

  21. D-Rok Says:

    Deferring the kick allows the offense to score at end of first half and then score again at start of 2nd. It’s a classic Belichick strategy. What strikes me is that this Bucs team, and staff, are using the first-half just to judge what match-ups work or don’t work. Then adjustments are made to allow more favorable match-ups in 2nd half. I see this as a coaching strategy, and I’ve seen it from other good teams in the past. I remember the Niners using this very effectively when Steve Young won the SB. This is an OK strategy, BUT, somehow, we cannot allow ourselves to fall into such a big hole early in games – mainly because it negates our decent run-game. I do think the Bucs’ coaches are a tad smarter than we give them credit for, and they do have a play-off plan to start games faster. At least I hope/pray they have a plan and quit toying with teams!!! Go Bucs!!!