Seven of the Buccaneers 11 penalties last Sunday were on offense. Two of them – a hold and a trip – brought back first down gains after successful screen passes, one to Doug Martin and Charles Sims each.
As seen in New Orleans, the screen game can be extremely effective when used properly. That often means avoiding flags. While Tampa Bay’s offense showed major progression in all areas in Week 2, coordinator Dirk Koetter is still harping on “senseless” penalties – especially the one’s that bring back well executed plays.
Lovie Smith and Dirk Koetter – Photo by Cliff Welch/PR
“Our screen game worked pretty well in the Saints game. Unfortunately on two of them, they came back because of foolish penalties,” Koetter said. “That’s probably the worst thing we are doing overall on offense right now is penalties. We had the four holdings plus a tripping. We improved on our procedural penalties a lot in this game [two false starts], especially with the crowd noise. We’ll have that again this week. Both of those penalties on those screens that we are talking about were senseless.”
Koetter excused “hustle” penalties, like the questionable tripping call on center Joe Hawley in the fourth quarter, but emphasized that improvement on offense starts with not beating yourself.
“The two holdings we had on other screens were senseless. We had no reason to be holding. That’s just part of the maturation process of our offense that we have to know when that’s not a hustle play, that’s just a senseless play.”
While some penalties are unavoidable, Tampa Bay, who currently has the second most in the league with 23 for 187 yards, could definitely cut down as they look to keep improving as a team.
“We got to get it taken care of, it’s as simple as that,” head coach Lovie Smith said. “We should be a disciplined ball club. Some of the ones that were called [were excusable], but it was just too many. Hopefully we will see a lot of improvement in that area this week.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
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Someone will solved this problem. over time but when the team is learning its part its takes time. Go Bucs
Yes it is frustrating when your best back hands down is Mike James and NFL coaches can’t go back and look at 2 yr old tape and figure it out ……… Koetter could never settle on a first down positive yards guy at Atlanta and he is continuing his cluelessness towards down and distance success here. Short Yardage also if he and Lovie had a clue they may be 2-0 a bad 2-0 but still 2-0 ……….. I like the passing of game of Koetter but they haven’t a clue in regards to a down and distance back that will get the first and improve Winstons Qbr by 15 pts . Koetter M James is by far your best back and I cringed when Stokes drafted him , but get a clue and look at his pro tape it is very very impressive. Give him 20 carries and he will avg .5 more than the rest of your backs 7 out of 10 times. Activate James and give some carries !!! Martin is a touch better and will break a long one but his vision along with dropping his head when there is still lanes opening is not good………. T Spencer please tell him if he drops his head he will be benched and then you will have the one cut guy back. If he keeps dropping his head Bench Em ………. He has missed no less than 10 6 yard gains on first and second down in which he got 3 because he gives up his vision too early. Sorry bucs fans it is what it is !!!
I dont know what you’re smokin, but I want some.
Well, your certainly entitled to your opinion, and I would agree that James definitely deserves a spot on the team – personally I would have him ahead of Sims but maybe that’s another thread. However, I don’t understand the hate for Doug Martin…he’s looked excellent this year…I also am not sure I understand how you are reasoning that James could get 0.5 more yards on average 70% of the time (what does he do the other 30% of the time?), but that “Martin is a touch better”…shouldn’t we keep starting Martin then?
If u gave James the ball 20 times and Martin 20 times 7 out of 10 games James would give u better down and distance on first and second down .Martin looks better but is not the one cut and go back he was and without Schiano he has doubled his fumbling but that’s what u get with Lovie
Geez, the past 2 weeks I felt like I was watching an NBA game with all the flags everywhere
Hicks is right. It is all part of the maturation process of the offense. But, Koetter needs to stay on them and get it straightened out. This offense will come along. It won’t be long. Meanwhile, go defense.
Agree, it is looking like the NBA with penalties. It’s not just Buc games. It’s been said holding can be called on every play, and this year it sure seems to be. Gruden goes crazy every Monday night with all the flags, and is always saying, I don’t know about that call, or that was pretty tacky. I watch a lot of college games, yet I’ll see more flags for holding, or block in the back in one pro game on punt returns. Can’t tell me college players are better coached then pros. Last nights game I think the first three punt returns for both teams were called back. I’m to the point were I’m waiting for a flag on every good game. They threw three flags last night on pick plays, yet picked up the flag last week on N.O. touchdown, hmmm. Let em play!!
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