RT Gosder Cherilus – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs backup right tackle Gosder Cherilus, who started for an injured Demar Dotson in Dallas Sunday, had a tough night, particularly against Cowboys’ defensive end David Irving in the fourth quarter. But there was likely more that led to the added pressure on the right side than Irving’s dominance alone.
On Monday, coach Dirk Koetter revealed that Cherilus strained his groin on a block in the fourth quarter, right after the Bucs recovered a fumble near midfield.
“He tried to gut it out,” Koetter said, adding that he doesn’t know the full extent of the injury yet. “That’s the best I can tell you.”
Demar Dotson is still in concussion protocol, Koetter confirmed.
To aid Cherilus, the Bucs at times sent receivers and tight ends to chip the defensive ends, though late in the game it was hard to stay in seven-man protections according to Koetter. Down three and then six in the fourth quarter, Tampa Bay needed to send guys downfield to move the ball. From there, Koetter said, the crowd noise became a factor while trying to get the right protections and the Cowboys’ edge rushers were able to pin their ears back and get after the passer.
The Bucs coach wasn’t about to blame the offensive setbacks on injuries and atmosphere, though. Tampa Bay threw for 247 yards and three interceptions while managing just 52 yards on 20 rushing attempts. The Bucs settled for field goals twice inside the red zone in the first half, getting both touchdowns early in the third quarter.
“We’re too inconsistent overall on offense. We just got out of our rhythm,” Koetter said. “We’ve been in a nice little roll of not turning the ball over and we got back to putting our defense in bad positions. We had a couple of chances early and we’ve got to finish with touchdowns.
“Those two field goals we kicked in the first half, the eight points that we left out there by not finishing with touchdowns, those look pretty big at the end of the game. Then, the fact that a couple offensive turnovers led to field goals the other way. So, everybody gets credit when we do well and everybody gets to share in the blame, including the coaches, including me, when we don’t do well. So I’m not one to pin all our woes on our offensive line. We all took turns.”
As for injuries on the defensive side of the ball, Koetter said that an MRI confirmed that Will Gholston dislocated his elbow on that fourth-quarter run play inside the Cowboys five-yard line. Again, the full extent isn’t yet known but Koetter seemed to suggest that Gholston’s only chance to see the field would be a possible playoff scenario.
“Just depending on how much we have left, I think there’s a chance that Will could get back at some point,” Koetter said. “But not probably tomorrow.”
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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Not that any of them will ever bother to learn anything from this, but for those demanding the immediate firing or benching of Cherilus because of his play in the fourth quarter, a veteran backup right tackle starting in place of Demar Dotson, and facing the the 11-2 Dallas Cowboys with the fourth ranked (points allowed) defense in the league, and played injured in the fourth quarter … they all need to just STFU.
It’s not a matter of making excuses, but snap judgments devoid of facts and context are almost always stupid judgments.
Coach Koetter isn’t spending his time trying to pin blame for a loss on a single player, or a single unit, and he isn’t making any excuses either. The sum total of the team effort on Sunday night wasn’t enough to get a win. He takes blame upon himself and the other coaches too, not just the players. Get over it. Scapegoating individuals is incredibly destructive and stupid at the same time. It’s a team sport. There’s no “I” or “He” in “Team”.
Instead, the focus now needs to be on winning out. All we need to do to go to win the NFC South Division and go to the playoffs is to win exactly one more game out of our remaining two than Atlanta wins. With Carolina’s play last night against the Resdkins, the Panthers are no gimme win for either the Falcons or the Bucs. Ditto with New Orleans after their big performance on Sunday against the Cardinals
Right now, this season, these two games are all that matters, and the team we have is going to have to be the team to get those victories.
I agree with Koetter 100%. While Cherilus was never the greatest RT, he was uncharacteristically bad on Sunday. Still, he wasn’t the ONLY reason we fell short and there’s a good amount of blame to be shared across the roster and staff.
From where we started this year to competing and finishing within 6 of the #2 team in the league says a lot about how far we’ve come. We’re still very much in the playoff hunt with 2 winnable games coming up. Green Bay faces Minnesota and Detroit so if we win out and they drop one, we’re in the wild card.
Time to focus on improving what we can and winning these 2 games. A few more pieces in the off season and we should make a solid run next year. Let’s just hope the Jags don’t come trying to poach our DC.
I’ve been uneasy carrying only 7 OL on the active list for a game and it caught up with us in the Dallas game. Time to place some of the injured that will be unavailable for the regular season games and make sure we have more healthy players available. If Dotson is not present on Wednesday at Full Participation I think it means he’s out for this game?
We don’t have to call for Cherilus to get benched he already got benched by Koetter in that game. That was crazy bad. Injured or not that was horrible. If he couldn’t play he should been out sooner.
Hopefully they can patch and plug and find a way to win out or we will be waiting until next year for any playoff hopes. Dotson hasn’t been good either but he’s better than that. Maybe he will be ready to play from the concussion against Saints not sure haven’t heard update.
Well I think we have a lot to be thankful for this year. This team has come a long way with a rookie head coach and all of the injuries. Even if we don’t make the payoffs at least we are headed in the right direction and not talking about firing a coach.
— Go Bucs!!!
This day and age no one ever wants to accept responsibility. When something goes wrong, the first order of business isn’t to seek solution, but to determine who’s to blame. Any time a fart odor presents itself the first thing anyone says is, “It wasn’t me.” It was you!
Here, we often blame the QB who is the easiest target (especially if we are still bemoaning the choice over Mariota). We blame the coach because we think we know how to call plays better than he does, even though it’s doubtful any of us could even diagram one. We blame Gerald McCoy because he smiles. We blame Doug Martin and Chuck Sims for being tackled in the backfield. We blame the kicker. We blame the offensive line. We blame the receivers. We blame the return man. Heck, against the Saints we could even blame the punter.
In this game we all know there was sufficient blame to go around. The focus on Cherilus is because, in spite of the mediocre play, in spite of the mistakes and foolish penalties, the game was there to be won in the end if #78 could have sustained a block for a few ticks of the clock. Jameis lit up the Cowboys in the 3rd quarter. Certainly give the opportunity he could have done it again. If Cherilus was hurt then someone (insert person to blame here) should have replaced him sooner. I must say, Wester didn’t look much better. Sure missed Big Dot who would have matched up well against the 6-7 Irving.
Time to move on to the Saints.
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