The annual NFL Owners Meeting was held this week in Boca Raton, Florida and PewterReport.com was on hand all four days. On Wednesday morning the NFC coaches met with the media for breakfast and Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter spoke to a number of local and national media regarding his team and the upcoming 2016 season.
Among the areas Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter would like to see Jameis Winston and the offense improve next season, is with their deep-ball completion percentage.
An offensive-minded coach, Koetter is known to try to push the ball down the field with shots through the air. He calls these plays “explosives”, defined as throws that are 16-plus yards or runs of 11 yards and over. While Tampa Bay tied for the league-lead in explosives with 139 in 2015, Koetter and new offensive coordinator Todd Monken, after pouring through tape, determined that plenty more were left on the field.
Bucs WRs Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson & Kenny Bell – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
“If we’re talking about the last four games, there were a couple times when “DeDe” (Donteea Dye) ran a beautiful post route and got behind the defense – I think twice in the Chicago game – and Jameis overthrew him,” Koetter said. “There was the timing thing, though. He had to let one of them go way too early because of the pressure, so there are a lot of factors involved.”
Still, Koetter believes the Bucs offense can do better. Noting rule changes that give wide receivers the benefit of the doubt, along with having a rare talent in Mike Evans, Koetter wants to take advantage deep ball opportunities with better execution from players, specifically Jameis Winston.
The only thing Koetter asks of his quarterback is to give the wide receiver a chance.
“How many balls deep down the sideline do you see that is either out of bounds or five yards over-thrown?” Koetter asked. “Our term for that is, ‘Give him a chance.’ Give him a chance, give him a chance, give him a chance.
“We have landmarks – depths and landmarks that we’re trying to hit on the field based on route concept,” he continued. “If we’re going to go through all that trouble to call it, to protect it and to get back there, and all it comes down to is we have to hit this spot and give Mike Evans a chance – that’s the easy part. At least that’s what we tell Jameis. It’s probably not, but that’s what we tell him.”
Koetter’s criticism says more about what he thinks Winston is capable of than what he thinks the young quarterback is doing wrong. Winston threw for over 4,000 yards last season – the third rookie QB in history to exceed that mark – but Koetter clearly sees a higher ceiling.
And just to make sure everyone knew he wasn’t minimizing an impressive rookie year, he reminded reporters that Winston created more plays than he missed in his first NFL season.
“Jameis made a lot of plays off schedule,” Koetter said. “We can all play the woulda-shoulda-coulda game, and it’s hard not to, but it sort of all evens out. We’re just trying to improve on the things we can do better.
“You realize that Jameis makes so many plays that we didn’t plan that way. You can have the greatest game plan in the world, and the other side of the field, they’re getting paid too.”
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.
Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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