My new year’s resolution is for Dirk Koetter. Especially considering Friday’s report from Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times that said the head coach would still be in Tampa for 2018, this is important. For Koetter, my resolution for him is to change up his offense. He needs to make some serious changes if he wants to succeed and stick around past 2018.
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The biggest issue is predictability. There is no bigger example of said predictability than what happens when Charles Sims is in the backfield on third down. I really don’t even have to explain any further, do I? You know exactly what I’m talking about. Sims entering the game telegraphs that a screen pass is coming his way almost 100 percent of the time. Sure, Sims has shown that he can be a productive receiver. But Koetter hasn’t used him as a true running back, which makes it far too clear that a pass is coming when he is in the backfield. If everyone watching at home can see it coming, you know NFL defenses can too.
Next, eliminate the awful toss sweeps. They almost never work, especially when this team is more cut out to run north-south. Doug Martin isn’t going to make many guys miss when running east-west. Then, of course, there’s Koetter’s tendency to call these toss sweeps in the red zone. The Bucs are struggling in the red zone and is there any wonder why?
Lastly, Koetter needs to figure out how to utilize the talent he has in a more effective way. When DeSean Jackson signed with Tampa Bay, everyone was thrilled about a new weapon for Jameis Winston. Instead, his first season as a Buc has been a disappointment. Early on, Koetter seemed to think Jackson could only be used when the Bucs wanted to throw a deep ball. Then, it seemed like he figured out that screen passes to the speedy veteran were a good idea. But even then, there was never really a good balance and Jackson’s skillset largely went to waste. Heading into 2018, if he really is sticking around, he will need to utilize his players in a way that maximizes their talents.