FalconsIn2012

3rd & Short Philosophy: Koetter

258 posts in this topic

Just now, Falconsin2012 said:

By like I mean a qb he trusts to make the proper reads and get the offense set

Winston could do that. The problem Winston has is he tries to make every single play like Cam and sometimes it gets him in trouble. Winston has the iq to run the offense and he studied Matt Ryan. You’re not gonna keep a qb that you don’t trust around either. 

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2 minutes ago, TheFatboi said:

Winston could do that. The problem Winston has is he tries to make every single play like Cam and sometimes it gets him in trouble. Winston has the iq to run the offense and he studied Matt Ryan. You’re not gonna keep a qb that you don’t trust around either. 

Winston also needs a balanced running game, as do most QBs. 

Kid’s got the talent. i’ll be Interested to seeing how he and Arians do this year. 

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Just now, Vandy said:

Winston also needs a balanced running game, as do most QBs. 

Kid’s got the talent. i’ll be Interested to seeing how he and Arians do this year. 

Exactly. I remember us having a discussion a few years ago about how getting a running game with Winston would make them scary. That’s the only thing I worry about with Tampa. If they get a good running game they will be hard to stop. Imagine if they had Free and Coleman via 2016 with Winston and Evans??  

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3 minutes ago, TheFatboi said:

Winston could do that. The problem Winston has is he tries to make every single play like Cam and sometimes it gets him in trouble. Winston has the iq to run the offense and he studied Matt Ryan. You’re not gonna keep a qb that you don’t trust around either. 

He does now.  I don’t believe he did his rookie or second season.  That’s why they leaned on running game

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Just now, Falconsin2012 said:

He does now.  I don’t believe he did his rookie or second season.  That’s why they leaned on running game

That was also the case with Matt when he got here. We leaned on turner. That’s ANY young qb. A young qb’s best friend is a great running game. Big Ben had Bettis. Manning had James. Aikman had emmitt. Matt has Turner etc...

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10 minutes ago, Falconsin2012 said:

3rd & 2

Meh. That doesn’t matter. It comes down to believing that Matt, Julio, Sanu, Ridley free, Hooper and that revamped line is better than anything you put on the field. I’ll take my chances with that lineup on 3rd and 2 all day everyday. 

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4 minutes ago, TheFatboi said:

That was also the case with Matt when he got here. We leaned on turner. That’s ANY young qb. A young qb’s best friend is a great running game. Big Ben had Bettis. Manning had James. Aikman had emmitt. Matt has Turner etc...

I know.  The point was Koetter passes too much when he has a qb he is comfortable with. That’s why I didn’t include his 1st two years.

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1 minute ago, Falconsin2012 said:

I know.  The point was Koetter passes too much when he has a qb he is comfortable with. That’s why I didn’t include his 1st two years.

Maybe he just didn’t have confidence in the running game. Tampa’s running game has sucked for a while. One year they may have finished last in rushing? Or close it. And our running game in 2012 wasn’t the best either. Especially changing schemes on turner. The thing about a spread offense is you can use the short pass as an extension of the run. So it doesn’t matter either way. That’s the whole premise of the WCO. Even tho we won’t quite be that with DK but you use the short pass as an extension of the run. That’s part of DK’s philosophy. 

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6 minutes ago, TheFatboi said:

Meh. That doesn’t matter. It comes down to believing that Matt, Julio, Sanu, Ridley free, Hooper and that revamped line is better than anything you put on the field. I’ll take my chances with that lineup on 3rd and 2 all day everyday. 

Last year we were 6% below NFL average when throwing on 3rd and 2 or less (51% success rate).  But we did it 3rd most in the NFL.  That’s been a trend since 2012 (sans 2016 ). 

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1 minute ago, TheFatboi said:

Maybe he just didn’t have confidence in the running game. Tampa’s running game has sucked for a while. One year they may have finished last in rushing? Or close it. And our running game in 2012 wasn’t the best either. Especially changing schemes on turner. The thing about a spread offense is you can use the short pass as an extension of the run. So it doesn’t matter either way. That’s the whole premise of the WCO. Even tho we won’t quite be that with DK but you use the short pass as an extension of the run. That’s part of DK’s philosophy. 

Could be the case.  His history since 2007 hints otherwise...but it’s all conjecture 

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1 minute ago, Falconsin2012 said:

Last year we were 6% below NFL average when throwing on 3rd and 2 or less (51% success rate).  But we did it 3rd most in the NFL.  That’s been a trend since 2012 (sans 2016 ). 

And yet we were still one of the better teams on 3rd down and have been for a while minus 2013 and 2014. 

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1 minute ago, Falconsin2012 said:

Could be the case.  His history since 2007 hints otherwise...but it’s all conjecture 

Would it be the worse thing?

Matt Ryan

Julio Jones

Calvin Ridley

Mo Sanu

Austin Hooper

Our passing game is our strength.  Free/Ito/Hill/Ollison/etc can't touch the talent we have in the passing game.  That said, Mularkey is going to be critical to the offense because he is going to establish the run.  Period.  He is bringing the "Exotic Smashmouth" to Atlanta.  I think Mularkey is going to balance out Koetter to a degree, and Koetter has been on record as saying balanced attacks are what he is aiming for.

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3 minutes ago, Falconsin2012 said:

Could be the case.  His history since 2007 hints otherwise...but it’s all conjecture 

We’ve been top 5-10 in 3rd down since 2012. Even in 2013/14. So what does it matter. We’re a top 3rd down team. 

2012 #2

2013 #5

2014  #6

2015 #2

2016 #7

2017 #5

2018 #4

 

That’s with DK and KS. That’s 7 seasons being top 5/10 on 3rd down. So what does it matter in the big picture? We convert my man. 

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19 hours ago, Falconsin2012 said:

Dirk Koetter loves to preach balance, yet history shows he is pass happy.  This is especially true in short yardage situations. The graph below is troubling...if the trend continues, our success will run hot & cold with him as our OC.  Over two seasons we only attempted 6 runs on 3rd & 2.  Tragic.  Hopefully the FO had this in mind when rebuilding the OL this offseason

I honestly think it can be a banner season if our run-to-pass ratio is around 45-55.  We need more 2016 and less 2013-2015

ShortYardage-032416-1.jpg

The one thing I am leery about with DK's offense is it doesn't incorporate the naked boots and other roll out type plays that Matt thrives with. If I remember correctly Matt decided he needed to bulk up when DK was here last because he didn't need the mobility but he felt it would help his arm strength. As I remember that didn't work out well for him. I hope they retain some of the mobility in Matt's play.

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12 minutes ago, TheFatboi said:

Maybe he just didn’t have confidence in the running game. Tampa’s running game has sucked for a while. One year they may have finished last in rushing? Or close it. And our running game in 2012 wasn’t the best either. Especially changing schemes on turner. The thing about a spread offense is you can use the short pass as an extension of the run. So it doesn’t matter either way. That’s the whole premise of the WCO. Even tho we won’t quite be that with DK but you use the short pass as an extension of the run. That’s part of DK’s philosophy. 

This accurately states my thoughts

Two fourth quarter plays explain why the Bucs’ coach is on the hot seat

Down just a touchdown in the fourth quarter, the Buccaneers were starting to click. Ryan Fitzpatrick found a rhythm with his receivers, and Tampa Bay was mounting a comeback after being down 27-6. With 7:51 remaining in the game, the Bucs faced third and two on the Atlanta 19.

A play was called in. Fitzpatrick lined the Buccaneers up in a shotgun formation with a running back to his right and three receivers bunched up on one side. After getting a good look at the defense, somebody called a timeout because they did not like what they saw. It’s unclear what play had been called.

After the timeout, Fitzpatrick lined the Buccaneers up in a shotgun formation with a running back to his right and three receivers bunched up on one side. That’s the same formation they had been in before the timeout. The eventual play was a quick pass to Adam Humphries that went for exactly a yard. Tampa Bay then went for it on fourth down, failed, and Atlanta put the game away after that.

We can go ahead and label this “Exhibit A” in the case for Dirk Koetter being on the hot seat. It was a sequence emblematic of Koetter’s tenure as Offensive Coordinator and later Head Coach. It had the whole Koetter aesthetic, from a formation that immediately told the opposing defense that there was no way he was going to call a run, to a timeout during which it is entirely plausible the Buccaneers changed nothing at all, to a one yard pass when the Bucs needed two yards, and finished off with a fourth and one incompletion.

On that fourth down, there was no chance Tampa Bay would call a run. They would not load up the line, and Dirk Koetter’s mother did not raise a coach who calls QB Sneaks. Set aside that in most cases, a team wants to at least make the opponent think that they might run or call a sneak. Everyone who watched Koetter’s Bucs over the years knew what was coming, and what was coming was a pass play.

To sum up the problems with Koetter in 2017, we need look no further than those two plays. Let’s start with a multitude of questions about that third down play.

Cameron-Brate.png Atlanta Falcons middle linebacker Deion Jones (45) tackles Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate (84) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Atlanta. Photo: AP Photo/Chris O’Meara.

Question one: How likely is it that the Buccaneers actually changed the play during that timeout?

Again: Coming into the timeout and coming out of it, Tampa Bay lined up the same way. In terms of evidence, this is all we have to go on. Of course anyone who has ever seen a playbook, or even played Madden will tell you that formations can run many different plays, but it’s worth noting that Koetter likes to change up the set quite a bit throughout the game. He’s no Chip Kelly, where most plays are run out of the same setup.

It seems very likely that Koetter chose not to change the call during the timeout. This brings up an obvious follow-up.

Question two: So why did the Buccaneers call timeout in the first place?

Whether Koetter changed the call or (more likely) not, the play that ensued was almost comically ineffective. It was third and two, so it’s not exactly easy to run a one yard passing route. This was not the result of Fitzpatrick looking off better options, he threw the ball almost right away. Humphries was the primary target on the play.

The lack of a timeout didn’t end up mattering, although second half timeouts are inherently valuable. Atlanta proceeded to score a touchdown on the ensuing drive that ended all hope of a comeback and took 5:12 off the clock. Still, why call timeout just to run a dangerous sort of play that did not have an impact on the game? It boggles the mind to try and imagine what happened during that timeout. Maybe one of the coaches used their tablet to book dinner reservations, or maybe somebody wanted an update on the bizarre Greg Schiano situation at Tennessee.

Question three: Did the Buccaneers already plan to go for it on fourth down, and called this play knowing that they would go for it regardless? 

Fitzpatrick seemed to believe this, as he never came off the field and nobody on the Buccaneers seemed to expect Patrick Murray to come off the sideline for a field goal.

This likely answers question two. Koetter called timeout to design a fourth and one play, not to change the objectively baffling call on third and two that could have been any number of better ideas. That theory suggests that Koetter expected the third down play to be unsuccessful.

I’m sure planning for a fourth down filled the Buccaneers offense with confidence about the team moving the chains.

Question four: Was there not a single running play that Tampa Bay could have run in a situation where they needed only two yards?

Ryan Fitzpatrick has proven a more than capable backup quarterback. Statistically, though, Fitzpatrick is 30th in the NFL in completion percentage, 24th in yards per attempt, and 22nd in passer rating.

While the Buccaneers’ offensive line has made the run game something the Bucs do mostly for show, the team continues to suit four different running backs for every single game they play. Not one of them saw the ball in a short yardage situation the team had to have.

This is a lack of confidence in both the offensive line and the people behind it. Koetter looked at his team, which has nine people in what you would call “skill positions,” and he decided the team’s fate should be in the hands of Ryan Fitzpatrick and Adam Humphries.

This plan did not utilize Fitzpatrick’s renowned brain, which earned him that Harvard education even though it doesn’t seem to stop him from running in a way that makes fans think he’s actively trying to get killed on the field. The plan did not include Mike Evans or Desean Jackson, both objectively good wide receivers. It did not include Cameron Brate or O.J. Howard, because the Buccaneers tend to forget they exist for prolonged stretches of football. It did not include Doug Martin, Jacquizz Rodgers, Charles Sims, or Peyton Barber.

This is shocking considering how much was on the line. If Tampa Bay had been able to score on that drive, they would have tied the game against a good team. Pulling off a comeback would have calmed down the calls for Koetter’s job, and potentially kept Tampa Bay on the periphery of relevance. I’ll 

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16 minutes ago, TheFatboi said:

And yet we were still one of the better teams on 3rd down and have been for a while minus 2013 and 2014. 

I’m talking specifically 3rd and short, where we were bottom feeders.  Way below NFL average when either running or throwing  

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5 minutes ago, Falconsin2012 said:

I’m talking specifically 3rd and short, where we were bottom feeders.  Way below NFL average when either running or throwing  

Yea but who cares? I look at the big picture. The big picture is we’re one of the beat 3rd down teams in the entire nfl. We live in the top 10. No team is 100% on 3rd down but if you’re at the top as an offense every year you’re a threat. 

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9 minutes ago, Falconsin2012 said:

This accurately states my thoughts

Two fourth quarter plays explain why the Bucs’ coach is on the hot seat

Down just a touchdown in the fourth quarter, the Buccaneers were starting to click. Ryan Fitzpatrick found a rhythm with his receivers, and Tampa Bay was mounting a comeback after being down 27-6. With 7:51 remaining in the game, the Bucs faced third and two on the Atlanta 19.

A play was called in. Fitzpatrick lined the Buccaneers up in a shotgun formation with a running back to his right and three receivers bunched up on one side. After getting a good look at the defense, somebody called a timeout because they did not like what they saw. It’s unclear what play had been called.

After the timeout, Fitzpatrick lined the Buccaneers up in a shotgun formation with a running back to his right and three receivers bunched up on one side. That’s the same formation they had been in before the timeout. The eventual play was a quick pass to Adam Humphries that went for exactly a yard. Tampa Bay then went for it on fourth down, failed, and Atlanta put the game away after that.

We can go ahead and label this “Exhibit A” in the case for Dirk Koetter being on the hot seat. It was a sequence emblematic of Koetter’s tenure as Offensive Coordinator and later Head Coach. It had the whole Koetter aesthetic, from a formation that immediately told the opposing defense that there was no way he was going to call a run, to a timeout during which it is entirely plausible the Buccaneers changed nothing at all, to a one yard pass when the Bucs needed two yards, and finished off with a fourth and one incompletion.

On that fourth down, there was no chance Tampa Bay would call a run. They would not load up the line, and Dirk Koetter’s mother did not raise a coach who calls QB Sneaks. Set aside that in most cases, a team wants to at least make the opponent think that they might run or call a sneak. Everyone who watched Koetter’s Bucs over the years knew what was coming, and what was coming was a pass play.

To sum up the problems with Koetter in 2017, we need look no further than those two plays. Let’s start with a multitude of questions about that third down play.

Cameron-Brate.png Atlanta Falcons middle linebacker Deion Jones (45) tackles Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate (84) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Atlanta. Photo: AP Photo/Chris O’Meara.

Question one: How likely is it that the Buccaneers actually changed the play during that timeout?

Again: Coming into the timeout and coming out of it, Tampa Bay lined up the same way. In terms of evidence, this is all we have to go on. Of course anyone who has ever seen a playbook, or even played Madden will tell you that formations can run many different plays, but it’s worth noting that Koetter likes to change up the set quite a bit throughout the game. He’s no Chip Kelly, where most plays are run out of the same setup.

It seems very likely that Koetter chose not to change the call during the timeout. This brings up an obvious follow-up.

Question two: So why did the Buccaneers call timeout in the first place?

Whether Koetter changed the call or (more likely) not, the play that ensued was almost comically ineffective. It was third and two, so it’s not exactly easy to run a one yard passing route. This was not the result of Fitzpatrick looking off better options, he threw the ball almost right away. Humphries was the primary target on the play.

The lack of a timeout didn’t end up mattering, although second half timeouts are inherently valuable. Atlanta proceeded to score a touchdown on the ensuing drive that ended all hope of a comeback and took 5:12 off the clock. Still, why call timeout just to run a dangerous sort of play that did not have an impact on the game? It boggles the mind to try and imagine what happened during that timeout. Maybe one of the coaches used their tablet to book dinner reservations, or maybe somebody wanted an update on the bizarre Greg Schiano situation at Tennessee.

Question three: Did the Buccaneers already plan to go for it on fourth down, and called this play knowing that they would go for it regardless? 

Fitzpatrick seemed to believe this, as he never came off the field and nobody on the Buccaneers seemed to expect Patrick Murray to come off the sideline for a field goal.

This likely answers question two. Koetter called timeout to design a fourth and one play, not to change the objectively baffling call on third and two that could have been any number of better ideas. That theory suggests that Koetter expected the third down play to be unsuccessful.

I’m sure planning for a fourth down filled the Buccaneers offense with confidence about the team moving the chains.

Question four: Was there not a single running play that Tampa Bay could have run in a situation where they needed only two yards?

Ryan Fitzpatrick has proven a more than capable backup quarterback. Statistically, though, Fitzpatrick is 30th in the NFL in completion percentage, 24th in yards per attempt, and 22nd in passer rating.

While the Buccaneers’ offensive line has made the run game something the Bucs do mostly for show, the team continues to suit four different running backs for every single game they play. Not one of them saw the ball in a short yardage situation the team had to have.

This is a lack of confidence in both the offensive line and the people behind it. Koetter looked at his team, which has nine people in what you would call “skill positions,” and he decided the team’s fate should be in the hands of Ryan Fitzpatrick and Adam Humphries.

This plan did not utilize Fitzpatrick’s renowned brain, which earned him that Harvard education even though it doesn’t seem to stop him from running in a way that makes fans think he’s actively trying to get killed on the field. The plan did not include Mike Evans or Desean Jackson, both objectively good wide receivers. It did not include Cameron Brate or O.J. Howard, because the Buccaneers tend to forget they exist for prolonged stretches of football. It did not include Doug Martin, Jacquizz Rodgers, Charles Sims, or Peyton Barber.

This is shocking considering how much was on the line. If Tampa Bay had been able to score on that drive, they would have tied the game against a good team. Pulling off a comeback would have calmed down the calls for Koetter’s job, and potentially kept Tampa Bay on the periphery of relevance. I’ll 

That’s Tampa. That don’t count. I’m only concerned about Atlanta. 

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12 minutes ago, Falconsin2012 said:

I’m talking specifically 3rd and short, where we were bottom feeders.  Way below NFL average when either running or throwing  

3rd and 2 is hard to get man. I don’t know what you’re thinking about but 3rd and 2 running is not a gimme. Especially when a defense is expecting it. Like I said before you can catch a defense off guard by throwing because you can run or pass in 3rd and 2. It’s a game of inches. There’s a lot of inches in 2 yards. The colts threw on 3rd and 2 with PM more than run it. I think you’re being paranoid about it. It’s not that big is a deal. 

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1 minute ago, TheFatboi said:

Yea but who cares? I look at the big picture. The big picture is we’re one of the beat 3rd down teams in the entire nfl. We live in the top 10. No team is 100% on 3rd down but if you’re at the top as an offense every year you’re a threat. 

Atlanta Falcons 3rd Down Success % and rank in league ( just went back 3 years):

2018 - 45% (4th)

2017 - 43% (5th)

2016 - 43% (7th)

What's funny is who was ahead of us...

2018 - Tampa Bay 46% (2nd)

2017 - Tampa Bay 43% (4th)

2016 - Tampa Bay 44% (6th)

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3 minutes ago, athell said:

Atlanta Falcons 3rd Down Success % and rank in league ( just went back 3 years):

2018 - 45% (4th)

2017 - 43% (5th)

2016 - 43% (7th)

What's funny is who was ahead of us...

2018 - Tampa Bay 46% (2nd)

2017 - Tampa Bay 43% (4th)

2016 - Tampa Bay 44% (6th)

Exactly. DK is a good OC. He puts a premium on 3rd Downs. And all of his teams stayed at the top on 3rd down conversions. The funny thing is 3rd and 2 is hard to run on. For ANYBODY. It’s hard to convert. I’d rather be 3rd and 1 than 3rd and 2. I’d rather run on 3rd and 1 than 3rd and 2. 

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7 hours ago, etherdome said:

We had a lousy OL back then. After Blalock, Dahl and the Mud Duck left, we have had a suspect OL.  Every OC tried to scheme around that fact.  Shanny did the best job, but even he crapped the bed in the SB trying to scheme around a poor OL.

Let's see how Koetter works with a better OL.  By mid season, the OL should look like this:

Matthews-Carpenter-Mack-Lindstrom-McGary

I think we will see more balance to the offense.  

Balance.

Hmm what I’m hoping for is a bit of smash mouth impart your will on teams.

Beat them into submission.

I don’t even mind seeing the odd flag and the odd 15 yarder given up to impart that fact on the opposition.

I want MR2 to come back to the huddle after they’ve done that and tell his Oline don’t worry bout it I got you.

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2 minutes ago, TheFatboi said:

Exactly. DK is a good OC. He puts a premium on 3rd Downs. And all of his teams stayed at the top on 3rd down conversions. The funny thing is 3rd and 2 is hard to run on. For ANYBODY. It’s hard to convert. I’d rather be 3rd and 1 than 3rd and 2. I’d rather run on 3rd and 1 than 3rd and 2. 

So you and @athell don’t agree with the OP?

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1 minute ago, kiwifalcon said:

Balance.

Hmm what I’m hoping for is a bit of smash mouth impart your will on teams.

Beat them into submission.

I don’t even mind seeing the odd flag and the odd 15 yarder given up to impart that fact on the opposition.

I want MR2 to come back to the huddle after they’ve done that and tell his Oline don’t worry bout it I got you.

Balance.  It’s what I care about.  

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