TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – After playing a game on Thursday night, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers players spent the entire weekend recovering from a shortened game week as well as back to back losses. The coaching staff, however, watched film. Defensive film. And it did not receive rave reviews. In this week’s ‘Koetter’s Korner’ chat, Bucs head coach, Dirk Koetter, explained the main issue affecting the defense, which gave up a total of 1,087 yards in losses to the Oakland Raiders and Atlanta Falcons. “Communication,” said Koetter. Everything from getting a play called in to the huddle, spreading among the players, then interpreting the opposing offense before the snap. Koetter noted two defenders “jumping one receiver” on plays, leaving other receivers open for big pass plays, during Thursday’s 43-28 loss.
Two weeks ago, the Bucs used bye week lessons to their advantage in a win over the San Francisco 49ers. This week, the 2-6 Chicago Bears visit Raymond James Stadium, coming off their own bye week. And the challenge for the Bucs becomes more than lessons or scheme. Another bout of injuries has forced changes to the roster.
Running back Antone Smith, placed on injured reserve, suffered what Koetter called a “freak” injury in the late stages of Thursday’s game. Already filling in for the injured pair of Doug Martin and Charles Sims, Smith’s injury forces the promotion of running back, Russell Hansbrough, from the practice squad. As of right now, the Bucs running back depth chart includes Peyton Barber, Mike James and Hansbrough. Combined, their rushing total is: 28 carries, 125 yards. Koetter has a slight luxury of knowing that all three backs spent the off-season with the Bucs. Terminology, and scheme are nothing new. Koetter added, “At some point, we’re getting Doug Martin back. We’re getting Charles Sims back. We’re getting Jacquizz Rodgers back.”