(Picture Credit: Bruce Arians – Photo by Cliff Welch - courtesy of Pewter Report)
Obvious, right? Maybe not. For a lot of things that Koetter did wrong, he did a lot them right. He’s been labeled somewhat of a red herring for everything that went wrong with the team, and that’s not entirely fair.
He and his staff made one of the league’s most explosive offenses and one of the best in franchise history. On the other side of the coin, his staff’s defense was bottom-ranked most of the time. Arians has to capitalize on this and improve the areas lacking in order to succeed.
Here are a few:
Special teams: Kicking woes, poor coverage, and weird blocking schemes caused more issues that couldn’t be overlooked after a while. Also, let’s not overlook excessive penalties and kicking woes that make even those who don’t watch football talk about it. These should be foundational pieces of change.
Red zone efficiency: It means nothing to throw a 35-yard pass to end up on the 3-yard line if you can’t score. The Bucs have been absolutely terrible at this so it will be one of the more challenging goals to fix as the failures rest on multiple people in multiple scenarios.
Run game: It’s hard to say anything is broken when it’s abandoned. There were very few well designed run plays in the Koetter-Monken playbook. The line seemed to struggle with it, and Peyton Barber solidified himself as the one-eyed man in a sea of the blind. Let’s hope Arians makes it real.
Defensive Coverage: The Bucs spent draft capital and a ton of money on improving the pass rush to open up the big play ability in the secondary. Jason Pierre-Paul managed to get double-digit sacks in 2018. A feat not accomplished since the days of Simeon Rice. The plan seemed like it worked, for 1 game against Carolina. So the pass rush improved and the coverage failed, this has to be improved if anything gets off the ground defensively. Corners have to cover and not allow big plays.
It seems like changes are already underway to improve these things, but it’s really only the start. I guess we’ll have to trust the process.