TAMPA, Fla. – Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith often says his glass is half full.
He’s an eternal optimist, who brushes past negatives and focuses on positives. But offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter doesn’t follow the same style.
On Monday, Koetter ripped on the performance of the offense in Saturday night’s 31-7 preseason loss to Cleveland.
“We stunk,’’ Koetter said. “Everything’s an excuse. But, bottom line, we stunk. Not good enough in any phase. There were three or four individuals that played okay. It’s a team game, and we were terrible on offense. Just not good enough in any aspect.’’
Aside from one quick touchdown drive, the offense failed to move the ball with any consistency. Quarterback Jameis Winston had a rough night, completing 6-of-15 passes for 90 yards with an interception. The offensive line had an even worse night, allowing Winston to be sacked four times.
“As an offense in general, we took two steps forward against Cincinnati [in the second preseason game], and we took a step back in this last game,’’ Koetter said. “That could be everybody. Jameis, on that interception, he recognized the blitz was coming. He saw it coming. We had a protection foul-up, and he turned it into a scramble. The bottom line is at the end of the day he’s the one who has to cut our losses, and he just made a bad decision.’’
But Koetter said Winston’s mistake is something that can be fixed.
“He came right off the field, and he knows it,’’ Winston said. “Jameis is an easy guy to coach. Jameis gets it, and Jameis isn’t one of those guys that’s saying “that’s not my fault." He knows when he needs to do stuff better. We didn’t protect him good enough. When we did protect him good enough, there were so many issues. There were so many breakdowns across the board. The quarterback always gets too much credit when you do well and always gets too much blame when you don’t do well. One thing after another went wrong and it wasn’t all Jameis’ fault.’’
Koetter said the struggles weren’t all the fault of the players.
“Heck, I made errors in that game too,’’ Koetter said. “Two of those sacks were on me. You look in the mirror and say “what have we got to do to get better?’’ I say it all the time, play to our strengths and hide our weaknesses. I’ve got a pretty good handle on what are strengths and weaknesses are. It’s my job to get our strengths out there and hide our weaknesses. I didn’t do a very good job either.’’