It wasn’t just the fans and media who spent the last 49 seconds of the Buccaneers 37-32 loss to the Rams on Sunday wondering why Bucs coach Dirk Koetter wasn’t making use of all his timeouts.
Out on the field, especially after Koetter allowed 23 seconds to run off the clock in the wake of a 7-yard pass to Charles Sims to the Rams 27-yard line, some Bucs players were wondering the same thing.
“Yeah, I felt that we were letting too much time off the clock, especially with having two timeouts left,’’ Bucs right tackle Demar Dotson said Monday.
“I guess coach didn’t want to mess up the momentum we were having but yeah, I thought we were going to call a timeout because those were a lot of precious seconds that we let waste away.”
Koetter did call one of the two timeouts he had at his disposal, but that came during a dead-ball situation after a Jameis Winston pass for tight end Brandon Myers fell incomplete with 9 seconds left.
Interestingly, the situation Koetter found himself in during that last minute was just the kind he said would probably prove to be the most challenging for him as first-year NFL head coach.
“Guys that are really good college coaches, and it carries over to the NFL as well, when you get pressure involved with the clock and the crowd noise, mistakes are made,” Koetter said prior to the start of season.
“That’s probably the thing that I would be most nervous about – just all the situations that come up at the end of the game when the money is really on the line.’’
Koetter was so nervous about those situations that he named Andrew Weidinger as an assistant wide receiver/game-management coach specifically to help him avoid mistakes in that situation.
From the looks of things on Sunday, Koetter is still fighting his nerves a bit and it’s apparent he and Weidinger still have some work to do to reach a comfort level in those situations.