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Bucs’ believe win over Seahawks could have been even bigger

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A day after the Tampa Bay Bucs’ biggest win in years, Dirk Koetter wanted more.

Perhaps that says something about Koetter, who has guided the Bucs to a 6-5 record so far. But after his offense scored on its first two possessions against Seattle, Koetter was disappointed that more points didn’t come.

“Those first two drives were really good execution and we have a ton of respect for what Seattle does on defense, one of the best and they have been for a long time,” Koetter said. :When I looked at the tape today, even though I still give a lot of credit to Seattle’s defense, I’m a little disappointed. I’m a little disappointed offensively that we had didn’t – we had some other good scoring opportunities. I’ve said many times this year about our offense putting our defense in bad field position.

“In this game, our defense put our offense in good field position and we had some opportunities to finish and we didn’t. Like any time you win, everybody feels great about it, but there’s always stories going on behind the scenes. San Diego’s looking at all our deficiencies right now and we’re not going to win very many games scoring 14 points. Last night, our defense ruled the day. Our defense stole the show and deservedly gets the credit. But the flip side of that is, we need to take advantage of our opportunities and that was a game we probably should’ve scored at least 28 points.”

Koetter thinks the Bucs need to run the ball better.

“Actually, we had no explosive runs and we only had five explosives on offense for the game,” Koetter said. “That goes into what [we were] talking about, about only scoring 14 points. The way you score points is, A, you don’t turn it over and we turned it over twice, both times when we were moving the ball, so that’s costing us points. We missed a field goal and we didn’t have enough explosives. Only five and the four of those five were in the first half. So, we’ve got to get some explosives out of our run game.

“We were close a couple of times and then we were really rolling with our offensive line there in the fourth quarter and then we’d always make some mistake. Whether it’d be a fumble or something else that would set us back. But our run game is still not where it can be. I thought our offensive line did a nice job, Seattle’s tough up front. But there was always just one little thing here or there. We missed a cut, we missed a block on the backside, we could’ve finished better. For us to achieve what we want to achieve, what we think we’re capable of achieving, we need to run the ball better.”

 One of the main players on the Bucs’ defense Sunday was end Noah Spence, the team’s second-round draft pick, who had a sack and a half against Russell Wilson.

“I think we talked about this earlier – this is weird to me, but it seems like when he hurt his shoulder and they said, ‘You’re either going to miss the rest of the year or you’ve got to play with this harness,’ he started playing the run better after he put the harness on,” Koetter said. “And then the fact that we had multiple injuries at defensive end and we kind of had to throw him out there because we were sort of planning on him as only in pass rush situations, but there was a little stretch there where we didn’t have many bodies. And he’s gotten a lot better against the run. And then confidence, his confidence is high. When you get a sack in the first series on Wilson, it was on after that. They typically are not a big help-protection team, they usually just leave their lineman. They do a lot of empty and so a lot of times that O-line doesn’t have help and our D-line did a great job of getting pressure all night.”

The Bucs travel to San Diego Sunday to face the 5-6 Chargers.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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