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Dirk Koetter took over Bucs play-calling duties in an attempt to protect the defense

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter watches from the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Gary Landers) OHMC204
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter watches from the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Gary Landers) OHMC204
Published Nov. 12, 2018|Updated Nov. 12, 2018

TAMPA — Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter explained his reasoning for taking over offensive play-calling duties for the team's 16-3 loss to Washington, saying that he wanted to gear the offense toward plays that could create a time of possession advantage.

Offensive coordinator Todd Monken had been calling offensive plays since the beginning of this season, and the Bucs went into Sunday's game leading the league in passing offense and ranked second in total offense.

The Bucs were also averaging 28.6 points a game going into Sunday, when they managed just three points despite 501 yards of total offense, failing to score a touchdown in five trips to the red zone and six times inside the opponent's 30.

"I've been thinking about it a lot, and I think Todd Monken has done a terrific job calling the plays that why he's continued to do it," Koetter said Monday. "But in this game, I just felt like the type of game it was going to be based on Washington's offense, I thought that we needed to try to control the clock a little bit more and try to give our defense a little bit of time — maybe less time on the field that maybe we need to try to run it a little more and use our [run play options] a little bit more. That was the main reason behind it."

The Bucs dominated time of possession in the first half 19:53 to 10:07 and had a 16-6 advantage in first downs but trailed 6-3. That deficit became a 13 in the fourth quarter after Washington scored a touchdown two plays inand then converted a field goal after Ryan Fitzpatrick's second interception of the day.

"We had two turnovers, we had a sack in the red zone, we had a holding penalty in the red zone, we had a shotgun snap slip out of the center's hand for a big loss in the red zone, we had two dropped passes in the red zone," Koetter said. "I don't see the common denominator there. There's a couple plays I'd like to have called different if I could call them again."

Koetter said he hasn't decided whether he will continue to call plays against the Giants this Sunday.

"No, but I'll let you know when we do [decide]," he said.

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at eencina@tampabay.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.

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