Do the Bucs go for it often enough on 4th down ?

I can tell you the answer to this question right now: no, they don't. In fact, almost no one does. That's what every statistical piece of research on 4th down percentages has shown. Not even the Godfather of going for it on 4th down - Bill Belichick - goes for it quite as often as the numbers say you should. A number of explanations have been given for this phenomenon. The coaches could be stuck in an old mode of thinking, they may be afraid of disagreeing with the established way of doing things, or the math may simply be wrong. But if anyone is likely to challenge the old way of doing things, it's a young, energetic coach who isn't afraid to do controversial things, right? Someone like Raheem Morris, right? Well, no. 

Football Outsiders has done some research into these thing, ranking all the coaches by their aggression on fourth down. They call their stat 'Aggressiveness Index', and Raheem Morris ranks pretty far down the list at #23. That's pretty bad. And we could see that sort of thing in games too. It's understandable that he doesn't want to go for it on his own half, but even in the most favorable circumstances Raheem will elect to punt instead of trying to go for the kill. A couple of examples from actual play this season: 4th&1 from the Steelers' 22-yard-line, early in the 1st half. The game is still 1-0. Raheem chooses the field goal instead of trying to put the Steelers away, although this is understandable early in the game. The Bucs, of course, got blown out. A similar situation against the Washington Redskins and a running game they couldn't possibly stop. 4th and 1 at the Redskins' 37-yard line and the Bucs elect to punt, netting a grand total of 26 yards on the punt. These are the kinds of decisions that can be crucial in a game, and you have to get points there. But Raheem Morris continually trusts on his defense in these situations. 

Of course, that's understandable as Raheem Morris is a defensive coach, and the defensive coordinator of the team to boot. But the offense was much better and more consistent than the defense last season, and Josh Freeman can consistently pick up first downs with QB sneaks. It's a crime to not try to get one yard on fourth down deep inside enemy territory, yet Raheem would pass up those opportunities unless they absolutely had to have a score. This is one thing that Raheem has to change next year. 

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