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More thoughts on Lovie Smith's conservative play-calling

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

"You don't just lose a football game on one play, I feel like at the end.  We had so many opportunities that we didn't capitalize on," Lovie stated early at his press conference after the game.

At 3:04 of the press conference posted on, Lovie was asked this question, "Speaking of timeouts, you went into halftime with three timeouts. It seems like you didn't call a timeout when the Rams were trying a field goal.  And then no timeouts before halftime. You feel like you lost a possession there?"

Lovie's response was, "No. When they were trying to kick a field goal. No. Not necessarily. I think we were in decent position based on what happened. At the end there had some timeouts there when we got one big play before, but we just want to go in before halftime and not go into the hole anymore."

A different reporter asked about the play at the end of the game and how to handle that situation. Lovie responded with, "When you're in the game that way you just have to look at ways to possibly get one more play in.  That's what I'm talking about."

And about not using timeouts just before the end of the first half and not getting into the hole anymore implying a lack of faith in Josh McCown. "No. Right before the half, I didn't want to put points on the board. At the end of the game, I felt like we needed to go in then without anything else happening. That's the decision I made. That had nothing to do with faith in anybody else. Head coaches decision I made. "

There were many mistakes made by the players such as an interception in the red zone by the offense, a blocked FG attempt, and a blocked punt to name a few. Lovie did say that the third and seven play in the red zone called for run that there could have been a better choice. But it is the aforementioned interview where Lovie is looking for ways to get one more play in that he seems oblivious that he blew off one whole possession.

Lovie could have called a timeout while the Rams were trying to run down the clock so that the Bucs would not have a lot of time left after the field goal attempt. There was time to get a whole two minute offense going to try to put points on the board. The only problem was that Lovie did not trust his offense to attempt a chance to try to score. He did not want his team to get into a deeper hole. Essentially, stating he was not looking for another way to get one more play in even though he stated it in the press conference.

It is this conservative view of how Lovie runs his team that Lovie sees no problem despite denoting the need to find one more play. This team make up cannot overcome mistakes. A Chip Kelly run team, on the other hand, can overcome mistakes. In week 1, the Eagles were down 17 - 0 at the end of the first half. They had three turnovers in the first half by the offense. They lost the turnover battle. And yet, at the end of the game, the Chip Kelly and the Eagles ran off 34 consecutive points in the second half while allowing no more points for the opposition.

For the past two games, the Bucs' defense has given up points in the second half. 10 point against the Carolina Panthers and 9 points to the St. Louis Rams. The staple of a Lovie Smith coached team is its defense. With the Bucs up 17 - 16, all the Bucs needed to do was stop the Rams' offense and get the ball back. Instead, the Rams marched 71 yards and ate up 4:37 of what was left of 5:15 in the game. The offense and the special teams did botch terribly during the game. But never did I suspect that the Bucs' defense could not hold a lead in the fourth quarter.

The team did make mistakes, but were the Bucs' outcoached?

If we fans could mock Schiano about having a well-coached team, then after witnessing these past two games I think Lovie should share in that mockery. Who exactly is supposed to prepare our players to block for punt or field goal situations? Chirp.