NFL coaches are competitors, but that doesn’t stop plenty of them from being friends. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis and Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter have been friends for years, dating back to their shared time at Idaho State, where they met as graduate students.
Now, they hold two of the most desirable jobs in all of sports, and Lewis, who has coached the Bengals since 2003, had some free advice for Koetter.
“Throw deep,” Koetter told the Idaho State Journal, via JoeBucsFan.com.
“I’m serious,” Koetter added. “Marvin’s a defensive coach. I’m an offensive coach. He said offenses don’t throw deep enough.”
Marvin is right. A deep pass carries a potentially significant reward at relatively low risk. The receiver can (duh) catch the ball or draw a pass interference penalty, which continues to be a spot foul in the NFL. The downside is an incompletion or an interception so far down the field that it simulates a punt.
I’ve joked (only half-jokingly) since the Packers-Cardinals division-round epic that Green Bay should make the Hail Mary part of its base offense, given the team’s uncanny ability to convert when the defense knows it’s coming. Maybe it shouldn’t be a joke at all; maybe every team should periodically fake a handoff to freeze the safeties for a half-second and then fire the ball deep on a regular basis.
So go ahead, head coaches. Your quarterbacks all believe they can throw the football over them mountains. Let them do try, often.