Dirk Koetter’s InfluenceFebruary 15th, 2017
Pardon Joe if folks consider the following admission a personal weakness or some professional slight. So be it.
Joe is a huge believer in what people say publicly, especially when it’s said repeatedly.
Clearly, a guy walking around with a white cane can see the Bucs terribly need #WeaponsForWinston. In fact, it is bordering on criminal that America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, has but one top-shelf weapon to work with.
Winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter, whose background is offense, naturally is drawn to that side of the ball.
He constantly talks about scoring and “explosive plays.” Those commodities are in short supply, which is why Koetter has more than once said the Bucs need to get Jameis weapons (to join Mike Evans).
The NFL Draft looms. The Bucs need a running back in the worst way. The team is also crying out for a No. 2 receiver, preferably a guy who can stretch the field.
Enter AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht. It’s clear Licht runs the draft and personnel. Koetter has a lot of input, sure, evident by how many former Koetter players were signed last season when the Bucs suffered such a rash of injuries on offense.
Often, Koetter is asked about a personnel move and replies, “That’s a Jason question,” suggesting it’s better directed at Licht.
More facts: Koetter may have had one of the best comments Joe has ever heard from an NFL coach. In 2015, offensive coordinator Koetter famously said, “The only thing people give a sh!t about are wins.” Bill Parcells never spoke anything more true.
Also, Joe assumes Koetter is keenly aware that Team Glazer is not fond of losing. So far, Koetter has done a wonderful job, but since Chucky was jettisoned in January 2009, Team Glazer has demonstrated an itchy trigger finger with coaches.
So Joe doesn’t require much math here to conclude Koetter is likely a very impatient man these days.
As Joe has written several times, given the Bucs’ immense salary cap room, the talent on the roster and looming big-time paychecks Team Glazer will have to cut in the not-so distant future, the Bucs likely have a two- to four-year window to make a legitimate Super Bowl run.
What’s Joe getting? Well, if Joe can read the tea leaves, surely so too can Koetter. The head coach likely doesn’t give a hoot about the Bucs’ draft three or four years from now because if the Bucs don’t make the playoffs very soon, Koetter realizes he won’t be around for those drafts. Perhaps, Licht won’t be either?
So Joe wonders if Koetter is in Licht’s ear big time about trading up in the first round to grab a dynamic talent, whether that be Dalvin Cook or Mike Williams or Leonard Fournette?
Joe has seen reader comments from fans recoiling at the thought of trading up and losing valuable future draft picks. That’s understandable.
However, Koetter may not consider being patient, given the looming short window for a Super Bowl run while working under the constant gaze of Team Glazer, which likely wants a playoff berth more than Koetter or Licht.
Joe will guess Koetter doesn’t give two spits about future draft picks. He needs talent — now. The future? He’ll cross that bridge when he gets to it — rather than live and coach in a region where said bridge isn’t located.
It would not shock Joe one bit if Koetter is really pushing Licht to trade up in the draft to secure a difference-maker talent on offense. Again, as Koetter himself famously said in 2015, “The only thing people give a sh!t about are wins.”
And wins will directly lead to the playoffs, provided the Bucs get #WeaponsForWinston.