Koetter Not A Favorite?

January 10th, 2016
Former Bucs rock star general manager weighs in.

May not be a slam dunk.

Just about every person who howled in protest that Team Glazer had the nerve to run underperforming Lovie Smith — namely those based in Connecticut — quickly connected the dots claiming offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter was a lock to fill Lovie’s vacancy.

Rick Stroud is not ready to jump on that bandwagon.

The Bucs beat writer for the Tampa Bay Times suggested Koetter is not that much of a favorite to land the opening, nor, Stroud typed, did the prospect of Koetter running to greener pastures elsewhere force Team Glazer into a panic firing of Lovie.

Don’t believe Koetter, who did a terrific job with the league’s fifth-ranked offense and rookie quarterback Jameis Winston, is a prohibitive favorite. The Bucs didn’t fire Smith because they feared Koetter going to another team. The Dolphins, who asked to interview Koetter, hired Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase as their coach Saturday.

The Glazers simply lost faith in Smith, particularly in his ability to hire assistants or fix the defense, which regressed once he took over play-calling from defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. He also did a poor job with control of the 53-man roster, particularly acquiring free agents.

Well now, the plot thickens, and there is merit here. One reason the Bucs opened up the job search was to see what shakes loose from the coaching tree, partially using America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, as bait.

On face value, Joe believes both the investment and the massive future ramifications involved would motivate Team Glazer to keep Koetter. If this coaching switch screws up Jameis, then the ripple effect will last for possibly a decade.

Or is it that Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht informed Team Glazer that Jameis is such a sharp cat, that a new system won’t screw with Jameis’ young head?

This is like walking on a tightrope. Lovie, for all his drawbacks as Bucs coach — which are too many to document right now — handled Jameis perfectly. Joe isn’t sure how he could have done better.

The chances of hitting two homers on the first pitch in back-to-back plate appearances seem rather long.

49 Responses to “Koetter Not A Favorite?”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    Agree with Rick Stroud. After 2 years of spending mega-millions on FAs and an 8-24 record, the Glazers lost faith in Lovie’s ability to get the defense fixed. Most likely there’s more to it than we’ll ever know however.

    Right now I have faith in Jason Licht to do a thorough HC search and hire the best person for the job. I just hope that the Glazer brothers are staying out of it and not tying his hands.

  2. Vincente Says:

    Joe let me saythis, you keep saying how Lovie handled Winston was perfect, but honestly a guy like Winston doesnt need any handling. He did fine and I believe any coach that would just let Winston be himself would look like they handled him great. He’s mature way beyond what anyone had believed. And about the next head coach I truly believe the next guy who walks in the door should know that with Winston we have a winner and a very intelligent young man who can handle just about any offense thrown at him. What needs adjusted is the defense. Even if Koetter walks which I do think would be very risky, I trust Jason Litch wth whoever he decides to bring in. As a matter a fact I’ve never felt this comfortable going into the offseason knowing Mr. Litch is in charge and will bring us a true competitor and put a high quality team on that football field.

  3. salish_seamonster Says:

    Joe keeps pimping Lovie’s perfect handling of Jameis. All he did was get out of the way and let the offensive coaches work with him. That’s all. He did nothing, which was the best thing he could do.

  4. Name Required Says:

    When you decide to make this kind of change you do it big. Koetter is not exactly the ticket-selling pick.

  5. destro44 Says:

    When news came in of Smith’s firing I posted that a possible reason for the change was Lovie not budging on team Glazer’s request to hire a defensive coordinator and fire his secondary coaches which included his son. Seing as at this point those are all the people out of the building I think we know what caused the firing. I still wouldn’t put it past the Glazers to trade for Payton.

  6. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    If they are letting Licht do this on his own, I am all for who ever her brings in. The man was a great hire for GM, and he has been around winning. He helped build the sorry Cardinals into a winner. Here is my thinking fellow fans, I would hope for an offensive HC and here is why. If the Bucs hire a defensive HC, they will pick and plunder the OC. Look what this one season with Jamies did for Koetter? I would think you want a Payton or McCarthy type who can install his offense, and you would never have to worry about losing your OC and starting over. Goodwin could a great move.

  7. Bucs Fan Since '76 Says:

    I’m getting the feeling more and more that Nick Saban is headed here and Koetter will remain as OC. The team needs discipline and defense and Saban brings both. Remember, Licht said in his press conference that the job had generated a lot of outside interest. Kirby Smart just left ‘Bama, and Chip Kelly just spent a few days there. I’m speculating not advocating. It would be classic Glazer. Thoughts?

  8. M.Stevbobucfan Says:

    I agree with the big issues for Lovies firing was his win loses ..how the team regressed.. all the big dollars spent in free agency and no disipline. Hell we couldn’t win 1 stinking game to make it to the playoffs and particularly against as Joe said garbage teams. I also agree that i hope who ever we bring in here doesn’t screw up the chemistry of the team. There is only 1 H.C I would feel good about at this time and thats as Joe says again B. Bilicheat. Remember the big name coaches doesn’t always work out….Parcells last 2 gigs…J Johnson..J.Gibbs ..M Shannhan

  9. Name Required Says:

    Those are my thoughts. If they’re not testing for Saban, I’m surprised. They may not get him, but they’re trying.

    I thought the McDermott idea was interesting. With Goodwin, I wonder how much is Goodwin and how much is Arians.

  10. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    Bucs fan, I am cool with who ever Licht brings in. For the first time since I can remember, we have a real football guy making the decisions. If he thinks Saban is the guy, then so be it. Licht knows he will not be around if he misses on the HC, so he will do his homework.

  11. Bucs Fan Since '76 Says:

    Think about this too: the Bucs retained the entire offensive coaching staff, including Koetter. That means Saban would be taking over the fifth ranked offense in the NFL, which includes a 22 year old franchise QB with enormous upside, an All Pro running back, and a young Pro Bowl caliber monster WR, and heading into a draft that could be focused exclusively on defense. If he’s looking to make the jump we might present the perfect scenario.

  12. Silent_Partner Says:

    Pleas let this be so. If Licht is in charge, he will do like the Cardinals did when everyone tried to hand the job to
    Ray Horton who still doesn’t have an HC job btw, just like Koetter won’t if you pass him by in a few years. Jameis will be fine regardless of what you give him to learn as long as it’s not a dummy like Chip Kelly with his simple playbook. Even if it’s a combination of the 2 coordinators in Detroit who seem to be excellent while working for an idiot like Jim Caldwell, but they do present the same problem of no HC experience. Just make sure it’s a guy who commands men, is detail oriented, and will be left in place for a minimum of 3 or 4 years to get it right with Licht so that Jameis at least has a shot. I know with Koetter this will not occur because he will fail.

  13. OnlyGodnoles Says:

    Joe am offended it took Rick Stroud’s article for you to even entertain or acknowledge that there might be other plausible explanations it’s what I have been writing on your blog last couple days namely too much credit is been giving to dirk and not enough on JW’s acumen.

    Just look at the facts Dirk wasn’t causing this type of offseason HC mayhem when he was working Matt Ryan it was assumed ryan’s talent had something to do with it but all of a sudden he is getting credit for JW’s talent. Another fact I could point you to is FSU’s season and the dramtic drop off in qb play this past season, Jimbo knew the talent he had on his hands in JW heck jimbo made a few millions in contract extension on the back of his talent. Better believe it Jason knows that!

    I know we are just sheep reading your blog but give your readers some credit for been more knowledgeable than that other site bucsomething.com.

    I will be shocked if Dirk was to become HC for a variety of reasons I stated in previous articles even if the folks at One Buc Palace entertained the thought.

    Don’t dismiss what father dungy had to say the bucs have a pretty good idea who they want it’s a game of synchronise swimming going on right now.

    Have good sunday buddy ; )

  14. MadMax Says:

    Just bring in McDermott and keep Koetter right where he’s at.

  15. BucDaddy82 Says:

    Think 2002 with a big splash hire. The Glazers are going to surprise everybody. Could be Saban if they beat Clemson Monday night (which they should), Jim Harbaugh (he wanted to stay in the NFL), Sean Payton, Jimbo Fisher, Mike Smith, John Harbaugh. Speculating is fun. Go Bucs!

  16. mark2001 Says:

    Rick Strotum wrong again? Can’t be…How does he keep his job? From Tom McEwen to Rick….oh for the good old days.

  17. Clodhopper Says:

    I’m ok with this. As much as I wanted Lovie gone, if they did it just to promote Koetter, it’s a dumb MO. I love Koetter and what he did and would love him to stay on at OC, but can we really rely on a guy with no NFL HC experience and a mediocre at best college HC resume? I’m not crazy about a college coach that’s wants full control of the roster either. Hell I’m not crazy about any coach thay wants that. Even Andy Reid couldn’t handle that in Philly. If somehow, by the miracle of all that is holy, they landed Harbaugh, I’d need a doctor cuz I’d have a hard on for longer than 6 weeks!! Being an Iowa fan I saw Jake Rudoch first hand. He sucks! What Harbaugh did with Keap and Rudoch is a level of genius only a mad scientist has!

  18. Cash Money Says:

    Why would anyone want McDermott after his time in philly as DC? Comparable to lovie smiths awful defenses in Tampa.

  19. Kevin Says:

    Ive wanted koetter since last august to be out next head coach. I hope they dont screw this up hea the guy

  20. Kevin Says:


  21. lurker Says:

    Nick Satan is not leaving Alabama. he tried the NFL and knows he cannot handle it. he has it made in Alabama. boosters paid off his $3.1 million mortgage! he is revered there and I’m sure he wants to pass Bryant’s championship record, at least his ego does.

  22. Bucs Fan Since '76 Says:

    We have close contacts with ing Michigan. Harbaugh is not going anywhere. And I’m not saying Saban is leaving either. I’m speculating but trying not to do so in bald fashion. There’s the Glazers penchant for wanting to make the splash play. There’s the rumors of Saban wanting another shot at the NFL. There’s the national title game stage coming Monday. There’s Chip Kelly’s recent visit to ‘Bama, and Kirby Smart’s departure. There’s the retention of our entire offensive staff including Koetter. There’s the Dolphins job being filled. There’s Koetter suddenly dropping off other team’s radar, at least seemingly so. There’s almost total silence nationally on the Bucs rumor mill, which suggests to me reporters are digging. And then of course, there’s our situation, which probably could not be better for a coach who wants to guarantee a shot at fast success, as much as one can in the NFL anyway. Personally, I’d be all in on Saban.

  23. Bucs Fan Since '76 Says:

    Almost forgot another small telltale from Licht – he made it clear there’d be no caveats put on a new coach, suggesting the GM is not going to impose a philosophy or system on a new coach. So it could be that under a Saban regime, Licht would be charged with finding the best players for Saban’s system. In other words, Licht would be in charge of personnel but his job would be to get the players who fit Saban’s schemes the best. Pretty traditional model.

  24. Kevin Says:

    Name required I am tired of tixket selling moves. They need to just do what makes sense. Koetter makes sense

  25. Elle Says:

    I, for one, never believed that Koetter was going to be the chosen one from the get go. Lovie was fired simply because there are many, many attractive HCs and coordinators available, and now it’s the time to make a change and hopefully hire somebody that will excite and ignite the franchise, as well as the fan base. We didn’t need Lovie Smith and his mistakes, not to mention his attitude. I would let Lovie Smith raise my daughter 24/7, he’s a good man, no doubt. But as a football coach? No, I prefer someone with an insane desire to win and someone who isn’t afraid to get in your face and speak truthfully, even harshly, if needed. See Jesus Winston.

  26. Tampa Tony Says:

    But Mark Dominik said…

    Just like all his draft picks this guy is a bust as a analyst

  27. DallasBuc Says:

    I’m confused. Didn’t the expert who claims to be in the know all the time with secret inside information arrogantly insist that the Glazers panicked with the incompetent Lovie Smith hire in order to promote Koetter? You know the guy that I am not allowed name but he works in local sports radio afternoon drive time slot. Now I hope they hire someone other than Koetter just to witness the stubborn shock and outrage vomitted all over the airwaves and social media! After all, he did explicitly imply that those bigots who want incompetent Lovie Smith fired are racists just before the Glazer family dismissed him. Doh!

  28. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Koetter may not be the choice…..but I do think they know who they want and have known before they fired Lovie.

    All of a sudden after all these years and coaches decisions from the Glazers, they have decided to leave the decision to Licht?……I don’t think so…

    I think they absolutely know who they want and they know he will accept.

  29. ToesOnTheLine!!! Says:

    I’m open minded to whoever Licht and the Glazer’s bring in, but please Jason…just say NO to Marvin Lewis if that guy gets canned soon for his team’s epic meltdown in the final two minutes. It’s unfortunate, but too many NFL players are simply tuning out the “soft spoken/nice guy” head coaches.

  30. lurker Says:

    Never say never, but…
    (found on larry brown sports)

    “No, I really don’t. I don’t see it ever happening, and I know every year somebody has me going somewhere else,” Saban told ESPN.com’s Chris Low in an interview when asked if he envisioned himself coaching anywhere else. “I think a lot of it isn’t just about the coaching part. What people don’t understand is they forget you’re a person. They forget you have a wife and two kids and a grandbaby, and they all live in Birmingham.

    “They all work here. My wife goes to Birmingham five times a week. My mom lives in Birmingham now after moving from Myrtle Beach. It’s not just the job. A lot of people don’t get that. My life is here.”

  31. lurker Says:

    ps please no lane kiffin

  32. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Jim Harbaugh is not coming to Tampa, and I think Saban is quite happy in Alabama, where he is a “God”. Besides, he could not make it in the NFL before, why would he make it now ?
    Shoot, I could win, coaching at Alabama. They always get the cream of the crop, as far as talent goes.
    If we want a great college coach, look at the Houston Coach, and what he did to FSU.

  33. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Josh McDaniels is coming but, the nick saban thing is interesting, and his possible last college game is Monday, that is a very interesting take

  34. Ed Says:

    Lovies inability to get effort out of his free agent choices was so evident in like night’s Benglas- Steelers disgraceful contest.

    CBS ran a replay of Michael “Ghost” Johnson making a tremendous hustle play with him being blacked to the ground, reaching out and making a first down saving tackle by grabbing an RB’s ankle from behind while he was literally crawling on his knees!

    It was an indictment of the Bucs organization as they couldn’t get the same effort out of Johnson and he eventually was released.

    The CBS announcer said something to the tune of “Michael Johnson has really worked on his run stopping abilities since leaving the Bucs”.

    Other than Vincent Jackson and the ex-Seahawks DT whose name I can’t remember for some reason, all these FAs have stolen bonus’ from the Bucs.

  35. Mike Johnson Says:

    Hiring Koetter as HC would be the worst decision in Bucs history. Why Push a man into a job he has already said he really does not want? Butt..Koetter will get the job. This is all just a smokescreen to calm down and satisfy angry players who did not want to see Lovie leave. It will take Koetter 2 yrs just to figure out what he;s suppose to do as HC. He has no HC experience. This whole thing could backfire on the Bucs. Koetter is partial to the west coast and has said so before. And if he bolts..somewhere a guy named Lovie Smith will be smiling his A.. off…and counting the money the Glazers still owe him

  36. Brandon Says:

    5th ranked offense was just as bad as the 10th ranked defense in the last 4 weeks of the season, racking up tons of yards once the game was out of reach but doing nothing in the first half

  37. Trubucfan22 Says:

    I said this yesterday. Koetter isnt neccessarily highly coveted. Interviewing for jobs isnt a big deal. His agent is probably asking these teams to interview him. Remember when licht said his phone was blowing up with HC candidates asking for an interview? Koetter has a resume good enough to get the interview but that doesnt mean he is a top candidate.

  38. Buccfan37 Says:

    Hell would freeze over before Saban would became coach of the Bucs. Lane Kiffen is OC in Bama, we have our OC. I don’t like Lane Kiffen in any capacity.

  39. Trubucfan22 Says:

    I agree with the other posters. What exactly did lovie do to handle Jameis? Did he teach him the playbook and work with everyday on the offense? I dont think so. He oversaw what Koetter and The offensive cosching staff did. But it’s not like he drew the map. And if lovie did try to do anything with Jameis he probably hindered his development. Lovie should have spent his time getting a competent defense on the field.

  40. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    First off let me say that after Stroud’s article and other clues it appears Licht has won the Glazers confidence. The Glazers may meddle in the ultimate coaching changes and #1 draft picks but they have a great reputation of letting their football people do their jobs. I have faith in Licht. And so no matter who he hires I’ll give the next guy my support until he loses it…but I’m definitely a Koetter guy.

    People who are against Koetter are really grasping at straws!

    Hiring Koetter as HC would be the worst decision in Bucs history.

    Mike I get that for some reason you are passionately against Koetter. Perhaps you”re like the former MM supporters still hoping for a Fameis failure..since you supported Lovie you’re just angry. But that’s just laughable hyperbole. The worst Bucs decision ever….crap they could hire you or me and it wouldn’t be the WORST decision the Bucs have ever made!!! LMAO

    As for somebody who questioned Koetter’s skill as an HC and called him mediocre…gawd do you guys know how to use google…let me help..

    At Boise State he turned a bumfuk college into a national power.
    His first year there..6-5 then he went on to win two conference titles and two bowl games. His overall record….26-10!!!

    At ASU he became the first coach in 20 years to get consecutive bowl wins…what got him run at ASU was the inability to beat Pac10 powerhouses.USC and Oregon. Kind of like running Dungy for not getting to the SB despite averaging ten wins in four years. What did Dungy do later?

    Koetters record at ASU was 66-44 or a .600 win %…now to be totally transparent he had a losing conference record. Do we think that USC and Oregon had…and in fact have..advantages over ASU? In fact after giving him an extension ASU gave him four more assistants but then fired him the next year.

    Dirk Koetters is my choice for all the obvious reasons that have been stated.
    I trust Jason Licht so if it’s not Koetter I’ll be cool with his decision.

    But please…those of you hacked at Lovie’s firing or not Koetter fans please stop with the lame arguments!
    1.) He has an excellent college record which looks even better when you put it in context..Boise State and ASU were not college powers when he arrived.

    2.)No HC experience…and so are you honestly saying that should be a requirement..former NFL HC experience because Koetter has been a successful coach at the High School and College levels and he’s been in the NFL long enough to figure it out.

    BTW Joe’s already had links from Bucs offensive players who already admire, respect and love Koetter. When a guy like Brandon Myers who got stuck on the bench still sings your praises…when a team leader like VJAX…well you get it…He’s a player’s coach.

    When Koetter was fired at ASU players were emotional when he broke the news to them.

  41. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Has koetter had a formal interview for the Buc HC position?

  42. dcommand Says:

    Chucky’s coming back to coach the bucs. We already have a good offensive coordinator and a good defensive coordinator. Chucky’s going to bring some motion to the 4 deeps scheme. He’s going to take another FSU quarterback to the Superbowl for the bucs! You heard it here first.

  43. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    People have been on here lamenting Koetter because he won’t sell tickets.

    NO coach will sell tickets..wins and #3 will sell the tickets.

    Having said that however…If they somehow lured Chucky back THAT would sell tickets.

    I’m not sure I want him though. He would clearly once again with his leverage demand TOTAL control…including over personnel decisions. I just haven’t seen that formula work well that often and in fact it is one of the reasons Chucky got run last time…he was just too Lovielike in his love of over the hill veterans.

    I don’t want to totally go off on Chucky’s horrible drafts or personnel moves because he was handicapped severely by the loss of draft choices to get him and later in his tenure when the Bucs closed their pocketbooks to get ManU.

    Bottom line if they hired him I’d certainly support it…but I wouldn’t be overwhelmed.

  44. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    @dcomman – “we have a good defensive coordinator.” Who would that be? Just curious since our d coordinator was Lovie Smith and his former d coordinator Frazier was also fired.

  45. cmurda Says:

    Word on the street is that the 49ers were very impressed with Koetter during his interview. I am very nervous that we will lose Koetter. It seems to have become the MO in Tampa. Losing talent for nothing. Revis comes to mind and about 5 other guys that the Patriots have fleeced us on.

  46. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    If the Bucs didn’t already have somebody else basically hired, yeah I’m with you I’ll be pretty peoed if we lose Koetter.

    If we want him though I think we get him pretty easily actually. He’s a multi millionaire and so $$$ will probably not be a determinative factor and the Glazers can compete there if they want.

    Look at all the other ingredients Koetter would have to weigh…

    Give up after a year of working with a sure fire winner at QB and implementing his offense which is now in place in return for working with Kaepernik and a franchise in total turmoil right now.

    I love San Francisco as a beautiful city on the bay but it’s got nothing on our own city by the bay.

    Koetter knows the challenges here. He also knows how misued the talent has been and he’s got to be licking his chops.

  47. Bucs Fan Since '76 Says:

    I think Licht will attempt to keep Koetter no matter what, and if Dirk continues to have success with Jameis either as our new HC or as the OC under another new HC then he will get his pick of the next dream NFL job. Personally, I think the Bucs are in a good position either way, but I’d sure like to see Dirk remain on the staff.

  48. 1BucFanNsaintCountry Says:

    Its gonna be Gruden!!! I for one Can’t Wait to See Chucky on the Sidelines!! GO BUCS!!

  49. Joe Says:

    Word on the street is that the 49ers were very impressed with Koetter during his interview.

    What street?