Top 10 Bucs X-Factors For 2016 — No. 1

July 16th, 2016

KoetterCombine3The Bucs have a pile of key question marks entering the 2016 season. Most teams do.

For this countdown series, Joe looks at this year’s top X-factors, guys with question marks who could be great difference-makers, positive or negative, based on changes in their performances.

Dirk Koetter – No. 1 

Head coaching matters a hell of a lot in the NFL. It always has. And nobody knows if Dirk Koetter can get the job done. We can pretend Koetter is a veteran head coach because of his resumé, but he’s a rookie.

That resumé reveals Koetter has been a top offensive coordinator, leading three different NFL offenses to top-10 rankings (total yards), including last year’s Buccaneers. Koetter can maximize personnel (aka the essence of coaching) and make decisions, though he’s not perfect. Joe vividly remembers Koetter screwing up at the goal line during the Capital Collapse last year.

It was 3rd-and-1 with the Bucs leading by three on the Redskins’ 1 yard line with 2:31 remaining. The Bucs ran a pitch left to Charles Sims that lost two yards. It was a dreadful call that was doomed quickly.

“Let’s everybody get this straight: I screwed it up,” Koetter said of the play. “Nobody else. I screwed it up. Plain and simple. We had a check play on where we were checking on the goal line based on overload personnel. They had some injuries and switched some guys around. I gave Jameis bad information.

“One hundred – one thousand – whatever number you want to use – percent on me. Nobody else. Simple. Put that to bed. I screwed it up. I have to live with it. I feel horrible about it. I can’t take it back. I did it.”

Yes, coaches all make mistakes. But how many will Koetter make in 2016? What kind of learning curve will he have? Or, is Koetter’s player-friendly but no-nonsense style and candid communication perfect for an NFL head-coaching chair?

Bucs fans have seen the effects of poor head coaching since the middle of the 2011 season. Joe and legions of fans know what crap coaching looks like.

Koetter looks the part and has a clean slate, but there’s a ton of pressure on his back. He’s the ultimate X-factor for a team in transition.

Vincent Jackson – No. 2

Mike Smith – No. 3

Kwon Alexander – No. 4

Jacquies Smith – No. 5

Brent Grimes – No. 6

Jameis Winston – No. 7

Charles Sims – No. 8

J.R. Sweezy – No. 9

Gerald McCoy — No. 10

22 Responses to “Top 10 Bucs X-Factors For 2016 — No. 1”

  1. Maze Says:

    Can’t wait to see this guy lead the team. Been a very long time since having a competent head coach guiding the Bucs since Chucky. Just have a feeling this is finally it

  2. tmaxcon Says:

    Koetter is a breath of fresh air. I am very optimistic about future. Hopefully koetters sucess will finally put overrated dungy fan club living in the past to bed once snd for all.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Pretty much a no-brainer here…..with Mike Smith at #3….Koetter had to be #1.

    I am tempering my expectations….I’m looking forward to how we play and how competitive we are. We should win some games we shouldn’t.

    I would be happy with improvement to 8-8.

  4. Buccfan37 Says:

    Number 1 X factor, roll up your window and hold your nose, Koetter and company are gonna be knocking some dead skunk opponents into the has been bushes, surprising some doubters too. X, Y and Z factors. X marks the spot of a head coach that has a clue, Y because most fans like him, and Z because sleepless fretting over lousy Bucs past will allow heavy satisfied snoozing into Bucs future. Go Bucs! The bust out is busting out all over and I’m not from Missouri. Is it gameday yet.

  5. Buccfan37 Says:

    By the way, I enjoyed the top ten X factors. Good job JBF!

  6. unbelievable Says:

    It would appear on paper, that we have assembled the best coaching staff since Chucky was here.

    There were a few great position coaches under Rah, and even Schiano, but I feel right now we have the most solid coaches across the board.

    I’m not expecting anything crazy this season, just marked improvement. 9-7 or anything better would be great. But in 2017…. Super Bowl baby!!

  7. dooshlarue Says:

    I’m feeling real good about our team this season.
    I called 6-10 last year.

    Barring any severe injuries, suspensions of any of our Key players, except the often injured one on the DL….

    I’m calling 10-6

    Go Bucs!

  8. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    With all due respect to Joe and all the people (the majority I think) calling for an 8-8 or settling for an 8-8 season, I totally disagree.

    I called for ten wins last year, and when you review the games, the dropped passes, missed FG’s, stupid penalties and little league coaching, indeed we had ten wins easily within our grasp.

    I think we need ten wins minimum to show we are making progress. We SHOULD win ten games…if we suddenly became good and several players had career years perhaps we could squeeze 12. That’s obviously a reach but ten should be the benchmark.

  9. Buccaneers Says:

    Yeah them sweep plays and off tackle runs were horrible calls last year. It wasnt just the Washington game. Koetter screwed that call up a few other times.

    Dirk better get his head out of his azz and reallize if we cant power run for that big yard he has a QB he can trust.

  10. gotbbucs Says:

    I expect growing pains but I also expect a team prepared to play. We need fast starts and good pregame plans, not slow starts and waiting for halftime to make adjustments.

    I want no blowout losses, we have the talent to be in any game, and I want to be in the chase when it comes down to the last couple weeks of the season. Koetter and his staff are without a doubt the biggest X-factor on this team.

  11. SB with Jameis Says:

    Any true fan knows that we shouldn’t have lost to the Skins, Bears, or Saints last yr, even with Lovie running the sh!t show. I also acknowledge that our schedule is tougher this year. We have a first yr HC as well. All this said less than 9 and 7 will be a disappointment to me. I think the Only way we go less than 9 and 7 is if Dirk struggles in his HC duties. Here it to hoping that doesn’t happen.

  12. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Anyway you look at it the teams success will rest on Winstons shoulders.
    If you can score 24 or more points you get a better chance to win the games
    we play.FAST starts like in Philly and a non stop scoring mentality will help.
    we have lost games where we had 30 or more points in the last few years.
    Chemistry between #3 and #13 will need to improved on. there will more defensive pressure from very good defensive teams this year.If Winston keeps us in the game with good decisions and takes what defense gives us
    10 or more wins is very possible.

  13. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Joe, I just want to thank you for helping this off season go by quicker than they used to go.

  14. BigHogHaynes Says:

    If the Bucs score at that point in that game, we win instead the losing begin, it was a bad call Coach K owned up to it……..but now he’s the head coach! Does any one believe the season would have a different outcome had we scored at that point. I do!!!

  15. Buccfan37 Says:

    BigHogHaynes…Yeah really I forgot about that missed opportunity against the Skins to put that game away. Bummer man, but brings me closer to reality about Koetter and Murphy’s Law. Tempers my expectations a tad.

  16. SB with Jameis Says:

    Thank God that Koetter made that mistake or maybe we would still be saddled with a 9 yr HC that could only win 8 games in two yrs, with Full Control, due to his proclivity to under hire and under-coach. 16 diff coordinators in 11 years…….Might as well be a woman deciding what to wear.

  17. Bob in Valrico Says:

    the redskin game should never have been close.0 points in the third quarter.
    we tried to run the ball on consecutive downs too much.we didn’t step on their throat .we went into turtle mode and lost because of it.Don,t know who made the decision to go conservative but it mirrors Lovie’s conservative approach and it allowed Washinton to stay in game.can’t really expect to win games when you only score two field goals in the second half.

  18. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    May the Koetter Era begin!! It’s a new day in Tampa Bay!!

  19. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    We sucked. No way around it.

    But we have gotten better since then.

  20. orlbucfan Says:

    Bucs faithful have seen PLENTY of bad coaching since 1976. Koetter has got his bud, Mike Smith, backing him up this year. 8-8 at least!!

  21. Trubucfan22 Says:

    As much as i want to stay humble and not have high expectations for this team, it is so hard not to think we can be really good. Our coaching staff is the best i’ve seen on paper since gruden and kiffen were our coordinators. I am so optimistic about Koetter and Smith. They seem likw the perfect guys you want running your football team. The demeanor they have, the accountability thwy have for themselves and their players. It is all a recipe for success. I can’t wait to see the reaults on the field. I will be disappointed with a losing record. Don’t care how tpugh our schedule is. Woth the talent we have and thw coachin staff we have, there are no excuses we can’t be a top 15 team.a winning record needs to be expected. Playoffs need to be an expectation. The winning culture needs to take hold of this team. No more accepting losing. No more laughing during a loss. It is time to turn this team around, and i think our coaching staff and players are reasy to make that commitment.

  22. » Blog Archive » “You’d Naturally Be Concerned As A Bucs Fan” - Tampa Bay Bucs Blog, Buccaneers News Says:

    […] this summer, Joe penned a series on the Top-10 Bucs X-factors for 2016. Jameis checked in at No. 7. Truly, Joe has no worries about Jameis taking a half step […]