It Wasn’t Just Jameis

August 8th, 2016
Ali Marpet's development also a factor in hiring Dirk Koetter.

Ali Marpet’s development also a factor in hiring Dirk Koetter.

The common belief in NFL circles is that Bucs coach Dirk Koetter was hired because of the way he developed America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston.

Oh, it helped that Jameis wanted Koetter, but there is more to it than just that, suggests Emily Kaplan of, Koetter’s hand in the development of rookie offensive lienmen Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet played a key role as well.

One of the reasons Koetter got the head job is because he managed Jameis Winston so well last season, as well as two rookie offensive linemen. Although he won’t have as much of an intimate role, it seems Koetter is still very hands-on with the offense. Since Koetter is going to continue calling plays, he arranges quarterback meetings so that he can spend time in certain parts of them. Koetter has essentially handed the defense off to Mike Smith, the former head coach of the Falcons and Koetter’s old boss. “I think if I didn’t hire Mike and I didn’t trust him the way I do, it might not be like that,” Koetter said. “But I feel very comfortable putting the defense in his hands.”

Joe was discussing Marpet and Smith last season with an NFL source, who told Joe many offensive coordinators can draw up pretty plays on a whiteboard but not many who understand blocking schemes and can design a gameplan to mesh with line calls and the skillset of linemen. Koetter, Joe was told, fully understands this concept.

So while most folks believe it was all about Jameis, the rookies up front, along with Doug Martin blowing up and the breakout of Charles Sims, also played a pivotal role in Koetter’s promotion to head honcho.

18 Responses to “It Wasn’t Just Jameis”

  1. Kevin Schmidt Says:

    There was no better choice available. Right hire

  2. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Add in emergence of Cameron Brate and Adam Humphries ,and its pretty clear offense was the only thing headed in the right direction.

  3. Mike Johnson Says:

    All I know is Koetter had better win. No excuses. You guys got him and DC Smith pegged as the 2nd coming. I don’t wanna hear this..give him time crap. Lets stick with whats made us famous..2 yrs and out! If you don’t win that is.

  4. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Them dubs coming this season MJ. I stand behind my statement.

  5. ben Says:

    Hiring a man with no nfl head coach experience and a lack of head coaching success in college makes me wonder but… I do believe he can still be still be the man !

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Lots of Bucs offensive players who were on the team in 2014 improved significantly in 2015 (Martin, Sims & Brate among them). Personally think the PRIMARY reason for that was Coach Koetter, although Jameis and the improved OLine certainly played a mammoth role. Had Marcus Arroyo still been OC, the Bucs 2015 results would’ve been markedly different. I still believe that Dirk Koetter was made HC based on his performance in 2014 and especially how well he brought the rookies along. Lovie sealed his own fate when he took over the defense and it did so poorly in 2015.

  7. Buccfan37 Says:

    Even Helen Keller could have seen the Bucs are making the right choices and are an up and coming team.

  8. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Mike, why does it matter what posters here say? Anyone can say what they want, but it’s not going to make Koetter and Smith coach any better. The Glazers aren’t going to fire them after two season just because posters say they should.

  9. Kgh4life Says:

    Just because Koetter didn’t have any NFL coaching experience doesn’t mean he will fail. There is no rule book on what makes a coach NFL ready. Numerous coaches who had experience coaching in the NFL has failed. Just have to wait and see.

  10. Swaggy64 Says:

    I’d like to point out that Koetter’s coaching record in college was actually not that bad. He had a really good record at Boise State, He won over 60 percent of his games there, which is what led to his hiring at Arizona state. His success was sketchier there, but he did finish over .500 overall in the highly competitive PAC 10. In both stints he took his teams to some Bowl games. He won some and lost some. The man has been coaching football for a living for over 30 years, so if experience means anything he’s got that going for him.

  11. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Defense- Agreed. Koetter was the best off-season acquisition going into 2015. I’d also like to reiterate what Joe said, it’s a team game. It’s rarely ever ONE guy responsible for success or failure.
    With a year’s experience I believe we’ll see more. We better, or as MJ says 2 years and out!

  12. Buc1987 Says:


  13. SOEbuc Says:

    The thing about Koetter to me as a HC he still seems like just an OC with the title of head coach and I dont know if thats a good thing or not. He says he’s handing all the defensive stuff to Smitty and I would think a good HC would have to know a lot about whats going on on both sides of the football

  14. BuccoDav Says:

    Mike Johnson Says:
    August 8th, 2016 at 9:21 am
    All I know is Koetter had better win. No excuses.

    Or what? You’ll hold your breath until he gets fired?

    Like Eric75 says, it doesn’t matter what we posters want or say, the Glazers are going to do what they want. I don’t understand posters giving ultimatums, like there may be consequences for others’ opinions.
    I think you meant to say, “I hope Koetter and Smith are the answer but either way I will still be a Bucs fan!”

  15. RTG Bucs Says:

    @ Anyone who thinks 2 years and out is what should happen if the Bucs are not winning.

    Get real, that is one of the reasons why the Bucs are perineal losers. 4 years minimum! (unless they are COMPLETELY inept) This team and franchise desperately needs some continuity.

  16. 1sparkybuc Says:

    2 years and out does not apply when your offense sets franchise records with a rookie QB minus your best WR and TE for most of the season. 2 years and out is for coaches who show no discernible progress overall. The great franchises build on a solid foundation. Koetter and Jameis will likely have great careers together with the Bucs. The Glazers have struck gold. The revolving door is closed. The Bucs will be contenders with Koetter

  17. Brent bull/buc Says:

    Great article, good information. As for dk one year at a time. Let’s see how year 1 looks before opinions.. If we’re 1-15 see us lol.. I think he’ll be good though.. I generally think 3 years for a coach.

  18. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    I’m still saying 6-10 this season, playoffs next season.