Don’t Do It, Dirk!

January 5th, 2017
Team Glazer might have to have a private chat with Dirk Koetter

Team Glazer might need to have a private chat with Dirk Koetter

On the off chance Dirk Koetter is mowing down a breakfast burrito and reading this, Joe has a loud message to deliver:

Don’t do it, Dirk!

On Monday, Koetter informed local media that he’s pondering the possibility of handing off playcalling duties to give himself more time for management and connection with players, aka being a CEO-style head coach.

This should not happen under any circumstance, especially not in 2017.

Koetter was hired, in large part, for his playcalling prowess. The man is one of a tiny handful of NFL offensive coordinators to lead three different franchises to top-10 offenses, which Koetter did here in 2015.

The Bucs won a Super Bowl and three division titles with a head coach calling plays. Other teams have done the same thing.

Koetter loves calling plays, and he’s got a great track record. Why inject a new playcaller, a new question mark into the mix? Don’t break the continuity for America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston.

And who’s going to help Koetter manage the inner torment from his loss of control — and the loss of his great passion for playcalling? Joe is confident Koetter’s ego would struggle with a move like this.

Team Glazer might need to step in and set Koetter straight before he gets too deep in thought.

On Monday, Joe got the impression Koetter had a 10 or 15 percent chance of making a switch, but who knows what could have changed a few days later.

Joe respects that Koetter wants to reconsider all aspects of his coaching job and that time management is an extreme challenge, one that could be tested severely if he’s breaking in a new defensive coordinator. But there are options — other than ditching playcalling.

Team Glazer could let him hire a consultant or special advisor, for example. And if Koetter wants more bonding time with players, devote more offseason time to that.

In Joe’s head, the only reason to swap playcallers is because Koetter is certain he’s found someone better than him with zero system learning curve. Good luck with that.

45 Responses to “Don’t Do It, Dirk!”

  1. Syl Says:

    The coach shouldn’t be calling the plays. I think one of the big reasons the offense struggled is the coach calling plays. Head coaches supervise.

  2. Vic Says:

    Lot of playoff teams with playcaller head coaches. Be real, Syl.

  3. Bob in valrico Says:

    Agree that Koetter should keep the playcalling duties,but I am all for delegating some of his duties to Monken .Dirk needs more one on one time with Jameis to help Jameis improve on his accurracy and deep ball efficiency.
    Working with young quarterbacks is one the Koetter’s stregnths.

  4. tdtb2015 Says:

    A genius way to try to get the Glazers to promote Smitty to assistant HC/ DC. This will keep Koetter and Bucs fans happy.

  5. SofloBucsfan Says:

    Agreed, Vic. Andy reid and mike mccarthy anong them. Up to Dirk to decide whats best for the team

  6. tdtb2015 Says:

    Glazers show Smitty the money!!!!

  7. BuccaneerByBirth Says:

    That’s all bull crap. Dirk ain’t giving up playcalling

  8. Erik w/ Clean Athletics 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs Fans' Says:

    Head coaches become head coaches bcuz of their prowess on either offense or defense, so why the heck would you take away the main achievement that earned them the promotion???

    That would be stupid.

    Dirk needs to keep the playcalling duties (even though he goes thru a small funk in basically every game).

  9. pick6 Says:

    juggling the task alongside the head coach stuff probably takes some getting used to, but the way he talks about playcalling, it’s hard to imagine him just walking away from the responsibility before seeing how he handles it all in year 2. I think more than anything he was signaling to fans that he was prepared to hold himself accountable as a playcaller, and not blind to the fact the even though it wasn’t a bad year for him playcalling-wise, it was below his standard when he was exclusively an OC

  10. pick6 Says:

    alot depends on mike smith i assume. Dirk probably won’t have the same level of nearly-blind trust in Mike’s successor to handle all things Defense if Mike goes, and it will have an impact on his priorities.

  11. martinii Says:

    I don’t care who calls the plays, just don’t try to run 2 plays into the heart of the defense, and throw a short pass over the middle for a 3 and out. Need to get creative and less predictable.

  12. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    I definitely agree to disagree……..

    We all know the pros and cons to this, but maybe this will help Dirk????

    For God’s sake, he’s been in the NFL forever and he knows better than Joe or anyone else on this website to make the best decision for this team and organization.

    So I say, GIVE IT A WHIRL DIRK!!!!!!………and we’ll see what happens.

  13. The Buc Realist Says:

    He should definitely keep calling the plays!!! But that by no means that you do not look into avenue’s that can make the team better!!!

    The real point of Head Coach Koetter is that if they lose DC Coach Smitty, that is losing the head coach for the defensive players and Coach Koetter is asking if a void needs to be filled from the leadership that coach Smitty provided on that side of the ball!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!

    And GO JOEBUCSFAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    I’d like to see the return of the type of playcalling we saw from him in year one. I’m not sure what caused the difference, but, it was noticeable.

  15. Not there yet Says:

    If you are reading this Dirk you’d be a fool to take this article seriously, now time to devote to the overall performance of the team is always a good thing. If the guy is in house you trust to for it. The media had never determined the success of a football franchise

  16. Tnew Says:

    This is the first effect of Mike Smith leaving. Dirk knows the only person on the planet he trusted to totally turn the defense over to was Mike Smith. Now he knows he will have to be somewhat more involved and he knows the demands of the play calling.

  17. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    No way… I think DK is a great play caller. Just because the running game struggled this season everyone is throwing out the whole “predictable run on 1st down” talk. But I think, for two years now, Dirk has done a great job utilizing the few skills of the few players he’s had. Last year we ran the ball just as much, just had more success. Dirk has called plays to Winston’s strengths. When he sees the O-line struggling to protect, he gets JW out of the pocket. He calls screens at just the right times. He did wonders for our red zone offense from last year to this. The more weapons we get and the more trust Winston earns, the more points we’ll score.

  18. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    It was noticeable but no worries after we draft a certain RB out of FSU problem will be quickly solved.

  19. America's Commenter Says:

    The Bucs won a Super Bowl with a play-calling head coach.

  20. Mort Says:

    I too hope Dirk keeps calling plays. Against Seattle and KC he had a few series I thought were excellent particularly in the first half. I don’t always agree with the call but nobody will. He did overall an excellent job. I wouldn’t want anyone else.

  21. DPewter Says:

    Our offensive was not good when our “Offensive Guru” head coach lead us to a super bowl. Bad example.

  22. pick6 Says:

    @love and warrick dunn, the difference was our running attack averaging 30 fewer yards per game on roughly the same number of rushing attempts. explosive runs in particular were way down and those tend to have more to do with your RBs (*ahem* doug martin zero 20+ yard runs after leading the league in 2015) than OL. without the run paying off, many of the other things that worked in 2015 did not work in 2016. i think the playcalling would have worked out about the same if the running game could have been even 80% as effective on a ypc basis

  23. Nujerzbuc Says:


  24. R.O. Says:

    Sorry but I have no issue with this… I felt the play calling this year was extremely predictable and lacked imagination and we had no rythym. We need to play the game form center more often if we are going to run 50% of the time. No point of running play action from under center 20% of the time and running 80% and teams playing run. Then JW doesn’t change the play. Shotgun we pass what 90% of the time? To me we were way to predictable.

  25. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    I can’t argue with your comment R.O. I’m of the mindset that their will be more imagination when we aren’t using jabawakis for offensive weapons. Explosive player make okay calling easier. I trust Mr. Licht to add some via free agency and of course with atleast the first pick in the draft.

  26. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Show me a great play caller with average offensive weapons???

  27. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Marcus Mariota had more to work with in 2016. Fameis would’ve killed in our division with the tools he had to work with.

  28. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I find it interesting that fans want to give advice to Koetter on whether or not he should call plays…..I think he is fully capable of making that decision on his own.
    I think he is struggling with it realizing that he failed on several occasions. I think it could have cost us a couple of games. He struggled with time management on occasion also.
    I have no strong opinion as to whether he should give it up or not….,his choice….but he certainly needs to make some changes with it if he keeps it.

    There is one statistic that I encourage Joe to find……what is our percentage of 1st down red zone running plays and what is the average yardage.

    It seems we move the ball all the way down the field…..get in the red zone….then run on 1st down almost every time…..and almost every time it is stuffed.

  29. CalBucsFan Says:

    The plays looked good, the accuracy on passes needs to improve, Koetter isn’t the one who threw passes taller than the receiver’s catch zone.

  30. 813bucboi Says:

    idk…..the offense differently took a step back this year….it was a combination of personnel and play calling….last year it seemed dirk was a little more keyed in as to what he was trying to accomplish with his play calling…..this year he was all over the place and lacking a true plan….this year lacked creativity…..maybe it was due to the personnel…..idk….

    but his F ups with the clock has to improve….I don’t care if someone is delegated to clock management its the duty of the HC to be aware of all situations….at times dirk seemed too distracted with his play calling and ignoring other areas in/during the game….

    I don’t see why it would be so hard for him to let monk call the plays but together they form the plan thru the week and dirk lets the oc and jameis know what he wants and what he wants accomplished….GO BUCS!!!!

  31. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Bottom line this entire discussion is all good. DK is my man because he is the freaking first guy to look in the mirror. He’s not a knee jerk guy…he’ll review all of this carefully and I trust his decision and his critical thinking skills.

    First I think “pick six” gave a fair summation of the actual situation minus the hyperbole.

    I think more than anything he was signaling to fans that he was prepared to hold himself accountable as a playcaller, and not blind to the fact the even though it wasn’t a bad year for him playcalling-wise, it was below his standard when he was exclusively an OC

    I think DK is not so much signalling as confessing. He’s as hard on himself as we are and he knows as TBBF also pointed out that he wasn’t as sharp calling plays this year as last…at minimum the offense wasn’t as effective.

    Now he’ll go look at video…mind meld with his coaches…and determine if perhaps it was all because as some have suggested the running game collapsed or if indeed he just needed more time. He’ll also have to factor in that he now has a year experience as HC in the NFL and he’ll probably be a more efficient time manager next year just from that experience.

    I trust DK to make the right decision whichever it is.

  32. Trubucfan22 Says:

    The best case scenario here is if Mike smith were promoted to asst HC. That way mike smith could take some of the responsibilty off of koetter. We know mike smith is a good if not great head coach. Koetter needs help, let Smith be that guy. If smith doesnt accept or isnt offered a HC job, we should promote him. Convince him to stay and build a dynasty here.

  33. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Isnt it funny how opposite koetter is from Lovie smith? Koetter wants to be more of a head coach and trust his coaching staff to pick up the slack. While Lovie couldnt trust his DC and took on the defensive playcalling for his self. It’s not like Lovie was a good HC anyways. So he might as well do something.

    Just polar opposites those 2. And i couldnt be happier to have kept Koetter.

  34. Kevin Says:

    He will keep calling them. Its what he loves more than anything. He even said in the same presser that all of the playcalling coaches that have given up playcalling duties hace taken them back…reid, mccarthy. He will keep calling em!

  35. unbelievable Says:

    RO and TBBF pretty much nailed it.

    Yes. Koetter is/was a great playcaller when that was his only duty. But it was obvious to many people and to koetter himself, that there were numerous occasions this season where he was overwhelmed by head coaching duties and play calling duties during the game.

    How many timeouts did we keep in our pockets at the end of 1st halfs when we had the ball? That is game management which he is obviously still learning. How many times did we do the same predictable run up the gut on 1st or 2nd down?

  36. shouldhavedraftedefiert Says:

    @unbelievable yep nailed it on the head. His game play calling was simply terrible at times.

  37. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    That’s a great idea. Koetter and Smitty are buds and they might be able to make it work very well.

  38. Buccfan37 Says:

    If it ain’t broke it don’t need fixing. Calm seas and clear sailing ahead.

  39. salish_seamonster Says:



  40. salish_seamonster Says:

    Too much being made of this. Dirk only suggested it was on the table, but wasn’t anywhere close to making such a decision. He has 9 months. I expect he’ll look at other ways to improve before this.

  41. stanglassman Says:

    What was Andrew Weildinger job if it wasn’t Game Managment coach?

    I’m pretty sure Koetter wouldn’t bring this up if he didn’t believe Molken or Bajakian weren’t up to the task.

  42. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    This post is a little misleading. What he said is that he does not foresee handing off play calling duties, BUT, if he ever does, he wants to be 100% sure he does not have to take them back…meaning the person calling plays better be darn good. He also said that calling plays is one of his favorite things to do.

  43. orlbucfan Says:

    DK is the best offensive coach Bucs have ever had-hands down!! He knows he is going through the learning curve to being a good HC. Bucs and Dirk weren’t quite ready for the playoffs this season. Still, I am thrilled with 9-7, Coach!! 🙂 It’s looking more and more like MSmith will be leaving. Bucs are in good hands. DK will make the right decision.

  44. Vic Says:

    There is nothing misleading about this Bonzai. LOL

  45. grafikdetail Says:

    his play calling sucked this year… dirk is almost as stubborn as lovie smith