Dirk Koetter: “What Was Leading Up To That, Really, Only He Knows”

November 3rd, 2017

Mysterious change

Vernon Hargreaves has bounced back the past two Sundays after a brutal and inexplicable start to his sophomore season.

Joe says “inexplicable” because of Dirk Koetter’s interesting new take on Hargreaves.

The head coach was chatting with Scott Smith on Buccaneers.com and was asked for details on the Hargreaves revival.

It’s not something coaches could put a finger on at its core, Koetter said.

“Vern’s the only one that really knows that. I mean, he’s really the only one that knows, you know, deep inside. Was his commitment more?,” Koetter said. “Was his preparation level more? He definitely showed up more aggressive in practice. But, you know, what was leading up to that, really, only he knows.”

Intriguing take from Koetter, who either knows more than he’s saying or found himself with a player who temporarily lost his way.

Regardless, a benching from his outside cornerback starting job seemed to work. Hargreaves improved.

Now he needs to take a step up from his rookie self, which was OK but not special. An interception Sunday, the second of his 23-game career, would be a great place to start.

36 Responses to “Dirk Koetter: “What Was Leading Up To That, Really, Only He Knows””

  1. derrickbrooksforGM Says:

    way to have your pulse on the team and the players Dirk LMAO

  2. ChanEpic Says:

    I wish for the best for the Bucs, and I appreciate the Joe(s) needing to feed us rabid fans content but I JUST CANNOT WITH THIS TEAM. The coach says only the player knows what was happening? It’s YOUR JOB TO KNOW WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR TEAM, coach. This article is a case in point when discussing coaching incompetence. That said, I wish them all the best.

  3. JabooBuc Says:

    I’ll take a guess and bet he got a glimpse of his future earnings as a benched CB in this league VS that of a solid #1.

  4. JabooBuc Says:

    It’s not a coaches job to know what motivates each individual player. He has a team to worry about. Talk about coddling millennials. You either produce or we will find someone that will. If that doesn’t motivate you then it’s on you.

  5. ChanEpic Says:

    Jaboo, agree to disagree. Motivating your players is coaching 101. Not saying Koetter solely is to blame but when you’re talking a draft pick that high… You’d better have a clue about what gets them going. Reasonable people can disagree and I am sure there are diff coaching styles.

  6. 813bucboi Says:

    no no no…dirk knows what it was…ITS COACH MY SCHEME SMITTY!!!!

    VHG played 10-12 yards off the ball and was horrible….he played at the LOS(like he did at UF) and was successful….he’s been one of if not the best cb over the pass 2 weeks….

    its all about putting players in position to be successful and playing to players strength….not forcing a player to play a certain way in a certain scheme….it only took smitty a season and a half to figure it out…#IMCOMPETENT….GO BUCS!!!!

  7. jerseybuc Says:

    He was playing scared. Got moved inside and was more comfortable and then had one good game back at corner. Let’s see how he fares vs Brees before we say he is back to what we hoped he would be.

  8. JabooBuc Says:

    ChanEpic- these are professional athletes which by their very nature means they are motivated to earn a living. If they don’t understand what motivates themselves at this point then they are not smart enough to last in this league. It’s really as simple as that. Not sure of where you work but not a lot of hand holding in the professional ranks anywhere.

  9. 813bucboi Says:

    ChanEpic Says:
    November 3rd, 2017 at 11:48 am
    Motivating your players is coaching 101

    AGREE…so is knowing what your players do best….GO BUCS!!!!

  10. ChanEpic Says:

    If what you are saying is true, why do we designate and laud LEADERSHIP Abilities in the locker room. Why do we need pre-game speeches, or even practice. Players are being paid, they should practice on their own and just show up on Sunday practiced and motivated. I agree that players have plenty of financial motivation but money isn’t everything to everyone.

  11. ChanEpic Says:

    @jaboo Jaboo,
    If what you are saying is true, why do we designate and laud LEADERSHIP Abilities in the locker room? Why do we need pre-game speeches, or even practice? Players are being paid, they should practice on their own and just show up on Sunday practiced and motivated. I agree that players have plenty of financial motivation but money isn’t everything to everyone.

  12. InJameisWeTrust Says:

    I’m convinced Dirk has no idea what’s going on at any level

  13. 813bucboi Says:

    VHG is the son of a very successful coach…he’s playing for his hometown team in front of people he knows and grew up with…..you idiots think he lacked motivation….GTFOH!!!!….

    its evident it was the scheme….

    VS. the Vikings, VHG and ryan smith played soft coverage and were torched….both played at the LOS sunday and played well….coincidence?…h3ll nawl….VHG probably went to smitty and said, “play me at the LOS and watch what happens”….GO BUCS!!!!

  14. ruggyup Says:

    Of course players need to be motivated and most of it should come from self. Yes, coaches need to motivate but to do that they need to understand, analyze, coach, teach and explain. Using only one piece of the puzzle doesn’t work unless you have that rare breed so self-motivated the rest of the world better get out of his way. That does not appear to be the case with subject CB.

  15. Joeypoppems Says:

    Its simple. He was covering WRs as slow as he is. He didnt need to worry about getting beat deep which let him play closer to the LOS.

  16. Joeypoppems Says:

    If he plays outside again this week, Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn will be the real test of a “revival”

  17. Tampa Bay Tailgater Says:

    Bottom line…this team is playing to not lose the game each and every week. They feel “not worthy” against their opponents.

    When they fall behind by 20+ points, the game is lost and they play with nothing further to lose and seem more relaxed and natural.

    Maybe adopting the mindset that the game is already lost and you have to go and win it back (from the very 1st snap) would free the players up from playing scared and mechanical?

  18. Kobe Faker Says:


    dead on

    lol! VH3 is now a legit corner?

    he is top 2 worst corner in the NFL. Ryan griffen smith is first

    these 2 are going to get toasted sunday

    amateur hour and foolish

  19. Getaclue Says:

    Like ydoes he not watch film of the defense at all? And not watch the games. He’s playing press, I’m convinced we are screwed now, bring on Gruden

  20. JMarkBuc Says:

    Wow, the kid survived two games without being embarrassed. Good for him. That doesn’t mean he has turned a corner. Half the problem with Buc fans is that we jump on every tidbit of minutiae. Product of 24 hour news cycle I guess.

    What happened to a team being a team? I see a collection of individuals, collecting checks. No Heart, No Pride, and as much as I thought last years sister sledge impersonation was silly, we apparently don’t have even that this year

    The uniforms are still ugly.

  21. JabooBuc Says:

    ChanEpic- first of all, all that pre-game speech and rah rah stuff is completely overrated, especially at the pro level. Leadership is not about motivation. It’s about having a vision to achieve a task or goal and the ability to get others to believe in your vision to follow.

    Practice is so that everyone involved can ultimately work better together to achieve that common goal. It’s not about motivation. I promise you that not one of those players gets up and comes to practice each day so that they can hear another speech or motivational presentation by Jameis or Dirk.

    Since we are on the subject, if I had a complaint about Jameis it would be the time and energy he spends before a game leading cheers and giving speeches. I would prefer he get with his line and coaches and discuss the game plan for a few extra minutes since that is proven to be more effective than cheers.

    Finally, how much time do you think Bellicheat or Saban spend on individual player motivation? I’ll save you some time because it’s not much. They would rather find players that are mature enough to know that winning and the pay check is the only motivation needed at this level.

  22. 813bucboi Says:

    how much time do you think Bellicheat or Saban spend on individual player motivation? I’ll save you some time because it’s not much.

    guess you never heard of “bulletin board material”….the best coaches are also the best motivators….GO BUCS!!!!

  23. Capt.Tim Says:

    Soooo many clueless.

    At The proffesional Level- A coach DOES NOT TEACH YOU HOW TO PLAY CB!!

    He does not tell you how many yards to play off your man.

    Is anyone really so stupid as to believe, that a coach teaches a CB how to play one on one coverage. A guy who has played the position at the University of Florida??

    In the Pros- they may help to refine technique, practice tackling.
    But they do not tell Vernon Hargreaves how to play man on man!!

    NFL coaches teach players the defensive scheme, or system.

    Why Hargreaves was playing ten yards off his man is a mystery. No defensive scheme would call for a Corner Back to do that!!

    The absolute only exception is the prevent defense-and we werent playing that.

    Im just glad he improved, and Ryan Smith played fantastic.

    Dont know why, but I’ll take it

  24. wewantgruden Says:

    NFL GM Golden Rule: Never draft a player who played high school football in the city in which you are based. The negatives FAR outweigh the positives. One glaring is that they will hang out with their homies and get in trouble.

    Second: Never draft a kick before the 5th round, and we know what happened with that rule.

  25. JabooBuc Says:

    813bucboi- bulletin board material? Really?? Guess what, they all have it. You really think the Patriots play extra hard because player X on the Bucs said they suck? If so, you should get out more.

    Bulletin board stuff might get an individual player up for a couple of plays but at that level, it’s not sustainable. You are either a baller or you’re not. I bet if you ask Bellicheat or Saban they would tell you the same. Not much there.

  26. JabooBuc Says:

    By the way, have you ever heard a Bellicheat pre-game speech? It’s like watching paint dry. He win’s because he has the most prepared team with the most prepared leader (Brady) every time they lace ’em up.

  27. Broy34WantsGruden Says:

    The fact that Koetter isn’t smart enough to say “he was playing 10 yards off and now he’s playing up in press coverage ” saddens me. And anyone who thinks that’s not the difference along with maybe a more confident approach is a fool

  28. Joeypoppems Says:

    @Capt. Tim

    Its not a mystery as to why he plays so far off. It really is just as simple as he is afraid to get beat deep. He doesnt have the speed to keep up with NFL receivers so he plays off to give himself a chance to prevent the explosive plays.

    It would also explain why he doesnt attack the ball in the air. If he misses he will give up a big play so he plays safe and tries to secyre a tackle.

  29. Joeypoppems Says:

    As much as explosive plays were so important of a topic in the offseason, isnt it possible that the CBs are being coached to not give them up?

    Brent Grimes plays off as well. He just has the confidence to make a play on the ball so it doesnt look as bad. I dont think VH3 has that which is why it stands out.

  30. Dewey Selmon Says:

    2 good games does not make him a pro bowler. Buff and Car are not the most explosive teams. brees might carve him up Sunday.

  31. Bucsfanman Says:

    Bounced back?!!! Playing better?! Compared to what, hot garbage?!!!
    OK, he played just OK.
    We better get a pass-rush or Brees is going to eat us alive.
    Get it together kid!

  32. Capt.Tim Says:

    Joeypoppems- your right, its not a mystery

    But he played totally different last Sunday. He looked good!
    And bigger faster Ryan Smith looked better!

  33. Duke Says:


    ‘re; being coached not to give up big plays.
    Before the season started, MS explained a metric that He believes is critical for success. The first is obviously turn overs. The data supports this is the best single metric for predicting success.

    The second one He brought up, in my opinion is interesting, it’s not allowing explosive plays. I’m not arguing for or against. Because that is a new hypothesis. New in how much weight is placed on it and it’s priority.

    Why is it worth mentioning? I’m purely speculating that the latter has been an overview that is determining the scheme. It’s sensible and explains how and why.

    Just one more point, The problem with the focus on how far VH plays off is it’s not a great indicator of the individual players skill level or for that matter it’s not a great source of knowledge into really anything. You and few make a casual connection between the depth BY was playing at on the outside. Then He slides inside and plays from los , he has a good game so presto it’s the depth that is the problem. Over the slot He has to line up over the receiver. Just the nature of the job nothing more. I don’t discount VH comfort level lining up over. It’s that it doesn’t explain why at CB He’s off so far.

    The answer is not to be found in his depth , the answer is at slot He’s not relying on safety help.

  34. Duke Says:

    Both corners are responsible for preventing the explosive plays outside. What’s strange as all get out is the safety play. They roll down with what looks like no communication between them and the corners. I don’t want to get to technical so I’ll just say that the safeties appear to be equal in their responsibilities . Meaning both appear to be able to (ex; roll down) independently. When it happens and it has, the corners have no help and twice the grass to cover. This is the “communication” issue I believe because by all appearances the corners have no idea what the safety is doing.

    VH plays from the outside with a cushion because He doesn’t trust the scheme or his teammates. Maybe both.

  35. Not there yet Says:

    You hate to say it but you have to agree. Everyone with a take on why he struggled whether it be local or national was saying it was in his head. There aren’t many reasons a talented person turns it on and off like running water, if it was teammates getting at him or of it was getting benched or a private talk from a teammate or coaches it’s clear something woke him up. The question is what was it since getting burned every week wasn’t enough motivation

  36. Not there yet Says:

    This is sad and reminds me of hard knocks and little WR Bobo Wilson with all that mouth and attitude. The guy to talented to cut but not talented enough to beat out reedy. To fix this Dirk would have to be something he doesn’t know how to be. This attitude probably is why he had issues being a head coach in college