The Playcaller Will Continue As The Playcaller

January 1st, 2018

Joe’s going to let you in on a secret.

Dirk Koetter never legitimately contemplated giving up playcalling a year ago, no matter what he said publicly. If you believe he did, Joe has a palm tree farm in Idaho to sell you.

Don’t believe Joe? Well, it was discussed last winter on the Ira Kaufman Podcast in great detail and it’s relevant today because Koetter was asked if he’s considering giving up playcalling to another member of his staff.

Koetter laughed and joked in response and said there’s no chance whatsoever.

Look, Koetter is a skillful playcaller who needs to improve to get the Bucs better in the red zone and to utilize his full buffet of weapons. There’s a reason the Bucs have the fourth most passing yards in the NFL. There’s a reason the Bucs have the ninth-most yards in the league, the second top-10 finish in three seasons with Koetter as playcaller.

Koetter had top-10 offenses in Jacksonville and Atlanta, too. That’s a rare feat in NFL history.

The head coach is a playcaller with 30-plus years of experience. He considers himself a good one, certainly better than amateur fans and even professional observers. He’s simply not going to give it up, nor should he.

But Koetter still must improve, and maybe that means taking more input from his assistants, or getting some fresh eyes involved in the self-scouting process, or squeezing better feedback from Jameis Winston.

The Bucs must do better putting points on the board, which is what the game is all about.

Effective scouting of the Bucs’ own running backs would be a great first step, as would securing an above-average field goal kicker, in addition to getting a little more aggressive with Jameis in the red zone.

48 Responses to “The Playcaller Will Continue As The Playcaller”

  1. Bucssuccs Says:

    Listen, he won’t improve playcalling. He’s been in the league for years and bounced around teams. If he did have consistent playcalling then he wouldn’t be in this situation. Why not give the OC playcalling duties? That’s majority of a OC’s job. Otherwise he’s just a body taking up space on the sideline.

  2. Dirty Bucs Says:

    Maybe improvement starts with ball security and decision making by the QB. Yards don’t mean anything if they don’t come at the right time and on the right half of the field.

  3. EA Says:

    The definition of insanity, need doing the same thing and expecting different results.
    Reports were that Kotter is being retained but major changes are coming.
    The reports on the Koetter/Gruden situation the last month or so have been as real as a $3 bill.

  4. Bucssuccs Says:


    I heard we’re keeping Mike Smith also. I assume we’re gonna “upgrade” at coaching positions. Oh well, it’s a bucs life

  5. TonyC Says:

    Ok so someone clue me in please? What went wrong this season if all of what we thought went wrong didn’t go wrong according to the Glazer “boys” (these guys are like the real life Marx brothers).

  6. Ndog Says:

    Dirty I rewatched the game and they said Jameis has one turnover in his career in the red zone so try again.

  7. Rick Says:

    If I’m an owner of a football team there’s no way on God’s green earth I’m keeping the same things in place for a 5-11 team the following year!

  8. Ndog Says:

    TonyC trust me I am skeptical of this staff as well BUT Jameis, Spence and Kwon were both hurt very early, the hurricane happen we lost GMC, LVD, Hargreaves (not that it cost us much) Marpet, Sweezy, Dotson, Ayers, Evans and OJ. In addition our coaching staff did not play our best players (Barber and McDonald for examples) and did not use the schemes to best fit our talent (lack of hurry up offense during most games) that all adds up to a crappy record.

  9. Rick Says:

    That would be akin to jumping off a bridge and expecting to not hit the water!!

  10. El_Buc941 Says:

    Joe have you ever thought that maybe Koetter is so conservative is because Winston isn’t the greatest at deep throws?if you have Winston improve the deep throws then defenses will literally be on their heels and that can open up the playbook more.also it doesn’t help when you have an average run game.

  11. Perimeter Blocker Says:

    Can’t see any new coaches wanting to come here. The staff is on the hot seat and the lack of any security keeps coaches away. Hoping this staff becomes the equivalent of New England’s in the next 8 months, but preparing for the worst…

  12. Seminole Bill Says:

    For the 2017 regular season, the Bucs were 9th in total offense and 12th in 3rd down conversions. Room for improvement, yes, but not the disaster some would label it. Seems Koetter is doing a good job in play calling.

    Now for the problem. The Bucs were last (32nd) in total defense. They were last with the highest number of total passing yards allowed, and 23rd in the total number of rushing yards. So, yes, a lot of improvement is needed on the defense.

    As for the much-maligned kicking game, the Bucs kickers made 87% of their field goal attempts, ranking 13th among 32 teams. Improvement here also, but the kicking game is adequate.

    Fix the defense and have Jameis make better decisions and we’re a much better team.

  13. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Agree EL BUC
    ALso both sides of the ball had injuries that made things harder.Licht’s lack of
    quality free agents on defense also hurt big time.

  14. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    Koetter needs to call a stretch hand off of that play sheet to Monken

  15. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Maybe if Licht gets some legit OL anda top 2-3 round RB, bucs offense pickd up, so glad licht passes on the A level FAs and shops at dollar general for the ones he likes, the ones that get you to 5-11

  16. Mike Johnson Says:

    No new DC wants to come to Tampa Bay under Koetter. Who would? They know the Bucs are just prolonging the inevitable with Dirk. Sadly, we shall be stuck with Smitty. And sadly..things will continue in the same vein. Sit back and we always do and..Cry the Blues! You see it does not matter what Dirk does. He’s doomed as is the team. Until they get a fired up good Defensive Coordinator, who know how to lead a Defense, look for more of the same from this Pityful franchise.

  17. Guzzie Says:

    Getting Saquon Barkley is pretty much a pipe dream based on our draft position, however, Sony Michel from Georgia looks like a stud we can get in the 2nd, sad how I’m more excited about the draft combine than the Playoffs, being a Bucs fan is rough

  18. buddy Says:

    His ego and arrogance won’t let him give up play calling. Did you see his demeanor at his press conference? He was trying to be all nice with the media. He’s so transparent and such a joke. Now he has a vote of confidence he wants to be cool and nice. Total Jacka$$ move by him. Thats ok tho only 12 months left to put up with this fool cause bucs will be in same predicament next season as he is still Klueless Koetter.

  19. MadMax Says:

    “as would securing an above-average field goal kicker”

    Quinn Nordin (Michigan) in the 4th (dont think he’ll last till the 5th round)

  20. Rod Munch Says:

    The last play of the game was really telling — Winston was told to throw a sideline pass in front of the Bucs bench and play for the FG, instead Winston ignored what Dirk said and threw the game winning TD. In every other game this year Dirk has played for the FG instead of trying to win the game. Anywho I can’t wait for the Bucs to again lead the NFL in punting from the opponents 40. Woohoo!

  21. JonBuc Says:

    Oh good…more sideline bumbling with a play sheet…poor clock management…and settling for missed field goals. Kontinuity….Konsistency…Keepin’ Koetter!

  22. Rod Munch Says:

    The fake news St Pete Times has up a story saying Payton totally punked Dirk at the end of the game yesterday. When Dirk came over to shake hands, Payton limp wristed Dirk while yelling at him about Mike Evans hit on Lattimore earlier this year. Apparently Dirk went to explain something and Payton just ignored him and walked away.

    I guess Payton still hates Tampa for breaking his leg on the sideline. LOL!

    Anywho Dirk predictably had a whimpering response and said, “First of all, Sean Payton is a fantastic football coach, he’s been where I would love to go. At the end of the game, I was wishing him good luck in the playoffs.”

    Ugh, embarrassing. Have some balls Dirk. Don’t punt from the opponents 40 when your defense is terrible and you have a top offense – and don’t let other coaches treat you like you’re a mouth on the other side of an interstate rest stop glory hole.

  23. Erik w/ Clean Athletics Says:

    Dang, that sucks.

    I thought/hoped he would follow in Andy Reid’s footsteps and pass on the playcalling duties to Monken.

  24. FireJasonLicht Says:

    everybody wants to keep blaming the defense whicvh I agree was a major issue but wasn’t the only major issue. our redzone offense is atrocious at best and ranks at the bottom. everybody wants to keep talking about our top 10 offense , well, whats our redzone offense ranked? I could care less about garbage time stats

  25. BringBucsBack Says:

    Rod, check PFT, they have an article with audio & video of the coaches meeting at the end of the game. It may change your perspective a bit.

  26. Gencoimports Says:

    Either DK has to improve his playcalling or JW needs to call better audibles. Too many run plays being called against 8 and 9 defensive fronts itching to nail the ball carrier for a loss. Our OL is not good enough to make up for this predictability.

  27. JonBuc Says:

    Rod Munch said:

    Anywho Dirk predictably had a whimpering response and said, “First of all, Sean Payton is a fantastic football coach, he’s been where I would love to go. At the end of the game, I was wishing him good luck in the playoffs.”

    Ugh, embarrassing. Have some balls Dirk. Don’t punt from the opponents 40 when your defense is terrible and you have a top offense – and don’t let other coaches treat you like you’re a mouth on the other side of an interstate rest stop glory hole.

    @Rod Munch

    Good points…he’s an apologist. Reminds me of when someone with the Buc twitter feed absolutely roasted a Falcon fella ( who fired the first shot ) and The Dirk couldn’t wait to apologize while kissing Falcon keister. Koetter Kissing Keister…what happened to MF’n sticks and stuff?

  28. BringBucsBack Says:

    Also, develop a run-game & don’t abandon it unless you MUST.

  29. adam from ny Says:

    so what’s tomorrows big announcement?…doug martin is officially names the starting feature back for all 16 games next season?

    this is getting blowrific…

    this staff is just not that good…and after 4 games next season watch the deep doo hit the fans

  30. adam from ny Says:

    do y’all remember adrian peterson looked like an all pro in his prime against us this year…one win and everyone goes gaga…the bucs reacted like they just clinched the division last night…believe me other teams are laughing…jameis in the press conference was all giddy and triumphant…it was a little overboard for a win to finish out a crap season…but yes i must acknowledge, it was a good win…but geez hold it together guys…you finished 5-11

  31. JabooBuc Says:

    I actually think his play calling is good for the most part. He is limited somewhat by a lackluster line and poor running game which hurts red zone performance. Also, and I’m saying this as a Winston supporter, Dirk has had to coach a young developing QB.

    These are things that must be considered. Easy to call plays for Brady, Rodgers, Bree’s and Rothlesburger after they’ve been in the same system and through the NFL wars for years. Not making excuses but all things are not equal.

  32. Dan Says:

    Literally nothing is changing for 2018. Wel 5-11 it is I suppose

  33. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    I think Buc “fans” are addicted to the circus. Every two years you all want to change ring leaders. Well I’m ready to buck this trend. Lets not be doomed to repeat our own history.
    I’m glad Koetter is back and I am expecting him to be better next year. Why? Because like players, coaches progress and develop and learn from mistakes. Its one thing if he lost the locker room but he obviously hasn’t.
    Koetter may just look in the mirror this off-season and reinvent himself. I am keeping hope in him and this team. I am a TRU

  34. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    TRUE BUCS FAN!!!Ride or die.

  35. Eric Says:

    I think the Glazer boys are tired of former coaches on the pay roll.

    Thus the sudden interest in stability.

    Dirk might pull this off. I took a different attitude toward him the way they hung in there and won Sunday.

    Suck it up buttercups the dude is here to stay.

  36. cmurda Says:

    The defense is where the major problems lie. Say we need to score more points. That’s fair. However, how many games did we have a lead late and the defense collapsed late. The defense did the same against the Saints though they at least got a stop to give Jameis the chance at the end which he cashed in on an absolutely perfect deep ball to Godwin. That’s right. Another perfect deep ball from Jameis. Those have been happening quie often in the last few games. I hope JW and Desean get on the same page but the truth is Jameis has connections with Evans, Hump, OJ and Godwin. I can live with keeping Koetter but keeping Mike Smith is a shot in the nads.

  37. DB55 Says:

    Koetters plays just take too long to develop. WR still have their backs to the QB by the time pressure gets there. Very few if any crossing routes and entirely too many screens. Plus he might be worse than Lovie when it comes to scoring TDs or kicking fgs. Too many fg attempts especially when the kicker is missing kicks.

    I thought Koetter was a badass but he’s only a badass the Jenna lane and that’s not being a badass at all.

  38. IsrBuc Says:

    off course he won’t give up on playcalling. a. it is addmitting failure. b. it’s letting someone else control your destiny as a HC.
    Playcalling is DK’s bread and butter. if he can’t do that he can’t do anything.

  39. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    So Joe,

    Our Oline is just fine. Jameis is great….and Koetter is a masterful playcaller….so why so many slow starts and low scoring…..3 instead of 6 in the red zone?
    Oh, that’s right…Doug Martin is the culprit. Now he’s probably gone and everything will change.

    IMO Koetter is a good playcaller until he gets in the red zone. Then he freezes up and gets too conservative. The reason why Jameis doesn’t throw pics in the red zone is he isn’t permitted to take those chances……turn him loose coach.

  40. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    He wants to call plays, find, but how about putting Monken in the box and allow him to tell you what the defenses are doing. You just can’t see the field the same way from the sideline.

  41. mark2001 Says:

    The good news keeps on coming. And bucfan…. He is either a good play caller all over the field, or he isn’t. You really can’t say…”if it just weren’t for that last 20 yards.”

  42. darin Says:

    They have so many passing yards because they were trailing in every game, some by 2 or more scores. The prevent defense is alive and well. The prevent allows other teams passing yards, and of course prevents some teams from winning. Mike smiths base defense is a prevent, even tho he still gave up most 20 plus yard passing plays in the league. I just dont get dirks philosophy anymore. All those passing plays and he called what 5 draw plays all year. Bad coaching. Gota call draws and screen passes more if youre gona pass so much. Team needs balance. If youre not gona run more then do the next best thing n dump it off, keep the ends honest. Dirks explosive mantra was stuck in his fat head all year. He just had to go deep too much. His predictable offense needs a major overhaul. Lets get some slant passes in the playbook, screens, draws. Im tired of the routes in his tree. Never a chance for yards after catch when youre running curls, outs and comebacks every play. Well there would be if the deep ball was accurate. Ugh another year of this garbage. Dirk better tighten up that offense starting yesterday.

  43. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I pointed this out a day or so ago. I agree, Joe.

    As I had said, Koetter is on the hotseat. He’s not going to trust his fate to a possibly lameduck playcaller. Not now.

    If he puts together a few winning seasons and starts making the playoffs, maybe he eventually will, but not when his job is on the line.

  44. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    darin Says
    “They have so many passing yards because they were trailing in every game…”

    No, they have so many passing yards because they were capable of moving the ball on opposing defenses. Yes, they attempted the pass more because they were behind, but if the teams they faced could have stopped them, they would have.

    This means there is high potential for scoring…they just have to take that next step. It will come.

  45. mark2001 Says:

    darin… you do know that we all have the right to pretend we are FA’s and “sign ” with another team, don’t you? Seems we can either resign ourselves to being a fan of a team with second rate ownership among the 32 franchise owners, or become FA’s. After all, players can do it? And fans can’t? But of course, the players get big money for being football FA “mercenaries”. So it should be easier for us.

    How do we view Browns fans…exactly the same thing. The league would have us view them as “heroic and long suffering lovable loyal losers”. Are they that? Or are they just pitiful fools for supporting an organization that has little chance of really winning, even with every advantage? Heck, half of the fans statistically don’t even keep the same spouses. But man, they have to support the Browns to the death.

  46. Bucsfanman Says:

    Ninth most passing yards?! So what?! We cannot score!
    Maybe they think he can “clean up” JW’s propensity for making bone-head plays?! Like Spielman said during the game, we will only go as far as Jameis’ ability and play.

  47. Pierce Says:

    The problem with handing over the play calling duties is that you don’t know if the OC will be effective with your plays. What if the OC sucks at calling plays but you don’t make a change soon enough? That can tank your season.
    I hope he learns from the mistakes he’s made and makes adjustments accordingly.

  48. Big Daddy 58 Says:

    Hey,Maybe we can lure Bellichick away from the giants.