Dirk Koetter’s Long-Term Status

April 2nd, 2018

Gazes into Bucs crystal ball.

Last week at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, when Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer discussed why Dirk Koetter was brought back after the team went 5-11, it planted a seed into the fertile mind of an astute NFL analyst.

That would be the creator, curator and overall guru of Pro Football Talk, the great Mike Florio.

Glazer noted he liked the leadership Koetter brought to the team and how the team responded to Koetter when it easily could have thrown in the towel and tanked. The Bucs played their best ball in the final five weeks of the season, long after their playoff-less fate was sealed.

Now Florio, speaking on “PFT Live,” enjoyed by intelligent NFL fans weekday mornings on NBC Sports Network, is still of the mind if Chucky had wanted to coach the Bucs, then Chucky would currently be the Bucs coach. But the fact Glazer stood by Koetter after Chucky high-tailed it to California, Florio noted, seems to indicate Koetter isn’t in high danger of losing his job, unless the floor totally collapses this season.

This subject came up when Florio was looking at NFL coaches potentially being on the hot seat.

“I was told [last] week if the offense is decent, is good — I don’t want to say ‘decent,'” Florio explained, “If the offense is good, Koetter may survive.”

So the question Joe has, what is “good?” Let’s do some digging.

Last season, with virtually no running game and a hurt quarterback, the Bucs had the No. 9 offense in the NFL.

In 2016, with just one receiver and one tight end and no running game whatsoever, the Bucs offense finished No. 18.

In 2015, with a strong running game and a rookie quarterback, Koetter, then the offensive coordinator, guided the Bucs to the No. 5 offense.

So Joe is going to suggest if the offense is “good,” as Florio states, that would likely be a top-10 offense. If the Bucs have any sort of running game this year, that’s not an outlandish goal.

What Florio didn’t say was what if the Bucs have a good offense and a losing record? What then? After all the offseason upgrades on defense, Joe would find it hard to believe Mike Smith would return in 2019, if the Bucs have a losing record.

And if that does happen, if Smith is jettisoned, Joe would not be shocked one bit if linebackers coach Mark Duffner, who is highly regarded, is your next Bucs defensive coordinator.

26 Responses to “Dirk Koetter’s Long-Term Status”

  1. Jeffbuc Says:

    If defense is horrible again. I think the only way he saves his job is fire Mike Smith during the season and promote Buckner to defensive coordinator. He he lets smith coach the defense in last place or close to all year long he is signing his own termination papers.

  2. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Florio makes a decent point. However, I really could care less if we have the #1 Offense in the league in terms of yards gained.

    If Koetter continues to struggle to average 20.9 points per game, he deserves the boot.

  3. denjoe Says:

    They should have brought in a Descent CB in Free Agency. It’s rare for a rookie to come in and be a shut down corner, Plus the depth would help.
    Jason never learns though, so we will be a couple injuries away from a horrible secondary and that’s only if they draft a guy who can start.

  4. Couch Fan Says:

    What if they have the #1 offense in yards but #32 in points scored? Would that be a “good” offense?

  5. Jeffbuc Says:

    1st Denzel Ward
    2nd Darius Guice
    3rd JPP
    4th parry Richardson corner back Tulane
    5th pj Hall dt sam st
    6th best available offensive lineman
    7th best return man / third down back on the board
    Undrafted free agents bring in 10 defensive ends and find that diamond in the rough

  6. Architek Says:

    If you think in a vacuum and demand excellence and stop the sloppiness and soft practices then the winning will follow. However, in Tampa, if you just earn enough respect to be talked about or mentioned or sale tickets and not embarrass ownership then you have job security – that’s how I translate this article.

    I really hope Jameis and the offense can come together for the fans sake; the Bucs fans really deserve a winner.

  7. unbelievable Says:

    Two things:

    1. The defense had to improve. I don’t care if Koetter is an offensive guy. He’s the head coach and all 3 phases are his responsibility.

    2. Those offensive rankings are based on yards, not points scored. Yards don’t matter unless you’re playing fantasy. Points win games. Points are all that matter.

    Fix the trenches = fix the run game = fix the red zone woes = scoring more points.

  8. mog2010 Says:

    Koetter has shown no ability to think clearly under pressure. How many games has he cost us with his dreadful game management ? His comments after the last play of the Saints game, when he stated the play was not designed for Jameis to throw long, shows his incompetence. Jameis won us that game despite Koetter.

  9. IsrBuc Says:

    You guys tell me religiously that the running game will be better by the cut of doug martin alone (addition by subtraction, joe’s words). If this is true and the running game was as big as an issue it was and the impact it had on the offnese- how did koetter keep his job? all he had to do to make this team better is to keep martin on the bench. that’s all. everybody saw it. everybody knew it. how does keeping him makes a good move? I’m not talking about the soft TC, keeping baker on the field etc. If its so clear and basic and there’s no reasonable explenation for it- how is he still the coach?

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Keep banging that “we had the #9 offense” drum Joe. Who knows, maybe the NFL will finally change their criteria so that the team compiling the most yards wins.

    That same link you provided can be sorted multiple ways. Click on Pts/Game & Bucs were #18 last year with 20.9 Pts/Game (meh). Click on 3rd down conversions & we were #4 at 43% (yeah). Click on FUM & we moved all the way up to #4 with 27 fumbles (boo). But click on Turnover ratio & we we’re #18 with -1 (tells me the awful (?) defense did a commendable job in turning the ball back over to the offense).

    Bottom line to me is that the 2017 team was average to below average across the board (offense, defense & STs). IF the offense can significantly cut down on turnovers & improve the running game there’s no reason they can’t get into the Top-10 in POINTS SCORED. And IF the defense can do a better job of pressuring QBs & clamping down on the run there’s no reason they can’t get into the Top-15. Whether that’s enough in the NFC South to do better than 8-8 is anybody’s guess right now … other teams improve too.

  11. BucEmUp Says:

    If you improve the league’s last place, worst defense the offense will.improve by default with tike of possession. The offense does their half, it’s time for the dc to put up or get out of town before he costs his best bud a hc job

  12. AKick'nTheBucNuts Says:

    It’s simple.

    Win, and you have long term status.

    Lose, you’re gone…and no one cares where the offense ranks.

  13. lambchop Says:

    People still questioning why the Bucs went and won that last game against the Saints should understand that the coach needed that win more than anyone. The priority, at the time, was to save his job and worry about the draft position later if he was still employed.

    Winston tried his hardest to get his coach fired by going for a TD instead of the safe play for a FG. Koetter must have soiled his undies on that throw.

  14. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    The rankings are based on overall offense, not just yards, people. That’s what Joe is talking about.

    I commented last week that I didn’t think Koetter was actually on the hot seat. So far as Mike Smith? While Koetter chose him, in the end it is Jason Licht who must decide whether to fire him or not. Even if Dirk doesn’t agree, Licht can fire Smith.

    You can bet it was Licht who brought in Buckner, not Koetter.

    As the Joe’s point, I agree that if the Buc have a Top Ten (overall) Offense, Koetter stays. It would mean he further developed Winston, got the running game up and running, and scored a lot of points.

  15. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    lambchop Says
    “Winston tried his hardest to get his coach fired by going for a TD instead of the safe play for a FG.”

    If you mean Winston was intentionally trying to get Koetter fired, you are wrong. It’s early though, so my sarcasm meter may be off.

  16. Not there yet Says:

    Number 9 offense my arse. Worse stat ever and the most misleading. Maybe 9th in yard but that doesn’t mean they had three 9th best offense because they were likely at the bottom of every other category of offensive stats that are charted like redzone scoring.

  17. Destinjohnny Says:

    Dirks an okay coach
    He isn’t elite but solid
    We just have to get him some talent.

  18. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I like Dirk and want to be fair but top ten offense is not something that tough…

    Now injuries, suspensions, and other bad breaks aside…

    IF…we happened to get Nelson and have 3 bad dudes across the very middle of our OL…we get the best RB we can in the second round and let him compete with Barber to see who is the starting RB. If we’re lucky Barber is the real deal and the rookie would be as well and we’d have the luxury of platooning.

    Whatever…look at #’3s targets!!!! ME..DJAX..Godwin..OJ..Brate..and Hump.
    And that talent is complementary…they all have different skill sets when it comes to receiving the football.

    Dirk will hopefully loosen up, relax and have some fun this year with all of these tools. Last year I think the weight of expectations effected this entire team from QB to HC. This year the expectations are gone.

  19. unbelievable Says:

    @Defense yea that was exactly my point.

    Points scored are what matters, not yards gained. And unfortunately the last 3 years we’ve been #18, #18, and #22 in points scored.

    Better have a dayum good defense if that’s all your scoring in offense….

  20. 813bucboi Says:

    if you don’t think dirk is on the HOT SEAT, you a damn fool!!!!!!…..a good offense wont save dirk…..only playoffs will save dirk this year…..the offense was much better when lovie was holding his hand…..

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!!!!!….GO BUCS!!!!!

  21. Blake_Bucsfan Says:


    Unsurprisingly, you are completely incorrect.

    We had the 9th overall offense in terms of yards gained. 4th for passing yards, 27th for rushing yards. And we were the 18th overall scoring offense with 20.9 points per game.

    Feel free to look it up.

  22. Mike Johnson Says:

    Who care how many points we score. We must..stop somebody. That was our biggest problem. Its not the offense that will save Mr Koetter. Its the Defense. And it had better be fixed. Or you will see Koetter and his sidekick Smitty..packin bags after this season..Guaranteed!!

  23. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    @Mike Johnson

    Not sure if you’re aware of this, but in the sport of football, you win games by outscoring your opponent.

    So, your take of, “who cares how many points we score”, probably couldn’t be any dumber.

  24. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    It needs to be remembered that much of our offense were crap yards given to us by other teams, when the game was already lost.

  25. BrianBucs Says:


    People seem to intentionally forget that because it badly hurts the Jameis narrative

  26. lambchop Says:


    It was sarcasm.