Team Psychologist

September 21st, 2018

Club shrink, too.

Yes, many people brag about the Bucs and all the weapons Bucs coach Dirk Koetter has at his disposal.

Problem is, there is only one football.

So while the Bucs may be loaded with receivers and tight ends, someone is likely going to be hacked off he’s not getting the ball, win lose or draw. And while Joe is sure every player in the locker room is happy the team is undefeated, that doesn’t mean everyone is content.

Yesterday, Koetter noted he feels it is important to keep up the spirits of players who may think they are getting the shaft. Or not getting the ball thrown at them enough.

“I look at that as something I’m really conscious of – that’s part of my job,” Koetter said. “Everybody wants to win, but everybody also wants to win and get their touches. Don’t kid yourself. I’m always trying to be on the lookout for that as far as guys that aren’t playing as big a role right now for one reason or another.

“Sometimes it’s just nothing more than luck. Sometimes the ball is supposed to go one place and it goes another because it goes based on where the defense says it should go. I’m sure [some] guys are a little disappointed in the number of times they’ve been targeted. But that’s unfortunate and the bottom line is we’ve got to do whatever it takes to win. We also know that’s it a long season and usually that has a way of working itself out.”

Joe doesn’t discount how much massaging egos and trying to keep players focused on the task at hand is part of a head coach’s unwritten job requirement. It’s a huge reason why a lot of coaches who are excellent at X’s and O’s sometimes fail.

That sure is a delicate balance.

30 Responses to “Team Psychologist”

  1. Realbucfan941 Says:

    I’m guessing brate? Who else that would care haven’t been getting his.

  2. Rod Munch Says:

    Didn’t Winston have to talk Dirk off the cliff last year, either before or after the Carolina game when Dirk was being all emo and saying “IF” I’m back next year, and then Winston stood up and said to stop all this “if” whinning, we still have games to play.

    Also remember when Dirk, in his first year as head coach QUIT on the team during the Denver game. The offense was finally starting to do something, down by I think 2 scores, they get a big 3rd down play in the 4th quarter, they have the ball in the Broncos terrority, an obvious situation where you go for it, but instead Dirk is still whinning because Winston threw an INT in the first half against the best defense in football and makes them punt – basically forfeiting the game. Then in the post game he’s asked about why he punted and he said something like why bother to go for it when we’re not going to get it anyways (remember, this is right after Winston made a great play for a big gain on 3rd down). That’s quitting on your team, and really the first huge sign that Dirk really doesn’t have the mental makeup to be a head coach. Well that and the fact he’s in his mid-50s and a very successful offensive coordinator and no team had ever made him a HC, that’s another big read flag.

    The good thing I guess is that last year when Winston ignored him in the Saints game, when Dirk said play for the FG (you know when kicking was a huge issue all year, play for the FG is what you do) and Winston instead threw out Dirk’s dumb plan and threw a perfect game winning TD. A lot of coaches would get mad about Winston ignoring their moronic playcall and trying to win the game against coaches orders, but Dirk rolled with it and seemed very excited. Then in the offseason I guess Dirk finally realized that “hey, I’m not any good at calling games from the sideline, instead of letting my QB win games I’m telling him to play for FGs, so maybe I should give up on calling plays which is the entire reason I’m a head coach.” So give props to Dirk for knowing when to give up on calling plays, even if he did it a year to late, since this exact same discussion was had after the 2016 season (look it up, Joe reported on it) and Dirk retained control only to see what happened in 2017.

    So in closing I don’t think Dirk inspires confidence in anyone, but so long as he stays out of the way of the offense I think he can ride it to another year of employment, although keep in mind he gets paid either way. If the team keeps winning people won’t care and things will be great, but if the team starts losing, it’s gonna get ugly I think, in particular with a hot start to the season. Lets hope we don’t have to worry about that.

  3. kelley rose Says:

    i,m guessing brate and hump.

  4. Trench War Says:

    If Fitz is going to throw it to a specific WR or TE just to satisfy egos, how is that any different from how Jameis operates? The reason why Fitz is doing so well is that he’s hitting the open receivers in stride, and not just targeting a specific receiver. He’s not trying to force the ball into extremely tight windows. If we want him to do that we might as well insert Jameis as soon as he serves his time because he’s great at forcing 50/50 jump balls. Hump and Brate will get theirs, just consistently beat your guys and he will notice.

  5. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    My comment is the expression on Koetter’s face in that pic.

  6. '79Defense Says:

    For those who mentioned them, I don’t think it was Brate or Humphries. I can’t imagine them complaining after two games. They seem like team first people, although I’m sure they want the ball. Dirk is probably basing this on what he sometimes needs to do. It seemed like the question was simply posed to him and he answered it.

  7. DayOnePaul Says:

    Winston needs to be learning from this. It will make him a really good QB.

  8. Topcoach78 Says:

    We haven’t won but 2 games and here we go with this ish….gone start ethos selfish crap and watch how the success ends very quickly smh

  9. unbelievable Says:

    Sounds like he was responding to a question from the media about it. I highly doubt Brate or Hump has complained. Media is asking because Brate especially was big role player last year, and got paid.

    It’s only 2 games. We have a ton of weapons. Everyone will get their touches as the season goes on.

  10. Big Stinky Says:

    @Rod Munch

    Winston threw 2 INT’s in that Denver game in the first half. That’s why we were two scores down. Why does Jameis have to wait until the 2nd half to start playing better? Dirk probably lost faith in him, I know I did. JW was throwing picks in most of the games the beginning of 2016. That is why we missed the Playoffs.

  11. D1 Says:


    The saints game jameis didn’t change the play. He chose a higher risk / lower percentage throw based on coverage vs the 1st look safe play.

    He didn’t change the play and the option is his, if he feels he can get it.
    That option is built into a large number of plays.

    Is DK conservative? Yes, to an extent that is governed by the maxim “you lose more games in the NFL, than win.” The facts support this idea. Look no further than the number of games decided weekly or seasonally by 3pts . If you’re questioning the philosophy of not losing , then it’s not a Dirk koetter issue. It’s the NFL overall with very very few exceptions.

    But why worry about perspective when you just focus on a play here or there and construct an entire opinion around one call per 2-300 . If you don’t like DK cool. There’s zero need to provide a rationale that is anything but rational.

    I just wonder why you watch the NFL at all. By your own opinion, every coach fails according to the munch standards. College football is way more aggressive in play calling and philosophy. It’s not conservative like the pro game. But I doubt you watch .

    Bottom line, I agree that the Bucs and a few other teams should be making more attempts to win vs not lose. But your job and income is not on the line. DK , his family, his coaching staff, player’s, and a few more are depending on him to remain employed. So it’s not just DK thinking about DK and just rolling the dice.
    No , he has over a hundred individuals and family counting on him to not do something stupid. Getting fired for being cautious is easier to stomach than being fired for taking huge risks that don’t pan out. If you lived like you want DK to, cash in all your savings and go to Vegas and risk your own future. Who knows maybe just maybe you’ll get some respect along the way. As of now…eh !

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    @Rod Munch … “So in closing I don’t think Dirk inspires confidence in anyone, but so long as he stays out of the way of the offense I think he can ride it to another year of employment, although keep in mind he gets paid either way. If the team keeps winning people won’t care and things will be great, but if the team starts losing, it’s gonna get ugly I think.”

    So in closing? That diatribe was longer than most of mine Rod (OK, neither of us are Webster’s definition of ‘concise’). You made it sound like you’re in court arguing to can Koetter, when in reality you should be praising him for ‘growing’ from being an OC wearing an HC’s hat into being a real HC during this past year.

    And as far as Jameis essentially saving Koetter from himself goes, that’s BS. If it’s not obvious to you yet it should be: Dirk’s offense is very much like Jon Gruden’s offense was … it REQUIRES a mature FIELD GENERAL who knows how to take advantage of what the defense gives him AND who can protect the ball. Dirk’s preference for ‘explosive plays’ is a bomb waiting to go off, in more ways than one, IF the QB can’t quickly go through his progressions and find that open man. Fitz has done that in 2 games to perfection. Jameis? Disregard the fact that we won that last game. IF you were HC or OC, what would you have thought about your QB blowing off your play and going all commando on his own? (Hint: Happy that you won for sure, but probably trust that guy a lot less in the future to execute your plays).

  13. D1 Says:

    Imagine putting all your faith and trust in JW. Like you think DK should have done or do. Ok, where’s Winston?

    Last year, put everything into JW and what happened? Injury, turnovers, inconsistencies that are measured by great to bone headed.

    How is it smart to trust an individual who is consistent only in, making immature bad decisions off the field and being inconsistent on it. Trusting the game in his hands is the most risky thinking possible. A conservative coach, plays not to lose mentality, stays away from JW at all costs. Too risky.

  14. D1 Says:

    Defense rules,

    Well said!

    I would add that the amount of responsibility a coach gives his qb is a reflection on how he feels about him. If Jameis has very limited responsibilities in plays, audible , line calls, etc….it means that the coach doesn’t have Faith in him to handle it. As rod believes… JW blew off a play call …just reinforces the limited amount of faith, trust and responsibilities is warranted.

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe, there may be another side to this ‘only one football to go around’ thingie. MAYBE we have too many highly-paid weapons. Through 2 games, our 1st-contract guys (Godwin & Howard) are performing at an unprecedented level (together targeted 16 times with 13 catches for 247 yds). Wow … over 80% reception rate, largely because they’ve clearly been getting open. Our 2nd-contract guys (Humphries & Brate) are both excellent receivers to be sure (and are great in traffic), but neither has the speed that Godwin & OJ have to gain that extra step or two on defenders. Hump has been targeted 7 times with 4 receptions (57% reception rate), while Brate has yet to be targeted this season.

    Oh and BTW, one other guy is performing at an unprecedented level: Mike Evans. Through his first 3 years, ME13 averaged a tad less than 53% reception rate. This year Fitz has targeted him 19 times and Mike has 17 receptions for 230 yds … slightly over an 89% reception rate. Say what you want about the differences between Fitz & Jameis, but there’s a reason for numbers like that. And the reason goes beyond just Monken calling the plays right now IMO. Personally I think it’s because Fitz has been getting the ball to ME13 earlier (instead of waiting until he’s caught up in traffic) AND getting it there more accurately.

    And also, in case anyone hasn’t noticed, DJax has been targeted 9 times in 2 games … and has caught ALL NINE balls for 275 yds. Hmmm, an amazing 100% reception rate. Quite impressive for an old man. Gee, I wonder why he’d suggest that we stick with the hot hand. I thought in the spring that DJax would be either traded this season, or let go at the end of the year because of $$$. Changed my mind; Bucs will ride that pony until the wheels fall off.

    The other reality to me is that we can’t keep all of these weapons next year … too many other mouths to feed $$$-wise. Bucs have some very expensive players not playing much in these first 2 games … and we’re winning without them. Gee, I wonder if our billionaire owners will notice that.

  16. XpfcWintergreen2 Says:

    Great discussion here today. My two cents might only be worth one cent today. So ….

    Lovin’ it!
    Go Bucs!!!!!!

  17. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Here’s what happened in the Denver game:
    Jameis had two pics and a fumble, and 0 td’s. He was not having a good game,
    Completing only 48 % of his passes and a QBR rating of 40. It clearly was not an a performance to inspire confidence from his coach.

  18. Bird Says:

    Negative Nancy Butt munch

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    There are reasons why the success rate to Evans is so much better this year…..primarily, it is because Fitz only throws the ball to him when he is open. Jameis forces the ball to him.
    To be fair, it’s not simply the difference in QB play….our Oline is providing much better protection as is Barber. The pocket is holding up better.
    Also, the improved play from Godwin & Howard has helped.
    There is also a difference in the playcalling.
    I would like to see Winston in this new set of circumstances before I conclude that Fitz is doing a better job.
    It appears that he is….but I’m not certain Jameis wouldn’t be also doing as well.
    It will be interesting to see what happens. It’s a good problem to have.

  20. SteveK Says:

    Rod Munch,

    Jameis was bad in the Bronco game, much worse than you portrayed.

    I’ll give you that Dirk has a temper, and it’s only natural to get frustrated. Hopefully he can channel that frustration into focus against this week’s opponent.

  21. Miguel Grande Says:

    Winning is the best deodorant!

    Cam and Hump got paid.

    There will be injuries, bumps, bruises, and concussions.

    Wait until they start double teaming OJ! Then the running game and the offense really starts picking up.

    OJ is our Julio Jones.

  22. tickrdr Says:

    My compliments (not complements) to all for the quality of the writing and especially the discourse in this thread.


  23. Reach87 Says:

    Last year was last year…why continue to relive it? We have better players this year and at this point are playing better. Its a different team. Go Bucs!

  24. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @Rod Munch
    As far as Jameis talking Koetter off the cliff last year, IMO you are twisting the facts to suit your narrative. Koetter said in one his pressers after one of the games toward the end of the season that Jameis was so despondent at halftime that he had to go and talk to Jameis and calm him down. So IMO the team
    Psychologist is a trait a good coach should have.

  25. SB Says:

    Realbucfan941 Says:
    September 21st, 2018 at 12:06 am
    I’m guessing brate? Who else that would care haven’t been getting his.

    Me too. Can’t start him in any FF league anymore

  26. Realbucfan941 Says:

    And I don’t mean he would say something negatively. Send like a good dude, could be more like a joke here and there or asking coaches if he’s doing something wrong. For Dirk to go that in depth on it when the teams rolling means someone’s saying something. Hump was never a big factor and he’s still returning punts and getting screens. Brate can’t remember many targets

  27. Realbucfan941 Says:


  28. Rod Munch Says:

    All of you guys were crying for Dirk to be fired, now you love him because they’re 2-0. LOL! If they lose on Monday night 75% of you will be calling for Dirk to be fired.

    Anywho Dirk is emo, and emo NFL coaches are not good NFL coaches. I have very little confidence in Dirk as a head coach and pointed out way. Winston literally had to give Dirk a pep talk last year, in front of the team, to keep Dirk from quitting on them again. If you think that is what a good head coach does, LOL!

    Hopefully Dirk just stays out of the way and lets the offense do it’s thing. Ideally, where Dirk could be of service is trying to get the defense fixed, but he seems content to let Mike Smith do his thing without much in terms of adjustments. But hey, for this moment, it’s working.

  29. Rod Munch Says:

    Bob in Valrico – That’s now how it was reported at all, how it was reported was Dirk was talking to the team and kept saying “IF” I’m back and was being all moppie and emo and finally Jameis had enough and had enough and gave the coach a pep talk, which would be consistent with how Dirk has acted since he became head coach.

    One thing I will give Dirk total credit for is sticking his foot up Mike Evans rear end when he decided he’d spit on the flag with the rest of the pieces of trash in the NFL by taking a knee. Dirk put a very quick end to that, and so we know Dirk has it in him to take control and not be a goof, and I hope as things don’t go as well as the year goes along he shows that side of himself.

  30. Bob in Valrico Says:

    My version was said in his presser in front of the pen and mike club. Yours is embellished with your opinions.