Dirk Koetter’s 7 Deadliest Sins

December 30th, 2018


Every NFL coach makes mistakes, even you, Mr. Belichick. Remember how Gronk tried to make that game-saving tackle in Miami?

But the elite head coaches always seem to be ahead of the game. They excel at time management, they put their players in position to succeed and they adjust game plans from week to week.

Dirk Koetter didn’t distinguish himself in any of those key areas, so the Bucs are moving in yet another direction with yet another coaching staff.

Koetter becomes the fifth head coach fired by the Glazers in the past decade, so here’s a look back at the man’s 7 deadly sins in Tampa.

No. 7 – Depth chart errors

Whether it was sticking with Doug Martin too long or starting Swaggy Baker ahead of Clinton McDonald, Koetter appeared too stubborn to make necessary changes. Moving Ali Marpet to center was an illogical move from the start, costing a young core player a year of further development at his natural guard position.

No. 6 – Coming up short

After last year’s 5-11 finish, Koetter pointed out how competitive the Bucs were in so many games. A play here, a play there, and that record could have looked a lot different, he said. Well, here we go again.

The Bucs were 1-4 last season in games decided by 3 points or less and they finished 1-4 again in that category in 2018. Good coaches find a way to win the close ones. Those that don’t are eventually shown the door.

No. 5 – Road woes

How can you beat the Saints in the Superdome in Week 1 and then drop your next seven road games? That doesn’t make sense, but Tampa Bay just went 1-7 on the road for the second consecutive season. The culprit? Awful starts. In the first half of road games this year, the Bucs were outscored 189-99. That’s not competitive. That’s not acceptable.

No. 4 – Nowhere to run

As offensive coordinator in 2015, Koetter orchestrated a well-balanced offense that featured a punishing ground game. Martin and Charles Sims each averaged 4.9 yards per carry for the NFL’s fifth-ranked rushing attack. But in Koetter’s three seasons calling the shots, he has been unable to develop a credible ground threat. Opposing defenses simply don’t respect Tampa Bay’s play-action. Would you?

No. 3 – Where’s the creativity?

When you watch teams like Chicago, Atlanta and Carolina, blessed with less firepower than the Bucs, you see imaginative offenses with players in motion and constant misdirection. You see option passes, screens, draws and funky formations designed to generate doubt. The Bucs had a very effective screen game in 2015. Where has it been for the past three seasons?

No. 2. – Loyalty 

The bond between Koetter and Mike Smith is a powerful one, going back to their days together in Jacksonville. They were an effective tandem in Atlanta and Smith’s defense in Tampa had some impressive moments in 2016.

But the Buc defense ranked last in 2017 and that should have put Smith on notice. Koetter gave him another chance to turn things around, only to see Smith’s group struggle anew in the opening month.

Yet instead of dumping Smith after Week 4, giving Mark Duffner extra time to make changes during a bye week, Koetter stuck with Smith in Atlanta. Wrong move. The Falcons promptly scored touchdowns on their first three possessions as Smith squirmed from the press box and the Bucs fell below .500.

No. 1 – Jameis, Jameis, Jameis

The main reason Koetter got the job was his solid work with Winston in 2015. Ownership believed Koetter was the right teacher to develop the No. 1 overall pick into a franchise quarterback, but it hasn’t happened.

Winston’s suspension didn’t help, but he never found a chemistry with DeSean Jackson and he was so far off his game in Cincinnati that he was benched for the following three weeks.

Once again, Koetter’s timing proved to be off. With Ryan Fitzpatrick playing poorly, Winston should have been reinstated under center at the Meadowlands. Instead, Fitzpatrick was picked off three times by the Giants before Winston led a second-half rally that fell just short.


It’s a firing-night TAMPA TWO address! As always, TAMPA TWO is presented by Caldeco Air Conditioning & Heating and is a production of The Identity Tampa Bay.

16 Responses to “Dirk Koetter’s 7 Deadliest Sins”

  1. Bird Says:

    The worst one

    Joe actually face timed ,,,,without the phone

  2. westernbuc Says:

    Piling on a fired coach. Great content guys.

    As for Jameis, Koetter didn’t sexually assault an Uber driver, and Koetter didn’t draft an alleged rapist. Koetter didn’t melt down against the Browns and the Bengals. Koetter made his mistakes, but the lasting problems will remain so long as the Glazers are in charge.

  3. Joe Says:

    Piling on a fired coach. Great content guys.

    On an evening when a Bucs head coach is fired, you are suggesting Joe write about, what exactly, how Ali Marpet blocked today?

    Joe didn’t build a successful business from scratch by not knowing what he is doing or not knowing what fans are interested in.

  4. Loyaltotheend Says:

    12 post related to the firing since it was posted seems like a bit of overkill. But hey do what you gott do to keep the advertising money coming in

  5. Loyaltotheend Says:

    I would’ve liked to have seen Dirk be more accountable to all facets of the team. He seemed clueless when asked about the defense and special teams. Hopefully next HC is able to provide solutions for all three phases

  6. MHBuc25 Says:

    westernbuc Says:
    December 30th, 2018 at 10:14 pm
    Piling on a fired coach. Great content guys.

    The problem would be the people clicking on the poor content. JoeBucsFan and BucsMob gets high traffic which coaches get fired. And QB dynamite is the hottest topic every day, a lightning rod.

  7. BrianBucs Says:

    Koetter got way too pass happy with his offense. Hopefully the new Bucs coach will favor and feature a strong run game

  8. firethecannons Says:

    Koetter kept Warhop and Mike Smith–reason to be fired! The O-Line has to improve or we will never have a running game and Winston will be killed thanks to lazy ass Donovan Smith who is worshipped by Warhop

  9. Loyaltotheend Says:

    Can’t have a strong run game with this o line

    Gotta play to your strengths Bucs strength was the offensive weapons

  10. NewTampaChris Says:

    Yikes. What a contrast to the Lightning. Go Bolts!

  11. LifeOfABucFan Says:


    Thank God we have the Bolts!!! You might here me screaming with delight in New Tampa..lol..

    As far as the complainers on Joe’s website..good grief mates, we need an outlet!! My husband is about to divorce my arse cause I can’t stop talking Bucs and Bolts..so I need this outlet, like you guys need your porn was in awhile..

  12. Topcoach1978 Says:

    Joe you’re super biased asf…. First, this is Ira’s column. Second, Joe absolutely is biased. That what fans are. Joe has strong opinions. That’s te way it’s been around here for 11 years. –Joe.
    Whenever this team comes to its senses and cans Jameis you write what the fans want also, you put down the long laundry lists of Jameis mistakes that led to it don’t make excuses and whine about how the organization failed him write the truth! Joe has written countless times that Jameis is talented and young QB who is very average by NFL starter standards. If that’s not “truth,” then Joe doesn’t know what is. –Joe

  13. westernbuc Says:

    Except you guys have been pushing for him to be fired for awhile now. I’ve read all the alleged sins all season.

    Joe built a successful business by writing about other people’s work and ginning up rage. It’s a standard internet model. WRONG! Joe built a business by sharing Joe’s honest thoughts about the Bucs revolving around the news of the day and what Joe would enjoy reading. Anyone paying attention would understand that what Joe does is the exact OPPOSITE of a standard Internet model; that’s why nobody else has a site like it. The fact is JoeBucsFan.com launched and built its roots as the Bucs jumped out to a 9-3 start in the 2008 season. Not a lot of “ginning up rage” going on. In fact, Joe’s first three seasons included two winning seasons dominated by a lot of positive energy.–Joe

    But, again, the deadliest sin was ownership/Licht/Lovie drafting an alleged rapist that can turns the ball over and can’t keep his head straight, all because he went to FSU. Can’t wait for that article.

  14. Bob in Valrico Says:

    One of the major positives has been totally overlooked by Joe. Mike Evans gets 1524
    yards in a season. Great job, Mike, You the Man.

  15. TOM Says:

    Retaining Licht is a joke. Which proves that the Glazers have no clue how to run a football team. Glazers please sell the team, since you don’t seem to care about winning. As long as Licht is GM & seems to have the last say about everything, the Bucs will never have a winning record. It pains me to say this but Licht is worse than Dominik. The HC should have final say in the draft & FA. Like Parcells once said if I’m going to do the cooking I’m going to buy the groceries.

  16. DaPostman Says:

    Winston has been a better player since the benching. That’s probably the only thing Koetter has done right. Winston needed that tough love and Koetter gave it to him. You can’t argue the results.