Bucs bring back Dirk Koetter for another year

By Ken Filler
Dec. 30, 2017

With constant speculation swirling this last month regarding Dirk Koetter’s employment status with the Bucs, the answer came today as the Glazer family gave Koetter a vote of confidence to come back for the 2018 season.

In two seasons, Koetter has posted a 13-19 record and the Bucs are currently on a five game losing streak. The defense has taken a step back. The running game is non-existent. The special teams have not been very special this year and have gotten progressively worse as the season has gone on.

Why bring Koetter back? Well, Koetter has been responsible for the development of the franchise Jameis Winston. Last week in Carolina Winston outplayed an NFL MVP, and Super Bowl winner in Cam Newton. When Winston learns to cut down on his turnovers, especially the fumbles, he will move into the upper echelon off NFL quarterbacks.

At some point you have to develop some consistency, and you don‘t do that by changing coaches every two years, or whenever you have a losing season. Did the Bucs underacheive this year? Absolutely they did and part of that falls on Dirk Koetter.

There were times Koetter mismanaged the clock in crucial situations. His play calling was suspect at times. These are two areas that Koetter needs to improve on for the 2018 season.

Injuries took their toll on this team. Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander, Vernon Hargraves, Brent Grimes all missed substantial times with injuries. Let’s not forget Jameis Winston missed over three games with a shoulder injury. Ali Marpet and Demar Dotson have missed the last month of the season after being placed on IR. All teams have injuries and have to overcome those injuries to have a successful season. But the Bucs were hit hard early and often with injuries and appeared to be snake bitten as the season went along.

We will never know the extent of the conversation between Jason Licht and Koetter when Licht told Koetter he was coming back for another season. Was He told he would have to some changes on the coaching staff? Give up Play calling? These are changes that need to happen for Koetter to have the success he wants to have in Tampa.

I support bringing back Koetter back under a couple of conditions. He needs to fire his good friend Mike Smith. Mike Smith’s defense has been at the bottom of the league all season. Too many times we saw guys not knowing where to go, what defense to be in, out of position, playing soft, etc. This falls on Mike Smith. This defense definitely took a huge step back this year and a new voice is needed.

Koetter must give up play calling. As the head coach it is his responsible to manage the game and too many times he has missed important plays and spots because he’s looking at his play sheet or trying to get the correct personal on the field for the next play. You cannot manage the game effectively and call plays effectively. Maybe Todd Monken should be calling the plays.

I hope Koetter makes the necessary adjustments to the staff that is needed to get the Bucs back to respectability. If not, it will be more of the same stale defensive schemes and boring play calling that we have seen. And if thats the case Dirk Koetter will be out in 2018.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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