The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have put together arguably their best two-game stretch all season. All three phases of the team are playing well and complimenting each other which may be making the decision to move on from current Buccaneers Head Coach Dirk Koetter at the end of the season.
Continuity always seems to play a key in how the Glazer family wants to run their organization. It goes to say, if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can somehow win out their remaining schedule, would it be enough for them to trust Koetter, again, for another season.
This is the question we presented to the writing staff this week: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on a two game win streak and playing significantly better in all three phases of the game. Is there a possibility Head Coach Dirk Koetter is brought back next season if the team does win its remaining games?
Four games remain. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on a two-game winning streak. If they win out could we see Dirk Koetter back nextseason?
Take a trip with me back in time. The year: 2016. The Buccaneers had three wins and five losses. Then week 10 rolled around. TheBuccaneers peeled off five wins in a row and eventually ended the season nine and seven. Hopes were high rolling into the offseason.
2017: Acquisitions were made, players were drafted, and the Bucs rolled into the preseason. The season got into full swing but for the Buccaneers, it was not meant to be. Two losing streaks of five games each sank the team. All hope was dashed.
2018. The year came with the same offseason hopes and aspirations. This time dashed early with a Winston suspension. With the season opener, all hope was restored as Ryan Fitzmagic downed the New Orleans Saints. Then the Buccaneers sank. Winston came in as the starter, then he was benched. It seemed as if the team was cursed. Now the team is riding a two-game winning streak. If the Buccaneers win the next four games, it could propel them to the playoffs. That would require some outside help. If they get that help and secure a wild-card spot, Dirk Koetter may have very well have saved his job. If the result is a missed playoff berth, then I believe he is jettisoned even if they win out.
I do not believe that Dirk Koetter will return. If that were the case, Tampa Bay would have been more active at the trade deadline with acquiring players like Landon Collins for a second round pick, which in my opinion would have been well worth a premier safety in the NFL.
The team also may have been more aggressive in getting draft picks for Desean Jackson. If the team makes the playoffs, it would be a situation like the one in Tennessee with Head Coach Mike Mularkey being fried after a second-round playoff exit, which I believe would be the absolute ceiling with Tampa Bay given the deficiencies in the secondary in an increasingly pass happy league. I envision Tampa Bay going with a defensive coach in the offseason to remedy their known issues.
Of course, there is a possibility that Dirk Koetter can save his job. If his Buccaneers can run the table he’d have a few in his favor. For one, he’ll still be under contract. He’d have a record of 9-7 for two of his three seasons as head coach. The Bucs offense is Koetter’s strong suit and will end up being one of the league’s best. They’ve been ranked the number one in passing and total offense for most of the season.
Couple all of that with the fact that he has already fired his buddy and defensive coordinator, Mike Smith. Since Smith’s departure, the defense has been gradually improving and now the team look formidable. Koetter can point to Smith’s defense and ineffectiveness as the culprit for under performing.
Last but not least, the progression of Jameis Winston down the stretch of this season could definitely save Koetter’s job. Winston has been playing some of the best football of his career after getting benched. The main reason Koetter was hired as head coach for the Bucs was to develop Winston. If Winston continues to play at a high level in these final four games, Koetter might just find his himself back in Tampa Bay.
If and only if the Bucs win out, they have a chance to make the playoffs. If they win two of the next four, going 8-8, I think Dirk Koetter keeps his job as Buccaneers head coach. The Buccaneers have been playing better in all three phases and it just took the removal of Mike Smith and some time for this team to come together.
The offense was not the issue, the defense was the issue. While the offense needed better play calling, Dirk Koetter had surrendered his duty to Todd Monken and the red zone offense has improved. Their defense under Mark Duffner has gone from league worst to respectable, allowing under 20 points per game while at home.
They are home this week and defeating the New Orleans Saints would be a huge boost of confidence for Buccaneers ownership. Dirk Koetter will be gone if they lose in blowouts or lose more than two of their final four games.
This team is close and they just have to get over the hump, but the biggest question that should be asked is Dirk Koetter that guy. It didn’t look that way at times, but this team always seems to get just close enough. Personally, I’d like to see a change, unless they make the playoffs because the stubbornness of Koetter set this team back this season, what could it do next season.
The Bucs are on a two-game win streak. Defense is night and day and I haven’t had to pray for the kicker to make his kicks. Not to mention the offense is playing turnover-free football. Life is good.
A few weeks ago if you would have asked me if Dirk Koetter was as good as gone I would have 100 percent agreed. Now I’m not so sure that is the case. Lately, this team is playing complimentary football in all phases.
What would it take for Koetter to keep his job? For starters, the Bucs would have to continue winning. I think 8-8 or 9-7 likely means that Koetter will remain the head coach for next year.
Another important thing that Koetter will have to answer for to the Glazers is, “do you believe in Jameis Winston?”. Depending on how Koetter answers that question will decide his fate with the team. Winston isn’t going anywhere in 2019 so if Koetter doesn’t believe in Winston there’s no reason to keep him on as head coach.
The last question would have to be what are you going to do with your staff? Staff changes need to be made starting with George Warhop who has had the responsibility of being the run game and offensive line caller. This is something Warhop has failed in since the 2016 season he’s failed. What are you going to do with the defensive coordinator? Will Duffner stay as DC or do they look elsewhere?
This is what Koetter will have to decide if he wants to keep his job. First things first though, just keep winning baby!
Dirk Koetter was brought here to be the head coach for several reasons. Develop Jameis Winston, create a great offense, and get this team back into the playoffs. He had fallen short of meeting these goals coming into the season and had to deliver in year three.
I’d argue that he has been successful in two of these areas. However, the third area is looking like a long shot. In the NFL it’s a results-based business and two out of three just isn’t good enough. It seems clear that if the Buccaneers miss the playoffs then Koetter will be fired.
However, if the unthinkable should happen and this team actually makes the playoffs after digging itself a huge hole, then why shouldn’t Koetter keep his job? Sure, he’s made mistakes along the way. Most notably allowing Mike Smith to continue to run the defense and benching Jameis Winston.
Those are choices Koetter made that cost this team wins. But keep in mind, he rectified those mistakes and will not be a problem moving forward. So at the end of the day, if Koetter gets this team to the playoffs and meeting all the expectations that were placed on him then he can save his job. So I’ll call it a slim chance that he is still the head coach in Tampa Bay next season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach Dirk Koetter has missed the playoffs in each of his first two seasons with the team. With that being said, Koetter is still the most successful Buccaneer coach since Jon Gruden in terms of win percentage. He currently holds a 43.8% winning percentage, which is not where the organization wants to be.
However, the coaches before Koetter include Lovie Smith (25%), Greg Schiano (34.4%), and Raheem Morris (35.4%). Raheem Morris was the longest tenured out of the aforementioned coaches with three seasons, whereas Schiano and Smith both were fired after two seasons. Based on winning percentages alone, Koetter deserves another season since Morris was given a third season. If the Buccaneers win the remainder of their games thisseason, Koetter’s win percentage will only increase.
Moving on from Mike Smith may have saved Dirk Koetter’s job for at least one more season. Under Mark Duffner, the defense has improved and has helped the Buccaneers win games against the 49ers and the Panthers.
JennaLaine of ESPN recently tweeted that under Mike Smith, the defense only had nine sacks, one interception, and was allowing 34.6 points per game. Under Mark Duffner, the defense has totaled 24 sacks (second in the NFL over the last seven games), six interceptions, and is only allowing 26 points per game.
The problem in Tampa Bay has been defense all season. If the team continues to win, the defense continues to surge, Cairo Santos continues to be reliable, and the offense stays away from turnovers, DirkKoetter is likely to be the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next season.
What a roller coaster of a season it has been for Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Head Coach Dirk Koetter. Your starting quarterback is suspended for the first few games and you have to rely on a journeyman career backup quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick. Not to mention the quarterback carousel Koetter orchestrated when Jameis Winston did return to action.
Looking back at the first half of the season, Koetter had every opportunity to cut ties with long time friend and former Bucs’ defensive coordinator, Mike Smith, before some of those games really got out of control.
I say all of this to make my point. Dirk Koetter will have to pay for his mistakes come the post season. The Glazers will have a sit down with him, as they do every season, and grade out his performance as head coach. Even if the Buccaneers somehow win every last game on the schedule, I do not believe it’s enough to save his job given the many opportunities that were laid out in front of him to make this team succeed.