And so it begins. The first postseason firing has been made official as the Buccaneers are relieving Dirk Koetter of his duties, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN (Twitter link).
The move had been widely expected, but there were some 11th hour reports that Koetter could possibly survive. It was reported earlier today that the team would be retaining Jameis Winston as their starting quarterback next year, but Koetter won’t get another year.
Bucs chairman Joel Glazer released a statement on behalf of the team (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network), saying “we sincerely appreciate the hard work and commitment shown by Dirk over the past several years. Working with Dirk has been a pleasure and we wish him and his family all the best in the future.” Rapoport notes in the same tweet that GM Jason Licht will conduct the coaching search, meaning his job is safe. Licht had been rumored to be on the hot seat as well, but has apparently been spared.
Koetter was a hot head coaching candidate a few years ago after he was widely credited with doing a great job coordinating the Falcons’ offense, but things never worked out in Tampa Bay. He went 9-7 his first year but that slipped to 5-11 last year, and he was very nearly fired at the end of last season. After the Bucs were unable to get Jon Gruden they stuck with Koetter for another year, and it’s been clear for a while now they were going to go in a different direction. They’ve been connected to Mike McCarthy recently, and we should know more about Tampa’s intentions soon.
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