Mid-morning prior to the Bucs hosting the Lions at Raymond James Stadium, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com appeared on his network’s pregame show and said Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and head coach Dirk Koetter had issues, including Winston not feeling Koetter supported him enough during his time with a shoulder injury earlier in the season. Rapoport also reported Winston claimed the the Bucs offense under Koetter was too predictable.
Following the loss, Winston made his way to the podium and was as animated as he has been in some time in defense of his head coach.
Photo by: Mark Cook/PR
“Me and coach Koetter have a great relationship, first and foremost,” Winston said. “We have the same goal when we go out on that football field and that is to win the football game. So, it doesn’t matter what anybody else can possibly say. Obviously, a lot of stuff can come out when we’re not doing as expected, but that’s false. Coach Koetter coaches his tail off. He definitely supports me. Whatever anybody else has to say outside of us, that’s water under the bridge. That’s shocking.”
Winston was asked about the report.
“It’s a distraction, A lot of distractions come up when we don’t perform like we need to perform,” Winston said. “I’m the type of player, fire and foremost I believe in, ‘coaches coach and players play.’ If you look at today’s game, I didn’t play. I had three turnovers. Predictable call or any call, you can’t predict that. When you have three turnovers, you can’t make that up.”
Prior to Winston speaking, a frustrated Koetter also addressed the report.
“They told me about it after the game,” Koetter said. “That’s obviously news to me. I think me and Jameis have had an extremely consistent relationship for the past three years. I don’t think anything is different about it, but that’s just my opinion.”
A reporter asked Koetter if he was concerned about this information coming out, and possible from Winston’s camp.
“It concerns me that we aren’t winning enough games,” Koetter said. “That’s what concerns me the most. I know the truth about or relationship. My biggest concern is our football team.”
Winston was asked again about the part of the report that said he thought the offense was too predictable. A fired up Winston responded.
“It doesn’t matter what a coach calls,” Winston said. “It’s our job to execute. I’ve been playing football since I was four years old. That’s what makes you a good football team—when they know what you’re going to do and you still go out there and you beat them. Being predictable, I don’t get that. I don’t get anything about an offense being predictable. If you execute to the caliber that you’re supposed to execute, it doesn’t matter if they know you’re running power. If you run power and execute power, you get it.
“It doesn’t matter if they know you’re throwing the ball to Mike Evans if the quarterback and Mike Evans are on the same page, you execute it. It doesn’t matter. Being predictable is nonexistent in my world. I play the game with confidence and I play the game to dominate. If a defense knows something is coming, you better believe I’m saying, ‘I’m glad you know it is coming, now stop it.’ That’s football. It’s a man’s will against another man’s will. That’s football, man.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at email@example.com