If the report from Tampa Bay Times reporter Rick Stroud is, in fact, accurate, and the Glazers have decided to keep head coach Dirk Koetter for another season, they have rolled the dice like no other time in team history – especially if Jon Gruden ends up in Oakland, New York or coaching for another team that will have an opening in three days, and ends up having success.

Throughout the team’s history, and really any other franchise for that matter, you have to gamble.

Former Bucs head coach John McKay and DC Wayne Fontes – Photo by: Getty Images

Former Bucs head coach John McKay and DC Wayne Fontes – Photo by: Getty Images

Hugh Culverhouse gambled on a college coach who ended up losing his first 26 games in John McKay. They had success as McKay built the Bucs into a playoff team in his fourth season and three of his seven total seasons as Bucs coach.

Jackpot.

The next gamble, allowing Doug Williams following the 1982 season to walk, was a disaster. Combined with the gamble to select Bo Jackson No. 1 overall in 1986 set the franchise back for nearly two decades. That is without taking into account Ray Perkins, Richard Williamson and Sam Wyche.

Busted.

Malcolm Glazer’s first gamble was to try and hire Steve Spurrier and Jimmy Johnson before being turned down and eventually settling on Tony Dungy.

Jackpot.

Although Dungy never got to hoist the Lombardi Trophy as a Buccaneer, the demure, quiet leader of men, changed the culture of a floundering franchise and opened the door for the next gamble. The midnight trade for Jon Gruden.

Former Bucs head coach Jon Gruden - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Former Bucs head coach Jon Gruden – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Multiple draft picks and millions of dollars changed hands overnight, but it paid off with the team’s first, and so far only, Super Bowl win.

Again, jackpot.

The jackpot shrank over the years, although two more times in Gruden’s tenure the Bucs managed to win the NFC South and reach the playoffs. Following the monumental collapse of 2008 – a year where the Bucs were poised to have the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs starting the season 9-3 until a four-game skid and a 9-7 non-playoff year left Bucs fans and ownership scratching their heads wondering what happened – the Glazers gambled again.

Gruden was fired and a “youngry” Raheem Morris took the reins.

Busted.

There have been a more bad rolls of the dice since then.

Josh Freeman.

Greg Schiano.

Lovie Smith

All busted.

Bucs head coach Lovie Smith – Photo by: Getty Images

What will Koetter’s legacy end up being in the Bucs gamble history? It is too soon to say, but the Glazer have apparently went all in and pushed their chips to the middle of the table.

Maybe 2018 sees a Bucs team that stays healthy. Maybe Winston reaches the elite franchise status. Maybe the young draft class of 2017 continues to develop. And maybe, just maybe the 4-12 (or 5-11) Bucs flip their record, win the NFC South and Koetter is the NFL Coach of the Year.

That’s a lot of maybes, and a huge gamble, especially if Gruden, Josh McDaniels or another coach would have been the answer.

In the meantime changes must be made. There is no way this organization can sell this current product to the fans or corporate sponsors in 2018.

One of the worst defenses in the NFL, an average scoring offense, an anemic pass rush, a possibly suspended quarterback, a muddied running back group, an underperforming offensive line.

Yawn.

Are you excited Bucs fans?

But if the report is true and Koetter gets another year to turn things around, it has to work. There is no other option.

The Glazer chips are all in.

They bet has been made.

The dice have been rolled.

Hopefully it isn’t the Glazers crapped out 12 months from now watching Gruden in the playoffs with another team.

That would be the worst roll in franchise history, and one that will be hard to recover from.

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About the Author: Mark Cook

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 protected]
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Pete Wood
Pete Wood
4 years ago

Keeping Koetter isn’t exactly a jackpot, but, not a bad move. To use another gambling analogy, it’s like drawing a flush in poker. A good solid hand that you wouldn’t discard, even though you might possibly do better.

FLBoy84
FLBoy84
Reply to  Pete Wood
4 years ago

Meh. Maybe more like two pair, Aces high.

devasher
devasher
Reply to  Pete Wood
4 years ago

The only way a flush is a solid hand you wouldn’t discard vs one you would be fairly elated with is if you were playing a dueces wild variation.

Dirk Koetter is nothing like drawing a flush in traditional poker as I can guarantee you I’d win more than 4 out of 15 hands going in with it.

Dirk Koetter is a pair of Jacks with an ace kicker in a field of 4. You might play it, but you don’t feel good about it.

liquidmuse3
liquidmuse3
Reply to  Pete Wood
4 years ago

Funny how you mentioned “Glazer” as if it’s one entity. No, you had Malcolm who actually made the money and good moves, and you have the boys who’ve made nothing but bad decisions.

Bucsfan1983
Bucsfan1983
4 years ago

I don’t think Gruden goes to another NFL job. Unless Packers or Eagles jobs suddenly become available. Which they won’t. There’s a reason he has been turning jobs down, if he does return to coaching, it will be with the Bucs. Just a matter of when. For now Glazers decided to give Koetter another year. A show me year.

Horse
Horse
Reply to  Bucsfan1983
4 years ago

I think the key was his son is a senior in high school and wants to see him play football; it would be tough if he was the head coach. I’m not going to be happy if Smith still hangs around.

liquidmuse3
liquidmuse3
Reply to  Horse
4 years ago

His son is out of HS before the next Bucs season I thought.

mark2001
mark2001
Reply to  liquidmuse3
4 years ago

So how will you feel if he goes to Oakland? If something like that happens, you will know that the Glazers just chit the bed again.

tomort1
tomort1
Reply to  Horse
4 years ago

Bucs already paid him for 3 years of on-the-job training, one as O.C two as H.C. I think Gruden will be waiting a year too, so the Glazers will give Dirk another year to see if he has progressed like you should, see what he learned and if he will be able to prove he’s a keeper.. If not , next year the boot and we hope J.G. is still there.

maarnold1775
maarnold1775
Reply to  Bucsfan1983
4 years ago

I certainly hope your right in that scenario. My worst fear is that Koetter sneaks out another lucky year and misleads everyone into believing he’s the answer, signs another 4 year deal and the bottom falls out. Now we’re further into the hole then if we would had cut our losses this or next year.

SappAttack
SappAttack
Reply to  maarnold1775
4 years ago

no.

matador
matador
Reply to  maarnold1775
4 years ago

This is exactly my fear as well. I want to believe in Koetter but I see no reason to other than hope and hope is not a strategy. Ugh

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  Bucsfan1983
4 years ago

As I understand the current reports, the Raiders are offering Gruden$10+ million a year, 10 year guarantee, and a piece of the team. It would be awfully hard to turn that down. I can also see why the Glazers would not compete with that.

macabee
macabee
4 years ago

Pewter Nation Podcast ought to be interesting next edition! lol.

MudManVA
MudManVA
Reply to  macabee
4 years ago

You are right Mac, SR has been hard selling the coaching change to Gruden for the Glazers up until his last fab 5 when he started backpedaling!

All the Koetter articles are from Trevor & mark, hello SR!? Where are you hiding & what’s the real story?

Ken Grant
Ken Grant
4 years ago

This is such bullshit.

FLBoy84
FLBoy84
4 years ago

Get the logic of giving Licht and Koetter one more year together to get the ship turned around, just hoping the decision proves to be the correct one. Would like to see a few changes made on the Def staff and maybe Koetter relinquish play calling duties to Monken though.

Horse
Horse
Reply to  FLBoy84
4 years ago

Right with you.

shuster
shuster
Reply to  FLBoy84
4 years ago

Even with Koetter staying I think Smith is gone.

mark2001
mark2001
Reply to  shuster
4 years ago

So who do you think will take that one year interim job? You guys make me laugh. A top notch D coordinator isn’t going to step in with a HC on thin ice…the thinnest of ice. There will either be no change or some old retread looking for one more paycheck. Face reality.

mark2001
mark2001
4 years ago

After over 30 years, it is the last straw for me….one year exultation…the rest…same old same old. Time to move on.

Mark Rodriguez
Mark Rodriguez
4 years ago

This is only a gamble if you start with the assumption that the Bucs had to make a choice between Koetter and Gruden. I’ve been saying all along that’s nothing more than wishful thinking on the part of bucs fans. I really don’t think Gruden leaves MNF and if he does, its likely to be to Tennessee. Everybody here got so excited when rumors were swirling that Gruden was reaching out to potential assistants, implying that he was putting together a staff for a return to Tampa. What everybody was ignoring though is that he was specifically reaching out to… Read more »

shuster
shuster
Reply to  Mark Rodriguez
4 years ago

I agree and that may be part of the timing of this. I think maybe the Glazer’s thought they had a shot at Gruden and when they realized they didn’t they decided to give Koetter one more year. I have nothing to back that up, just a hunch.

liquidmuse3
liquidmuse3
Reply to  Mark Rodriguez
4 years ago

Except the theory is he doesn’t want to recruit, also, um, Tennessee just hired a coach.

shuster
shuster
Reply to  liquidmuse3
4 years ago

Sure enough, I totally missed that. It was a while ago too. Goes to show I’m working too many 12 hour shifts.

devasher
devasher
4 years ago

The Glazer Babies have an absolutely horrific record since Malcom ceded control to them after his strokes in the mid-2000’s. The reason why this franchise keeps firing coaches after two years and trying to mimic the Browns is because the Bucs have effectively been the Browns since the “born lucky’s” took control of the team. If you’d bet against every hare-brained idea hiring (Raheem, Schiano, Dominik, Lovie, Licht) or idea they’ve presented you’d be rich. Unfortunately the genetic lottery means that the entitled children of a millionaire get to play with a team they’ve proven they are have no business… Read more »

e
e
4 years ago

I’ll give the Glazers credit for breaking the two-year coaching cycle. I’m open to seeing where Thisbe rabbit hole goes.

buccaneerNW
buccaneerNW
4 years ago

Thankfully, the Glazers ignored PR’s blatant Gruden pimping. If Gruden returns elsewhere, I’m not sure he’s going to have the triumphant return to the NFL that you guys expect. Maybe… I give Koetter an equally good chance to have success as Gruden. Make the right choice at defensive coordinator, some good defensive pickups in free agency and the draft, get Winston’s fumbling under control, and we’re looking good.

Buc76
Buc76
4 years ago

It means Gruden either turned them down or he’s going back to Monday night for another year. They won’t pay Koetter and a new coach unless it was Gruden. That’s what it’s about. They’ve paid 2 coaches for the past 9 years. They would do it again but only for Gruden. They could care less about continuity.

Big Wheel 80
Big Wheel 80
4 years ago

Dirk has only a bunch of bad game management and it didn’t get any better this season. Defense got worse I don’t think it’s a gamble but nothing more than a losing hand.

buc run
buc run
4 years ago

The Glaziers never say anything before season’s end. Did they come out and say this? Or is this Rick Stroud’s wishful thinking since he is not a Gruden fan?

Big Wheel 80
Big Wheel 80
4 years ago

Hopefully they let Monkin have a bigger part in the offense fire Smity and bring someone in over Licht.

Big Wheel 80
Big Wheel 80
4 years ago

Maybe Dirk will refuse to fire Smity and the Glazers will have to clean house. Pound the rock!

JustaBuc
JustaBuc
4 years ago

I can’t help but read this article with a really salty, nay-saying tone. This comparison to rolling the dice doesn’t make sense at all.

Let’s just assume that Gruden does in fact go back to coaching. That’s hardly a guarantee atm but sure. So what if Gruden goes to another team and succeeds? That doesn’t mean that he would have been successful here.

If Koetter sucks then that sucks. If he succeeds then awesome. If he’s only alright, then fine. The decision is hardly a jackpot or bust.

Buccluck
Buccluck
4 years ago

I don’t see how the Glazers or this franchise survives Chucky having success with another team if Koetter has another dreadful season like this one was.

Charlie C
Charlie C
4 years ago

Finally there will be a coach that survives more than two years here. Keep everything as is and give this time to work. What’s the worse thing that can happen? Another year and no playoffs? Look in the mirror Bucs fans, we are now a decade into the black hole of watching the other teams in the playoffs. Let’s see if Winston gets a second contract, which would make him the first QB in team history to do so. He is the best QB in our team history, is breaking records that Marino put up, and there is already an… Read more »

Dilly Dilly
Dilly Dilly
4 years ago

Can we still get Derrick Brooks as general manager?

DCGoth
Reply to  Dilly Dilly
4 years ago

With Koetter as HC this team will be fortunate to sign anyone not currently coaching high school.

DCGoth
4 years ago

I really hope this isn’t real, and Stroud is just blowing smoke out of his ass.

bensez
bensez
4 years ago

Thats great Winston gets continuity. However, I still have reservations about Koetter. It wasn’t that long ago we heard reports how predictable his plays and play calling were. What about this offensive line…not the maulers we that they were going to be. The defensive unit on a whole, while filled with some talent, lacks an identity and a pass rush. I hope I’m wrong…just not convinced. There needs to be some serious housekeeping/revamping. Lets see what the football gods have in store for the Bucs.

SappAttack
SappAttack
4 years ago

we are fucking fucked. next season is over before the current one is finished.

#itsabucslife

James R Cash
James R Cash
4 years ago

This move is the reflection of what the BUCS are at this moment….Futile!…..The only was you get this right is if Mike Smith is gone…Its like Prevent defense ALL game….I often wonder…..Will they EVER win a game where they dominate and the issue is NOT in doubt in the 4th quarter?

Mike.Seven
Mike.Seven
4 years ago

The Glazers have no intention of winning football games, They are happy to put Gruden in the ring of fame but would not think to hire a winning coach, with revenue sharing and cold weather team ticket purchases, they can make a profit! winning football games means spending more money, the Glazers are happy with the participation award, Dirk is doing a good job of losing 10-12 games a year, revenue sharing was the worst idea in football. Allows clowns like Glazers to make money with a losing team.

Randy H.
Randy H.
Reply to  Mike.Seven
4 years ago

This is only Dirks second year and last year, he only lost 7. How is he doing a good job of losing 10-12 games a year? If you are going by this year alone, then in the same amount of time, he is doing a good job of losing 7 games a year.

surferdudes
4 years ago

There might be some tweaks to the staff, but don’t expect Smith to be gone. He got a huge contract last year, and in all fairness to him we just don’t have any good D linemen. Maybe that changes with F.A., and the draft. I agree with others it was Gruden or bust, we’ll find out if he doesn’t take another coaching job.

1sparkybuc
1sparkybuc
4 years ago

Emulate the Steelers franchise. Changing team leadership every two or three years is a losing proposition.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
4 years ago

Keep your power dry. Note – this was not an official statement by the Glazers – it was a media report of what Licht told Koetter. Note no. 1 – The Glazers told Greg Schiano two days before he was fired that his job was safe. Until it wasn’t. A lot of folks in the Bucs world outside of PR believe with some justification that the exclusive media report given to Rick Stroud was a trial flag,run up the pole to see what the reaction would be. Because if it WAS official the Glazers would have made an official announcement.… Read more »

surferdudes
4 years ago

Funny you should say that Fan. No official announcement on the Bucs official web site. These are the same Glazers’ who fired Gruden out of left field two weeks after the season ended. No telling what the three stooges might do.

4girls
4girls
4 years ago

It may not be the most exciting move. (Assuming the Glazers don’t change their minds. Again.) But, I can see it working if… …Koetter releases play calling responsibilities to Monken …A new DC comes in and we switch to a 3-4 and our third down percentage improves …A solid draft where our trenches get tougher and stronger …Winston does NOT get suspended and has the season many thought he would this year …Koetter improves his offense in the Red Zone, on first downs, and incorporating Desean more effectively Those are just a few if’s, but wouldn’t there be just as… Read more »

cgmaster27
cgmaster27
Reply to  4girls
4 years ago

I think you hit every one of those points right on the head. I think this team not quitting and the way Jameis has played the last couple of weeks might have saved Koetter job. Those points you listed would be things I would make clear if I’m the Glazers to Koetter. However others have a good point as none of this has come from the Glazers yet. Maybe Chucky was trying to get too expensive so the Glazers put a PR move out there? Tough to read those Glazers.

matador
matador
Reply to  4girls
4 years ago

What would Koetter actually be contributing in this scenario? If he’s not calling plays, how will he ‘improve his offense in the red zone, on first downs and incorporating Desean more effectively’? Monken would have control of first down/red zone calls, while Desean’s greatest strength is the deep ball which other than fumbling is Winston’s greatest weakness so there’s no magic bullet (ha) to fix that. Would it be leadership? Based on his comments after games and his lack of control of the team and situations on the sidelines several times this year, his leadership skills appear to be zilch.… Read more »

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  4girls
4 years ago

What makes you think Monken is a great playcaller? Aside from the fact that he’s never in his career called a single play in the NFL? What makes you think we’re suddenly going to get much better in the red zone? Same coaches, mostly the same players. Maybe if we got a big talent infusion on the offensive line, but it seems more likely that the Bucs will focus on the defensive line, because they seem to think everything is peachy keen on the offensive line … they’ve been saying that ever since the end of last season, they stood… Read more »

sean champion
sean champion
4 years ago

It shouldn’t ever really be a surprise that any team gives a new coach three years to prove himself. I feel like this article is a little overly harsh only because PR has been saying he was almost certainly getting fired, and now they have to cover why he didn’t. They are right though, BIG changes have to happen. The offense improved–when Jameis was finally healthy he was playing lights out even with the fumble issues. (check the stats if you don’t believe me) The defense sucks, the offensive line is inconsistent, and the run game is a joke. Now,… Read more »

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  sean champion
4 years ago

Uhh, no, it was not just PR that was talking up a Koetter firing. Koetter was on virtually every NFL head coach hot seat list the last three weeks or so, with many saying he was a sure goner, others saying he was iffy. The fact that it was brought up at team pressers by the local media (not just PR) is evidence of that. Koetter was on, and should have been on, the coaching hot seat after taking a 9-7 team to 4-11, quite likely 4-12, in his second season, and with his prize no. 1 overall draft pick… Read more »

bucballer
bucballer
4 years ago

In a normal situation I’m all for continuity. It takes time and patience to build a playoff team. Don’t laugh… but i don’t think the Bucs are that far off from making the Playoffs with Jamesis. With a Top 5 pick… I really like a surprise pick here with RB Saquon Barkley: imagine a backfield with Barkley and Jamesis for the next 5 years…or you go with stud DB out of Alabama…we certainly need help on the Defense side of the ball! That’s not the point.. Koetter has made some questionable strategic coaching errors with the clock and time management… Read more »

Garv
Garv
4 years ago

Given what Jon Gruden is apparently asking for? Including total control of the team? THAT would have been rolling the dice. Up against very bad odds.
The Glazers did the right thing and it’s time to move on. ALL about lessons learned, the offseason and roster improvement via addition and subtraction.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  Garv
4 years ago

10 years of job security is not total control of the team. Of course, we don’t really know anything, we just read these unofficial leaks. I cannot blame Gruden for wanting security with a franchise with a record of firing coaches every 2 or 3 years. He’s already been a victim of the same owners once already, was fired when he should not have been. If the media reports about the Raiders deal are correct, he will get pretty much everything he wants from them, so I cannot imagine the Glazers being willing to match, let alone top that. But… Read more »

DrT1066
DrT1066
4 years ago

Sam Wyche a bust?
He drafted
Derrick Brooks
Warren Sapp
John Lynch

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  DrT1066
4 years ago

Uhhh… no. Why is it so many commenters at PR constantly presume that head coaches do the drafting in the NFL? Please, people, get real. GMs draft the talent, not the HCs. HC’s have an input, maybe, but usually not that much.

The guy who drafted the guys you point to was Rich McKay. He was the best judge of NFL talent in Bucs team history. He was also a lousy salary cap manager who put us in cap hell after our SB winning season, but he sure knew how to draft.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
4 years ago

I think Scott is full of it when he says now that there are no other choices for Bucs head coach but Koetter or Gruden … it was just a few weeks ago he put up a post talking up Belichick’s assistants at NE. Most NFL observers believe there are actually a lot of very good potential HC hires out there. And besides,I’d have to go back a year ago to the PR archives, but how many posts did Scott publish a year ago about what a great coaching prospect was available in Sean McVay? Probably zero, amiright? There are… Read more »

Garv
Garv
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 years ago

I disagree. IMO it’s about the roster, not the coaching. We simply did not have the horses on defense, particularly on the DL. If the Buccaneers can find two DE’s that can rush the passer, at least one CB and a G and a couple of RB’s on offense? Suddenly the Koetter and Smith that we all loved just one year ago, hell just last summer, will be back again. It’s a tall order to fill all those holes in one offseason, yes. But that what it will take IMO. May well take two offseasons to get to the playoffs… Read more »