Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter picked up plenty of local and national love a boisterous, in-your-face postgame locker room speech when he directed players to “carry a big mother [expletive] stick.”
Media jumped all over the sound bite and Bucs fans fed off the first-year coach’s energetic style.
It was a two-part quote, however, that Koetter tweaked and borrowed from U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. And according to the coach, some behind-the-scenes individuals violated the first phrase: “Speak softly.”
The minders of the Bucs’ social media accounts displeased the head coach so much so that Koetter felt the need to lead off his Thursday media session with an apology.
“I want to make sure that on behalf of the Bucs organization that I apologize to the Falcons for whatever that was supposed to be that went out on social media yesterday,” Koetter said about a photo and message tweeted out and directed at the Atlanta Falcons on Monday afternoon. “That’s not what our organization is about. That was totally unprofessional and not smart on our part, whoever’s responsible for the that.”
The tweet in question was posted in response to a tweet the Falcons posted on the Bucs’ Twitter page. The Bucs first sent out a benign marketing tweet publicizing the sale of team-branded ‘fidget spinners,’ to which the Falcons replied with a GIF of cornerback Desmond Trufant and message asking, “Are you nervous about something?”
Fidget spinners are, apparently, little stress-relieving widgets.
Not to be outdone on their own Twitter account, the Bucs shot back 1 hour and 3 minutes later with the knockout blow: A slyly selected locker room photo of Vernon Hargreaves III fist bumping Jameis Winston and the comment, “We ain’t worried ’bout nothing!”
What makes the photo selection amazing is that Hargreaves (No. 28) is off to the left and Winston (No. 3) is just off to the right.
As in the Falcons leading the New England Patriots 28-3 in the third quarter of last February’s Super Bowl before melting down and losing 34-28 in overtime.
Koetter did not appreciate the cleverness of the photo selection and snarky nature of its meaning, though, and said he disapproved of the jab at his former employer.
“Heck, we want to be playing in the Super Bowl and we were home sitting on our butts while they’re playing,” Koetter said. “So we’ve got no room to be making fun of anybody that was in the Super Bowl, whether they won or not.”