Maybe it was Thursday’s overcast skies and rainy weather. Maybe it was having to cut practice short. Maybe it was just the wrong question at the wrong time.

Whatever the reason, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter showed a combative side that’s rarely been on public display since coming to the franchise last year.

Photo by: Mark Cook/PR

Photo by: Mark Cook/PR

An early Thursday storm front caused the team to push the start of practice up from 8:45 a.m. to 8:15. It allowed for roughly 90 minutes worth of drills and scrimmaging, but rain and the threat of lightning resulted in an altered, shortened schedule.

Rather than doing the daily media session outside on the practice fields, Koetter came inside to the podium One Buc Place. After giving his usual opening statement, questions began with yesterday’s announcement that Cameron Brate is the early leader to win the starting tight end job.

Though he didn’t need to come out and specifically say anything about where Brate and Austin Seferian-Jenkins stand in terms of who’s the frontrunner, Koetter wasn’t thrilled to speak about the topic again Thursday.

“I don’t get what the big deal is,” he said. “Every team I’ve always been on the best players played. We haven’t played a game yet so we don’t know who’s going out there against Atlanta.”

Koetter wasn’t finished, as the first-time NFL head coach showed his first real frustrations about daily media responsibilities.

“If I had my way we’d close practice and then I wouldn’t have to answer questions like this every day,” he said. “No one would know. We’d just be getting our team ready to play. But we have practice open. It’s open for the fans, it’s also obviously open to you folks. We want to get the word out but we’ve got a lot of good football players and our number one manta is to compete and that’s what we’re doing.”

Questions regarding Brate, an undrafted free agent three years ago from Harvard, currently overtaking Seferian-Jenkins, the team’s second-round draft pick the same year, kept coming to Koetter’s dismay.

“No, I don’t understand it,” Koetter said when asked if he understood the line of questioning. “I don’t think that way, I’m just being honest. That’s not the way I think.”

Koetter made a similar unprovoked announcement Monday when he said wide receiver Adam Humphries is, at the moment, the team’s No. 3 receiver. The head coach and offensive leader clarified that it’s only Aug. 4 and nothing is set in stone.

“I thought Austin handled it great yesterday,” Koetter said. “He answered the questions. He has high expectations for himself. I certainly have high expectations for Austin, but we shouldn’t bump Cam down if he’s playing better today. As of right now Cam’s playing better. Austin still has time to win the job. He said that, I’m saying that right now, and that’s true at any position. I said Adam Humphries was our No. 3 receiver but if someone plays better than him by the time we get to Atlanta, trust me, they’ll be out there.”

But he added that coming out and stating one player is ahead of another isn’t some sort of psychological trick.

“Trust me, I’m not playing any mind games with anybody,” Koetter said. “You guys always think I’m playing these games to motivate guys. I’m telling them the truth. I’m telling them the truth and I’m never bullshitting these guys. That’s the fastest way to lose credibility with your team. So they’re never getting bullshitted by me, I promise you that.”

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About the Author: Eric Horchy

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Iabucfan
Iabucfan
5 years ago

How can you not love this guy? Go Bucs!

Xpfcwintergreen
Xpfcwintergreen
5 years ago

I find this man refreshing. He is straight forward and honest. If he doesn’t want to answer a question he just says so. He doesn’t dance around the issues. _ Sometimes reporters let their egos get in the way as they try to dig out news in their competition with each other. Of course a coach needs a thick skin in order to function as head coach in the NFL. On the other hand it is just a normal human reaction to become irritated at the constant repetition of the same old questions. _ He has also admitted that he… Read more »

warren
warren
5 years ago

If he hates to answer questions, fine. Why not just be contrite like Belichick instead of grousing about it!

1sparkybuc
1sparkybuc
Reply to  warren
5 years ago

There always has to be one who just has to find something to bitch about. Koetter says what he thinks to a point where he’s not revealing something that would help an opponent. So far, I like this HC better than any we have ever had, and yes, that includes Chucky and Dungy. It’s obvious that he knows what he’s doing and loves doing it. No huge ego getting in the way. He gets the best people for the job and let’s them do it. It appears that they trust him and believe in what he’s trying to do……and that’s… Read more »

chetthevette
chetthevette
5 years ago

I don’t think he doesn’t want to answer questions. Just the same one over and over again. At least I believe him when he says things. Kinda like the guy. No bullshit. GO BUCS

kegan
kegan
5 years ago

Just telling the truth isn’t accepted. Good thing he’s not a politician..the media would hate him. I’m very happy that he’s our coach.

jerseybucsfan
jerseybucsfan
5 years ago

No more Casper Milquetoast in Tampa! Love him.

flashgordon
flashgordon
5 years ago

Koetter’s expressing frustration at trying not to reveal secrets to the media seemed to lighten Lavonte David. Usually, he’s the one kind of, “don’t bother me with these questions ‘, and “these fans have no life.”

drdneast
drdneast
5 years ago

Now he knows why Lovie was so stoic with the media.
I believe Kotter when he says he isn’t BSing anyone.
Brate and Humphries probably are playing better than their competition right now but like he says that doesn’t mean someone can’t perform better and win the spot.
That’s just NFL team competition. Week to week.

scubog
scubog
Reply to  drdneast
5 years ago

Exactly right drdneast. The media and some fans seem to need a whipping boy and this off-season it’s ASJ. All Koetter is saying is that TODAY Brate deserves the 1st team role over ASJ as does Jude Barimah over Hargreaves and probably others that garner no attention. There’s little doubt that both will have significant roles on the team regardless of which one hears his name introduced running out of the tunnel. As Dirk said, a lot can change before the Falcons game. Much better to have two or three legitimate guys vying for a spot than searching the waiver… Read more »

Twistedwires
Twistedwires
5 years ago

Dirk “Koett the bullsht out” Koetter.

WiltheBrewer
WiltheBrewer
5 years ago

Not gonna waste too much energy on the “starter” argument at this point. Live action and injuries will come into play soon

niko521
niko521
4 years ago

This is what the media wanted. They didn’t want Lovies coach speak. They loved Koetters frankness. Enter Frank Ness. Head coach