One of the bigger mysteries this week was whether or not Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter would allow offensive coordinator Todd Monken to continue to call plays into the regular season or whether he was going to take back the play-calling duties as Tampa Bay opened its 2018 campaign at New Orleans.
We now have the answer.
Koetter has decided to keep Monken in the play-calling role for at least Week 1 of the regular season, and with good reason. In the games that mattered – the first three preseason contests in which the starters played – Monken helped the Bucs rank second in the league in yards per game with 387 and points scored with 28.6.
Koetter enters the 2018 season on the hot seat after a disappointing 5-11 record last year in a season full of high expectations. If the Bucs offense were to sputter in Week 1 at New Orleans under his command, the second-guessing from fans and the media would begin immediately regarding Koetter’s decision.
After the fourth preseason game, I asked Koetter if he was going to do as planned, which was take back the play-calling duties or let Monken continue on in that role. At the time, Koetter said, “We’ll see. We’ll do what’s best for the team.”
Koetter dodged the question in the week leading up to the Saints game, while Monken said on Thursday, “You guys have asked that a bunch of times, so I’m going to defer that to Coach Koetter.”
We’ll see how Monken fares as the Bucs and Saints have just kicked off. So far, so good as Tampa Bay scored a touchdown on its first possession – a 58-yard TD pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to DeSean Jackson.