PewterReport.com is beginning a new feature off an an old one this week called the PR Roundtable. In the new edition of the Roundtable the staff will take just one topic each week and share some brief thoughts. Take a look and tell us what you think, and share your feelings on the topic in the comment section.

This week’s topic: Will the possible suspension of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston help Dirk Koetter keep his job?

Publisher Scott Reynolds: A possible Jameis Winston suspension should have nothing to do with Dirk Koetter’s future in Tampa Bay, nor do I think it would impact the decision of any coach to come coach the Buccaneers next year if Winston were to get suspended. Let’s say Winston gets suspended for four games for the inappropriate touching accusation from the 2016 offseason. That would have no bearing on this season as Winston missed time due to an injured shoulder and hasn’t performed as well as most expected. Koetter needs to be evaluated on what he’s done during his two years on the job.

If Winston gets suspended, I don’t think that’s any detriment to the Bucs hiring a new coach if the team decides to fire Koetter. We don’t know how long Winston would be suspended. It could only be a game or two, and he would have a chance to appeal it, too.

The reality is that Tampa Bay may not even know about a possible suspension until much later in the offseason when the NFL concludes its investigation. So the uncertainty about Winston’s situation may be inconsequential to any candidate that would possibly replace Koetter because of the time standpoint.

History suggests the NFL could suspend Winston for the allegations the female Uber driver made, especially in the current social climate where men are getting fired left in right in a host of industries over sexual improprieties. A good deal of the allegations may indeed be true, but it doesn’t mean that every one is true. Winston has maintained his innocence since the allegations surfaced.

As more and more allegations come out in society, there could be a pendulum swing in the other direction where some men – possibly including Winston – could be given the benefit of the doubt instead of being subjected to the immediate rush to judgment in the media that appears to be taking place right now. I think the longer Winston’s investigation drags on the better. The NFL and its unpopular commissioner, Rodger Goodell, could very well decide to help his image and the league’s image and show some leniency when it comes to Winston, especially if the only evidence is simply her word against his.

While Goodell suspended NFL poster by Tom Brady for simply destroying his cell phone in the “Deflategate” investigation, it came at a steep price as the league’s popularity has taken a big hit. A good deal of NFL fans are upset at how Goodell has handled the discipline for players like Ray Rice (too lenient), Ezekiel Elliott and Brady (too harsh). The NFL Players Association and some NFL owners are, too. Without solid evidence, the league does nothing positive for itself suspending a young star like Winston based on an allegation, which may be baseless.

Now if there is some damning evidence, that’s a different story. Either way, the league needs to tread lightly and get this right. Yet whether or not Winston gets suspended or not, it won’t have any affect on Koetter or his possible replacement if he gets canned.

Editor Mark Cook: Should or will it? They are really two different questions.

It really should have no bearing on what the Glazers decide to do. If they decide and believe Dirk Koetter is not the long-term answer, they need to cut the cord. Like a bad marriage, getting out and moving on – and realizing you made a mistake – is always the best course of action. Gerald McCoy isn’t getting any younger. Lavonte David isn’t getting any younger. Why essentially waste a season if you believe you don’t have the right person in charge?

But will it though? That is possible. The problem is Jameis Winston is the carrot that the Glazers dangle in front of Jon Gruden, Jim Harbaugh or one of the up and coming coordinators that will be in demand the Monday following the last regular season game. Gruden is already somewhat wishy washy. He obviously still has coaching in his blood. It is a disease that is impossible to completely rid yourself of, especially when you have had a taste of success. Maybe even more when you leave a job not by your own decision. Make no mistake Gruden wants to stand on the sideline once again. And he will get, and has had opportunities. The problem is it has to be the perfect situation. Is starting your new coaching career not knowing if you will be without your starting quarterback for potentially the first six games?

Same thing with a Jim Harbaugh who, like Gruden understands you meed a quarterback to win in today’s NFL. Winston is that carrot to dangle, but how enticing is it knowing you may not have him to start a season? And no one wants to say it, so I will, but what if Winston were to have another allegation down the road? I would guess the organization would swiftly move on from Winston. Now a new coach could be left in a lurch as greg Schiano was after the Freeman meltdown in 2013.

Personally I believe Winston. Man to man, looking me in the eye, when he said he is certain he will be exonerated, I believe he believes he will. But unfortunately for Winston this isn’t a court of law and the NFL, if they even believe the Uber driver at all, not even 50/50, but at all, Winston will be suspended. Which is a shame. But that is the NFL today, protecting the shield, even if they do so by squirrel hunting with an elephant gun.

Beat Writer Trevor Sikkema: Unfortunately for coaches, disappointing seasons don’t stop when the season is over. For Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter, the disappointment of this season is going to linger into the offseason in the minds of his bosses, both the Glazers and Jason Licht.

There is not doubt that this season has not lived up to expectations from a coaching standpoint, both Koetter and his defensive coordinator Mike Smith will tell you that. Both sides of the ball for the Buccaneers are not what they should have been, not even close.

But, how much of a pass does Koetter get? That’s going to be the key part of his defense to his higher-ups this offseason. Koetter has had injuries to his starting offensive line, his defensive line and some of his star players. But there is one outside factor that might get Koetter a pass more than all of that: quarterback Jameis Winston’s investigation.

Nothing moves the line of win probability like the availability quarterback, and with that in mind, to expect a coach to perform at a playoff level without their predicted starter is often unfair to do. Winston has been hurt this year, but even beyond that, does this on going investigation with him give Koetter another year of coaching this team by default?

Here are some factors to that.

If Koetter were to be fired, what is the most alluring factor in a coaching coming to Tampa Bay? It’s Jameis Winston. If it’s likely that Winston might be suspended, why would you fire your coach knowing you won’t be able to lure a better one in during the investigation, and perhaps, suspension of a franchise quarterback?

I think it’s more likely than not that Winston will be missing some time in 2018 for this investigation. Whether that’s four games, six games or eight games all depends on how the investigation plays out. If that’s the case, it’s a valid question whether or not Koetter gets a pass.

I’m going to say that he doesn’t get a pass for it, even though I do think Winston will be facing some punishment. I think that there will still be a few viable candidates out there who would take the Bucs job, even if Winston misses some time. The way things were handle and ultimately performed this season seems inexcusable by those who came up with the game plans.

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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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JustaBuc
JustaBuc
4 years ago

This whole “accusation=evidence” trend is just awful all around. It’s already starting to go downhill as it is. Ultimately, I don’t really think Winston will get suspended unless something concrete comes out of this for the reasons that the article already stated. The whole Elliot suspension by itself was already pretty bad for the optics of the NFL. But at least there was what like 5 incidents that they are talking about? Would they really suspend a guy for one maybe-but-not-really-sure-I-mean-it’s-possible incident? I still do think Koetter gets a pass for now, but not so sure on Smith. I could… Read more »

Amo
Amo
4 years ago

What is frustrating beyond words is regardless of who the HC/OC/DC is, we still are mired in a losing culture. Whether we as fans like Winston or dislike him, we can’t put together enough wins to be respectable for any length of time. Watching the Steelers down on Monday Night Football, I knew they would pull it out. Now whether that’s solely on them being a winning organization or just fortunate to play against a Marvin Lewis coached team, they were going to pull it out at the end. I have been calling for Harbaugh since mid-season. He has had… Read more »

devasher
devasher
4 years ago

It’s so absolutely bizarre that this roundtable is about whether Jameis Winston’s second sexual assault allegation in 4 years would affect the job status of…Dirk Koetter. Dirk Koetter? How about the guy who staked his claim that he did thorough and extensive research into Winston’s character and history including the previous rape allegation and bet the number one overall pick that nothing like it would happen again? How about his job status? But I kid, PR couldn’t have an honest discussion about this GM if they were forced to binge watch all 39 losses of the last 3+ seasons consecutively.… Read more »

Pick6
Pick6
Reply to  devasher
4 years ago

i think the context of this discussion is 3 reporters who follow the bucs closely and who all seem to firmly believe that Winston is being falsely dragged into the mud in this matter. No amount of due diligence can eliminate the possibility of a person being falsely accused. I can’t imagine a single bucs fan, reporter, or suit standing behind Jameis or the GM who staked his career on that due diligence if it turns out this situation went down more or less like the Uber driver said it did

devasher
devasher
Reply to  Pick6
4 years ago

Ummm….Jason Licht and Jimbo Fisher followed Jameis as closely as anyone and Winston still has a second sexual assault allegation to his name 3 years after he was made the number one pick. Dare I say they knew the guy far better than Scott, Mark and Trevor ever did or will and yet, here we are. If we are going with incentives, I would have more doubt about the Uber drivers allegation if A. She didn’t make it to Uber immediately after the alleged event, which uber apparently investigated and banned Jameis from using it. B. She followed through with… Read more »

Jlog
Jlog
4 years ago

Simple answer no. Winston isn’t a Koeter issue. Do I think the Glazers will fire him no. The Glazers are among the worst owners in football. These fat losers aren’t Malcolm, they are worthless silver spoon greedy little [email protected]#$%es. That is why Koetter is very likely to remain the coach. They don’t have the social capacity to interview for a proper coach and it’s not economic because they make enough stringing along Tampa die hards. Is Winston guilty of those accusation quite very likely. Taken by itself that isn’t the end of the world, he’s young and immature we knew… Read more »

scubog
scubog
4 years ago

This must have been the attitude back in the days when they would burn a young girl at the stake simply because someone called her a witch. I thought that in a rational society, which nowadays is a foreign concept, an accuser needed some apparently inconvenient thing called evidence or maybe another pesky thing called a credible witness to demonstrate guilt. I sure hope some of my fellow posters are never accused of something they didn’t do. I once was scolded and called out by my 6th grade teacher, “Scubog shut up” to which my classmates replied, “Teacher, Scubog is… Read more »

Horse
Horse
4 years ago

Quite frankly some of my demeanor at this point is not just about football. Our Country has changed and the core ofwhat use to be us is changing whether good or bad depending on what side you support. We use to be a country of one, but now we are a very divided county. Football and other sports are taking big hits because of this. Fan base is down in most sports and getting worse. People just don’t care about things they use to care about. Times are a changing, but not for the Bucs. They’re basically the same, not… Read more »

surferdudes
4 years ago

I don’t think one has to do with the other. Koetter has a body of work he’ll be judged on. Licht has been here four years, also long enough to judge his success rate. Gruden has not been sniffing around for Koetters job as some have suggested. That’s a false accusation right there. He didn’t nominate himself for the Bucs ring of honor, or invite himself to camp, that would be the Glazers. Winston’s friend Darby admitted being in the back seat with Winston yet I haven’t heard of him being suspended, why? Koetter’s best chance for a win was… Read more »

ArmyBuc69
ArmyBuc69
4 years ago

DK should only lose his job (and take Smith with him) based on his coaching performance. This team has under performed badly based on the talent at each level. Yeah some may not be Pro Bowl caliber, but most are good enough to help a team not be 4-8 at this point of the season. injuries are not an excuse, see Minn Vikings…The GM and Coach put together this team and any team must have depth to sustain injuries which always happen. I feel like we have been out coached and haven’t made the necessary adjustments in game and week… Read more »

mark2001
mark2001
4 years ago

You might be right Mark…but if that is the case, you can write next season off….might as well take a rest and draft the first guy in the draft for the following season. Why….because I think by that time the players and fans will have lost all trust in Koetter and the hole that we will be in with a backup starting for six games. And what about the fan base game attendance and national interest? Empty echoes. And actually, I feel badly for great publications like PR, that will find the dearth of fan interest difficult, when all you… Read more »

ArmyBuc69
ArmyBuc69
4 years ago

Now this JW investigation get’s on my last nerve, just like the first one and any other person that’s automatically made guilty in the public before anything is ever proven…there is no longer “innocent until proven guilty” in this world…those that like you, believe you are innocent until something CONCRETE shows your guilt…those who dislike you only need the accusation to warm up the chair…This kid was never charged or proven guilty of the first accusation, he paid to have it go away and move on with his life, the same as Big Ben did more than once (and others… Read more »

Horse
Horse
Reply to  ArmyBuc69
4 years ago

ArmyBuc69, Thank you for your service from another Army Combat Veteran.

billbyrne
billbyrne
Reply to  Horse
4 years ago

Semper Fi Horse!

ArmyBuc69
ArmyBuc69
Reply to  Horse
4 years ago

Horse,

Same to you Brother!

billbyrne
billbyrne
Reply to  ArmyBuc69
4 years ago

I totally agree with your viewpoints my friend. Call me “old-fashion” as well!

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  ArmyBuc69
4 years ago

Innocent until proven guilty is a criminal justice standard, under our Constitution. It is NOT a social justice standard, in the court of public opinion. In the minds of many, easily a majority of NFL fans who are not Bucs fans or Noles fans, Winston was likely guilty of the rape in Tallahassee, given the obvious coverup by the university administration and the local PD which was called out by the State’s Attorney in his written decision to not prosecute charges. In the minds of most Americans, even including a lot of college football fans, college football is corrupt, and… Read more »

billbyrne
billbyrne
4 years ago

I think the Glaziers should follow the formula that the Jaguars implemented by bringing in Tom Coughlin as their Vice President of football operations. Look what he has accomplished for the Jags in a very short period of time. The Bucs answer to that is Tony Dungy as Vice President of football operations…he knows the Bucs, lives in Tampa and is a respected football mind throughout the NFL. This will begin to address the losing culture surrounding the Bucs and the Glaziers just changing head coaches every two years won’t change anything. Just A Thought!

arizonajoe
arizonajoe
4 years ago

I think Dirk should stay. Two years with him hasn’t been enough. Tons of injuries to start the season on defense, and Winston has just been bad. I don’t think there are other good candidates out there. Keep the coaching staff in place. Just reload and come back in 2018. Sometimes, your year just doesn’t work out. I think Hard Knocks is a curse too.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
4 years ago

Whatever happens with Winston has no impact whatsoever on the coaching staff, nor in hiring the next coach. If the next coach comes in and Winston gets a multi-game suspension, the new coach will have zero responsibility for that … it will all be on Licht, whether he’s still the GM then or not. Depending on how things go with the investigation, the Glazers themselves may decide that Winston is one-contract-and-done in Tampa Bay, or not. For example, hypothetically, if it is proven through cell carrier records (which the Uber driver’s attorney has demanded be produced) that Winston’s two-time “witness”… Read more »