As first reported by Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter will not be fired and will remain the team’s head coach for 2018.
Koetter is 13-18 in his two seasons as the head coach of the Bucs, including a 4-11 record so far this season.
The decision to keep Koetter for a third season as head coach – and fourth season working with quarterback Jameis Winston – is likely because the ownership and front office personnel believes that Winston’s progression over the last few week is more telling than the team’s early season struggles when he may have been hurt. That would have resulted in a better record this season.
One year ago the Bucs lost a handful of tiebreakers that forced them to sit on the outside looking in on the playoffs after finishing 9-7. The team is hoping consistency with Koetter can have them on the other side of things in 2018 with health more on their side.
While the report could be accurate, it is worth noting former Bucs GM Mark Dominik and head coach Greg Schiano were also told they would be back for 2014 before being a fired a few days later. The Bucs ended that season with a 42-17 loss to the Saints and Dominik and Schiano were canned the following day.
It is not known if the Glazers did in fact reach out to Jon Gruden who was strongly rumored to be the first choice to replace Koetter if he were to be fired. It is also possible Gruden declined the opportunity to purse the job. The Glazers might have weighed the facts of the tough circumstances of a season marred with a hurricane and crucial injuries along with the progression of a healthy Winston.