Dirk Koetter Will Reportedly Return For 2018 Season

Tyler Owen
December 30, 2017

The report cited Koetter's involvement in quarterback Jameis Winston's development as a key reason for Tampa Bay's faith in him.

Bucs ownership on Friday told head coach Dirk Koetter that he would return for a third season, despite Tampa Bay taking a 4-11 record into Sunday's regular-season finale against the New Orleans Saints.

It's an annual tradition to be swamped by rumors of Jon Gruden's potential imminent return to coaching, but those stories seem to have a lot more to them this time around.

Koetter's status had been tenuous due to this season's disappointing performance.

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Tampa Bay hired Koetter to further develop then-sophomore Jameis Winston, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2015 National Football League draft. You just don't understand that relationship in that quarterback room.

Concluding a three game December home stand, the Carolina Panthers finished by defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 22-19 on Christmas Eve. The Bucs have some young playmakers we'd expect to be featured more next season, including wideout Chris Godwin, tight end O.J. Howard and running back Peyton Barber. He's on pace for his worst season since 2012, excluding an injury-shortened 2015, and he hasn't brought the same game-changing element that he'd had in Washington and Philadelphia; his longest play of the year so far was for 41 yards, but he had five plays longer than that in 2016.

However, it's been tough sledding in year No. 2 for Koetter. In Smith's a year ago as head coach, the defense ranked 10th in yards per game.

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