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Koetter is "leading candidate" for Bucs coach

Posted: 11:36 AM, Jan 07, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-07 14:58:52-05
It's starting to sound like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired Lovie Smith specifically to hire Dirk Koetter, who is getting interest from the Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles as a potential head coach.
 
Pewter Report is calling Dirk Koetter a "leading candidate" for the Buccaneers job. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times is going further , reporting that it feels like a "coronation for Dirk Koetter to become head coach." In fact, Stroud says the Bucs made the decision to fire Lovie Smith when they did because Koetter was getting interest as a head coaching candidate in Miami and the Glazers and general manager Jason Licht felt "they had to move quickly."
 
That kind of reactionary decision-making seems characteristic for the Glazers in recent years, who made a similar move in firing Jon Gruden to hire Raheem Morris back in 2009.
 
Keeping Dirk Koetter would give the Bucs some much-needed continuity for Jameis Winston, who had a promising rookie year as the team's starting quarterback. Koetter came in and re-energized a disastrous offense, though personnel improvements at offensive line and quarterback had a lot do with that improvement as well.
 
If the Bucs hire Koetter, they're getting an experienced NFL offensive coach who's done a good if not necessarily exceptional job in Jacksonville (2007-2011) and Atlanta (2012-2014). he cut his teeth in college, though, acting as an offensive coordinator at Missouri, Boston College and Oregon, before a three-year stint as Boise State's head coach (26-10, two Humanitarian bowl wins) and five as Arizona State's head coach (40-34, two bowl wins).
 
At the same time, being a head coach is very different from being a coordinator, even in the NFL. There's a lot more high-level management and delegation, and a lot less hands-on coaching. And Koetter will have to get to work to find a defensive coordinator and put together a coaching staff quickly.
 
The only thing standing in the way of the Bucs hiring Koetter is the Rooney Rule, which mandates a minority head coaching candidate be interviewed.