RB Doug Martin, QB Mike Glennon, and OL Coach George Warhop are in debt to new OC Dirk Koetter. In Pewter Reports' SR's Fab 5: Glennon, Martin Reborn Under Koetter edition, Scott Reynolds denotes what influence Koetter has on the offense.
With the number one pick overall in the NFL draft owned by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and two highly sought after collegiate quarterbacks available, one can foresee that Glennon's time in Tampa may run short. Glennon helped the team win one game out of five as a starter last season. The lack of wins and the possibility of drafting Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota with the first pick in the draft had rumors swirling that Glennon would be traded for a draft pick, despite Glennon being under a frugal rookie contract that extends for two more seasons.
So why is Glennon still here?
"I've watched Mike from afar - from the other side of the ball here in Atlanta - and from afar, I thought he had some of the same attributes as Matt Ryan," Koetter said upon his hiring by Tampa Bay in mid-January.
Glennon was not the only player kept due to Koetter's influence, RB Doug Martin's services were also retained. The Bucs did not pick up the fifth year option on Martin's rookie deal due to the lack of production for the past two seasons, but are still touting him as the lead back. As with Glennon, there were rumors that Martin may also be traded for a draft pick since Tampa has been connected with acquiring running back Demarco Murray as well as the support that 2014 third round draft pick RB Charles Sims by HC Lovie Smith.
So why is Martin still here?
Yet when Dirk Koetter was hired on January 13 after being part of the staff purge in Atlanta, the Bucs' new offensive coordinator told the front office he wanted to keep Martin.
"Dirk Koetter, once he started watching tape of all our players, he came away impressed with Doug," Bucs general manager Jason Licht said. "You saw the tape when he's healthy, he's still a very effective runner."
One more person of interest was retained due Koetter's influence: OL coach George Warhop. The offensive line had the worst Stuffed statistics of running backs getting tackled, or stuffed, at the line of scrimmage or behind the line of scrimmage, according to Football Outsiders. Tampa Bay's quarterbacks have been sacked 52 times last season, tied for third worst in the league. Instead of firing Warhop, the organization fired the assistant OL coach. Odd. To be fair, the talent brought in was not so talented.
So why is Warhop still here?
Koetter and Warhop worked together back in 1994-95 when Koetter was the offensive coordinator and Warhop was the offensive line coach at Boston College. Koetter has a lot of respect for Warhop and told the Bucs' brass he wanted him back for another season as he was evaluating the offensive assistants.
With an offense that lay in disarray, Lovie Smith may have secured someone who has the talent to see something Lovie cannot. That trust is significant in Koetter. The insight and foresight that Koetter possesses may very well create a productive offense. Koetter's influence was one reason that the Bucs drafted Jameis Winston over Marcus Mariota, from, who else, Pewter Report:
"He did great," Koetter said. "Mike (Bajakian) did a little install with him, similar to what a Day 1 install would be at a rookie minicamp. We tested him and Mike was flying, he was going fast. We took a little break, had lunch and (Winston) met with some other people. We went back in the room and put the tape on, no pictures, and asked ‘Okay, what's this? What's this? And what's this?' He did very well, we we're really impressed with him."
In fact, from Koetter's standpoint, that test proved to be the difference in selecting him over Marcus Mariota.
"That was pretty high for me, that point (the test)," Koetter said. "We had already looked at every snap for two years on both guys. So (it was) that point right there, because obviously both guys are very good football players. I've been around some good guys and (Winston's recall) was impressive."
This coming season is all about second chances as the defense will be able to make a first impression all over again to erase the total production of the defense from last season. Here is to second chances.