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Dirk Koetter not a "prohibitive favorite" for Buccaneers head coaching job

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In the popular imagination and most early reports, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired Lovie Smith to hire Dirk Koetter. It hasn't quite played out that way, though. The team has now interviewed Sean McDermott and Harold Goodwin for the job, and while they will or already have interviewed Koetter, he certainly isn't the only candidate for the job. General manager job Jason Licht said that the search would be quick, but that they would not sacrifice thoroughness.

And now Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times is reporting that Koetter isn't a "prohibitive favorite" for the job -- though that's not quite the same as saying he's not a favorite.

Don't believe Koetter, who did a terrific job with the league's fifth-ranked offense and rookie quarterback Jameis Winston, is a prohibitive favorite. The Bucs didn't fire Smith because they feared Koetter going to another team. The Dolphins, who asked to interview Koetter, hired Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase as their coach Saturday.

That's ironic, given that Stroud was one of the first to say that the Bucs fired Lovie Smith to keep Koetter around, going so far as to call it a "coronation." Apparently he's a lot less convinced of that fact now than he was before -- perhaps because the Bucs were impressed with Goodwin or McDermott, perhaps because they never set out to just hire Koetter, or perhaps because they're throwing up some weird, ridiculously extensive smokescreen so as not to make it seem like they're making a mockery of the Rooney Rule.