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Dirk Koetter "upset" at Buccaneers firing Lovie Smith

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may or may not want Dirk Koetter as their next head coach, he is at minimum a very strong contender for the role. So strong that Jason Licht explicitly acknowledged that in his press conference, rather than taking the easy way out and no-commenting the hiring process.

But will Dirk Koetter actually want to be the Bucs head coach? Chris Mortensen of ESPN implies that's not so clear, and it's certainly true no reports have spoken of Dirk Koetter's view of the Buccaneers' job. It doesn't quite fit the profile of his favorite job, which is apparently in the Pacific Northwest, and he's not happy with Lovie Smith's departure from the Bucs.

Yet Koetter, like Bruce Arians and a few others, has never been a self-promoter. He also was upset with the sudden firing of Smith, per sources. Most of his head coaching aspirations have been limited to a possible return to the Pacific Northwest, where he grew up, where he coached at Boise State and played quarterback at Idaho State. He was highly successful as both a head coach and player. As head coach at Arizona State, he elevated the Sun Devils to one of the best offensive teams in the nation, despite recruiting challenges as USC dominated the region.

While I've seen some perplexed reactions to this, it makes a lot of sense to me. He signed on to coach under Lovie Smith last year, and he seemed to have a good working relationship with the Bucs'  head coach. Even if the team wants him to be their next head coach, having your boss fired is not fun -- if your relationship with your boss is good.

Of course, Mortensen also notes reasons why Koetter would want to stay in Tampa. Number one: Jameis WInston. Number two: Jameis Winston. Number three: while he's getting interest elsewhere, this is almost certainly the best situation for him.

It's not clear yet how badly the Bucs want Koetter, though there's obviously some level of interest. It's also not clear how willing Koetter is to take on the job. He does have other options, after all. SO far, though, most indications are that Koetter will eventually be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach.