Dirk Koetter didn't say a lot of interesting things at his press conference yesterday, but he gave out some good nuggets in an interview with the local media in Indianapolis. Including a bit about initially preferring Marcus Mariota over Jameis Winston. You can read that full interview, which is certainly worth a read, over at the Tampa Bay Times.
I was only a holdout in that we were basically comparing two really good players: Jameis and Marcus Mariota. Both really, really good players. And my job that I was assigned was more the film evaluation part. So other people were evaluating all the other staff. But as we got to pro days and we got around the other coaches, you've got to remember, (Oregon coach) Mark Helfrich was a (grad assistant) for me at Oregon and was a quarterbacks coach at Boise and Idaho State. Mark is telling me, 'Marcus Mariota, you guys are idiots, you're not going to draft Marcus Mariota? You guys are stupid.' Well, that's a guy I'm really close to.
Eventually, the Bucs convinced Koetter -- either that, or he just had to live with the decision given that he was ultimately not the one making it. And Koetter's happy they did. In fact, Winston was part of the reason why he wanted to be the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Koetter heavily implied that Winston's ability to learn and adjust and his attitude towards his teammates and the game are what eventually sold him on the quarterback.
This is a good reminder that the draft process is just that: a process. Coaches are only now getting involved in player evaluations, and they can have very different opinions from scouts and other personnel executives. More than that, there will always be some discussion and disagreement on players inside the building: not everyone sees players the same way, and that's okay. The key is to get to a place where
It's also a reason why we won't necessarily get a good view of who the Bucs actually like: different reporters will talk to different people in the building, and that can lead to conflicting reports. As we see every year.