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Some players begged Jason Licht to hire Dirk Koetter

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Training Camp Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We already know the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are really happy with Dirk Koetter as their head coach. That’s not surprising: everyone knew mostly what they were getting, given that he was their offensive coordinator the year before. Players, too, seem to be happy — even though many of them were disappointed Lovie Smith was fired. They immediately went to work to lobby Jason Licht to hire Dirk Koetter, though. That’s from TheMMQB’s Emily Kaplan, who visited Bucs training camp yesterday.

If Dirk Koetter had walked into a defensive meeting room last year, he wouldn’t have known everybody’s name. “There would probably be eight to 10 guys I just didn’t know,” says the Bucs former offensive coordinator turned head coach. Though he needed to get to know the entire team, especially a defense that largely enjoyed playing for Lovie Smith, Koetter assume the helm on terrible terms. GM Jason Licht says that after Smith was fired, offensive and defensive players texted him: “Please, hire Dirk!”

Of course, a coach being popular isn’t the same as a coach being good, or producing results, at least. Lovie Smith was a much-beloved head coach, and the Bucs managed to get a whole lot of players to come to Tampa by virtue of, mostly, his presence. And yet, the Bucs won just eight games the past two years.

But it’s still a good thing. After all: players who hate their head coach, like any employee who hates their boss, aren’t what you want around your facility.