The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have lost five straight games. They’re 2-6. Their season is basically over, and we’re starting to talk about the 2018 NFL draft order, because that’s what matters now.
Which also means we need to start talking about job security. Head coach Dirk Koetter’s job has to be under pressure right now, especially given the fact that the team seems to be playing worse every game.
It’s hard to survive a five-game losing streak, after all. Since the Glazers took over the Buccaneers, they’ve only allowed a coach to come back from a five-game losing streak twice: Raheem Morris in his first season, and Lovie Smith in his first season.
And in both of those cases, the Bucs were seen as rebuilding, which gave those cases some extra leeway. Koetter’s not rebuilding: he was supposed to take the team to the playoffs this season, or at least have them be competitive in the playoff race. Instead, they’re one of the worst teams around.
And if Koetter’s future is uncertain, general manager Jason Licht can’t be secure in his future, either: he survived Lovie Smith’s firing, but can he survive his own, hand-picked coach failing, with his players? Licht’s more likely to survive than Koetter, but he’s certainly not entirely safe.
Of course, neither Koetter nor Licht is about to be fired in the middle of this season. If anything happens, it’ll be at the end of the year, which give the Bucs half a year to recover from this losing streak and turn a disaster into something less than that. If the Bucs lose the remaining eight games, Koetter is gone of course. But if the team can start winning again, he may be able to save himself. Maybe.