Tampa Bay’s season is moving along in disappointing fashion. And so is the Buccaneers career of head coach Dirk Koetter.
Koetter has brought the team back to a state of mediocrity. Yes, the hope of finally becoming a team that opponents respected arrived briefly but was short-lived following his first season as head coach in 2016 when they finished 9-7.
We all remember the offseason that followed. It was filled with expectations and high hopes that 2017 was finally the year they truly turn things around and reach the playoffs.
That never happened.
Instead we saw a lack of adjustments made throughout games leading to losses, selfish playcalling, lack of answers following losses (which continue today), inability to separate himself from his friend and former defensive coordinator Mike Smith, keeping franchise quarterback Jameis Winston in games despite a shoulder injury until that shoulder was injured some more weeks later, and on and on and on. Let us also not forget the reports of a rift between Winston and Koetter last season.
Front office executives for the Buccaneers have often left games disappointed, wondering how there can be so much talent on the field yet have a losing record along with a loser mentality. The air has been deflated out of the Buccaneers locker room and the post-game scene in there is no different.
Player disappointment has grown. If you’re lucky, you may even hear some of it immediately following games on the post-game show on the Buccaneers Radio Network. Shouting and arguing have led to locker room interviews being cut off at times so that nothing is accidentally aired.
All while Koetter is front and center. To say that locker room is in shambles is an understatement.
With every “I don’t have an answer” response from the coach, any air that may be left leaks more and more. What exactly is he showing players there, especially the rookies coming in. It’s just fine to not have answers? To not find a solution?
And where are the Glazers in all of this? We may never truly know. But there may be potential unhappiness of the recent handling of Winston. Koetter may not even care. Given the support from the ownership group of Winston, this can’t be sitting well with them.
So what happens next? For now, what happens next is that the Buccaneers take on the Giants Sunday. However, the near future may be much different and that is a future where the Buccaneers organization finds themselves interviewing head coaching candidates in January.
That future can’t come soon enough.