The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired Lovie Smith — a guy you’ve heard of — to hire Dirk Koetter — someone you haven’t.
Update: Despite early reports, it appears Koetter hasn’t officially been hired.
It wasn’t a terrible season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015, as rookie Jameis Winston appears to be the real deal as the franchise’s quarterback of the future. But while the season wasn’t terrible, it didn’t end in a playoff berth — which wasn’t really expected. That didn’t stop the Bucs from firing head coach Lovie Smith so that they could promote offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter to the position.
Everyone who cared — which amounts to all six Buccaneers fans in currently still among the living — knew that Koetter was going to get the job. That was something which was made official on Wednesday night.
Koetter is a guy basically no one has heard of, which isn’t a bad thing but is totally a Bucs thing. Fans who were hoping for Nick Saban need to stop putting their water too close to the glue, because that was never going to happen. Koetter helped develop Winston in his rookie season into being a Rookie of the Year candidate and a viable franchise superstar.
That’s not something to take lightly, as Bruce Arians coached up Ben Roethlisberger and is now two games away from being the head coach of a Super Bowl team. Pittsburgh and Indianapolis — where Arians also coached a young quarterback — are kicking themselves for letting him go, and that might be why the Bucs panicked when they heard Koetter was getting head coaching interviews in Miami and elsewhere.
Koetter isn’t a terrible option for head coach — but as fans how well the last time the Bucs promoted from within went. We got the Raheem Morris ‘Youngry’ era, one that no amount of bleach will clean off of us. Koetter isn’t guilty by association — especially since he never coached with Morris — but you can’t help but feel a little unimpressed by this move even if it ends up being the right one in the end.