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Dolphins did indeed seek an interview with Koetter

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The simplest explanation for the firing of Lovie Smith by the Buccaneers does indeed seem to be the accurate one.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Dolphins had requested permission to interview Tampa offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter.

This fits with the notion, as reported by Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, that the Bucs dumped Smith in order to promote Koetter. If it happens, it would be the second time in seven years the Bucs fired a head coach for someone from the head coach’s staff.

(Memo to all future Bucs coaches: Don’t hire a staff.)

In 2009, defensive backs coach Raheem Morris got the promotion, and Jon Gruden got the boot. That move happened immediately, since Morris could be hired without other interviews, under the Rooney Rule. If the plan is to promote Koetter, the Bucs will be required to first interview a minority candidate for the job.

This could, in theory, prompt minority candidates to decline to be interviewed. That’s typically not how it works, however.

Assistant coaches who hope to become head coaches aren’t in the habit of denying opportunities to interview, even if they know that they have little or no chance of getting the job. If nothing else, the mere fact of the interview injects the candidate’s name into the head-coaching conversation, putting him on the radar for future interviews that would be something more than a check-the-box sit-down.

For Koetter to get the job in Tampa, the Rooney Rule box must first be checked. Once it is, the Bucs will be free and clear to hire from within. Again.

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46 Responses to “Dolphins did indeed seek an interview with Koetter”
  1. skocpol2015 says: Jan 7, 2016 8:45 AM

    Punishing head coaches for hiring excellent staffers is stupid.

  2. jillontario says: Jan 7, 2016 8:45 AM

    The Rooney rule is out of control. Needs to go. Why can you hire a black coach without interviewing anyone else but not a white coach? Isn’t that reverse racism?

  3. jjb0811 says: Jan 7, 2016 8:47 AM

    Any chance Dirk Diggler is available?

  4. imsomeguy says: Jan 7, 2016 8:48 AM

    If this was their plan, then this is part of the reason why the Rooney rule is a joke. They are just going to go through the motions to comply to get who they wanted anyway who isn’t a minority.

  5. codythao35 says: Jan 7, 2016 8:49 AM

    Kotter looks nothing like a great coach to me. He’ll be done in couple years, if he does get that chance. Just bc he can develop qbs doesn’t make him a good head coach.

  6. 2since96 says: Jan 7, 2016 8:53 AM

    Lovie’s a good coach, got a raw deal here. Just like the Browns, no one can turn this franchise around in a season or two…you get the guy a franchise QB and then fire him? Wow…good luck.

  7. bucqueen72 says: Jan 7, 2016 8:55 AM

    The Bucs better hope they hire Dirk, can’t think of anything even worse for Jameis than to have a new OC come in his 2nd yr& undo all the good Dirk has already started him on! Gonna turn into the Tampa Bay Browns quickly if they screw him up!

  8. pestilence1972 says: Jan 7, 2016 8:56 AM

    I seem to recall some surprise when Mike Tomlin was hired by Pittsburg – as if he was a Rooney Rule interview only. Regardless, the Rooney Rule is a good one, even if it is checking a box, for reasons you mentioned.

  9. ohand16 says: Jan 7, 2016 8:58 AM

    They should ask for permission to hire Tomlin. That way the Steelers could hire Russ Grimm lol

  10. steventimm says: Jan 7, 2016 8:58 AM

    Once again, the NFL looks foolish by the application of the reverse-racist Rooney rule. No other business that I know of goes through these sham interviews to ‘pretend’ to care about giving minority ( or is it just black?) candidates an opportunity to interview. How about requiring stupid owners from bailing on good minority coaches like Lovie? Class man, good man, Godly man. Deserved so much better from loser Glaser owner. That’s the real issue here….incompetent ownership taking a great man/coach, who is a minority, and whom his players absolutely, 100% support out of a head coaching position. What a joke.

  11. In Teddy We Trust says: Jan 7, 2016 8:59 AM

    Vikings fans wanted to dump Denny Green and keep Tony Dungy. A decade later, they wanted to dump Brad Childress and keep Mike Tomlin. This can be a good strategy.

  12. hawks52 says: Jan 7, 2016 9:00 AM

    Lovie fired Ron Rivera several years ago and promoted a good friend to the DC role. Many people thought Lovie was paranoid that Rivera was TOO successful and was a threat to him.

    And people wonder why head coaches hire their buddies? Lovie finally gets a decent OC (which he never had in Chicago) and his “reward” is being dumped?

    I guess the $10 million buyout can be looked at as a finders fee.

  13. pftbro says: Jan 7, 2016 9:00 AM

    Welcome back, Koetter…

  14. chesswhileyouplaycheckers says: Jan 7, 2016 9:01 AM

    I understood the reasoning for the Rooney rule at the time and it seems to have served it’s purpose. But beyond the check the box interviews it forces when a team is already locked in on a guy there is a definite flaw in it when a team wants to promote from within but still has to go through the motions

  15. blackstrat says: Jan 7, 2016 9:03 AM

    An additional benefit for an assistant coach with head coach ambitions to interview as a “Rooney Rule” interview/opportunity, would be to hone his interview skills and gain some real time experience needed to one day nail it and get the head coaching job.
    Any minority candidate suspecting they are fulfilling “The Rooney Rule” shouldn’t balk at the process but should rather think of in these terms.

  16. romophobic says: Jan 7, 2016 9:03 AM

    Yeah, minority candidates, don’t accept any interviews based on your skin color. It isn’t fair to you or the system. Unless and until the racist Rooney Rule is eliminated, I say hold out for true equality.

  17. bucrightoff says: Jan 7, 2016 9:04 AM

    Wish we as fans could fire the Glazer boys as owners. Even though I agree with firing Lovie, their overall track record since Malcolm let them take over is dreadful.

  18. rajbais says: Jan 7, 2016 9:04 AM

    Memo to minority coaches: The Bucs ownership will screw you faster. Schiano got free agency money and his desired staff while Raheem Morris did not. Lovie Smith gets less faith than Dirk Koetter. Dungy gets fired as a playoff coach while Gruden does not.

    There is no point in being EO when you don’t act like it.

  19. chc4 says: Jan 7, 2016 9:05 AM

    The Rooney Rule is silly. If a team knows who they want to hire, regardless of whether they’re white/black/latino, they should be able to hire them without fulfilling some lame quota.

  20. jrossizzle says: Jan 7, 2016 9:08 AM

    Bucs had to decide. Lovie and a new OC and Jamis starting over.

    Or Dirk and a new DC…

    Offense was trending up, Defense was real bad.
    Leading the league in penalties doesn’t help either.

  21. ninerfan81 says: Jan 7, 2016 9:08 AM

    but why?

  22. jonathankrobinson424 says: Jan 7, 2016 9:10 AM

    ….they should put a exemption in the Rooney Rule…if the previous coach was a minority they shouldn’t have to go through this stupid-dated rule when they hire their next coach. By the way, when we have more minority HC’s in the NFL , will we have a mandatory rule to interview white coach’s?…maybe we could call it the Rodney Dangerfield rule?

  23. adelphos33 says: Jan 7, 2016 9:13 AM

    I don’t mind the Rooney rule. For example, everyone thinks Bowles is a good head coach. Would he have been hired by the Jets without the Rooney Rule? The Jets were all ready to hire Doug Marrone until Bowles got his interview.

  24. bucfanforlife says: Jan 7, 2016 9:19 AM

    no matter how good of a man lovie is, he sucks at coaching if you watch the games terrible game management, terrible in game adjuster, terrible talent evaluater ,terible defensive scheme, way too conservative for todays nfl, he just plainly is an incompetent nfl coach thanks for the late christmas gift glazer boys

  25. realdealsteel says: Jan 7, 2016 9:21 AM

    Bucs continue to be a stupidly ran organization.

  26. jrossizzle says: Jan 7, 2016 9:24 AM

    Rules like the Rooney rule keep inequality going. It’s the best man for the job. Did the NFL force teams to draft black QBs? Who playing the best football at QB right now? Cam and Wilson.

    Do we need a rule to make sure we have white corner backs?

  27. wjmoffatt says: Jan 7, 2016 9:34 AM

    Called it last night. I would’ve been extremely upset if we lost Dirk, he was by far the best coach on our staff. Lovie came in to help the defense out and even though we took offense in both classes (exception being Kwon Alexander) Jason Licht still went out and got veterans he wanted for his system and the system was a huge failure!

    Please promote Dirk right away. This will end Doug Martins career as a Buc but Carles lead RBs in yards per touch this year anyways. Dirk when I saw you in Indy and talked to you, I begged you to stay with us and now I’m doing the same thing please stay a Buc.

  28. ballreaper says: Jan 7, 2016 9:36 AM

    For the clowns who think Lovie is not a goof HC , well lets see under Lovie the Bears went to the Super bowl with a back-up QB , then they proceed to fire him after he went 10-6, The Bears record after they fire him, 8-8 , 5-11 and wait for it 6-10. thank you all and please tip your waiter on your way out.
    .

  29. PokeSalad says: Jan 7, 2016 9:47 AM

    Just to truly showcase the idiocy of this “rule,” the Bucs should “comply” with it by interviewing….

    Lovie Smith.

  30. romophobic says: Jan 7, 2016 9:59 AM

    adelphos33 says:
    Jan 7, 2016 9:13 AM

    I don’t mind the Rooney rule. For example, everyone thinks Bowles is a good head coach. Would he have been hired by the Jets without the Rooney Rule? The Jets were all ready to hire Doug Marrone until Bowles got his interview.

    This is pure lunacy that supporters of this racist rule tend to follow. Bowles had been a successful coordinator for some time, not just a minority position coach. There is no logical support for justification of the Rooney rule any longer.

  31. jvw1982 says: Jan 7, 2016 10:14 AM

    So What, the Dolphins have contacted about 25 people in and out of the league to come in for an interview, they are using that as an excuse to get rid of Lovey….Sounds like they had buyers remorse, good luck hiring a unproven guy….and for those complaining about the Rooney Rule without it Black coaches would not get an interview and without interviews they would not have coaching positions…if your not giving interviews to qualified people how can you be sure you’re hiring the best person for the job…The Rooney Rule is a necessary evil unfortunately so stop your bickering and crying its a freaking interview

  32. laxcoach37 says: Jan 7, 2016 10:15 AM

    Please stop with the Rooney Rule discussion. It makes you look racist and stupid. It is what it is.

    Dig deeper… this is a Tannenbaum thing. He was Dirk’s Agent and is either really trying to get him to Miami (doubt it) or assisting him to a Head Coach’s Salary. The Rooney Rule exists because of this Rich, Good Ol’ Boy Network.

  33. thegregwitul says: Jan 7, 2016 10:19 AM

    A defense trending down, unable to stop teams even though the unit has talented players in David, McCoy and Alexander.

    A rumored refusal by the now fired head coach to make drastic changes to a defensive staff that desperately needed them.

    An inability to find difference makers in free agency.

    Four ugly losses in a row to end the season. A locker room full of laughing defensive players after a blowout loss to the Panthers.

    An OC who led the Bucs to a top five offense. Who also led the Jags and Falcons to top five offenses in his career, likely heading out the door to become a head coach.

    Would you rather promote the coach who actually improved the offense or keep the coach who refuses to stop inserting Mike ‘Toast’ Jenkins into the starting lineup?

    I’ll do the math for you: 8-24. The right move was made.

  34. beachsidejames says: Jan 7, 2016 10:22 AM

    Lovie is a well respected coach and will land a head coaching job somewhere very soon.

  35. feckyerlife says: Jan 7, 2016 10:24 AM

    I take it that you missed the point that the dolphins wanted to interview and possible hire Koetter

    skocpol2015 says:
    Jan 7, 2016 8:45 AM

    Punishing head coaches for hiring excellent staffers is stupid.

  36. wjmoffatt says: Jan 7, 2016 10:25 AM

    For people that aren’t fans of the Bucs are watch to many games I reference this situation back to one that was pretty similar a few years back in Indy. Bruce Arians did a heck of a job with luck and that team p, for that other teams wanted him to be their head coach but the colts elected to stick with Chuck as their guy and let Bruce go over to the Cardinals. I know it would’ve been much harder with Chuck battling cancer before that but ask colts fans on who they would rather have as their head coach, Bruce or chuck…
    Also with that in mind I think ownership still remembers what happened to Josh Freeman when they Didnt promote Coach Olsen, with Plsen freeman looked like our future but once he left it was all down hill. Now Coach Olsen is dod a heck of a job on Carr year one and helped Blake bottles make a huge jump from year one to two. They won’t make that same mistake again, they’ve invested to much in Jameis, let Koetter mold him into the best QB he can be. Everything else will come in regards to winning because I believe we have the best GM in football right now, nfl.com did just award us with the best draft class and his first one was pretty solid too with mike Evans, ASJ, Charles Simms, etc..

  37. nightryder10 says: Jan 7, 2016 10:48 AM

    His dreams were his ticket out.

  38. jdbaker01 says: Jan 7, 2016 11:13 AM

    Welcome Back Koetter?

  39. huggybear2014 says: Jan 7, 2016 11:41 AM

    Token interview. Whose the poor black man this year?

  40. thingamajig says: Jan 7, 2016 11:42 AM

    Koetter looks like one of those great Coordinators but a bad H/C, he couldn’t even hack it as a college H/C at ASU.

  41. diehardfootballfan says: Jan 7, 2016 11:43 AM

    The owners need to dump the Rooney Rule. There are lots of good coaches out there of all races. It has run its course and it’s getting just plain stupid.

  42. mandings36 says: Jan 7, 2016 12:20 PM

    ice cold

  43. hellawaitsusall says: Jan 7, 2016 12:34 PM

    Why even bother. Miami is a poorly run franchise. They don’t know what they’re doing.

  44. 305phinphan says: Jan 7, 2016 3:24 PM

    Is the Rooney Rule satisfied if you interview someone who is half black and half white or would you have to interview two of them to meet the expectation?

  45. nevon88 says: Jan 7, 2016 7:07 PM

    These people are called privileged. They don’t recognize racism because they’ve never been judged or discriminated against because of their skin color. The Rooney rule exist for a good reason.
    It’s sad, but the good part is I’m looking forward hoping for failure of this organization. And like the other guy said I hope someone else offers him more and they lose out.
    Lovie should have been congratulated for the progress instead of being fired.

  46. fanofpft says: Jan 7, 2016 7:35 PM

    Well did they grant permission? And ” Oh Mr. Koetter!? Why did you get your HC fired? “

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