The Buccaneers got rid of Lovie Smith primarily to maintain the relationship between now-head coach Dirk Koetter and quarterback Jamies Winston.
So it’s no surprise that Koetter’s going to hang onto his share of that role.
Via the team’s official website, the just-promoted offensive coordinator said he’s going to continue to call plays.
“Roles are going to have to be juggled around a little bit, but there’s already a model that exists in the NFL for the head coach as the play-caller,” Koetter said. “I will continue to be the play-caller for the Bucs. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into football, and one of my favorite parts of football is the strategy and the game-management part, the play-calling part. I think I’d be foolish to give that up.”
The Bucs did make significant progress on offense this year, and having an experienced defensive coordinator (with head coaching experience) in Mike Smith gives Koetter some latitude there as well. But he also pointed to the importance of quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian in the process, as he was noted as being instrumental to Winston’s adjustment as well.
“Whether it’s coming out of my mouth or coming out of his mouth, it could be the same,” Koetter said of Bajakian. “We’ve got a quarterback – we’ve got more than one quarterback but especially our lead guy, Jameis – who wants to be coached, is eager to be here. It will have to change a little bit but trust me, I’ll be spending a lot of time with Jameis.”
While adjusting focus is sometimes tough for first-time head coaches, other guys who have done it and given it up have taken it back, so it’s not unusual or unexpected.