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Dirk Koetter initially leaned toward Mariota over Winston

New Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter gestures after being introduced during a news conference at the team's training facility Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, in Tampa, Fla. Koetter replaces Lovie Smith, who was fired after the season ended. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) AP

Dirk Koetter did such a good job with rookie quarterback Jameis Winston last year that the Buccaneers promoted him from offensive coordinator to head coach. But Koetter initially thought the Bucs should have passed on Winston with the first overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

Koetter revealed Wednesday that he preferred Marcus Mariota after his initial evaluation of film, and he had to be persuaded by others in the Buccaneers organization that Winston was the better pick.

“I was probably one of the last people holding out going through the whole process last year. There was plenty of other people convinced way before I was that this was the guy,” Koetter said of Winston, via the Tampa Bay Times.

Oregon coach Mark Helfrich, an old friend of Koetter’s, had him convinced that Mariota will be an NFL star.

“I was only a holdout in that we were basically comparing two really good players: Jameis and Marcus Mariota,” Koetter said. “Both really, really good players. And my job that I was assigned was more the film evaluation part. So other people were evaluating all the other staff. But as we got to pro days and we got around the other coaches, you’ve got to remember, Mark Helfrich was a [graduate assistant] for me at Oregon and was a quarterbacks coach at Boise and Idaho State. Mark is telling me, ‘Marcus Mariota, you guys are idiots, you’re not going to draft Marcus Mariota? You guys are stupid.’ Well, that’s a guy I’m really close to.”

After a year coaching Winston, however, Koetter said, “Now, I’m a true believer that Jameis is off the charts.”

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31 Responses to “Dirk Koetter initially leaned toward Mariota over Winston”
  1. coopsxx says: Feb 25, 2016 6:35 AM

    I really like the fact Koetter is blunt enough to actually talk to the media/fans like a real human being and actually say what he thinks rather than dance around and give inane cliches.

    I hope you have him on PFT radio more as he clearly has more to say than most…

  2. whatjusthapped says: Feb 25, 2016 7:04 AM

    Well Mariota has never been accused of rape or petty shoplifting so he has that going for him.

  3. redeemerac says: Feb 25, 2016 7:15 AM

    I love this kind of honesty, wish more coaches would do this.

  4. floridascuba1 says: Feb 25, 2016 7:20 AM

    Shocker Oregon Alums pushed Koetter to Mariota. Winston is the better player.

  5. captainwhodat says: Feb 25, 2016 7:28 AM

    After a year coaching Winston, however, Koetter said, “Now, I’m a true believer that Jameis is off the charts.”…well, I’m not a believer but we’ll see this upcoming season…the Winston led Buc offense racked up a lot of yards (5th-mainly in the 4th Qtr) but not a lot of points (17th) despite a career year from Martin and a good receiving corps. We’ll see…

  6. wjmoffatt says: Feb 25, 2016 7:30 AM

    Thank goodness because his way better than Mariota. Titans fans don’t give me his line situation because Winston played with back ups and rookies all year. He also got the job done with undrafted rookie receivers and not guys that got drafted in the first and second round like the Titans have.

    Winston is the real deal.

  7. Rolo Tomassi says: Feb 25, 2016 7:52 AM

    What about Jamis character issue?

  8. roddoliver says: Feb 25, 2016 7:53 AM

    When in doubt, if it’s nearly a draw, take the pocket QB from a pro-style offense.

  9. mazenblue says: Feb 25, 2016 8:05 AM

    But instead took a thief rapist.

  10. punkyqb says: Feb 25, 2016 8:15 AM

    Only time will tell on that question. RG3 was great his 1st year also.

  11. gotitan says: Feb 25, 2016 8:38 AM

    They made the wrong decision. We are one mistake by Jamis to make this statement fact.

  12. touchdownroddywhite says: Feb 25, 2016 8:40 AM

    Agree with him or not, at least he had the stones to tell the truth. Unlike all these, “I knew Brady would be great” GMs….

  13. patsxsaintsfan says: Feb 25, 2016 9:29 AM

    Jamie’s did it without first round receivers????!? Who are you talking about wjmofatt mike Evans and Vjax are undrafted? Austin Jenkins your tight end was undrafted? No one of them makes 10 mill a year and the other 2 were first and second round picks. I like mariota more but don’t just lie to make your guy sound better.

  14. ariani1985 says: Feb 25, 2016 9:31 AM

    Who is going to be the first troll to bring up the facts that jamis is the next JR?

  15. savethebs says: Feb 25, 2016 9:38 AM

    Thank you. Sincerely.

    -Titans fan

  16. greatest dynasty ever says: Feb 25, 2016 9:52 AM

    Winston looks up to Peyton Manning….. for all the wrong reasons. Getting away with sexual assault should not be celebrated.

  17. wallabear says: Feb 25, 2016 10:20 AM

    Put “Famous Jameis” with the Titans, and you still can’t win with Sensabaugh and Wreh-Wilson on D-secondary. And Winston makes poor decisions (i.e., high INT-prone) lol

  18. z0inks says: Feb 25, 2016 10:22 AM

    I think both Winston and Mariota are going to be excellent players for a long time. Different styles of play, but it’s hard to go wrong with either one.

  19. 49erfan44 says: Feb 25, 2016 10:27 AM

    Yeah, that Mike Evans guy is terrible, who could succeed with that guy?

  20. JC De La Torre says: Feb 25, 2016 10:35 AM

    Well, its a great thing he didn’t get away with sexual assualt then. Since…you know, no assault actually happened.

    Just because Ms. Kinsman has continued to try to cash in on the alleged incident doesn’t mean Jameis was guilty of anything more than a one night stand. He wasn’t charged. Any hearing held on the matter has ended in his victory and he isn’t settling his suit and in fact countersuing her for defamation.

    What part of this do you idiots not get?

    As for patsxsaintsfan, first – pick a team you frontrunning dbag. Are we going to see patsxsaintsxbroncosfan next?

    Second – Seferian Jenkins missed most of the season due to injury. Jackson missed half the season. They were playing with Mike Evans and the undrafted world beaters Adam Humphries, Dontae Dye and Cameron Brate.

    As for the Titans fans, Tampa Bay’s quarterback tripled our win total, won Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year, was the youngest QB in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards, threw 22 touchdowns and rushed for 6 more (both numbers higher than your QB).

    Meanwhile, the Titans moved from 2nd overall to 1st overall. How do you get a franchise QB and get worse?

  21. rickywatts80 says: Feb 25, 2016 10:46 AM

    Please stop saying “off the charts.” Winston is firmly on the charts.

  22. deezenucks says: Feb 25, 2016 10:54 AM

    Didn’t the bucs have Vincent Jackson and first rounder mike Evans? Pretty sure most people can’t name a WR on the Titans so that’s a horrible point to make

  23. corporatemediaprostitute says: Feb 25, 2016 11:20 AM

    Truth? This guy is a lwlife. He’ll be a position coach again in 2 years.

  24. granadafan says: Feb 25, 2016 11:27 AM

    ariani1985 says:Feb 25, 2016 9:31 AM
    Who is going to be the first troll to bring up the facts that jamis is the next JR?

    As a matter of fact, that troll would be you, ariani. You’re the last person who should be calling others out for being trolls given your tin-foiled and stalker-like obsession with Aaron Rodgers.

  25. jeagan1999 says: Feb 25, 2016 11:48 AM

    Both are going to be great QB’s in this league for many years to come, so I don’t know how you could go wrong either way. I was originally in the Marriota camp, simply because of his terrific athleticism, but Jameis proved he could negotiate the pocket very well last season and scramble effectively when he needed to!

    I’m very happy with Winston as our QB and I don’t see any reason why Titan’s fans shouldn’t be happy either. A rare “win-win” for both teams!

  26. cobibones13 says: Feb 25, 2016 11:52 AM

    49erfan44 says:
    Feb 25, 2016 10:27 AM

    Yeah, that Mike Evans guy is terrible, who could succeed with that guy?
    ————————————-

    Was that supposed to be sarcastic? Evans had the most drops in the league last season, and is a terrible route runner.

    Even with Evans playing like garbage most games and Vincent Jackson being injured a lot of the time, he still threw for over 4,000 yards as a rookie.

    their 0line gave up more than 50 sacks in 2014, and with Winston in there they gave up less than 30. Everyone thought he would get murdered behind that bad oline, but he actually made them look good.

  27. noleitup says: Feb 25, 2016 11:55 AM

    captainwhodat says:
    Feb 25, 2016 7:28 AM
    After a year coaching Winston, however, Koetter said, “Now, I’m a true believer that Jameis is off the charts.”…well, I’m not a believer but we’ll see this upcoming season…the Winston led Buc offense racked up a lot of yards (5th-mainly in the 4th Qtr) but not a lot of points (17th) despite a career year from Martin and a good receiving corps. We’ll see…
    ___________________________________

    A good receiving corps? You mean the one that lost 2/3 of the starters for most of the year? Or the talented #1 receiver that led the league in drops? Holy Bajeeples you people sure love to hate Jameis. Youll come around though.

  28. suhmonster90 says: Feb 25, 2016 12:13 PM

    Hey Bucs fans trashing Mike Evans to make a point about Jameis, what is wrong with you?

  29. bucsfan21 says: Feb 25, 2016 1:12 PM

    Trashing Mike Evans to make a point? Mike Evans needs to learn to catch the ball when it matters. I don’t care what your stats are, he dropped more important balls last year than any receiver in the league.

  30. pastabelly says: Feb 25, 2016 1:19 PM

    Winston was more of a pro style quarterback coming out of college. The big question was his maturity level and penchant for getting into trouble. It’s still too early to tell which quarterback will be better two years. It may just take Mariota a little longer to get acclimated to the NFL because the college offense he came out of really only works for Chip K in the NFL.

  31. petedutcherjr says: Mar 2, 2016 8:32 AM

    7 days and not a word has been reported here about the Buccaneers, even though things have happened.

    So much for objective coverage…

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