The Buccaneers made big changes to their coaching staff this offseason after they fired Lovie Smith and hired Dirk Koetter as their new head coach.
One of the new hires is Andrew Weidinger, whose job title is listed as assistant wide receivers coach/game management. The second part of that job description is one that’s become a more common responsibility in recent years as head coaches designate someone to help them with the clock, replays, timeouts and other strategic issues while they focus on the other aspects of the game.
In an interview with Jason Cole of Bleacher Report, Koetter explained why he’s going that route.
“Because I’m going to stay as the play-caller, and there are plenty of guys in the NFL who stay as play-callers as head coaches. There are just so many situations that come up in NFL game, whether it’s clock management or just game-ending situations, to have someone that they’re fully dedicated to that preparation in leading up to the game and on game day made sense,” Koetter said. “When I was the offensive coordinator, if I was up in the box, we always had a designated coach on the field that if I said, “This situation is up” and the head coach was on the other side of the phones talking to the defensive staff, that coach on the field would go remind the head coach about this or that. There is so much pressure when that clock is ticking, you have to have somebody who is on top of that and looking ahead.”
Koetter went on to talk about hearing “10,000 guys” sharing their opinions on plays that could be challenged and said you need one person who can “take all the emotion out of it” while analyzing the situation. Given the significance of those moments over the course of both a game and a season, it is quickly becoming better to ask why a team wouldn’t have such a coach on their staff.