Scuttlebutt of Dirk Koetter for Jon Gruden swap persists


One week from today, the coaching carousel will go from dormant to high speed. And one of the various vacancies (there could be anywhere from eight to 10 total) could arise in Tampa, where a termination of Dirk Koetter would continue the team’s recent two-and-out trend.

The current thinking is that G.M. Jason Licht will remain in place, but that coach Dirk Koetter will be replaced, potentially by former Bucs coach Jon Gruden.

It remains unclear whether Gruden wants to return to coaching. Indeed, it’s unclear what he wants at all. Though he initiated the chatter in 2017 by speaking openly about returning at a time when many had assumed that he’d joined Bill Cowher as guys who won’t ever be coming back, there has been no clarity regarding whether Gruden is looking to return to the Bucs, to join some other team, or to parlay interest in his coaching services into a better deal with ESPN. (Or, given Bristol’s current financial difficulties, a deal not as bad as what ESPN may want him to take.)

Whatever the Buccaneers do, the sense is that they already know what it will be. Ownership has a habit of making a move to dump a coach only when they know the name of the replacement. And so, for Koetter, the question becomes whether he returns for a third season if Gruden ultimately decides not to return to coaching.

He returned to the Bucs on Monday night, donning his visor and saying all the right things about ownership as the franchise placed him in the Ring of Honor. Few get to go to work in a place where their names already have been immortalized; that dynamic could make ownership somewhat less inclined to continue to shove a revolving door that spins after ever few full-season cycles.

Since making Gruden a surprise firing after the 2008 season, the Bucs have hired, and fired, Raheem Morris (three years), Greg Schiano (two), and Lovie Smith (two). Koetter got the job in 2016, at a time when it’s believed the Buccaneers feared that another team would hire him to be a head coach elsewhere.

The two years under Koetter have been average at best. A late-season run in 2016 helped boost expectations to an arguably unrealistic level in 2017. Now, with the Bucs possibly being the only team in the NFC South not to make the playoffs, the Glazer family may be ready to bring back the last coach who took them to the postseason.

29 responses to “Scuttlebutt of Dirk Koetter for Jon Gruden swap persists

  1. .
    The buying and selling of careers is a messy business. The insistent peddling of Gruden and Fisher reeks of cronyism. Continue at your own risk, but as Humphrey Bogart famously said in the movie classic, Casablanca, “you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.”

  2. I have never been a big Dirk Koetter fan – thought he was overrated when with Jags and Falcons.

    That being said – amazing how a qb can make you a good coach or put you on chopping block.
    Matt Ryan made him look good. Dummy Winston gonna get him fired.

  3. If a team is gonna fire their coach then a good plan would be to have the next coach ready to go and preferably think that coach is a better option. That’s when the pandering comes with the Rooney rule.

  4. Tampa Bay has been drafting poorly. Unless Gruden is planning to bring his own personnel guy with him, he’ll be gone in a couple years too. He learned that lesson the last time around, but time and ego can cloud the memory.

  5. Why does Gruden let these rumors persist every year. He’s not going to coach again. He has an easy job making huge money. He’s won a Super Bowl. He has nothing to gain by going back to coaching.

  6. Go for it Jon … you only get one perfect chance for a swan song and this is yours.

    Broadcasting is something that will be there as long as there are games … and you can broadcast well into the Golden Years ….

    the Tampa Bay Bucs and their fans await!

  7. The reality is if he does get a second chance in Tampa, who is out there available to be his QB… I know some will say winston but he hasn’t changed and he will always be a risk every pass play…

    Not sure if there is a standout QB to draft this year… Jimmy G. went to the 49ers… Maybe Keenum if the Vikings want Teddy to start… Gruden will likely be back with his same QB woes!

  8. I think your wrong. I think Gruden would and will consider the big bad rowdy Raiders. Didn’t you say JDR has a 50-50 chance on returning? Raider brand is huge compared to those losers in Tampa Bay. I’d rather coach carr over Winston anyday!

  9. Dungy couldn’t win in Tampa with his players, and underachieved in Indy with one of the best QB’s ever to play the game. How many times did they start 10-2, 11-1, 12-0 and started resting players only to get bounced. Dungy is a Hall of Fame person, not a Hall of Fame coach.

  10. The Ring of Honor Ceremony during Monday night football was a stroke of pure genius by the Buccaneers organization. It was a nonstop recruiting effort for Gruden’s return. Listening to him wax rhapsodic about his coaching days during that broadcast left no doubt in my mind it was working and would most likely push him over the edge

  11. To those who always say that Gruden won the Super Bowl with Dungy’s players…

    Dungy didn’t win a Super Bowl with his players, but Gruden did.

    Now, I actually like Dungy more than Gruden. Dungy is a good man, red his book, like his approach to life etc.

    I don’t dislike Gruden, just like Dungy more.

    It seems silly to point out that Gruden won the Super Bowl with Dungy’s players because Dungy didn’t win with his own players.

  12. cebert44 says:
    December 24, 2017 at 11:13 am
    If he won with Dungy players then I guess

    Dungy couldn’t. Tony won with one of the best5 QB

    and did nothing the rest of the time


    Please review Tampas FRANCHISE RECORD before Dungy. lol

  13. Gruden won with Dungy’s team? Hahaha

    Nope. Look up how many of the offensive players on the Super Bowl team played for Dungy. Not many.

    Dungy scored 6 points in playoff games. Gruden scored TDs.

    As for Koetter… most predictable offense in the NFL.

  14. sportsfan18 says:
    December 24, 2017 at 12:58 pm
    To those who always say that Gruden won the Super Bowl with Dungy’s players…

    Dungy didn’t win a Super Bowl with his players, but Gruden did.

    The other thing worth noting is that Gruden DID put the other team in that Super Bowl together.

  15. Raiders rumors if Jack does not return include Gruden, Harbaugh, and Shaw- they all have Raiders ties. Brian Kelly at Notre Dame although may be the best of the bunch who has no ties what so ever.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.