According to a CBS Sports report Sunday, Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter is unlikely to return in 2019 and that a search for his replacement is already taking place.
The Buccaneers are 5-9 following Sunday’s 20-12 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, clinching their second straight losing season.
A potential replacement for Koetter, who has coached in the NFL for 12 years, includes Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael. Another name mentioned is former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, who was fired last week but was once a hot head coaching candidate.
You may notice that these candidates reported by the Tampa Bay media are all offensive-minded coaches, similar to Koetter.
Sunday’s game pitted a Baltimore defense that had allowed the fewest points in the NFL against the league’s top-ranked passing attack, led by quarterback Jameis Winston.
Winston moved around in the pocket and made big plays running the ball, including a 64-yard pass off a scramble to Mike Evans that converted a third-and-20 and set up a field goal in the third quarter. His passing was off, however, throwing for only 157 yards on 13-of-25 passing. He also threw an interception in the fourth quarter.
“We can’t turn the ball over on our side of the field,” said Winston. “We’ve got to execute better as an offense. They did a great job on defense but we’ve got to do better for our defense.”
The Bucs are 1-6 on the road in 2018 and finished 1-3 in their games against the AFC North.
Their defense was up to the task against the Ravens. Linebacker Lavonte David led the Buccaneers with a pair of sacks and a fumble recovery along with a game-high 11 tackles, three tackles for loss and a pass defensed.
Fellow linebacker Riley Bullough, starting in place of Adarius Taylor, who missed the game due to a personal matter, added eight stops, a tackle for loss and a pass defensed.
“We were out there flying around, trying to make plays,” Bullough said. “But you’ve just got to stay consistent throughout the whole game and a couple of those runs leaked through. We’ll see the film, look at it and try to get better.”
The Bucs’ offense, on the other hand, produced just one field goal in the second half and finished with a season-low 241 yards of total offense.
Tampa Bay offensive tackle Demar Dotson had a peculiar answer when asked if the Buccaneers will try to save Koetter’s job.
“It’s every man for himself at this moment,” Dotson said. “I’m not going to worry about saving Dirk’s job, I’m worried about saving my own. So that’s the way I look at it.’’
–QB Jameis Winston completed 13 of 25 passes for 157 yards, no touchdowns and one interception in Sunday’s loss to Baltimore.
–LB Lavonte David had both of the Bucs’ sacks and three of their five quarterback hits Sunday. He also recovered a fumble. The fumble recovery was David’s second this season and the 13th of his career, establishing a franchise record, surpassing Ronde Barber for the most in team history.
–WR Mike Evans finished Sunday’s game with four catches for 121 yards, his seventh 100-yard receiving game this season, the second-most in a single season in team history. He now has 20 career 100-yard receiving games, extending his franchise record. Evans now has 1,328 receiving yards this season, a career high and the third-most in a single season in franchise history. He has the most receiving yards through 14 games in franchise history.
–LB Adarius Taylor missed Sunday’s game so he could witness the birth of his child.
–WR Desean Jackson missed his third straight game Sunday with a thumb injury. The likelihood exists that Jackson will miss the rest of the season and not play again with the Buccaneers, according to multiple reports.