Last year? Dirk Koetter says Bucs need 'to move forward'
The easiest comparison point for any NFL team is the one that immediately preceded it, and especially with a change in head coaches, this year's Bucs will first be measured by how they're able to improve on last year's 6-10 record under coach Lovie Smith.
But new coach Dirk Koetter said Monday that only so much is gained by comparing this year's team to last year's, so he'll try to limit how much any success is weighed against struggles last season as the team creates a new identity in 2016.
"I'll encourage the players as we go. It doesn't really do us any good to compare stuff in the past. That's not healthy for us in any way," Koetter said. "We're a team that needs to move forward. Anything comparing what happened in the past is not really healthy for us, will do us any good."
It's respectful toward Smith -- now in the college ranks as the head coach at Illinois -- for Koetter not to compare this team to last year's, when the Bucs opened the year 6-6 before losing their last four games to fall out of postseason contention. Koetter, as offfensive coordinator, was part of that team's rise and fall as well, but he wants his first team as head coach to be evaluated more on its own without the context of what did and didn't work last year.