Monday, December 11, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs' Koetter fondly remembers stint with Jaguars

TAMPA — As the Bucs prepare to go to Jacksonville this weekend for two joint practices and a preseason game Saturday, it's a nostalgic week for Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter to remember the team that gave him his first NFL job.

"Jacksonville, I got my start in the NFL, so big thanks to Jack Del Rio," said Koetter, who was an offensive coordinator on coach Del Rio's staff from 2007-11. "I'll always be indebted to him for that. We had a great first year there, made it to the second round of the playoffs, lost to the Patriots, and then we didn't go too many places from there. But heck, I'd like to have that same first year here that we had there."

This year's Bucs have much in common with the 2007 Jaguars. Current defensive coordinator Mike Smith had the same role then, as did current Bucs linebackers coach Mark Duffner and receivers coach Todd Monken. Veteran LB Daryl Smith was on that Jacksonville team, and current assistant defensive line coach Paul Spicer had four forced fumbles that season as a starting defensive end.

"(Spicer) was a team captain for us in Jacksonville," Koetter said. "I've always been a fan of his. I used to love the way he talked to the defensive players and loved his leadership and his playing style. The coaches we have on this staff that were from Jacksonville, they're here because they are really good football coaches. They're good teachers and they're good men."

As for the Jaguars, who went 11-5 in 2007, they haven't finished above 8-8 in any year since, and that playoff win in 2007 is the only one the franchise has had since 1999.

The teams will hold joint practices in Jacksonville on Wednesday and Thursday. Both are open to the public .

STEP FORWARD: Jameis Winston had a costly fumble in Thursday's preseason opener at Philadelphia, but his passing statistics — 7-of-9 for 97 yards and a touchdown — gave him a QB rating of 148.6. Before Sunday night's game, only one QB in the NFL had as many passes and a better rating: Cowboys rookie Dak Prescott. Compare that to a year ago, when Winston didn't have a touchdown pass in the entire preseason and finished ranked 106th among quarterbacks with a rating of 52.7.

THIS AND THAT: WR Russell Shepard was one of just two receivers in the NFL entering Sunday night's games that had 60 yards and a touchdown, along with Seattle's Tanner McEvoy. … The team completed passes to 18 players Thursday. That's the most of any team, edging the Saints, who had 17. … The open practice this morning is the second-to-last open practice to the public in Tampa. The joint practice against the Browns on Aug. 24 is also open.

Contact Greg Auman at [email protected].

Comments
Explosives? On 40-yard plays, Bucs among NFL’s worst

Explosives? On 40-yard plays, Bucs among NFL’s worst

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter has key statistics that he puts great value in, finding a close correlation between success in those areas and success on the scoreboard. Winning the takeaway battle is always first among those priorities, but he and his staff...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rick and Tom podcast: Do Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter get along?

Rick and Tom podcast: Do Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter get along?

The Bucs guarantee another losing season after turning the ball over five times in a 24-21 loss to the Lions. In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones talk about how the Bucs stayed in the game until the end despite a non-existent pass rush...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship: It’s complicated

The Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship: It’s complicated

  TAMPA — There are lies, damn lies and statistics, none of which are working in favor of Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter avoiding a split in the near future. Even before the Bucs turned the football over five times and lost to the Detroit Li...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Report: Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship ‘is not in a good place’

Report: Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship ‘is not in a good place’

Jameis Winston is displeased with how coach Dirk Koetter has handled Winston's shoulder injury and the Bucs offense, according to an NFL Network report Sunday. “The relationship between quarterback Jameis Winston and Koetter is not in a good p...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Jones: Why Bucs coach Dirk Koetter won’t survive this

Jones: Why Bucs coach Dirk Koetter won’t survive this

  TAMPA — Dirk Koetter isn’t going to return as coach of the Bucs next season. That’s not official. No announcement has been made. No press conference is scheduled. It’s not an absolute fact. Not yet. And this isn’t a...
Updated: 5 hours ago
NFL Week 14: What we learned

NFL Week 14: What we learned

Aaron Rodgers is ready to return, but is he needed in Green Bay? Backup QB Brett Hundley is 2-0 in OT; Rodgers is 1-7. The Pack has its Mr. Clutch, right? Yeah, right. Its 27-21 OT win at Cleveland keeps it alive for a wild-card spot. Mr. Rodgers, yo...
Published: 12/10/17
Bucs-Lions journal: Backup lineman was most unlikely of targets

Bucs-Lions journal: Backup lineman was most unlikely of targets

TAMPA — The Bucs’ unlikely comeback to erase a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter was capped by the most unlikely of targets. Tampa Bay tied the game when Jameis Winston threw a 2-yard pass to 305-pound Leonard Wester, a backup lineman who lined ...
Published: 12/10/17
Gerald McCoy leaves game with shoulder/bicep injury

Gerald McCoy leaves game with shoulder/bicep injury

Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy left Sunday's  game against the Lions in the second quarter with an injury to his shoulder/biceps muscle. The team says his return is doubtful.The Bucs were tied 7-7 with the Lions when McCoy was sidelined. He'...
Published: 12/10/17
Fennelly: Gerald McCoy’s lost season may be over

Fennelly: Gerald McCoy’s lost season may be over

TAMPA — It was the face of a losing season.Gerald McCoy’s tearful, contorted face.Up there on the video boards at Raymond James Stadium. On your TV screen. Everywhere."I’m not a quitter," McCoy said. "I don’t play to lose."The Bucs lost their ninth g...
Published: 12/10/17
Bucs-Lions: Grading Tampa Bay’s 24-21 loss to Detroit

Bucs-Lions: Grading Tampa Bay’s 24-21 loss to Detroit

TAMPA — It was football weather, cool, crisp, a day for the Bucs and their fans. That explains the crowd. Stow the zinc oxide. Where’s my muff?Oh, and break out the record book.For the 28th time in their 42-year history, the Bucs are losers. They sec...
Published: 12/10/17