Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Bucs

Dirk Koetter says players will vote for captains soon; delay avoided a ‘popularity’ contest

The Bucs coach wanted to wait until they were several games into the season to see if new leaders emerged

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said he deliberately delayed players voting for team captains the first quarter of the season in the hopes of preventing a "popularity" contest.

But sometime after Sunday's game at Atlanta, Koetter says they will hold a players' vote to determine who will wear the "C" on their chests this season.

The first four games, the Bucs selected captains for the coin toss on a week-to-week basis. There also has been speculation that Koetter was waiting for quarterback Jameis Winston to return from a three-game suspension before the team selected captains.

"There's going to come a time where we can't do that anymore because the league, to wear a 'C' on your chest, there's a deadline," Koetter said Thursday. "I definitely want our guys to have that experience. It's important to them. So the plan all along, we'll have the players vote for season captains.

"I didn't want this to be a popularity contest. I wanted there to be some games played and some ups and downs to the season to let the players decide who they think the real leaders are instead of guys who are perceived as leaders. It still might end up the same way, and I'm fine if it does. It's their vote. I'm not going to sway that. But that's why I did it that way.''