Dirk Koetter has no interest in adding consultant to diagnose Bucs defense

Tampa Bay Bucs coach Dirk Koetter watches  practice on Sept. 26. (MONICA HERNDON | Times)
Tampa Bay Bucs coach Dirk Koetter watches practice on Sept. 26. (MONICA HERNDON | Times)
Published Oct. 18, 2018

TAMPA — Bucs coach Dirk Koetter has no intention of becoming more involved on the defensive side of the ball, preferring to leave that to new coordinator Mark Duffner as he replaces the fired Mike Smith.

"That wouldn't be the answer," Koetter said bluntly at the podium Wednesday when asked whether that was a consideration this week as the Bucs prepare for the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium."

Koetter added that he also has little interest in bringing in a experienced defensive mind from outside the organization as a consultant to help the floundering Tampa Bay defense.

"I'm not a big consultant guy," Koetter said. "Guys who are in the building, they've got skin in the game. Consultants are getting paid. Consultants are like TV announcers, right? They go home at night and they don't care who wins or loses.

"People that are just giving you opinions, you've got to really respect that person if they don't have skin in the game," Koetter added. "And I have a lot of respect for a lot of coaches. I'm just not a big believer in that. When we're up there working on the game plan, offense or defense, it's not like we're up there thinking, 'Oh, i wish there were more ideas.' There's plenty of ideas, but it's when you start trying to put those ideas in motion, then you have to start playing all the 'what if?' games. … So I just don't know if there's big value in that. If you add up the years of experience we have on the defensive guys we still have up there, we're fine as far as that goes."

Bringing in a defensive guru to diagnose the Bucs' defensive problems in the middle of a season might be more haphazard than firing a defensive coordinator five games into the season. And Koetter seems to make it clear that adding a new chef to a group that's already set the menu might not be the best idea for a defense that needs to find its way now.

When asked about the possibility of bringing in a consultant, the name of former Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was mentioned. Pagano, who orchestrated a top-level defense with the Ravens before becoming the head coach in Indianapolis, visited Bucs training camp this year after he was fired by the Colts after last season.

Koetter quickly squashed the notion when it was noted that the two have a tight relationship.

"Yeah, well, I'm close with a lot of guys," Koetter shrugged.