Report: Bucs haven’t ruled out retaining head coach Dirk Koetter

A report on the NFL Network says the Bucs owners are still weighing whether to keep the architect of the best offense in franchise history.
Published Dec. 23, 2018

With the end of the 2018 season fast approaching, there's more chatter about the future of Bucs coach Dirk Koetter.

On Sunday, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that the Bucs will huddle at the end of the season to discuss Koetter's future and not to assume he will be fired.

As Rapoport reasons, Koetter is the architect of the best offense in franchise history and the defense has played much better since firing defensive coordinator Mike Smith and replacing him with linebackers coach Mark Duffner.

Tampa Bay is 5-9 entering Sunday's game at Dallas after a 2-0 start. The Bucs end the season by hosting the Atlanta Falcons Dec. 30.

Last week, there was a report on that the Glazers had begun making contingency plans to move on from Koetter.

Perhaps the best reason to not make a change is that the Glazers won't like the field of possible replacements. The Baltimore Ravens have announced they plan to extend the contract of coach John Harbaugh, who will return in 2019.

Rapoport reported that Falcons coach Dan Quinn is probably safe as well, but there likely are to be changes on his coaching staff.

The Glazers like to have all the information before making a decision. What coaches are available at the end of the season may or may not impact their decision with Koetter and/or general manager Jason Licht.

Here's what Rapoport said about the Bucs' coaching situation Sunday:

"Let's start with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and of course the Glazers huddle after the season to make a decision and of course everyone assumes that Dirk Koetter is on his way out,'' Rapoport said. "My understanding is do not necessarily make that assumption. They have not ruled out keeping Koetter and basically their entire upper structure, including maybe Jameis Winston, for the 2019 season.

"I'm not saying Koetter is definitely staying, I'm just saying don't assume he's gone. There actually could be a reason why. This is, by the way, the best offense in franchise history and since firing their defensive coordinator, they're basically a middle of the road defense. Much improvement at the end of the season.  Obviously, we'll be keeping an eye on that one.''