What should the Bucs look for in their next head coach?
When Tampa Bay fired Dirk Koetter Sunday evening after its 34-32 loss to Atlanta to finish 5-11, we asked the Times' Bucs coverage team.
Here are their early takes:
Saving Jameis Winston?
Rick Stroud, Bucs beat writer @NFLStroud: If the goal is to salvage what the Bucs have invested in Jameis Winston, they will need to find a quarterback whisperer. That probably means an offensive-minded head coach, preferably with NFL head coaching experience. Winston's future would seem to be an ownership question. The only exception would be if the new coach has enough pedigree to insist the team moves on to a new QB.
First, a question
Eduardo A. Encina, Bucs/pro sports enterprise writer, @EddieintheYard: If Winston is indeed part of the Bucs plans, and there were more reports Sunday that he will be, they need a head coach who can get the best out in him. And after Koetter couldn't do that, maybe a younger, fresher voice would help. Without Winston the focus should be on luring a defensive-minded coach to Tampa Bay to rework a defensive unit that didn't meet expectations.
How about analytics-minded?
Thomas Bassinger, sports data reporter, @tometrics: A leader of men. A football guy. (Snorts while laughing.) Coach cliches aside, my first thought is that the Bucs should prioritize offensive-minded candidates. The thing is that just about every team that has an opening is going to be looking for the next Sean McVay or Matt Nagy. Whoever that is will have options, so I wonder whether the Bucs might be better off taking a different tack. Maybe defensive-minded coaches will be this offseason's market inefficiency. Whomever they hire must be experienced in or willing to embrace data analysis. The key word there is analysis. Anyone can regurgitate data, but understanding the story the numbers tell is an entirely different skill. This is the direction the league is headed. Adapt or die.
Ernest Hooper, assistant sports editor, @hoop4you: After giving away seats to its Dec. 2 game vs. Carolina, the Glazers likely will consider a big name that can generate season ticket renewals. They should resist that temptation and take a longer view. Bring in someone who can create a culture, attract veterans who have as much in character as talent and hire assistants who can teach and develop. In short, hire someone like Tony Dungy who emphasized those tenets and built a foundation of winning.
Contact Mike Sherman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @mikesherman