While not a player this might be the most crucial Buccaneer to watch this week and over the course of the season. For a season that had such high expectations, the Buccaneers have seemingly resigned to taking a losing season and looking into the future.
This week Ali Marpet and Demar Dotson were both placed on the IR. This wasn’t the most telling move of the week that the Buccaneers might be giving up hope. They also released their most veteran and best blocking tight end in Luke Stocker. While many believe O.J. Howard is the future of the position it’s a strange move after you lose your two best linemen.
Add that with the release of Daryl Tapp and the promotion of younger players it seems the Buccaneers are trying to see just what they might have in their prospects.
How Koetter handles the rest of this season could very well determine if he gets to coach the Buccaneers next year. Many believe he is on the hot seat and for a good reason.
Many will blame this season on Winston and his injury, but Winston has been consistent with his numbers from last year and has actually shown improvement.
Through his six full games played this season the Buccaneers went 2-4, last year in his first six complete games played the Buccaneers went 3-3.
In those six games in 2016, he threw 237 passes completing 142 of them for a 59.9% completion ratio. In 2017 he completed 147 of 236 passes for 62.2% completion ratio.
During the same games in 2016 he had 1396 yards in the air with a 12-9 touchdown to interception ratio compared to 2017 he had1792 yards with a 10-6 touchdown to interception ratio.
Koetter needs to continue to work with his young quarterback and keep his progression in a positive motion and somehow keep the team motivated to be competitive along the way.
Koetter and how he handles the next few games will be a significant storyline heading down the stretch part of the season. The coaching carousel might be making an unexpected visit to Tampa Bay but only time will tell.
Check out the latest episode of Locked On Bucs for some insight into Jameis Winston’s comments about his injury, the NFL investigation, and a Bucs/Packers preview!