The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are off to a surprisingly poor season in 2017. Tampa Bay is currently sitting at 3-6 and are in last place in their division. This is surprising for Tampa, as they finished last season at 9-7. In addition, they acquired a lot of talent through the draft and free agency. Here are some of the big names they acquired last off-season:
- Signed DeSean Jackson to a 3 year/$33.5M contract
- Drafted TE OJ Howard in the first round
- Signed QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
- Signed TJ Ward
Going into the season, everyone thought the Buccaneers were headed for a playoff run, after Jackson and Howard joined an offense that already included Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, and Doug Martin. After Tampa Bay’s loss to the Saints, HC Dirk Koetter brought up that there was a possibility of a losing culture still in the locker room from the previous HC regime:
“I thought we were over that,” he said, adding, “Here we are on this losing streak. And, you know, I don’t want to believe it’s culture; I really don’t. And I’m around these guys every day. But at the same time we have lost four in a row; you can’t hide from that.”
Tampa Bay is currently 12-13 under Koetter, and it’s not looking to improve for them. They’ve lost starting QB Jameis Winston, potentially for the year. They’ve got a tough schedule ahead as well. They have Atlanta (x2), Detroit, Carolina, and New Orleans remaining on their schedule.
Tampa Bay’s season is practically over, so it’s not too early to start talking about the off-season yet. One of the moves they might make is firing Koetter. It’s also been reported that if Tampa fires Koetter, Tampa and former HC Jon Gruden would have mutual interest in a possible reunion. Gruden brought a SB win to Tampa in 2003 when he was the HC.
If Koetter can bring Tampa a few more wins this year, his job, and GM Jason Licht’s job may be saved. Maybe.