The Buccaneers announced on Thursday that they hired Dirk Koetter to be the team’s next offensive coordinator. The move has caused many to tie Koetter's past to a very popular quarterback in Oregon’s Marcus Mariota.
The narrative comes from the fact that Oregon’s head coach Mark Helfrich worked with Koetter at Oregon in 1997, then at Boise State from 1998 to 2000 and ending their tenure with one another at Arizona State from 2001 to 2005. During that time the two saw quarterbacks like Akili Smith, Sam Keller, Bart Hendricks, and Andrew Walter among others. Many feel that since Helfrich is currently running a spread offense at Oregon it somehow ties to Koetter implementing a spread offense in Tampa Bay to perhaps draft Mariota.
That’s merely inaccurate.
As a guest on KTIK radio in Boise, Idaho Tuesday afternoon, Koetter said that Helfrich didn’t learn the spread concept until he went to Oregon under Chip Kelly in 2009 -- debunking any ties to sharing the same offensive philosophies the two currently share.
As for Koetter and what he can bring to the Bucs offensive philosophy, he added that he is a firm believer that teams who do well coach the game through the eyes of the quarterback. That philosophy could be one that helped Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan succeed.
What was another interesting thing to note from Koetter’s interview was what he said regarding his immediate future. After the show led into his segment saying “Could he be the next offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?”, the veteran playcaller responded with the following regarding his future plans:
“I can’t say much unfortunately. I do still have a contract with the Falcons. They have given me permission to talk to some other teams, which I have done. But I think things will work out here in the next few days.”
The next few days resulted in the Bucs announcement of coming to terms with Koetter. So how could it have played out?
On Tuesday morning, I received word from a source saying that the position was Koetter’s if he wanted it. It was safe to assume at that point the team may have offered him the job. That then led me to receive word Wednesday afternoon from a league source that on top of negotiations with Tampa Bay, there are perhaps some workarounds needing to get taken care of from his contractual obligations with Atlanta. However, we may never know how it truly transpired.
It was a solid hire for the Bucs. Where they go from here regarding the draft remains to be seen. But one thing I’ll remain confident in based on what I have been told (and previously reported), Mariota to the Bucs is currently not an option.
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