It is clearly one of the most important decisions in franchise history. Sure, the Bucs have had coaches come and get fired before, but now with a young phenom at quarterback, this is the time the Bucs must get this decision right.
“We’re going to look at several different candidates from several different backgrounds and make the decision based on our feel for them, what we think they can bring," Bucs GM Jason Licht said at his press conference last week. "There’s no drawn-up, certain details of a person that we need, [whether] he’s been a coordinator for X amount of years or he’s been a head coach, it’s going to be the best football coach that we find.”
That last part is most important.
"The best football coach that we find."
All guesses by the media have suggested that Dirk Koetter will end up being the Bucs next head coach. That may be true, but we do have to ask if he is the "best football coach" they can find. Koetter has never been an NFL head coach, and the last time he was a head coach in college, it was reported that he "created and fostered an environment that encouraged inappropriate behavior by football players."
It's obviously important to hire the right head coach for Jameis Winston, but that head coach could be a new coach all together from outside the organization. I think Jameis has shown he's smart enough to transition to a new offense and make it look seemless.
The Bucs have only been connected to two other candidates, both of whom, like Koetter, have never been NFL head coaches before.
As defensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers, Sean McDermott has led one of the most dominant defenses in the NFL over the past few seasons. It does help that the Panthers have invested much more on that side of the ball than they have on offense, but that's also what the Bucs are planning to do with their investments over the next couple of years. McDermott may make sense if Koetter were to remain on as his offensive coordinator, but, again, we need to ask if a defensive coordinator who has been given so much to work with to be successfull is the "best football coach" available. I'm not sure I can say that.
I know the resume for Harold Goodwin is nowhere near as impressive as either Koetter or McDermott. Goodwin may be the offensive coordinator for the Cardinals, but he isn't the one who calls the plays. Before joining the Cardinals as offensive coordinator who doesn't call plays, Goodwin was the offensive line coach of the Colts, Steelers, and Bears. In essence, he has the resume of former Bucs offensive coordinator Bill Muir.
So, is Harold Goodwin the "best football coach" available?
If these are truly the only 3 candidates the Bucs have to choose from, then Dirk Koetter has to be the choice. Of course, there's always the chance that the Glazers have something sneaky up their sleeve.
Until then, let's all hope the Bucs find that "best football coach" and get this one right. If not, they may waste this franchise quarterback they've been in search of for quite some time.