Koetter will coach Bucs' in 2018

Tampa FL USA Tampa Bay Buccaneers former head coach Jon Gruden talks during the presentation of the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Super Bowl Champions during halftime against the Philadelphia Eagles at Raymond James Stadium. The Eagles

Dirk Koetter will return as the Bucs head coach in 2018. That alone doesn't excuse a 4-11 record heading into the final week of the regular season.

There had been much speculation in the past few months that former Bucs coach Jon Gruden, the star of Monday Night Football, was closer to returning to coaching and that he might considering taking his old job in Tampa Bay.

But, just two years removed from a 9-7 record in his first season as a head coach, Koetter gets a reprieve from the Glazer family, which has been known to make rash coaching decisions in the past.

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Koetter was the Bucs offensive coordinator when Winston came to the NFL. Reports indicate the team felt Winston's injury was a major factor in the team's poor performance, not coaching. Tampa is expected to fire Dirk Koetter next week and Gruden is their top candidate replace him. Sure, their injury report may look significantly longer than the Buccaneers', especially with TE Garrett Griffin, OT Terron Armstead, and DE Trey Henderickson all being questionable to play with injuries, but I still say the Saints can cover the spread here. He played against the Carolina Panthers last week despite suffering a partially-torn bicep and will play Sunday in the season finale against the New Orleans Saints.

Koetter has led the Buccaneers the past two seasons with mixed results.

Concluding a three game December home stand, the Carolina Panthers finished by defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 22-19 on Christmas Eve. "It's just so that teams know it's in the bad, so they'll play honest ..." But he also has shown the past four games that he will tuck the ball and run, totaling 52 yards rushing on 13 attempts, averaging 4 yards per carry, in that span. You just don't understand that relationship in that quarterback room.

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