Todd Monken: Reports Surrounding Jameis Winston, Dirk Koetter Turmoil a 'Joke'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 15, 2017

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 29: Head coach Dirk Koetter of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gives instructions to quarterback Jameis Winston #3 during a game against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium on October 29, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. The Panthers defeated the Bucs 17-3. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken addressed rumors of a strained relationship between head coach Dirk Koetter and quarterback Jameis Winston during a press conference on Friday.

As seen in the following video courtesy of Pewter Report, Monken called the reports a "joke":

Monken went on to elaborate, adding that nobody on the team is a bigger supporter of Winston than Koetter:

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported last week that Koetter and Winston's relationship was "not in a good place" due to Winston not feeling supported while nursing a shoulder injury, as well as Tampa's offense being too predictable.

Koetter explained that every relationship in life becomes strained at some point, citing his own relationships with his best friend and his wife.

He also touched on the idea of an injured player feeling alienated, saying that is par for the course in the NFL since coaches have to focus on the players who are able to play in a given week.

Per Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times, Monken said with regard to Winston and Koetter's relationship, "If you don't care, you don't argue."

Winston has missed three games this season due to a shoulder injury, and the 4-9 Bucs are 2-8 in the 10 games he has started.

The 23-year-old signal-caller has thrown for 2,475 yards, 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions following a pair of 4,000-yard seasons to open his career.

Winston made the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2015, and he set a career high in 2016 with 28 touchdown passes.

Despite high expectations, the 2015 No. 1 overall pick and the Bucs as a whole have struggled this season and are well out of the playoff race with three games left to play.

Tampa will look to take a step toward ending its season on a high note when it hosts the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night.

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