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Dirk Koetter Says Buccaneers Job Security Rumors Are a Distraction

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 27, 2017

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 24:  Head coach Dirk Koetter of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reacts between plays against the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

With the 4-11 Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the verge of finishing a disappointing 2017 season, head coach Dirk Koetter said rumors about his job security have created a distraction. 

Per ESPN's Jenna Laine, Koetter acknowledged the uncertainty around his future with the Buccaneers but has tried to compartmentalize it for the sake of his team.      

"Of course," he said Tuesday. "It's your life. It's your life. It's what you do. So just flip it around. Of course it is. But we all as players and coaches, we're paid to do a job, and you try to do it to the best of our ability. That's all you can do."

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that Koetter is among the NFL coaches on the hot seat. 

Koetter signed a five-year deal when the Buccaneers hired him in January 2016. The 58-year-old served as the team's offensive coordinator in 2015 under head coach Lovie Smith before his promotion.

Expectations were high after Koetter's first campaign in 2016. He led the team to a 9-7 record, its first winning season since 2010, and signed wide receiver DeSean Jackson in March to give quarterback Jameis Winston another big-time playmaker to pair with Mike Evans. 

After a 2-1 start in 2017, Tampa Bay lost 10 of its last 12 games to find itself in last place in the NFC South heading into its regular-season finale against the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday. 

The Bucs offense, which is supposed to be Koetter's specialty as a former OC, ranks 20th in the NFL with 20.3 points per game. Tampa Bay hasn't finished higher than 18th in scoring since 2012.     

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