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Report – Koetter-Winston relationship not in a good place

Roy Cummings

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Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

TAMPA – The marriage between Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter and quarterback Jameis Winston may be on the rocks. At the very least, it appears the two are having their first major quarrel.

That’s the word from NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, who reported on Sunday morning that just two plus years into it, the relationship between Koetter and Winston has become strained.

“I am told the relationship between quarterback Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter is not in a good place,’’ Rapopoprt said. “There is definitely some tension there and the reason why is actually two-fold.

 “Winston didn’t feel fully supported as it relates to his (shoulder) injury. People didn’t know what he was playing through and how that contributed to his performance, and then there are questions about how predictable the offense is. Certainly, that is a situation to keep an eye on going forward.’’

 Oh, we’ll be keeping an eye om it already, because this is the last thing Koetter needs right now. He may be coaching for his job as it is, but this would only figure to make his position more tenuous.

That said, it’s hard to imagine Winston complaining about a lack of support regarding the health of his shoulder. Remember, this is the guy who said he would not miss a game just an hour after he first hurt it.

Not only that, but Winston went out a week later against Buffalo, after being given a few days off to heal up, and played one of his best games ever with that bad shoulder.

Now, he did hurt that shoulder again in that game and in two subsequent games before he was finally pulled but Winston consistently said he was fine and never really indicated the shoulder was effecting his play.

As for Koetter’s offense being predictable, that did not seem to be a problem when Winston was throwing for 4,000 yards each of his first two years in the league and especially last year when the Bucs were winning.

Granted, the Bucs have struggled to score at times this year. They’re averaging 20.2 per game, 22nd in the league. But that’s just two points less per game than they averaged a year ago.

Oh, and by the way, the Bucs ranked 18th in total offense a year ago, averaging 346.4 yards per game. That number is actually up this year to 349.7 per game, 13th in the league.

That doesn’t sound like an offense that’s all that predictable but where there’s smoke there’s fire and it’s possible that like the weather here in Tampa, the affair between Koetter and Winston has indeed cooled.

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

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