The Buccaneers continue preparation for their opening game in New Orleans with the Saints on Sunday. And one curious question continues to linger: will coach Dirt Koetter, who has been the play caller for each of his three years previously in Tampa Bay, continue those duties as the regular season gets underway?
This is up for debate, because during the preseason Koetter ceded the play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Todd Monken. This after making Monken the full-time coordinator only and giving his wide receiver responsibilities to assistant Skyler Fuller earlier this offseason.
For what it’s worth in the preseason: the Bucs offense responded well, as they put 96 points on the board in for games.
Monken deferred on Thursday morning, when the Tampa Bay media put the question to him at his regularly scheduled press conference saying that it is a question for the head coach:
OC Todd Monken is live at the podium, followed by QB Ryan Fitzpatrick! https://t.co/tVjmm6QH2a
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) September 6, 2018
Koetter left the door open after the Bucs preseason finale last Thursday with Jacksonville in his postgame press conference when someone asked him whether they might continue the current setup of Monken calling the plays in the regular seaso?. He said then that everything was on the table and we have to wait and see what the Buccaneers choose to do.
And the coach continues with that “Cloak and Dagger” approach to most everything heading into this opening game of the season. At his press conference after Wednesday’s practice, he was being questioned about whom his kick returner would be for Sunday’s game and Koetter responded with,
“You know, sometimes I wonder if there’s any reason for fans to tune in and watch the game. If we just tell you guys everything, why would anybody tune in and watch the game? We’re going to have kick returner out there and we’ll see. I’m not going to tell you guys every exact thing we’re going to do. That doesn’t do me any good. It might do you guys good, but it doesn’t do us any good.”
So, in that vein, do not expect a straight answer out of the head coach. This is particularly because, he wants to keep Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen and Co. guessing as to whom might be dialing up calls off the play sheet in the Superdome Sunday?
Monken was previously a head coach and his own play caller in college at Southern Miss before joining the Bucs in 2016. And was with Koetter previously in Jacksonville, while Koetter was the Jaguars offensive coordinator. So, they do have longstanding relationship.
Still, will Koetter give up something he’s been doing for over a decade in his NFL career?
We will find out Sunday (and probably not before).
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