Updating previous reports, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced tonight that they have hired former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter for the same role on their team. Koetter marks the first Falcons assistant to depart the team since the dismisssal of head coach Mike Smith. The Falcons have yet to release their current assistant coaches from their contracts, but presumably all like Koetter are free to seek opportunities elsewhere.
Koetter just finished his third season as the Falcons offensive coordinator, where the team finished eighth in total offense and 12th in scoring defense. That was an improvement from 2013, with the team finishing 14th and 20th in those respective categories. Koetter’s best season came in 2012, where the team ranked eighth in total offense and seventh in scoring on its way to the NFC Championship Game and a 13-3 record.
Koetter joined the Falcons after five seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars. His best year in Jacksonville was his first in 2007, where the offense finished seventh in total offense and sixth in scoring offense. But in the four seasons thereafter, they never finished higher than 15th in total offense or 18th in scoring offense. Koetter’s last season in Jacksonville saw the offense’s worst production, finishing dead-last in total offense and 28th in scoring.
Prior to jumping to the NFL, Koetter spent eight seasons as a head coach in the college ranks. He led Boise State (1998-2000) to a 26-10 record and Arizona State (2001-06) to a 40-34 record.
Koetter takes over for quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo, who served as interim offensive coordinator due to heart surgery forcing an indefinite leave of absence from Jeff Tedford. Tedford was hired by the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League in December. Under Arroyo, the Bucs finished 30th in total offense and 29th in scoring offense in 2014.
The Buccaneers possess the No. 1 pick in the draft and many suspect they will use it on one of the premier quarterbacks expected to be in the 2015 NFL Draft, either Oregon’s Marcus Mariota or Florida State’s Jameis Winston.