TAMPA (FOX 13) - Though he's never been a NFL head coach, Buccaneers Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter is very much on the team's radar as a possible replacement for Lovie Smith.
It sounds like he could be one of its top candidates.
"He'll be a very strong candidate," said Bucs General Manager, Jason Licht. "He's got a strong resume, I've had a chance to work with him day-to-day the last year, and I like Dirk. He's going to be a strong candidate."
Koetter is from Idaho and was a high school head coach there in his early 20s. He also had two stints at the college level, at Arizona State and Boise State.
The NFL is a different beast. It's not only about developing players - it's a lot more about winning games. Koetter even said so in a press conference December 30.
"Numbers are nice, numbers look good on those pieces of paper we talk about," said Koetter. "But all that anyone gives a [care] about in this league is Ws (wins), alright? You got to win games."
Koetter's job title could change for the second season in a row. Last year, he was let go as the Falcons' offensive coordinator when Mike Smith was fired as the head coach in Atlanta.
Even in the last season, Koetter's resume has improved.
With a rookie quarterback in Jameis Winston and two rookie offensive lineman, Koetter has taken a rank 30 offense in 2014, and improved that to one of the best in the league. The Bucs offense was ranked fifth after he took over, averaging almost 376 yards per game.
"He's put a good resume in front of him for this year," said Licht. "Historically the best offense we've had here in Tampa Bay. He's a good communicator. He's done great things with Jameis. There's a lot of good football coaches out there. Dirk's one of them."
Only time will tell if the Glazers believe Dirk Koetter is the man to take this team further than it's gone in almost a decade. The Bucs last made the playoffs in 2007.